We had a rollercoaster of a day out on the Vaal a couple weekends ago. It was a strange day of intermittently successful fishing. One minute the fish were on the bite and the next they were off, then suddenly on again, all in the space of a couple hours.
Both I and the Bass Bugger managed to land numerous mudfish and the Bass Bugger even managed to net his very first Yellow! And a beauty at that. The highlight for me was that towards the end of a relatively slow day on the water, I netted what was at approximately 2.7 kilos by far my largest smallmouth yellowfish yet.
I have to admit that on this occasion I upped my tippet strength to just less than 10 lb test mono, which I concede that at face value seems a tad overkill. However, the water was flowing at quite a rate on this particular occasion and quite honestly we needed all the advantage that we could afford ourselves while fighting a hooked fish.
The method that I used was Czech nymphing with a three fly tandem rig, and the prize winning fly for the day was an orange hotspot tied on a size 14 hook as the point fly. I used a copper john as my control fly (which is almost always the case) and various flies as my top fly. I find that this is my most successful configuration for targeting smallmouth yellowfish. However, I tend to switch the top and point fly from time to time.