Just some quick photos of a lovely sized bass caught this past weekend by one of our fishing buddies Kyle. He took this quite deep just off the weed line of some under water vegetation. He used a watermelon red Fat Albert grub. They seem to work very well this time of year.
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Here are just a few pics from another trip we did to our local dam. Again we were taking a lot of fish on spinnerbait (chartreuse white) as well as on fluke. We noticed at one stage the larger fish holding close to an underwater rock pile. They were taking so tentatively that initialy it took about 4 casts for me to realise that the tention I kept feeling on the line wasn’t just my lure getting hooked up on underwater structure. A solid reminder for me to strike whenever in doubt. How many fish have you lost on presumption?
Another local fish
Kyle's spinnerbait fish
Taken on fluke
Another good fish
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We added yet another reel to our already sizeable arsenal of fishing tackle, the Banax Magma. I tested the reel out while on my V-boat a couple of weekends ago and I was impressed. Simply put this reel is enjoyable to fish. Banax is not a well-known brand by any means but I am starting to think that it is one of the most underrated ones.
The magma boasts a high speed 7:1 gear ration so is suited to jigging and worming in situations where you want to return a “dead cast” back to the rod tip as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t necessarily use it for cranking or spinner baits. There are those out there that will argue this point, but to me the ratio is too fast for these applications. The reel also comes with the now standard anti-reverse backlash systems and a twin breaking system.
The reel also has a nice solid build. No, it is not made of aluminium or any of the other strong metals used in your high end reels, these days, but it still feels strong and compact. It also shows off the odd metal trimming such as the gear lever and spool control mechanism.
Simply put, this reel casts like a dream and retrieves line at a phenomenal pace. We love it and at five hundred to seven hundred rand I’m going back for more!
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My unmeasured personal best
The Bass Bugger and I hit our favourite little farm dam again this past weekend on float tubes. We haven’t fished it for about two years and quite frankly I don’t think anyone else has either. Let me tell you, the fishing was out of this world. I think we will dub it our “little Lake Mteri”. I hooked into what was definteley the largest and strongest bass that I have come across to date. Sitting so low to the water in my float tube the fish literally had the top half of my rod sub-surface it was so strong.
Self portraits just dont work!
The standard issue super fluke was the lure of the day, and we found the fish lying just off the edge of lily beds. Most of our quality takes were taken about 2 to 3 meters off the lily beds towards deeper water. Interestingly all of the fish that we hooked made for this deeper water when hooked and not for the thick lily pad structure, which I would have expected. I guess the lesson learnt here is to fish areas where structure coincides with deep water, which obviously serves as an easy escape route for the larger, wiser fish.
Plenty of these
I think a lot of the time we tend to beat the bank more than we should with bass. Sure you may catch far more fish this way, BUT if you are chasing quality rather than quantity then maybe targeting deeper offshore structure would be preferable for what remains of our bassing season.
Close on 2 kilos
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Arabie dam, or otherwise known as Flag Boshielo Dam, is a massive dam on the Olifants River, near Marble Hall in the Limpopo province. It was established in 1987 and therefore is still a relatively young, unknown dam.
Upon visiting the dam last weekend it was clear that this was a recently constructed dam. The Structure that it boasts is incredible. Consisting of forests of sunken trees and shrubs, resembling that of Mteri lodge in Zimbabwe, it tells the story of a vast, recently flooded landscape. This kind of structure provides the ideal cover for both predator and prey fish and thus the dam, at least for some time, must have flourished as a bass paradise, and this is exactly what we went to explore.
Unfortunately the dam’s credentials did not deliver on this occasion and despite almost a full day of beating the water we never got a single bite. As beautiful as the dam seems it is not without its problems. First of all, upon approaching the dam to launch the boat, we noticed thousands of empty aquatic snail shells strewn across the water’s edge, obviously remnants of a recent mass snail kill. This is a major red flag to me indicating that this dam either was (or is) experiencing catastrophic pollution problems, not unlike many other water bodies in and around the Gauteng area. Also, the water seemed extremely dirty. It had a deep, redish-brown, dusty haze to it.
Another red flag was our discovery of a dying Chinese Silver Carp struggling at the water’s edge. It was still alive but the entire length of its body was covered in blemishes, almost as if it was peeling. It was also extremely thin and its scales literally rubbed off in my hands when I pulled it from the water. My best estimate is that this foreign invader probably weighed close to 20kg while still healthy. I had no idea that we even had this species in our water’s, it was a mighty sight to say the least.
Chinese Silver Carp
Besides the pollution problems potentially affecting the fishing, the water level was also extremely low, one could see the isolated reed beds standing on dry land. These probably hold some good bass when submerged. Complementing the low water levels were the extremely high temperatures and humidity. The air temperature must have been in the high 30’s and we recorded the water temperature at 28 degrees Celsius in some places. Now with blue bird skies, no shady spots on the water, and low water levels, this just translates to extremely pressured fishing conditions no matter what dam you are on.
So in closing I am eager to return to Arabie dam after the rains. We found many spots, potential bass factories, that i’d love to target when and if the conditions come right. Untill then it’s just not worth the two and a half hour drive from Joburg and Renosterkop dam is going to be a closer and more viable option.
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