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April 2018

Issue 204

All About:


RSA: R39.00 (VAT incl.) Other Countries: R33.91 (Tax excl.)


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ide ins Backyard Bassin’ - Murray Park | Cold Front Reactions | Women That Fish | Tournament Thoughts Retrieval Techniques | Line Selection for Carolina Rigging Deep Water | Don’t Underestimate the Chatterbait Readers-go-Bassing | Tournament Report | Industry News

Driving through the river instead of taking the bridge? Amarok can. Now with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

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SA BASS Magazine

is published monthly (12 issues per annum) by WJ Lindeque cc t/a BB Print (CK99/23366/23)

Office hours:

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 08:15 to 16:15

Contact numbers:

Office: (065) 849 3264, Alternative: (083) 306 2718 Fax: (086) 234 5026

Postal Address:

SA BASS, PO Box 24938, Gezina, 0031, RSA


Hannes Lindeque -


John Badenhorst -

Field Editors:

Bennie Wiese, Bryan Leppan, Colin Willmer, Derrek Stewart, Dewald Viljoen, Divan Coetzee, Gary Peter, Gareth Dryden, Gordon Brown, Joe Dreyer, Kevin Lofstedt, Louis Bezuidenhout, Mzi Tyhokolo, Neels Beneke, Philip Kemp, Roger Donaldson, Rowan Zerf, Rudi Dreyer

International Columnists:

Bertrand Ngim, Clint Skinner, David Swendseid, Gareth Rawlins, Matt Williams, Tylor Brinks

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Facebook Administrator:

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About SA BASS magazine: SA BASS, which is editorially and financially independent, is a monthly magazine catering exclusively for the bass angling community in Southern Africa. SA BASS is distributed country-wide by RNA to outlets, not only in South Africa, but also in Namibia, Swaziland and Botswana. SA BASS is designed as a specialist bass fishing publication and has catered for a well-defined niche market since April 2001. It enjoys the support and endorsement of non-government organisations, but is not affiliated in any way to these bodies or to any other publishing, environmental or political interest group. Our mission is to promote bass angling as a socially acceptable and popular outdoor recreational activity, and in addition, to encourage acceptable angling ethics. As such, SA BASS provides pertinent information on a wide range of subjects. These include providing a platform for informed debate on issues affecting the sport of bass angling, providing information on bass angling strategies and techniques, bass angling waters and opportunities, and also creating awareness of new products. Within this editorial mix, due consideration is given to developing the sport among all the 02 SA BASS April 2018

country’s people (including the youth), and to the practical conservation of the country’s natural resources.


FLW “Hair Jigs Tournament-Proven Tackle” Like an old friend returning home after a long absence, the resurgence of the Preacher Jig as a Tour-level tournament lure a few seasons ago kicked off a lot of excitement in the bass fishing community. – Curtis Niedermier



BACKYARD BASSIN “Backyard Bassin – Murray Park” Murray Park in the East Rand is probably one of the finest backyard destinations available to anglers living in the greater Johannesburg area. The name Murray Park actually comes from the original holiday resort and caravan park situated on its southern bank – John Badenhorst

INTERNATIONAL “Cold Front Reactions (Part 2)” There are no easy ways to locate areas that exhibit stability in water temperature other than for the angler to be out on the water to gather temperature readings before the front hits. – Fishingboy and David Swendseid (DUO Realis U.S.A)

Copyright is expressly reserved and nothing may be reproduced in part or whole without the permission of the publisher. All enquiries regarding editorial correspondence, manuscripts and photographs should be directed to: Address contributions to the editor. Manuscripts, photos and artwork will be handled with care, but their safety cannot be guaranteed. Enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope with all editorial submissions. The publisher and editorial staff are not responsible for researching and investigating the accuracy or copy right of the material provided for publication in SA BASS magazine. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this magazine, the publisher does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors or their consequences. Readers are advised to use this information with the understanding that it is at their own risk. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, the editor, editorial staff or SA BASS Society.

How to use QR-codes 1. Open the QR-code reader/scanner app on your smartphone. Most smartphones models often have an app pre-installed. If not, visit your phone’s app store and download the app. 2. Keep a steady hand while the QR-code is centred on the screen. 3. As soon as it is done scanning, whatever information should present itself for your viewing pleasure.


SA BASS “Tourney Thoughts” I’ve been doing this for a fairly long time now (30 years) and still I am learning things every time I go fishing. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt recently is that we should be very wary of categorising ourselves as a particular type of angler – Kevin Lofstedt




MASTER CLASS “Line Selection for Carolina Rigging Deep Water (Part 1)” There were five boats all of us huddled around a deep off-shore structure in Inanda Dam, Kwa-Zulu Natal – Roger Donaldson

SA BASS “W.T.F. – Women That Fish” Do women belong on the water, or next to it with a rod in hand? Of course, we do! It’s an archaic stereotype that women don’t, or can’t fish and that we only go with to make lunch and praise our husband’s and sons’ catches. – Sharon


CLASSROOM “In The Drink...” It happened to me and I suppose it’s happened to many other anglers too. When it does happen, it’s a shock and you just stand and stare, trying to figure out if what your eyes had just seen was real or not – John Badenhorst

“Damiki Air Craws” Ons is soms te geneig om net plastiese ase te gebruik wat gewoonlik die beste vir ons werk. Net so is ek ook geneig om ase soos Super Flukes en grubs te gebruik en van die ander ase te vergeet. – Philip Kemp

CLASSROOM “Don’t Underestimate the Chatterbait” I was privileged to meet and talk too some of the International anglers glers at the Black Bass World Championship held ld at the Vaal River. er. – Benniee Wiese

40 34




ADVERTORIAL RIAL “Meet the Rock” Most folks have this notion that if something is of en Chinese origin, then or somehow its inferior quality.


INDUSTRY NEWS “Garmin® Exclusive Marine Electronics Supplier” Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced that it has been selected as the exclusive marine electronics supplier for the Independent Boat Builders, Inc. (IBBI).

“Retrieval Techniques for Bass (Part 3)” To kick off I believed it would be an exciting option for anglers to learn a few examples of retrieval techniques when fishing a lipless crankbait a.k.a. the Rattle Trap. – Roger g Donaldson



CLASSROOM “Effects of Nature on Fishing” Not one angler can develop past the most basic stages of fishing without a clear understanding of the way in which structure, cover and nature form the world of the bass and how they provide clues to bass locations and attitude. – Bennie Wiese






Cast-for-Cash - Tournament Results


Hisense C30 Rock Lite Smartphone


ON THE COVER “Hair Jigs” Illustration: Ron Finger (Published with express permission of FLW – USA) SA BASS 03 April 2018

It’s been in the press and on many anglers’ lips… Day Zero. The day that water will officially run out for our angling brethren and sisters in the drought-stricken Cape province. On this day, water will no longer flow from household taps and tankers will distribute water for personal use to residents of the greater Cape Town area. Water is such a precious resource that we, as members of society should do absolutely everything in our power to preserve it and also to maintain this commodity that gives life. Water does not only quench our thirst or drives a huge section of our economy through industrial and commercial use. Water also gives life, to insects, aquatic plants and of course those creatures with fins that we all love so much. This might sound silly but without water, manufacturers can’t make something else that many anglers are very fond of; beer, cold drinks, or that cold energy drink on a hot day. Preserving our water has in recent times become a crucial issue especially in the Western Cape where dams like Theewaterskloof have all but run completely dry. When an impoundment runs dry, it’s not just about the water coming out of the taps that we should be worried about. There is a much bigger picture here. What happens to all the fish that previously inhabited that impoundment? Thankfully, dedicated anglers and nature conservationists like Marc Bywater has taken it upon themselves to rally other dedicated anglers and start the process of talks with their local departments of Nature Conservation in order to find a way to save the bass populations from these dams together with other local indigenous species that would somehow not survive. Working tirelessly towards obtaining permits for the interim re-location of breeding stock bass and other species found in these waters has been of paramount importance. Let’s just hope that due to the process of proverbial red tape, the permits are issued and once the dams have recovered, not only bass but other species can be re-introduced for the next generations of anglers to enjoy. I’m sure that if given the go-ahead by the relevant departments, there will be an army of willing helpers to net and safely transport these fish stocks to other dams where they have a better chance of surviving until the rains come. A lot has been going around on social media and a storm has been brewing around the contentious Bronkhorstspruit Dam issue that’s been raised recently. As mentioned in the previous issue of SA BASS magazine, instead of giving our readers second-hand information regarding the future plans for this little gem on our doorstep, we have taken it upon ourselves to become a part of the process and be a part of the meetings where this issue is discussed. By being part of the process, we can be informed, first-hand and in turn can inform our readers of developments. At the time of going to print, the next meeting will be held and be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest information. With the colder months drawing near, many anglers are scratching that extra couple of hours to be able to throw a line and enjoy those last warm days of sunshine available. In this issue, we cover a host of tips and techniques to help you better your catch rate. With winter coming on, don’t despair however, there are still bass to be caught and strangely, many anglers will attest to catching less but bigger fish during the cold months, so all is not lost. Some readers may or may not know but this very issue is our 17th birthday issue of SA BASS magazine. As a publication by dedicated anglers for the reading pleasure of anglers, there have been many firsts… SA BASS magazine was the first official publication of the governing body of competitive bass angling in South Africa. We launched our first dedicated radio shows on RSG and Pretoria FM and followed this up with dedicated TV shows on kykNET. We hosted the very first One Million Rand Bass Classic on The Vaal River. We introduced the first of its kind in the form of our outreach programme called Bassin’ Kids in 2003. Who can forget the launch of the Cast-for-Cash monthly fishing tournaments back in 2001? Since then we’ve grown to be the official host and licensee of FLW South Africa with four anglers officially representing South Africa in an International Division and Mike Matthee finishing under the top ten

during the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Kentucky. Thereby he secured himself a spot in the upcoming Forrest Wood Cup, taking place later this year. More recently, SA BASS is also the first to host a National Small Craft Championship under the FLW banner… There have been many milestones along the way, many firsts and with the support of you, our readers, there are sure to be many more to follow. Remember to have fun, grab a rod, a friend or two, some lures and head out to your local pond for some bass. Bass fishing is all about the challenge and the fun and that’s probably how many of us got started in the first place. Also remember to send us your trophy or any bass pictures for our Readers-Go-Bassing segment with some awesome prizes up for grabs by local sponsors.

John Badenhorst / Editor


R35.50 R215.00 R429.00

R27.95 R159.00 R319.00

SA BASS 05 April 2018

06 SA BASS April 2018



All shapes, all sizes, all seasons: The effectiveness of hair jigs anywhere and anytime has won them new respect among bass fishermen.

By Curtis Niedermier


ike an old friend returning home after a long absence, the resurgence of the Preacher Jig as a Tour-level tournament lure a few seasons ago kicked off a lot of excitement in the bass fishing community. Young bucks raced to find the big bucktail hair jig, which was the hottest “new” lure for ledge fishing, while seasoned vets dug out their long-forgotten bucktails that they’d formerly replaced with newer tackle. Sure, hair jigs have been used by some fishermen in various locales for decades. But until the resurrection of the Preacher Jig, coupled with Jacob Wheeler’s win in the 2014 Bassfest event at Lake Chickamauga with a similar style of bucktail jig, many anglers considered hair jigs to be nothing more than wintertime lures. Still others considered them relics of a time before tackle was designed by computers, when people actually had to sit at a tying vise and piece together forage imposters out of bits of feather, fur and fiber. What got overlooked, even as anglers rushed to eBay to snatch up what few remaining original Preacher Jigs they could find, was that a big bucktail is only one of many productive styles of hair jigs for bass anglers. Hair jigs aren’t just ledge baits or cold-water baits; because they’re tied together by hand, they’re endlessly customizable, and can be fished successfully in all sorts of scenarios.

Feathers, Fleece, Fiber and Fur So how much hair is really in a hair jig? Actually, it could be none at all. These days, the term “hair jig” includes all types of jigs tied with basically anything other than silicone and round rubber. There are hair jigs made with Icelandic goat wool, imported European duck feathers, rabbit fur, bear hair, all types of synthetic materials and much more, though bucktail and various feathers are the most popular “ingredients.”

Hair or Fur? Hair and fur are actually the same thing, but “hair” is often assigned to what grows on humans, and “fur” is the term used for what grows on other mammals … usually. Depending on regional dialect and grasp of the English language, anglers tend to assign either one to the materials used on jigs. See: bear hair, deer hair, rabbit fur. Technically, the terms are interchangeable.

Some types of materials flare enticingly when the jig changes direction or wave when it’s pulled in motion, while others stream straight behind. Some soak up water, while others shed it. Some are highly buoyant. Every angler and jig tier has a preference – and a reason – for choosing each type of material and tying or trimming it in such a way to achieve the right balance of length, bulk, buoyancy, color and movement. What follows is a rundown of some of the more common materials used to tie hair jigs: SA BASS 07 April April 2018

Cumberland Pro Lures Prayer Jig

Jimmy D’s River Bugs Scruffy

BUCKTAIL AND DEER HAIR – Bucktail is the predominant choice for ledgefishing hair jigs and striper jigs, which are known by many anglers simply as bucktail jigs. It creates a good baitfish profile in the water, and swishes and flares when the jig changes direction. Most people believe that all bucktail is hollow, yet buoyancy – and length and color – vary based on where on the deer’s tail each hair grows. Hair on other parts of the body also varies, and the differences impact the way jigs moves in the water, how fast they sink and how flat the hair lies once it’s tied to the hook. Bass fishing bucktails are usually made with white hair taken from the deer’s tail, and the longer the better. Pros crave bucktail jigs with hair that’s 7 inches long or longer, though bucktail that long is hard to find. Some body fur – usually a drab brown color – is more buoyant and flares wider when tied to the hook, which makes for an effective slow-falling finesse jig.

HACKLE FEATHERS – Hackle feathers are used to tie many types of artificial flies and jigs. According to Andrea Sanders, president of Talon Fishing Unlimited in Milam, Texas, which sells a modern version of the classic Preacher Jig, the feathers come from a type of chicken that’s raised specifically for its hackle. It’s one of the “ingredients” Talon uses in its jigs, and is what’s used to tie the rear part of the skirt to the left. “The hackle feathers are used because there’s a curve to that feather shaft, and there’s fairly strong webbing on that feather,” says Sanders. “With that curve, the feather placement, when it’s done correctly, actually adds action to the jig when it’s pulled through the water. It’ll kind of add vibration if it’s placed right.” Custom bucktail jig with hackle accents by Jeff Bruyere

DUCK FEATHERS – The term “duck feather” isn’t very specific, but in the fishing world a duck feather jig is usually made from feathers pulled from parts of the stomach or flank of a drake mallard. The feathers have a barred gray pattern that somewhat mimics fish scales, and when used as the lone ingredient or with only a little bit of fiber, they create a jig with very little movement. Duck feather jigs are popular for float-n-fly fishing or for tight-lining on light spinning tackle when imitating inactive baitfish in cold water.

Custom duck feather jig by Derrick Snavely Punisher Lures Float & Fly Duck Feather Jig

MARABOU – A soft, fine feather, marabou is easy to find and has been used for small, fluffy hair jigs for many years. Marabou is mostly relegated to the crappie jig market nowadays, but smallmouth anglers in the Upper Midwest have rediscovered it and made the marabou jig one of the hottest smallie baits in recent years. It has some action when the jig changes direction, but when put in steady motion marabou flattens into an accurate minnow profile.

Custom marabou jig by Jeff Gustafson 08 SA BASS April 2018

RABBIT FUR – According to Jim DeZurik, who owns Jimmy D’s River Bugs in Sartell, Minn., rabbit fur has several positive features. “It’s strong. It really takes a beating,” says DeZurik, who’s been tying and selling flies and hair jigs for more than 50 years. “I like to use it as a trailer. It wraps nicely on a hook, too, so it gives a nice body material.” The rabbit hide is similar to soft leather. It does dry out between uses, but DeZurik says it softens up again once it gets wet and makes a great jig trailer, like on the jig shown here. “That rabbit strip just becomes alive,” he says. “It’s very attractive to the fish.” Finally, rabbit fur is dyed many colors, which provides a lot of options for jig makers. Jimmy D’s River Bugs Rabbit Swim Jig

Jimmy D’s River Bugs Minnesota’s Traditional Black Bear Jig

BEAR HAIR – Here’s a traditional material used by Northern multi-species anglers to tie small, simple jigs. DeZurik says it feels softer than bucktail, but is much more durable – enough so that one jig can catch dozens of fish. Bear hair also lies differently on the hook. “They used to use horse hair. Horse hair is like human hair. When you put a thread on it, it doesn’t spring out. It’s flat,” DeZurik says. “Bear is a little bit like that. Bucktail, because it’s hollow, it springs out quite a bit. It’s a different application.” Unlike bucktail, which is usually white and can be dyed, bear hair is whatever color nature creates. “I use cinnamon and black, and there are all kinds of variations between them,” DeZurik says. “I’m playing with spring bear. It’s a bear that just came out of the den. In Canada they have some places you can hunt them, and the hair is about 4 inches long.”

FOX FUR – Still used to tie jigs these days, fox fur (and also coyote) makes a nice skirt but is somewhat fragile. “You never can put a lot of material in it,” says DeZurik. “You have to leave room for it to breathe. Because it’s so fragile, it’s like plastic almost. “It has a nice glint in the water,” he adds. “It has a natural shine that’s lacking in bear and bucktail.” Anglers in DeZurik’s region like to tip small fox jigs with live bait to fish for walleyes, but it probably has applications for bass as well.

Jimmy D’s River Bugs Furry Critter (fox)

CRAFT HAIR – This synthetic fiber is very soft and fluffy. It’s commonly used on float-n-fly jigs and other small hair jigs. According to Stephen Headrick, owner of Punisher Lures in east Tennessee, craft hair has many applications in the cooler months, but he often transforms his craft hair jigs into more subtle minnow imitators for winter fishing by matting down the hair with his company’s Fish Dope, a petroleum jelly product with other additives that he says help cover an angler’s scent and make fish hold on longer. Mostly, Fish Dope slicks back the hair so it doesn’t undulate in the water, causing it to look more like a stunned, still baitfish.

Punisher Lures Float & Fly Hair Jig SA BASS 09 April 2018

OTHER SYNTHETICS – There are dozens of types of synthetic fibers used for tying jigs and flies. In the bass-fishing world, most anglers believe that synthetics aren’t as effective as natural fibers, and that they tear and tangle too much. True or not, there’s definitely a general lack of confidence in synthetics, so they’re mostly used to add color or increase the length and profile of a hair jig. Flashabou is one of the most popular and is used to add reflective properties to a jig. Much of the jig skirt shown at left is a synthetic bucktail replacement fiber.

Hog Farmer Baits Hair Jig

OTHER TYPES OF NATURAL FIBERS – Ask the right old-timer, and you might hear stories about polar bear hair (it’s illegal to sell), skunk and squirrel tail, Icelandic goat wool, and other exotic fibers being used to tie hair jigs. Anglers in search of an edge up on the competition have tried just about everything. Icelandic goat wool was reportedly part of the original Preacher Jig, and FLW Tour pro Jeff Gustafson says a few folks in his region of Ontario are still using it to tie small jigs. Talon uses a secret type of natural hair in its jigs to increase length. The company says it grows longer than bucktail and tangles less than synthetics. There are others, too, and the rarity of some fibers and the time it takes to tie up the jigs are partly to blame for most major tackle companies discontinuing hair jigs from mass production. That’s why small companies and independent tiers are the ones churning out the best jigs nowadays. Talon Pete’s Preacher Hair Jig

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10 SA BASS April 2018

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The Hair Jig’s Place Many hair jigs are small – made with short skirts and light leadheads ranging from 1/16 ounce up to about 1/4 ounce. As such, before the resurgence of big bucktails that resembled the Preacher Jig, hair jigs for bass fishing were mostly reserved for smallmouths or, more commonly, coldwater finesse applications with light line and spinning tackle – boring fishing to many modern bass chasers. That’s probably why the bucktail jig reignited the category so quickly. Not only did it catch bass that wouldn’t touch more in-your-face baits, but it had a big profile and could be fished with a medium-heavy baitcasting rod and 12- to 20-pound-test line. Anglers also quickly realized that they could be very successful with heads weighing more than an ounce. It allowed for a more aggressive type of “mid-finesse” fishing that fit with popular tackle and modern fishing approaches. So are hair jigs finesse or not? That’s tough to say because they can be fished all sorts of ways. Generally, however, hair jig tactics range from very subtle to the middle ground. They’re usually fished without trailers, so they don’t have a ton of built-in action. Yet they’re very good “in-between” baits because they can be fished either with some angler-imposed movement to garner reaction strikes or very slowly to tempt bass with a visual offering. “One of the common mistakes that people make on those hair jigs [the Preacher Jig style] is they think it’s a solve-all,” says Tour pro Pete Ponds. “It’s not. It’s a fill-in type of product, so whenever they quit biting a crankbait you can throw the hair jig and catch five or six more, and then switch back to the crankbait. But there have been some guys like Buddy Gross who’ve figured out some different ways to fish it. He caught them at Pickwick snapping it out of eelgrass, which is something I’ve never done.” Even Gross, who’s won a Tour event with a hair jig, admits that it’s part of a system. He likes to rotate between the hair jig and a swimbait. “I mix them up. I have both on the deck when I’m ledge fishing,” he says. “They’ll hit the hair jig sometimes when they won’t hit anything else. Usually it’s because of fishing pressure.” Missouri pro Dion Hibdon comes from a family known for finesse tactics,

Custom bucktail jig by Dion Hibdon

including fishing hair jigs. To Hibdon, the hair jig is about like a Yamamoto Senko: It can work almost anywhere, and bass eat it when they won’t eat anything else. “We’ve caught them on it ever since I was a little kid,” he says. “That was the original – before rubber [skirts] even. “It’s normally for cold water. I’m talking 30s up to the mid-40s. A 3/8-ounce

jig was a giant one. We fished a lot that were 1/8 ounce and 1/4 ounce.” Hibdon says he and other members of his family, including his legendary father, Guido, have tied hair jigs to imitate just about every type of baitfish, but the “primary deal” for them was to fish a hair jig as a crawfish imitator in spring and winter. SA BASS 11 April 2018

Basic Presentations Hibdon believes an angler can fish a hair jig just about any way he wants: dragging, hopping, stroking, crawling, free-falling, pitching, swimming. Here are some of the more common ways pros use it.


Lift and Glide FLW Tour pro Jeff Gustafson employs a more modest approach when targeting smallmouths in the fall in his native northwest Ontario. Using 1/4- to 3/8-ounce mid-sized (4 to 5 inches of hair) bucktail jigs, he plucks smallmouths off isolated rock piles, points and humps once the water drops below 50 degrees using soft “lifts,” then letting the jig pendulum back down to the bottom. Custom bucktail by Jeff Gustafson

Reel and Kill Pickwick Lake guide and T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League veteran Roger Stegall uses a simple bucktail jig when bass are feeding on gizzard or threadfin shad, but won’t touch any other lure. His methods of fishing a hair jig are typical, similar to how Gross and Ponds fish it on ledges. He either reels it in a few cranks and then kills it, repeating the sequence several times, or he hops it on bottom. “When it stops it does a ‘fluff,’” Stegall says. “That really seems to be attractive to fish. The hair sort of blooms out.”

Drag This one’s simple, but it’s the preferred way to fish a crawfish-imitating hair jig. Either pull it along slowly, or work it down a rocky bank with subtle twitches and tugs – even a soft hop.

Swim Minnesotan and Tour rookie Josh Douglas catches bruiser smallmouths by swimming a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce black,

brown or green Outkast Tackle Feider Fly marabou jig. Twitching or shaking the rod sometimes helps get bites, but Douglas says the real key is to target fish where they’re feeding: near bottom when eating crawfish and suspended up when eating minnows or hatched mayflies. Jimmy Reese fished a 1/8-ounce SPRO Phat Fly in a similar way at the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, swimming it on 6pound-test line in the middle of the water column in 5 to 7 feet of water over a long point. He says the bass were schooling, but wouldn’t bite more traditional open-water lures. He chose the hair jig because it matched the size of small young-of-the-year shad in the area.

Free-Fall Reese also caught key fish by casting his jig to a bridge piling and letting it sink on slack line – feeding line as it fell. According to Hibdon, a similar method works around docks in slick-calm conditions. He casts the jig and lets it sink, which often does the trick. If nothing bites he slowly swims or hops it back. cont. on p14

12 SA BASS April 2018

contd. from p12

Thoughts on Tackle With the variety of hair jigs available, there’s really no perfect rod, reel and line setup for fishing them. The choice depends on the jig and situation. Most pros fish 1/16- to 1/4-ounce jigs on medium or medium-light spinning rods. Opinions vary on length, but a spinning rod 7 feet long or even longer with a moderate bend might help with making long casts and fighting down bass on light line. Baitcasting rods range from medium to medium-heavy.

“Light” is relative when it comes to line. On the Tennessee River, 12-pound-test fluorocarbon seems to be the most common choice for fishing 1/2-ounce bucktails, and that’s lighter than what most anglers use for fishing football jigs and Carolina rigs. Heavier jigs can be fished on heavier line. Hibdon says he’ll use line as light as 6-pound test with his finesse hair jigs on spinning tackle, and he adjusts to accomplish the right sink rate – lighter line for a faster sink, and vice versa.

3 Advanced Smallmouth Finesse Tactics Hair jigs being good clear-water baits, they often make for killer smallmouth lures. Here are three advanced tactics that can put smallies in the boat.

1. Gliding for Smallies The Jig: 1/16- to 1/8-ounce BT Fishing Boo Jig or Northland Marabou Jig Tackle: 7-6 G. Loomis NRX 901S spinning rod; Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 reel; 8-pound-test yellow PowerPro braided line; 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader Where: Northern natural lakes Scenario: Smallmouths live in water less than 15 feet deep all summer in many lakes in Jeff Gustafson’s native northwest Ontario region. He fishes isolated targets such as boulders and clumps of water cabbage, “gliding” the jig overhead through the middle part of the water column.

Cast past the target, and point the rod at the jig.

For longer casts, lift the rod occasionally to raise the jig, then take up slack and let it glide back down.

The jig swings back like a pendulum. No extra action is needed.

cabbage clump

rock pile

Hair Jig Trailers Many hair jigs don’t require a soft-plastic trailer because the color and forage-imitating characteristics are built into the skirt. Still, a trailer can be added to increase bulk or action. Hibdon uses a trailer quite often on his hair jigs and always has. “Most of the time we threw an Uncle Josh Eel on the back of it,” he says. “Then Mister Twister came out with a thing called a SinSation, which had three legs. Nowadays it’s what guys call a chicken foot. That changed everything. It came with a pair of arms and a little slinky tail behind it, like a Brush Hog has.” For finesse presentations, it’s best to stick with subtle trailers. Hibdon suggests using the rear half of a Brush Hog, including the two thin soft-plastic tails that stick out the back. Small spade-tail worms, realistic craws such as the original Luck-E-Strike Guido Bug or Zoom Lil Critter Craw, chunks, and various other subtle trailers are good choices. For ledge fishing, Gross prefers to not use a trailer if his jig has long, thick bucktail. “But if it has thin hair or synthetic hair I put a 7-inch Zoom Fluke on it just to beef it up,” he says. “Three-quarter ounce is usually what I run, but when I start putting those bodies on them I’ll usually jump up to an ounce.”

cont. on p16 14 SA BASS April 2018

contd. from p14

2. Strolling Big Water The Jig: 1/16- to 1/8-ounce BT Fishing Boo Jig or Northland Marabou Jig Tackle: 7-6 G. Loomis NRX 901S spinning rod; Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 reel; 8-pound-test yellow PowerPro braided line; 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader

The jig swings slowly around behind.

Cast out 90º from the strolling direction.

Where: Great Lakes, particularly Sturgeon Bay Scenario: In early spring, smallmouths relate to small patches on the bottom that are different from the rest on vast 8- to 14-foot-deep flats. They’re skittish because of the clear water, so Jeff Gustafson targets them by fishing out to the side of the boat. Strolling allows for covering more water.

Reel up and cast again. Troll ahead at 0.8 to 1 mph.

3. Tight-Lining Micro Jigs Hold boat in 8 to 12 feet of water.

The Jig: 1/8-ounce duck feather jig

Cast parallel to the bank. Start the jig a foot or so off the bottom.

Tackle: 6-foot, 10-inch G. Loomis GLX 820S DSR mag-light spinning rod; Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500 reel; 4pound-test Gamma copolymer or monofilament Where: mountain reservoirs

Very slowly, softly shake the line with the rod tip. Try to glide the jig over each rock as you swim it back in.

Experiment with swimming the jig up higher or even dragging it across the rocks, depending on where fish show up on the depth finder.

Swap Gulp! for Feathers A duck hair jig is a good imitator of 1 1/2- to 2-inch baitfish. If the bait is larger, Snavely says another good choice is a 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Minnow rigged on a 3/32-, 1/8- or 3/16-ounce jig. The technique is the same. ■

16 SA BASS April 2018

Scenario: In winter, east Tennessee pro Derrick Snavely targets smallmouths (and occasionally spots and largemouths) in 8 to 12 feet of water along steep-sloping rocky banks and bluffs, similar to the types of places where anglers traditionally would fish a float-n-fly. Calm conditions make it easier to fish light jigs, and overcast skies keep the fish from pushing deeper.

Tungsten weights Highest Quality CAT’s Tungsten weights has a greater density than lead; therefore, it is much smaller CAT’s Tungsten weights are great for fishing heavy cover 1/4 oz

1/8 oz

1/4 oz

1/8 oz

1/16 oz

1/16 oz

5/16 oz

CAT’s Hollow Frogs

CAT’s Creatures 3”/4” Yomama

4” Bush Pig 4 5” Jerk Minnow

4” Paddle Tail Jerk Minnow

6” Lizard


6” Curl rl Tail Worm

4 /5 “ Trick Stick

CAT’s Worm Hooks

HOOK 1957 - (1/0-5/0)

HOOK 1957M - (1/0-5/0)

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Backyard Bassin

Murray Park >> John n Badenhorst*


urray Park in the East Rand is probably one of the finest backyard destinations available to anglers living in the greater Johannesburg area. The name Murray Park actually comes from the original holiday resort and caravan park situated on its southern bank. The actual name of the dam is Alexander Dam and sadly, it’s a mere shell of its former glory. The camp site and caravan holiday resort has been closed to the public for over three years now and repeated call for information on its opening has been met with absolutely no response.

For those with a bit of guts and tenacity, this venue offers some very good bass fishing all year round. Since the dam is only 5.4 meter at its deepest with a relatively shallow area over most of the dam, winter times has also produced some extremely good fishing, even when the water has been as low as 11ºC. Since the original holiday resort is not accessible to the public, anglers have taken to getting access to the venue through a back road leading past the rubbish dump on the northern bank and then turning left to launch on a section called “the flats”. It is not advisable to try and launch a big boat here as getting the boat out of the water can be very tricky with a clay bed making up the majority of the area where anglers launch their boats. With even a little bit of rain, it can become an almost impossible task to 18 SA BASS April 2018

w with even get the boat out off the water les str ruggling to find the best 4x4 vehicles struggling grip in the clay. Murray Park is best beest approached using a canoe, kayak, float yak, flo oat tube or kick boat. Some anglers, ers, like likke myself, and er ha ave figured out my fishing partner have how to launch and remove nd rem move our small Crackleback 360 Litee from Escape ni, and d fitted with an Boating in Benoni, outboard from Yamaha amahaa South Africa, hout too much fuss. from the dam without It must also be mentioned mentioned that the menti maximum outboard ard motor m allowed ordin ngg to municipal on the dam according by-laws is a 5hp, however how weever as long as und idle speed, you are cruising at arou around there does not seem eem to t be much of an issue. Pushingg a boat to its maximum is alsoo not allowed and will trigger the anger he an nger of shing the many anglers fishing venue from smaller craft ler cr raft such as mentioned above. d abov ve. Just like any venue, venu ue, ds this dam has its mood moods and since it is nott a very veery big dam, one can go around it pretty quickly quickkly in search of the right bite. ght bi ite. Some days are better ter than th han ues others and like alll venu venues there are somee tru truly uly magnificent fish lurkin lurking ng in those waters.. Myy personal best fish from m d thee this dam pulled scale down to 5.16kg. 16kg. Many anglers have caught fish up to 4kg mon but the most common fish caught happen ppen to be between 300g and 800g. It is not uncommon to catch more than fiftyy bas bass ss nglers will here and many anglers bare witness to that hat fa fact. act. This

Besides the security issues around this venue, … it is a favourite venue amongst local anglers…

Brandon Vorster with his first Murray Park bass

dam has an extremely healthy bass population and also boasts huge carp and barbel together with vleikurper. It does seem though that the bass take full advantage of the carp fry just after their spawn and here, any colour that looks vaguely like a carp will get hit hard. Nearing the start of the colder winter months to come, the colour of choice seems to be natural Baby Bass and in soft plastics, Watermelon Seed Red and Green Pumpkin with a Gold Flake seems to

work w best. Black is also a very good all-round alll-ro colour for this dam. When it comes to structure, the W daam does not have that much to offer. dam Its weedbeds, rocky humps Itts mostly m an nd rocky areas adjacent to shallow and channels and the odd rise on the ch han bootto Approaching this dam for the bottom. first firrst ttime can be daunting if you’ve not beeco become familiar with fishing around thick th hick weedbeds. Using the right finesse teechn technique will produce results though. Baits B that work very well here are; spinnerbaits, sp pinn shallow diving cranks, inlin ne spinners, topwater lures over the line weedbeds weed w like the Whopper Plopper, topwater frogs and a host of soft ttopw plastics plas p featuring mainly the Seboko range raang from Wolf Lures, 4 and 5 inch Flukes, Flluk 4 and 5inch Senko type baits and an nd trick worms. The most popular colours coolou for soft plastics happen to be more mor natural and something shocking m like liike ATG (Alexander the Grape) or Electric Ellect Blue. Junebug coloured soft baits baaits also work very well throughout the th he year. y In recent times, the local hook-ncook coook brigade have been busy at work on this dam catching fast numbers of n th bass baass for their own consumption and itss in indeed sad to see more enlightened bass baass anglers taking advantage of the

Darryn from Savage Gear with his first fish from Murray Park

Hyacinth infestation is becoming a problem if not addressed soon

bass in this dam with some members hauling out bass between one and 2.8kg and either killing them, or selling them to the locals. Some anglers even use the smaller bass that they catch using earth worms to rig as live-bait for the bigger bass and then proudly talk about their big catch. It’s a sad state of affairs and I sometimes wonder who educated these youngsters on their ethics around bass fishing and fishing in general? Water hyacinth has become a huge problem in this dam and only three years ago, the Ekurhuleni Local Municipality undertook to spray the plants and for a period, the water was free of these cumbersome and destructive plants. Lately though, it seems that the problem has been forgotten and one day, you can fish

a section in a bay and depending on the wind, the next day that same bay might be chocked up with these plants. Murray Park is not the safest venue to fish with many reports of crimes including violent crimes against campers and anglers alike, especially on its Eastern shore where it is rather isolated and criminals take advantage of this. Its best to visit this venue in a group as there is always safety in numbers at many venues across South Africa. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle and try not to fish the bank alone. This is by far not a venue to be fished after dark either as personal safety can become a serious issue, even launching before dawn is not suggested unless done in a group.

Besides the security issues around this venue, has been and will hopefully still be in the future, one of the best places for a quick couple of bass after a long day at work or even a couple of hours out on the water. Since it is close to the towns of Boksburg, Benoni, Springs and Brakpan, it’s a favourite venue amongst local anglers and these anglers try where possible to look after their venue of choice. Ian van Niekerk with another good Murray Park bass

Kevin with a healthy Murray Park bass at 1.2kg

Grab a rod and some lures and who knows, we might see you at my favourite backyard bassin venue soon. *John Badenhorst is the editor of SA BASS magazine, the Master of Ceremony for FLW South Africa, radio presenter at Platinum Gold Radio and a keen ultra finesse angler. 20 SA BASS April 2018



To feature in “Readers go Bassing” send your story and pictures to All photos published in “Readers-go-Bassing” are for the exclusive use of SA BASS Magazine. Any photos previously published by other magazines will not be considered.

CHUENESPOORT I caught this 1.55kg bass from a fibreglass dingy on Chuenespoort Dam near Polokwane. We found the bass buried in deep grass, but at the end of the day we landed 24 which were safely released again. This one was the biggest for the day. Please note that there are crocodiles and we spotted two who were very interested in our presence. – Johan Wepener

This month ’s



SPINNER My son, Mark (12 years) caught this 2.76kg big boy over the weekend using a spinner. We were in Whiteriver when he caught this fish on Sunday morning around 08:00. In total he caught three fish which were all released to fight another day. Thanks for a great magazine and all the advice. – Mark Matthee

READERS GO BASSING Mail aiil & Win Wi n

E-mail your picture and details of your catch to and stand a chance to win a hamper (valued at R600) sponsored by Culprit South Africa. Please send us good crisp pictures of good quality. Pictures send electronically must be of at least 250KB. (We prefer pictures of 1MB). Potential cover pictures must be portrait and at least 3MB.

BIG BASS I had the extreme pleasure of catching a 5.4kg bass in a private farm dam near Nelspruit. I would like to share this awesome experience. I used my Sensation pink lady rod and Okuma reel. I did not realize what a big deal it was until neighbouring farmers came to see. – Lydia du Plooy (Not bad – all our readers would like to catch a 5.4kg bass – Ed.)

All photos published in Readers-Go-Bassing are for the exclusive use of SA BASS magazine. Any photos previously published, or published by other magazines will not be considered.

SA BASS 21 April 2018


Part 2

Cold Front Reactions Columbia River Smallmouth Adventure: Lake Umatilla (Boardman and Arlington, Oregon)

There are no easy ways to locate areas that exhibit stability in water temperature other than for the angler to be out on the water to gather temperature readings before the front hits.

I learned a great deal about the Realis Jerkbait 100SP catching quality smallmouths


ou will need to build an idea of the water temperature trends ahead of a cold front as a reference to necessitate your search for stable waters. Also, take note of warming trends. Of course, there are a variety of other factors that influence fish behaviour during cold fronts, but we will keep things simple and focus on the approaches that have worked well for us. There is no denying that stability is one of the major driving factors. So, seek out areas whereby the water temperature and current are the most stable to get started. If the water temperature in an area was 7°C before and 5°C after a cold front has moved in. Focus on areas where the drop in temperature is minimal. For instance, if I find an area where the water temperature was 7°C before and 6°C after, and another area 7°C before and 5.5°C after, I would focus on the former where the difference is a mere 1°C to get started. Finding stability means covering water. We targeted rocky shorelines and found a good number of smallmouths in current breaks that responded well to reaction baits, leading me to believe that most of those fish were either suspended or under 2m to 4m of water. 22 SA BASS April 2018

>> Story and Images by Fishingboy and David Swendseid (DUO Realis U.S.A)

Top baits of the day We caught a good number of quality fish on the DUO Realis Crank M65 (8A), Jerkbait 100SP and Vibration 62 and 68 lipless crankbaits in protected areas where water temperatures have remained relatively stable during the cold front. We fished anything from shoreline rocks to submerged boulders, focusing on the 2m to 4m depth zones. The top bait of the day was the DUO Realis Jerkbait 100SP. We fished the bait primarily in open water cover such as submerged rocks on long casts which triggered most of the quality bites. Long pauses between twitches and jerks were the key to triggering quality bites. The DUO Realis Jerkbait 100SP is not just a downsized version of the 110SP and 120SP. I fish jerkbaits regularly, especially for butterfly peacock bass in Malaysia. My favorites are mostly Luckycraft, Yo-Zuri, Tackle House and etc. I believe Luckycraft makes some of the best jerkbaits on the market but DUO Realis literally changed my understanding on jerkbaits, especially when you are fishing in conditions that demand more than just lure action. The Realis Jerkbait 100SP may be one of the most advanced jerkbaits on the market today. The lure is specifically designed to turn 180 degrees off axis, creating

We caught quality smallmouths behind the current breaks

considerable flash. This lure has near zero surge effect. Surge is commonly defined as the lure’s ability to drift forward several feet instead of coming to a dead stop. Surge is caused by the old technology of making the lure cover water. It is a byproduct that prevents the lure from pausing stationary on a target. The Realis Jerkbait 100SP utilizes a refined and updated fixed ballast system that gives this lure a lower center of gravity. The ballast system also provides a more stable moment in the water and for improved responsiveness to a variety of retrieves. It is interesting to note that some of the fixed ballast in the Jerkbait 100SP cannot remain upright even when the lure is retrieved at a higher speed. This is due to the design emphasis on the lure’s rotation movement. The Jerkbait 100SP is designed to be balanced on retrieves with controlled body rotation that gives a pronounced side to side wobbling action.

The taller, flatter sides of the lure provide a larger effective profile that creates a notion of a larger baitfish profile. The flatter sides also provide a wider band of flashing that is designed to make the 100SP more detectable from a greater distance. The 100SP can cover water and be target-oriented while emitting a sustained vibration without the lure overrunning or fouling. Another key feature of the Jerkbait 100SP is the lure’s ability to stop and dive efficiently through the water column without wandering or drifting aimlessly. This is an important feature for heavy current and rough water conditions.

A tough day Though we were able to generate a good number of bites on reaction baits by covering water and fishing the protected areas, I am not going to lead you to believe that reaction bait is a surefire way to catch quality smallmouths during cold fronts out of all conditions.

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SA BASS 23 April 2018

We relied heavily on the chartplotter to get up-close to the protected areas

In all, conditions were tough in Lake Umatilla. It was a grind but we had success fishing slow and by downsizing our reaction baits, hence the Jerkbait 100SP. We got crushed by the cold front but that is all part of the game of smallmouth fishing during the early season. Despite fishing pretty badly that day, I ended up learning a lot about the many nuances of jerkbait fishing that I hope will broaden my perspectives when it comes to cold fronts.

We had success fishing slow and by downsizing our reaction baits 24 SA BASS April 2018

The DUO Realis Vibration 62 and 68 (G-Fix) performed solidly

In the next instalment Be sure to check out next month’s final instalment for more smallmouth bass fishing action from the Columbia River as I bring you the Day-5 highlights of my trip on Lake Celilo where we decided to revisit for a full on assault on big smallmouths have started moving shallow.


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The monthly Cast-for-Cash bass angling money tournament trial is a social event for all those weekend anglers who are mad about bassin’ and mad about FUN.


Call 082-416-5524, or get all the rules, dates and venues on



Kevin Lofstedt & Alan Morgan

11.16kg Venue: Roodekopjes Dam Winning team: Boom Shaka Laka Team Members: Kevin Lofstedt & Alan Morgan Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 11.160kg Heaviest fish: 3.340kg Best time: Early morning Depth: 12ft Structure: Rocky banks Lure: Crankbaits Colour: Baby bass Rig: Next venue: Witbank Dam

Results: 1: Team Boom Shaka Laka - 11.16kg 2: Team - 9.45kg 3: Team Mav erick - 8.31kg 4: Team Av tech - 6.86kg 5: Team Madfin - 6.67kg VisitVisit for entry for entry forms, forms, dates, dates venues and and venues. results. For general enquiries phone 082-416-5524 26 SA BASS April 2018

5: Team Nitro - 6.67kg

February Limpopo


Back: Andy Kyriacoudes, Stefan Badenhorst, Wessel du Toit, Billy Eastman, Brenda & Hilgard Greyvenstein Front: Riaan Bam, Alexis Kuisis, Kobus Snyman, Wayne Eastman

Back: John Wickham, Nathan Wickham, Adrian Leite, Jono Yearsley, Allen Bezuidenhout, Gert Swanepoel Front: Bernadette & James Symington



Venue: Injaka Dam

Venue: de Hoop Dam

Winning team: Exterminator Team Members: Andy Kyriacoudes & Riaan Bam Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 7.05kg Heaviest fish: Best time: Early morning Depth: 25ft Structure: Ledges near brush Lure: Damiki Mr. Jumbo Grub Colour: Watermelon Red Rig: Texas rig with a 1/4oz weight and #3/0 hook

Winning team: Core Team Members: Nathan & John Wickham Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 6.875kg Heaviest fish: 2.520kg Best time: Early morning Depth: 8ft Structure: Grass patches Lure: Paddle tail fluke Colour: T/Shad Rig: Texas rig

Next venue: Tzaneen Dam

Next venue: Nooitgedacht Dam



1: Team Ex terminator - 7.05kg

1: Team Core - 6.875kg

2: Team Fear no Fish - 4.63kg

2: Team Woolly bugger Farm - 6.36kg

3: Tean SA BASS LP - 4.125kg

3: Team J&B - 1.685kg

4: Team Beli Farming - 4.11kg

4: Team RTM - 1.095kg

5: Team Bass Hunter - 3.47kg

SA BASS 27 April 2018



Kwa-Zulu Natal

O.F.S. Cast-for-Cash winners

L-t-r: Robbie Olivier, Neels Beneke, Mark Meyer, Brian Blignaut, Michael Cannon, Bryan Leppan



Venue: Disaneng Dam

Venue: Inanda Dam

Winning team: Free PK’s Team Members: Carel Schlesinger Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 5.275kg Heaviest fish: Best time: Early morning Depth: 12 to 15ft Structure: Rocky ledges Lure: Lipless crankbait Colour: White & Black Rig: -

Winning team: Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 Team Members: Neels Beneke & Robert Olivier Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 4.89kg Heaviest fish: Best time: Early morning Depth: 3ft Structure: Vegetation Lure: Super Fluke Colour: Green Pumpkin Rig: Weightless

Venue: Disaneng Dam

Next venue: Hazelmere Dam



1: Team Free PK'S - 5.275kg

1: Team Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 - 4.89kg

2: Team J&J - 3.835kg

2: Team Predator - 2.93kg

3: Team Picasso - 2.89kg

3: Team R & R - 2.385kg

4: Team Jogi - 1.435kg

4: Team Bass Warehouse Fishtec - 2.13kg

28 SA BASS April 2018

February North West

Small Craft

Back: Lourens Joubert, Juan du Toit Front: Shane Bacon, Alan Scholefield, Charles Hapgood, Hansie van Niekerk, Giulio Nolly

Top 5 anglers at The Bass Challenge Leg 7 that was held at Witbank Dam

Gauteng - TBC


3.50kg Venue: Vaal River Winning team: Hit & Run Team Members: Charles Hapgood & Hansie van Niekerk Number of fish weighed: 5 Total bag weight: 3.50kg Heaviest fish: Best time: Early morning Depth: 2m Structure: Willow trees and lay-downs Lure: 4� Senko Colour: Goby Rig: Texas rig

1st: Gerald Venter - 4.280kg 2nd: Paulo Gama - 3.030kg 3rd: Vaughn Kendall - 2.890kg 4th: Ray no Robertson - 2.780kg 5th: Theo Lombard - 2.710kg

Venue: Roodekopjes Dam

KZN Small Craft Bass Leaque Philip Dreyer finished first at Albert Falls Dam

Results: 1: Team Hit and Run - 3.5kg


1: Team Sav age - 3.5kg

1st: Philip Drey er - 133.0cm

3: Team Culprit - 3.4kg

2nd: Dw ay ne Frenzel - 113.0cm

3: Team Secret VC - 3.4kg

3rd: Webster Geekie - 110.0cm

5: Team SA Rare Game Breeders - 3.3kg

4th: Blane Horsley - 108.0cm 5th: Alan Tonkin - 93.5cm SA BASS 29 April 2018

>> SA BASS Tournament winners; Alan Morgan and Kevin Lofstedt


>> Kevin Lofstedt*

’ve been doing this for a fairly long time now (30 years) and still I am learning things every time I go fishing. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt recently is that we should be very wary of categorising ourselves as a particular type of angler. I.e. I throw spinnerbait most of the time. These days we need to be a lot more versatile than we have been in the past. I have been guilty in the past of saying “If I can’t get a bite on plastic, then they aint biting”. Not true! With the competitive nature of tourney fishing these days, versatility is the key. There have been two recent experiences that have taken me only 30 years for me to work out. Not long ago, I had the privilege of watching “Machine” Mike Matthee and his trusted partner Wayne Louw working a particular lure

30 SA BASS April 2018

in a fashion that left me with my jaw hanging on my deck! The speed with which they worked the lure was astounding. This left me wondering about my previously held conviction that you can never fish too slow. I now believe if you use the “do nothing” approach, the fish may often do the same – do nothing. There is definitely a time and a place for that type of angling, but my intuition is telling me that because of;


our relatively warm all year round climate, water temperatures rarely get low enough for long enough to make this type of fishing your main plan of attack,


one needs to appeal to more than a bass’s feeding instinct. There is an aggression factor that is not that

Words of Wisdom To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. - Marilyn vos Savant difficult to tune in to. Lure choice, coupled with the speed of retrieve is the main weapon we have to illicit this reaction. Now here’s where your choice of partner can make a major difference to the success you have or don’t have. You’ve all heard the expression that opposites attract. Well to a small degree, I believe that this is what has happened to me. The guy I fish with, Mr. Alan Morgan probably on average fishes a little faster than I do. This obviously is often dictated by the lure he is fishing. If he’s on a spinnerbait and I’m on a fluke, he definitely is fishing faster. Now this is not a bad thing, in fact there have been times when we’ve not had a bite for a few hours, he picks up something different, I look at his choice, and ask him if he’s going to throw that? Ten seconds later we’re boating a keeper fish. (Notice how I said “we’re” boating a fish!) That’s the nature of team fishing. The bottom line here is that we need to stick to basics and when temperatures are up, fish faster, when they’re cooler fish slower. If this doesn’t work, appeal to the bass’s different instinct. Another factor

that we all don’t spend enough time figuring out, and that is the likely daily migration routes bass might take from deep water to shallow water and back again. One has to bear in mind that these migration routes are used more frequently in warm water as opposed to cooler temps which cause bass to “hunker down” and sit tight more often. The latest electronics and charts make this much easier to figure out. If, and it’s a big “IF” you are able to figure a few of these routes out on any given body of water, that will definitely swing the odds in your favour. Lastly, and I know I’m repeating myself here, but when the little voice in your head, not the one that tells you sacrifice a chicken before your next tourney, but the voice that’s constantly screaming in your head and telling you to do “X”. You better listen, because my experience has taught me over and over that this voice is not to be ignored. It will often suggest something so outrageous that you will at first ignore it, but eventually when you do listen, you may well get the surprise of your life. My theory about this voice is that it is your inner animal instinct that makes you do stuff that you don’t first understand, but when you do, you are happy that you did. *Kevin Lofstedt is a regular writer and a well known veteran bass angler with three times Southern Gauteng Colours since 1985. He is also the main founder of Clearwater Bassmasters Bass Chapter (1994). He can be reached at

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for Carolina Rigging Deep Water (Part 1) >> Roger Donaldson*


here were five boats alll of us huddled around a deep off-shore structure r re u ulu in Inanda Dam, Kwa-Zulu Natal. There was no winning fish fi h a fa ar which had been landed yet, as far as we had heard via the network w work o of anglers across the dam at thee Inan Inanda da Bass Classic. Each angler could co s see almost precisely what the next was w doing as we were all in closee proxim proximity, mity, enjoying the more fruitfull spots together tog unlike any other normal fishing day. ay. The bass were lying in water depths epths of below 30ft - deep for most anglers. We had chosen n a Carolina rig so that the murky depths could be masterfully dredged with our plastic lures. Detecting a bite over longer distances is just that much more challenging. The bite is often not nearly as distinctive as those in closer proximity. This is partly due to the flexibility in the line you have chosen which is the key to your decision around what line to use in deeper water. With approximately 50ft of line in the water I slowly raised my rod tip, with every lift meticulously dragging the creature bait 60cm closer towards the underwater ledge and the two old, flooded tree stumps which still stood proud off the bottom. I’d selected my line very carefully; fluorocarbon line with little to no flexibility, 16lb breaking strain to deal with the rough edges and gangly limbs of the timber below. I could not afford to compromise as the main prize for this tournament was a brand new bass boat, fully rigged and ready – what a prize! The line I had chosen was integral in allowing me to “see” and “feel” my way deep below the water surface. I could feel the gritty density of the gravel and then the change to a dense thump as the sinker made contact with the timber below. I was busy collating the details between the image I had seen on my sonar when I located the 32 SA BASS April 2018

HINT: The lower the breaking strain of line you choose will increase the amount of flexibility over longer distances, which can reduce your ability to induce a firm hookset on larger fish. area and the information transmitted through my line and to my hands. It was as if there was no water beneath me and I could see exactly what lay 30ft down – the old remnants of a field of decayed tree stumps off Dusi Point. I felt the sinker trickle over the limb of a stump and then pendulum where it was as the large plastic creature bait thumped up against the timber. Two slight jerks of the rod and the lure promptly fell free. Immediately, two erratic knocks pulsated through my fingers transmitted from the rod – a bite. I reeled up the small amount of slack line and set the hook quickly. There is something quite haunting about the surging battle of a large fish deep below the surface, as you never quit know what to expect. I felt the line ‘twang’ and ‘sing’ as the fish made its way for the flooded stumps of wood, but with the maximum amount of pressure I steered the fish upward and suddenly it was making its way to toward the surface.

Reeling up line in order to keep sufficient contact with the fish I realised that the bass was just a meter before breaking the surface. I plunged my rod tip three-quarters of the way into the water reneging the bass of its opportunity to burst free of the surface in an attempt to throw my bait. Its grotesque head made it above the surface, mouth agape, angry, only to dive to the side obeying the pressure on the line pulling it downwards again. That night there was little sleep in our camp as we enjoyed first place on day one. Deep water fishing demands just as much attention to your selection of line as any other fishing technique. On a quick visit to your local tackle store you’ll encounter a host of lines to choose from and they all really do have their place. In the next few issues we’ll provide stories of events which took place on our local waters to help you envisage what circumstances you may be faced with on your next fishing trip. Adapt these real life events to your given situation and you’ll be sure to enjoy the rewards which await you. Enjoy your bass fishing! *Roger Donaldson is an experienced journalist and knowledgeable bass angler who has enjoyed many enlightening hours with many of South Africa’s top, competitive bass fishermen. As a competitive angler himself, he also enjoys sharing his expertise with fellow bass fanatics in the hope that they find the same joy in this unique sport.


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>> SA BASS Linky Ferreira at Beacon Vlei, KZN


Women That Fish Do women belong on the water, or next to it with a rod in hand?

Of course, we do! It’s an archaic stereotype that women don’t, or can’t fish and that we only go with to make lunch and praise our husband’s and sons’ catches.

34 SA BASS April 2018

I am a fisherman, I’m not a woman who can fish or a female angler, I’m just a fisherman. I participate in a male-dominated sport where personal prejudices overflow. >> Sharon


ike every fisherman in the world, I live for that moment when my line pulls. My heart pounds and my hands sweat as the fish fights, jumping out the water desperate to escape my grasp. When I get it out the water, a fire burns through my veins urging me to cast again and again and again. A quick photo to remember and share with my family, then a gentle return to the water to fight another day. In a world that moves at a lightning pace with no signs of slowing down, the quiet and peaceful moments of fishing are my drug of choice and I live for those moments, dream about them and plan out the next one before the last is even over.

The first time I caught a fish was on the rocks in Umdloti. I had no clue my life was about to change forever. It was our first holiday to the coast as a young family. My son was two years old and we had stopped at the local beach shop and had bought a set of children’s fishing rods, buckets and spades to keep ourselves busy. We did not expect to catch anything and were just looking for a way to pass the lazy days away. As young children do, my son quickly got bored with fishing off the rocks and the rod was passed to me. I cast it in ocean to keep myself entertained while watching my toddler stalk crabs and poke at the squirting coral. I was lost in a day dream when I felt a soft tug on the line, I thought I had imagined it and then I felt another. I reeled it in quickly with no real expectations, but curious and excited and to my delight found a palm sized puffer fish dangling from my hook.

When we got home, fishing very quickly became our families’ passion. It filled the moments between the daily grind of traffic, work, school and homework, we got to laugh and tease each other about who was the better fisherman and who had caught the smallest fish that day. We challenged each other to catch fish using homemade lures and rods made of sticks and cable ties that we put together after school or by fishing with nothing more than a piece of line wrapped around a hand, a hook and a worm. The winner would get bragging rights until our next fishing trip. Fishing together became the glue that has kept

I stood on those rocks unsure of what to do next. Could I touch it, should I? All I knew was that I wanted to get that hook out of that little fish in and into another one as fast as I could. It was love at first bite for me and I was solidly hooked. We found a fishing shop and bought our first real rods. Our evenings were spent sitting on the patio of our holiday home making rigs while researching fish type, baits, knots, tides and moon phases. We spent every moment on the rocks trying, but more often than not failing to catch fish. When we managed to hook a fish, we would carefully put it in my son’s bucket, where he would spend a few moments admiring it before gently returning it to the ocean where it belonged. SA BASS 35 April 2018

our family strong in a time when families fall apart far too easily. We taught our children to respect and love nature, we ensured we left nothing, but footprints behind and took nothing but photographs to preserve those precious memories. The years flew by far too fast and my children grew up, they still love fishing but have other hobbies and interests now. I have a lot more time to fish alone nowadays and I love it. It’s my quiet time, the time when my worries slide away and my mind can focus on the simple things in life. I wake up in the dark, pack the car and leave the house before anyone else greets the morning. I make my way to wherever I am spending the day as the sun slowly peeps over the horizon and shows off in a glorious display of colours. When I arrive, I set up my rod in the cool morning air, pull my jacket a little tighter around myself and slip on my glasses. Then it is just me and my wits against the everelusive bass I hunt. The hours evaporate as I creep around the waters edges, staying out of eye-sight and stalking my prey. Treading softly on the wet grass, I more often than not lose track of time and everything and everyone around me disappears as I dance with my rod and wait for the tug that lets me know the battle has begun. When my knees buckle in exhaustion hours later, I fish my way back towards the car, pack up and drive home bone-tired but happy, knowing my “me time” was wondrously healing to my soul and far better than any spa day or shopping trip could have been. Sadly, opportunities to fish alone have become fewer and fewer for a woman on her own. Safety is always a concern even when we fish as a family, but on my own I have to constantly remind myself to be aware of my surrounding, check my gear has not grown legs, that no-one is sneaking up behind me and that my car is still where I parked it. Crime is everywhere and unfortunately, I am a soft target. I used to be able to just pop into my local pond and waste a few hours unbothered, now I have to wait for my busy husband and kids to “be in the mood” to fish or worse, fish at crowded venues in pressurised waters on weekends and holidays. While my husband has always encouraged and supported my passion he understandably worries about me being on my own, travelling in the dark on unknown roads and fishing at unsecure venues. Security needs to be a priority for more fishing establishments, not just for women but for everyone. So, we have an ongoing crime situation in South Africa, we all know this and take precautions where we can. As a woman however, I have another problem that keeps me 36 SA BASS April 2018

on my toes. Way too many of my fellow fishermen are sexist; these men feel a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. They claim ownership of the water simply because they are men and anyone of the opposite gender has no right to be there as anything more than sandwich maker and beer server. This antiquated view has led to me being harassed while fishing; it’s trampled my joy far too often. I’ve had my equipment tampered with and overturned onto the ground or thrown in the water. Threats of violence have rained down on my head if I don’t “stop catching their fish”. I want nothing more than to be left alone to focus on my passion and improve my skills and instead I have to ensure I don’t ‘upset the locals’ or push the status quo. What has happened to respect for your fellow man or women?

And don’t for a moment think it’s only men who are sexist. Women are just as prejudice. A lady in a shop turned to me one day while I was looking at baits and said “us women can’t really fish, we just go with to improve the scenery for our husbands” and titter as if it was the greatest joke ever told. A sales woman ignored my requests to see the reels I enquired after and tried to sell me a cheap hot pink rod and reel combo. Commenting that “all the ladies buy this because it’s so cute”. Fishing, like all hobbies should be inclusive of everyone. I have been into shops to buy equipment and have had people refuse to serve me or treat me like an idiot and try sell me the rubbish no one else would buy. I get talked down to constantly. If I am with my husband and ask a question I have been ignored entirely and the answer given to my husband. It’s frustrating that my money has less value than his simply because I am a woman. Everyone has the right to follow their passion without question or judgement. South Africa is a glorious country with some magical watering holes for us to enjoy, we just need to learn to share and care a little more about our fellow fisherman, be they man, woman or child. It’s not just a man’s world anymore, it’s my world and I will fish its waters with patience, kindness and understanding. Please try to do the same.


Damiki Air Craw >> Philip Kemp*


ns is soms te geneig om net plastiese ase te gebruik wat gewoonlik die beste vir ons werk. Net so is ek ook geneig om ase soos Super Flukes en grubs te gebruik en van die ander ase te vergeet. Daar lê ook al vir ‘n geruime tydjie Mausrinhoeke, dis ‘n hoek met ‘n bootvormige gewiggie aan ‘n spleetringetjie, in my viskas en nog nooit het ek hulle gebruik nie. Dis nou tot Sensation ‘n paar pakkies Damiki Air Craws in my hand gestop het.

<< Damiki se Air Craw sorg vir groot baars


Die Damiki Air Craw is werklik waar ‘n baie unieke aas, en soos die naam aandui, is die aas deel van jou krap- of skaaldier imitasies. Die woord “Air” onderskei die aas egter van alle ander skaaldier imitasies.

<< ‘n Damiki Air Craw aan ‘n Mausrin-loodkop. Hierdie tegniek werk die beste


Daar is op daardie stadium nie ‘n groot geraas oor die aas gemaak nie, totdat van die hengelaars op ronde loodkoppies en later die Mausrin jig groot sukses met die aas gehad het. Die Amerikaanse professionele FLW hengelaar, Bryan Thrift, wat ook baie betrokke was by die ontwikkeling van Damiki ase, het met die Air Craw groot sukses behaal in die Amerikaanse FLW reeks.


Damiki het die Air Craw reeds in 2011 aan Amerikaners en Kanadese hengelaars bekend gestel by die internasionale konfensie vir handelaars in Amerika (ICAST).

<< Mausrin-hoeke werk skitterend saam met Damiki Air Craws

Die paar keer wat ek egter die geleentheid gehad het om die aas te gebruik was ek verbaas oor die aas se aksie in die water. Die knypers van die Air Craw het ‘n lugholte in elke knyper wat veroorsaak dat die knypers in die water op staan in ‘n verdedigende posisie wat vir die baars lyk asof hy homself wil verdedig. Omrede Air Craws in drie- en vier duim groottes beskikbaar is, kan die hengelaar die aas wissel om te sien watter grootte aas die baars die dag verkies. Ek het gevind dat die kleiner drie duim grootte op damme wat baie hengeldruk ervaar, goed werk. Omrede die aas deel van die skaaldierimitasies is werk hy skitterend in klipperige areas en natuurlik ook in vlakker water waar daar heelwat krappe voorkom. Die aas kan ook op ‘n Texas-strop, wat gepen is, in digte dekking suksesvol gebruik word. As gevolg van sy vorm haak hy nie maklik vas nie. Die Air Craw/Mausrin-loodkop kombinasie het vir my die beste gewerk en daarom sal ek die aas van Damiki baie sterk aanbeveel, veral met die herfs wat op hande is. Baars sal in damme dan juis jag maak op skaaldiere as gevolg van hulle hoë proteïn inhoud. Met die winter op hande sal die skaaldiere ook na areas tussen klippe begin beweeg as gevolg van die koue, en sal hulle minder aktief wees. Probeer hierdie voorwinter seisoen dus die Air Craw, ‘n besonderse skaaldier-imitasie, en skaf vir jou ‘n pakkie Mausrin-hoeke aan om hulle mee te hengel. *Philip Kemp is ‘n gesoute swartbaarhengelaar en ‘n gereelde bydraer.

When things get tough, it’s time to throw a grub SA BASS 37 April 2018

>> SA BASS CLASSROOM A chatterbait is mainly a jig bladed jig

Don’t Underestimate

the Chatterbait I was privileged to meet and talk to some of the International anglers at the Black Bass World Championship held at the Vaal River. Many anglers went to meet them to get an autograph; I used the opportunity to talk to them about angling, and to my surprise most of them talked about the chatter type baits to use LQPDQ\GL΍HUHQWȴVKLQJ conditions.


hese types of baits have become one of the most reliable bass lures for bass fishermen all over the world and can be used for many other predators. This is due to the fact that they are very versatile and can be fished successfully in about any condition. Chatterbaits (bladed jig) is mainly a jig with a single blade attached to the front section of the lure. Yes, this bait will catch more bass if you use it and it does not just become one of the many “trawlers” types of bait in your tackle box. The blade is actually what makes the chatterbait so effective. The retrieve off this blade gives off a clicking sound and unique vibration. The two most necessary factors when fishing in dirty, muddy water. Nevertheless, it is not just limit to muddy water, these lures work just as well in clear water.

The most common retrieved for the chatterbait will be the normal retrieve. By just reeling it back, it will 38 SA BASS April 2018

>> Bennie Wiese* always work and you will get bites. The thing is, these baits are so versatile and can be used in many different ways. Just by changing the set-up you can find different ways to fish it and maximize the chances to catch more fish. Chatterbaits can be used for the most part of the year in almost every condition. Most of my success with these baits where in autumn and in spawn. You will be surprised to see how many big fish will fall victim to it. These baits must be the best bait to fish in muddy water. The vibration works and helps the bass to pinpoint the bait easily. The baits will work if you fish them in most dams where you can find any vegetation. Because of all the sizes these bait are available in, they can be fished in shallow to deep water, I fish it from shallow to around ten foot (3m). I have caught bass in around twenty

feet by fishing it slowly, the same way you will slow roll a big spinnerbait in dams like De Hoop, Nadoni and Mokolo. I prefer to fish the heavier chatterbaits in the areas where the river channel hugs close to the shoreline and even better is if you can find the bends in the channel. Cast the chatterbait type lures out into the deeper water in the forty foot ranges and let it fall to the bottom, then slowly retrieve it back the boat, so you are working it back from deep to shallow, bumping it back against the river channel. All the venues don’t always have these unique areas to fish in. Water with submerged grass will also give you great times fishing this baits and will most probably be the most productive areas to fish.

prefer to fish the chatterbait just right below the edges of the jetties, bumping the underwater structure of the jetties. Floating type jetties similar to the ones at Bronkies are very good. Look for the one’s that extend far over the drop offs, they will most of the time produce better quality fish.

Every day you fish these baits can be different. The bass can prefer a different retrieve; fast, slow or a bounce type of retrieve.

From ribbon tail worms, creature baits, lizards, sweet beavers and paddle tail baits and because the chatterbaits are available in different sizes it’s easy to match them. Most of the time, I will match the colour to the fodder the bass are feeding on. Green Pumpkin with orange works well in pre-spawn, especially when fishing the harder bottoms; the watermelon works when I am targeting grassy areas. On windy days I will fish chatterbaits with white skirts and a gold blade, white/chartreuse or a black bait works great in muddy water.

When fishing reeds, I will cast it parallel to the stretch of reeds as the key areas will be where the reeds has a cut where the bass will be ambushing. I will use a normal retrieve and when lure gets close to the cut I will slow it down or give it a jerk, trying to imitate bait fish fleeing. When fishing it in laydowns or throwing it, I will retrieve it like fishing spinnerbaits or crankbaits. The difference will be when the lure gets to the limb of the tree, I will pull it over and let it fall by giving it slack line for two or three seconds, then rip it up and start to retrieve it again. The clicking variation sometimes will get the bigger fish to react on it. To retrieve the chatterbait will depend on what structure you are fishing if I am fishing rocky or hard bottoms with crab holes on the side I will cast it out and let it fall to the bottom then retrieve it all the way back making sure to keep contact with the bottom. When fishing grass, I will fish it as close to the grass as possible. Like when you are fishing spinnerbaits with a fast or slow steady retrieve. When fishing on venues like the Vaal River or Bronkies where there are jetties, I

Trailers You will catch bass with the chatterbait without a trailer, however adding some type of trailer will give the lure different dimensions.

You just have to experiment every time you add a different trailer to the bait it will have a new look and action.

Remember, if you go out don’t just fish it once, it is all about building confidence in a new bait. *Bennie Wiese is an experienced provincial bass angler and regular Castfor-Cash contestant.

SA BASS 11 March 2018


Lipless crankbaits demand their eir own o cast and ovide you with retrieve strategies, all of which pro provide etingg bass different ways of targeting

for Bass ((Part 3) >> Roger Donaldson*


n the previous issue we ended our feature article on colour selection and how important your retrieve can be. To kick off I believed it would be an exciting option for anglers to learn a few examples of retrieval techniques when fishing a lipless crankbait a.k.a. the Rattle Trap. This lure could be considered unique compared to others as it has a number of qualities that set it apart. Namely, it has no lip which causes the lure to dive, it sinks rapidly, it can be fished at multiple depths, and it can be cast with great accuracy. Countless examples of how effective this lure has been beset my memory. For this article I will briefly touch on three effective retrieval techniques which should get you more excited over your lipless crankbaits.

Shallow fishing (3 to 6ft) If I ever dream of returning to another great day of fishing it would be over the memory of shallow water fishing on Rhenosterkop Dam on the Elands River in Mpumalanga. Another case so similar was also duplicated on Albert Falls Dam in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Nandoni Dam on the Luvuvhu River in Limpopo. 40 SA BASS April 2018

In all dams at various times of the year bass can be found to accumulate in the shallows. One very efficient way to locate these active fish is with a lipless crankbait, but to be effective care needs to be taken when casting and retrieving. On this particular outing we encountered breezy conditions throughout the day. With this in mind we’re already thinking “shallow fishing” in the well oxygenated water. The bank was sparsely populated the odd sprig of hydrilla rising to the surface from just 4ft below. At a casting distance of 30m the hydrilla wasn’t easy to identify without the use of polarised sunglasses. Using the hydrilla as our target we needed to make our cast and before the lure hit the water, be ready to engage the reel and start immediately with the retrieve. Importantly, as soon as the lure was in the water the rod tip would need to be held elevated on the retrieve in order to keep the lure swimming at its shallowest depth, yet without breaking the surface. Finally, the swimming action of the lure is very important in order to get the fish to react. Reeled too slow and the fish are simply not interested. It’s crucial to get the lure ‘rattling’ through the water quickly, keeping it off the bottom. The vibration of the lure should be felt pulsating confidently through your rod tip.

Hint: Change up your hooks if you find your hook-up ratio is dwindling. Your tackle store can direct you here.

There Th The re iiss no ti time ime to llet et the h llure ure rest and d you should sho h ulld be b retrieving the h crankbait kb allll the h way in without h pausing.

Burn, pause, retrieve Thi technique This h i iis not too di dissimilar i il to what h we’ve ’ discussed above, yet anglers do not need to place any attention on the depth of their lure. Here we would focus on submerged underwater structures such as rock piles, flooded trees or brush, ledges or even vegetation. After identifying your target area and casting beyond it you can allow your lure time to sink. Practice allowing the crankbait to sink for a second to reach your desired depth and then only start your swift retrieve. As the lure either makes contact with the structure or reaches the target area you can “kill” or “pause” your retrieve very briefly (only a second) and then continue retrieving again. This will often induce some intense reaction bites that’ll leave you startled at the area you’ve stumbled upon.

Drop and retrieve I’ve found this strategy to work particularly well in deeper water (10 to 20ft). Because the lipless crankbait sinks so effectively you can cast it out over your desired target area and leave it for only a few seconds to reach the bottom. The lure fluttering to the bottom seems to generate a response from the bass, but it is only often on the retrieve when the reaction to bite takes place. Because of the steeper angle at which you are retrieving the lure from the deeper water the lure will seem to rise up a few feet off the bottom as you retrieve. At this point you will stop retrieving entirely, drop your rod tip and allow the crankbait to sink to the bottom, and repeating the process.

Remember to keep your rod almost parallel with the water while retrieving. This allows your rod tip to deliver the action from your lure and leaves you with sufficient angle to provide a good hook set. In the next issue we will look at soft plastic lures and the multiple retrieval techniques required for each. Enjoy your day bass fishing! *Roger Donaldson is an experienced journalist and knowledgeable bass angler who has enjoyed many enlightening hours with many of South Africa’s top, competitive bass fishermen. As a competitive angler himself, he also enjoys sharing his expertise with fellow bass fanatics in the hope that they find the same joy in this unique sport. Tel 0861 282 282 Authorised Financial Services Provider: FSP21529

Arma Iuris is a national legal cost insurance company rendering a service to individuals and businesses for the past 11 years. The individual legal cost product consist of the following: We provide legal advice to our clients 24/7 by means of a 0861 emergency number which is answered by an attorney. / We draft and provide any form of legal documentation as needed by our clients i.e wills, contracts, agreements etc. / We render legal administrative services i.e firearm motivations (licensing and relicensing), pension fund enquiries, tax issues and problems experienced with service providers like local authorities etc. / We represent our clients nationally whether magisterial or higher court cases for civil or criminal law suits. Your spouse and/or all financially dependants also enjoy cover under this policy. / This service will be offered to FLW members at a reduced fee of R250 (VAT Excl). Terms and conditions apply. SA BASS 41 April 2018

>> SA BASS Classroom

EFFECTS OF NATURE 0QVQPGCPINGTECPFGXGNQRRCUVVJGOQUVDCUKEUVCIGUQHſUJKPI without a clear understanding of the way in which structure, cover and nature form the world of the bass and how they provide clues to bass locations and attitude. This affect bass feeding strategies and preferred RTG[CNNGPVGTVJGGSWCVKQPHQTUWEEGUUHWNſUJKPI >> Bennie Wiese*


n recent decades, research using radio and ultrasonic telemetry has given new insights into bass behaviour that benefits anglers. It’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you just pay attention to nature around you, it might just help you to catch more bass. With all the new gadgets out there, it sometimes helps just to know what’s going on around you.

Water plants The main purpose of water plants are to produce oxygen and other nutrients in the water that attracts a lot of bass and other fish. In spring, always be on the lookout for the new vegetation, these plants will be the bass’s new favourite hangout, but as we get closer to winter and the plants are dying off, the bass will be closer to the plants that still are in the business of producing oxygen and these are the plants that you need to locate. Even during cold water periods bass will often stay close to vegetation in moderate depths rather than move to the deeper water.

The moon plays a big part in the circle of life and water plants attract a variety of fish 42 SA BASS April 2018

Birds We all have fished somewhere and have noticed the birds out fishing us; why? Because they are the most natural fisherman around. They don’t have any options to go out and stop at the local takeaways to pick something up to eat; if they don’t catch it they will stay hungry. If you are fishing an area and don’t see any birds, the chances are there are not really bass around. Bass will in most conditions follow the bait fish and birds will follow. They are the experts in finding food. Yes, not all the birds are following the sizes and type of fish we are targeting. Some birds will feed on the grass and insects; they will find grass where you want to fish. These types of activities can and will attract bigger bass.

Wind When the wind starts to blow, it might cause some currents that push the bait fish into a bay where the bass

will also follow. Channels are also good areas to fish when the wind starts to blow. When fishing clear water, the wind makes it better for me because the bass won’t see you as much as with the calm clear conditions. The wind does also create current and it is often overestimated on how strong the currents get. In general prevailing winds, especially when the wind blows over large body of water at a 45 degree angle will start to create currents. These are currents that flow along the shore and reverse currents flow back under the surface. After the wind has blown for a while, the tug-of-war between wind and gravity creates near surface currents that will move slower even in strong winds. Watch a piece of vegetation that flows just under the surface to see the speed of the current.

Surface turbulence This has never been a secret. I believe in the effect it has on fishing, although it remains a mystery to most anglers. The wind will cause the surface of the rolling water to travel into surface waves, very little water actually moves laterally. Instead the wind raises water, which then curls in a circular pattern as gravity pulls the molecules downward, like a wave travelling along a jump rope. The rolling action of waves creates surface turbulence but only to a depth twice the height of the waves. If the waves crest is 30cm then water at a meter is only slightly affected, although slow riding currents may move though open water, they may travel through those depths. These waves will cause the turbulent edges that are important and that will force the fodder and predators to be active. When the fodder moves through the open water, they will be travelling just below these edges. As the waves increase, the fodder that was holding close to the edges will be forced to go deeper. The bass will take advantage of these conditions and start feeding on the fodder from the bottom, forcing them up to the edges again. When the fodder is forced up they can lose their equilibrium and break into disarray and be vulnerable to attack for predators.

Black Storks are the experts in finding food (Image: Joe Dreyer)

Buzzing Ever found that the whole area has come alive and everything is buzzing around? It’s like everything is alive, nature flipped on the light switch. These times are precious and fishing is going to be awesome if you read the situation just right. Your situation awareness should be tuned in like a Swiss clock when going fishing and you will have loads of fun. *Bennie Wiese is an experienced provincial bass angler and regular Cast-for-Cash contestant.

Moon phase A lot of fish and insects rely on the moon to be their clock or calendar. Nature will let them know when it’s time to mate and lay their eggs, that is why, all of them hatch almost at the same time. When millions of critters are everywhere, the predators can’t catch them all. Hatchings like these can trigger feeding frenzy’s and if you are aware, you will reap the benefits. Since I’ve been a small boy I have always thought that the moon plays a big part in the circle of life.

Terrestrial feeding Bass eat mainly bait fish; baitfish eats insects, tadpoles and even smaller baitfish. Always have a look to see what the feeding activity around you is. Relate to what is chasing what and determine where the bass will be ambushing its prey. If there is not of a lot of activity you will need to know how to adapt you fishing technique. SA BASS 43 April 2018


Recovering a lost phonee?

In The It happened to me and I suppose it’s happened to many other anglers too. When it does happen, it’s a shock and you just stand and stare, trying WRȴJXUHRXWLIZKDW\RXUH\HVKDGMXVWVHHQZDVUHDORUQRW >> John Badenhorst*


hen, when you realize that this is not some sort of dream, this is in fact happening and the worst is that it’s just happened to you, your mind starts racing... could I have done something to prevent it? Could I have been more cautious and careful? You stare at an empty spot on the water as the ripples die away and somehow your brain still can’t exactly comprehend how this has happened.

It’s not that you’ve just lost a fish of a lifetime or missed that monster bass we all dream about. No my friend, this is far worse and what just happened will have consequences that will probably haunt you for a very long time if not for the rest of your life. You will never forget this moment as you saw the splash and swirl and watched it disappear into the depths. Your brain screams out to jump in after it but at the same time, another part of your brain calmly tells you that it will be 44 SA BASS April 2018

futile to go after it. Your fishing buddy stares open mouthed at the same spot and you still try and gather your wits and words to try and describe what just occurred. Is it gone? He asks, as if what he had seen was some sort of magic or illusion. Yes, you answer and in the back of your mind you actually want to give him a smack on the side of the head for asking such a dumb question in the first place. You both keep staring at that same spot and although the rod is still in your hand, the last thing you want to do right now is make another cast. The surface of the water returns to calm without even a dimple to mark its passing. The weather had been great, the sun was out and for once, even the wind decided to stay at home and give you a break. The whole morning you and your partner had been fishing well, working together to net and land some solid fish. Your partner casually places the bass he had been holding back into the water for a safe release and watches it swim away. For this moment it seems time has stood still. Questions gather in the back of your mind... How? Why? What now?

So, you think losing a fish of a lifetime is bad? No my friend, there are worse things in life and this, as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve said just happened to me, has happened to other anglers, happened to my fishing partner not a week after my very own mishap and will happen to more anglers through the years. Your buddy had just landed a beautiful monster of a fish and was proudly holding it up when you reached into your pocket for the one thing we all have and depend upon in our everyday existence. As you pulled it out, it knocked on the side of your hand and slipped casually overboard and straight into the drink. Yup, that brand new top of the range, state of the art piece of equipment is now gone forever. Losing a phone is a serious loss, especially when we depend so much on these devices. WhatsApp, Facebook, E-mail, contacts, diary, photos, documents and every other accruement of everyday life. We depend on these devices to help organize our busy lives and help us stay in touch with our loved ones and business contacts. When an accident does occur and it ends up in the drink, there are far reaching affects that can and will impact on our daily lives. When it does happen, there is that feeling of total disbelief followed by panic in different degrees and a deep sense of loss. When my phone fell into the water, I

was shocked and then immediately jumped into the dam and started feeling along the bottom which was rather solid and about 1.4 meter deep. As it was busy getting dark at the time and the water was not the clearest, it seemed pretty daunting to try and dive down for it and yet, try as I might, I just couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find it. Leaving the water like a drenched rat and cold, I placed a marker and decided to return the next day with some diving gear as the device might have slipped off that particular ledge and ended up in slightly deeper water. The very next morning we arrived at the dam and after donning diving gear I slowly entered the water to start the search. Since the phone fell in around one meter from the bank, I did my entry into the water from the bank, put my head under water with scuba mask and simply reached down and picked up the phone where it had fallen. After leaving the phone in rice for two days and trying to get it to work, I finally gave up and took it to some folks that are adept at these things. Unfortunately no data could be recovered from the phone and was sadly lost. The good news though is that the sim card and the SD card still worked perfectly after a bit of cleaning and it was a simple matter to insert these into a new phone and start all over again. When Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phone went overboard, it ended up laying half stuck into silt in about two meter of water and here again thankfully we managed to find it within 15 minutes and much to our relief, it was still working and has not shown any ill effects from its underwater adventure.

Damiki Air Craw >> Kevin Lofstedt


recently acquired a few packs of Damiki Air Craws, and if the truth be told, I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t particularly impressedâ&#x20AC;Ś until I put one on a jig and tossed it into my swimming pool. Unlike other craws, this one KDV DWWLWXGH 7KH Č&#x160;&ODZVČ&#x2039; DUH DLU Č´OOHG DQG DV D UHVXOW they stand erect, and ready for battle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so to speak. There is no doubt in my mind that the karate stance that the craw takes when it lands on the bottom will get the interest of almost any bass. Those that regularly pitch jigs will tell you that the bite usually is quite brutal, and you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be left wondering if indeed and animal RI WKH ODUJH EDVV W\SH KDV JX]]OHG \RXU RÎ?HULQJ 7KLV Air Craw I think is probably going to be responsible for many a big bass brought to the scales. They come in all the hot colours, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no excuse not to check them Visit jour nearest tackle store and ask for Damikiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Air Craw loaded with Bass Juice out. The price they go for is also, I believe, good value.

When things get tough, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to throw a grub SA BASS 45 April 2018

It’s absolutely essential to do regular backups of the information on these devices and simply going into the settings menu, depending on which phone you’re using, you can set up the device to do a backup of all information including media files over a Wi-Fi connection on a weekly or daily basis. There is also a myriad of software available to users that connect the device to any PC or Mac and a full backup can be done at the click of a button.

What to do Your phone has fallen into the water and somehow you’re lucky to have been able to get to it in a very short time…

#1The first step is to switch the unit off if it’s still

powered on. Small openings like the earphone jack, the charging connection etc. can allow the phone to become water logged in only a few seconds. By leaving it switched on, it could create a short circuit.


The second step is to remove the battery cover and battery as quickly as possible. This is only an option if your handset is not sealed units like some of the new devices are. When you remove the battery, there is a small round or square dot on the phone under where the battery usually sits, if this white square or round dot has turned red or pink, take it for granted that the phone is water damaged.

#3 Step three is to remove the SIM and SD card as

these can in most cases continue working and the data on these little things are invaluable to most users.

46 SA BASS April 2018

If your phone fell into the pool, the toilet or ended up in the washing machine, it can be restored using a vacuum cleaner and gently sucking the water out of the device. Never use a hair dryer or heat gun as in many cases, these cause the water to become a vapor and can end up in small part of the phone that was not actually affected by water. Leaving the phone over night or at least for 24 hours in a clear bag with rice or some moisture removal chemical can draw out that last bit of moisture. If, after this period you plug the phone onto its charger and it switches on, you might have to get a new battery and all is good. If however, it does not power up at all, it’s best to take it to an expert that knows how to deal with water damage. Don’t try to hide it; there are indicators within every device that will show direct contact with moisture. There are many ways of protecting your phone like water proof bags and pouches but, were anglers and we capture those special moments to share and this is where accidents can and do happen. *John Badenhorst is the editor of SA BASS magazine, the Master of Ceremony for FLW South Africa, radio presenter at Platinum Gold Radio and a keen ultra finesse angler.

>> SA BASS Advertorial



ost folks have this notion that if something is of Chinese origin, then somehow its inferior quality. Nothing could be further from the truth and one simply has to look at that small sticker attached to most items especially electronics that clearly stateâ&#x20AC;ŚMade in China. Granted, there are some dodgy electronics out there but then just as the other side of the coin, there are some truly good and absolutely brilliant gadgets. Chinese electronics giant Hisense has been around for decades, manufacturing some of the highest spec electronics available to consumers around the world and most importantly, at an affordable price. Not too long ago, Hisense entered into the lucrative cellular market with their first generation cellular handsets and since then, have gone bigger and better than most other companies that have started their foray into digital communication. Recently, I had the misfortune of losing my phone to that dark and mysterious place where only fish are comfortable and upon hearing what had happened, Lee and Vicus from Hisense South Africa offered me two handsets to test for their ruggedness. Rated IP 68 on the Hisense C30 Rock, this phone has been put through its paces from the moment it came out of the box. Being a hot and humid day, I took the phone and put it directly into the swimming pool on the bottom step around 1.2m deep and went inside to fetch a towel. Returning to the pool some 15 minutes later, I dived down and retrieved the phone and while standing there with a totally and previously submerged phone, it started ringing and even though still totally wet, had a long conversation with a client while standing in the pool. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very uneasy kind of feeling as we inherently donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mix electronics with water and having just retrieved the sodden phone from the pool, it took some getting used to. The sound quality coming from the speaker was also not diminished in any way as I switched to hands free mode during the conversation. Afterwards, I dunked the phone yet again and took some underwater pictures and a short video clip. An IP 68 rating is an international rating given to handsets and indicates its resistance to water, submersion and resistance to dust and being dropped. With its simple Android operating system and easy to navigate menus, the Hisense C30 Rock has proven itself out on the water and in normal use over the last two months and comes highly recommended for the person with an active lifestyle. Available from MTN on contract and various other cellular suppliers as a cash purchase, this phone is what its name impliesâ&#x20AC;Ś a Rock.

In this issue: One lucky reader stands a chance to win a brand new Hisense C30 Rock Lite cellular phone with the compliments of Hisense Electronics South Africa. See the entry form elsewhere in this issue. Technical speciďŹ cations: t t t t t t t t t t t



The Hisense C30 Rock is available in two models, the C30 Rock and the C30 Rock Lite and pricing is around R4400.00 for the Rock and around R2499.00 for the C30 Rock Lite.

Scan this QR-code and see a video review of the Hisense C30 Rock SA BASS 47 April 2018


Exclusive Marine Electronics Supplier


armin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced that it has been selected as the exclusive marine electronics supplier for the Independent Boat Builders, Inc. (IBBI), the industry’s largest purchasing cooperative comprised of a 19-member network of leading boat brands. Collectively, IBBI members build 20% of all boats sold in the U.S., and beginning Model Year 2019, the agreement will give members direct access to Garmin’s full line of marine electronics through 2023. The announcement is being made in conjunction with the IBBI’s Annual Meeting in March 2018.

“We are honored the IBBI has chosen Garmin to be its exclusive supplier of marine electronics,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “We value this relationship with boat builders who are so well known in our industry for their quality and innovation, and we look forward to a providing them with best-in-class products and service for many years to come.” Since 2014, Garmin has been a supplier of choice for the IBBI. Now, as the exclusive marine electronics supplier,

IBBI members will benefit from Garmin’s extensive product portfolio that includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and ease-of-use. “We are highly impressed with Garmin’s product selection, product quality, staff and state-of-art facility,” said Tom Broy, IBBI president. “The IBBI and our member-owners feel that Garmin can provide premium marine electronics that meet our needs and, additionally, give customers what they expect. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Garmin is the world’s leading marine electronics manufacturer and was recently named Manufacturer of the Year for the third consecutive year by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), an honour given to the most recognized marine electronics company for support of products in the field. Other Garmin marine brands include FUSION Entertainment, and Navionics, a premier supplier of electronic navigation charts. For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. *To learn more about Garmin Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd visit:

013 243 9401 082 892 3029

48 SA BASS April 2018

R16 350

© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries










SA Bass April 2018  

SA BASS has been the leading bass magazine since 2001 for everyone who loves bass fishing. In this issue we focus on catching autumn bass....

SA Bass April 2018  

SA BASS has been the leading bass magazine since 2001 for everyone who loves bass fishing. In this issue we focus on catching autumn bass....