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REGULARS & FORUMS 06
TACTICS “Topwater Time” Lazy days without wind and slow moving clouds across the heavens… not tooo hot and also still pleasant in the early evening. – John Badenhorst
“Monster PB” Recently, during a club comp held at Loskop Dam, Gareth Drayden, owner of local brand Hillbilly Poisen had the good fortune of landing his new PB. – Gareth Dryden
STRATEGY “Start-up Anglers Best Baits for Bass - Part 2” Your choice of lure colour will certainly make a difference to your strike, or catch ratio. – Roger Donaldson
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 March 2018
country’s people (including the youth), and to the practical conservation of the country’s natural resources. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
SA BASS “Backyard Bassin – Witbank Dam” Witbank Dam, situated on the outskirts of the town of Witbank in Mpumalanga, is a very popular bass angling destination for many. For the residents of the town of Witbank, this is truly backyard bassin’ and for those coming from Johannesburg or Pretoria, it’s a quick one and a half hour drive to the dam – John Badenhorst
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.
FLW “Roland Still Rolling” As Roland Martin tells it, his first fishing trip with the Splendid Splinter “wasn’t so hot” – Colin Moore
FLW “2017 Costa FLW Series Championship Breakdown” By Kentucky Lake standards, fishing was a challenge when 192 pros and co-anglers squared off in Paris, Tenn., last Novemberat the Costa FLW Series Championship. – Curtis Niedermier
INDUSTRY NEWS “Realtree Fishing teams up with FLW” Realtree Fishing has followed the recent release of its camouflage brand by partnering with the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in a unique deal.
TACTICS “Jerkbaiting Into Autumn” Jerkbaits have a special place in the tackle box as they can ignite your bass fishing day when you’re least expecting it … – Roger Donaldson
PRODUCT DU UCT NEWS
KICKBOATING “Kickboating in Summer” The seasons have changed and things are starting to warm up. This is truly my favourite time of the year to be fishing. Not only is the weather a lot better but the fishing generally improves a fair amount as well – Dwayne Frenzel
INTERNATIONAL “Cold Front Reactions (Part 1)” We were crushing big weights on Lake Celilo, hoping to ride the momentum to our next stop, Lake Umatilla, but a passing cold front stalled the bites that have been going great for us. – Fishingboy and David Swendseid (DUO Realis U.S.A)
COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS 04
Cast-for-Cash - Tournament Results
DESTINATION – Beacon Valei
INDUSTRY NEWS “Why Facebook is Killing the News” In 2013, Facebook announced a push into news. Last week, in the early days of 2018, it’s backing out. The news was announced by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, late last week, and the change is already taking place on your News Feed – Joe Sills
INDUSTRY NEWS “Garmin Acquired Navionics” Garmin Ltd, the multinational marine electronics manufacturer, has acquired Navionics, the Italian producer of navigational charts for the marine industry. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
“Baarshengel Kan vir Kinders Kinderspeletjies Wees” Om vandag se kinders vir lang periodes geïnteresseerd te hou in ‘n spesifieke aktiwiteit, kan nogal uitdagend wees… Laat staan nog lang periodes van baarshengel terwyl die baars nie wil byt nie. – Philip Kemp
“Autumn Bassin’ Get Crankin!” Beef it up! Autumn is going to be an explosion of unbelievable bass fishing as the fish get a hint of winter setting in and the necessity to build up their fat reserves to carry them through the colder months – Roger Donaldson
“Punctureless Culling Systems come of age” The list of non-invasive culling options for tournament anglers is growing – Chad Love
“Going Batty” For an avid d bass o always has his fisherman,, one go-to luress that he or she rigs up first when they arrive at any body of water depending on weather and water conditions – Luke Coetzer
PRODUCT NEWS “Mercury Fury 4 The Ultimate Bass Prop” Mercury Propellers is giving “heavy boat” anglers just what they’ve been asking for by introducing the Fury 4 propeller last year.
ON THE COVER “Monster PB Image: Gareth Dryden SA BASS 03 March 2018
has gone digital !! GET YOUR FAVOURITE SA Bass MAGAZINE
DIGITALLY For the last couple of weeks, controversy has reared its head yet again and this is getting the hair up on many bass anglers from around the country. After a recent trip out on the water, I switched on my phone to find a whole load of missed calls and messages relating to this issue. Why is it that as soon as there seems to be a problem with a specific dam or fishing venue, the so called experts are quick to blame the bass? Why, when meetings are held regarding certain venues and problems regarding algae blooms and pollution are members of the bass fishing community not included in these? After all, we as anglers contribute a very large portion of our income into the sport and host tournaments and social gatherings which gives a venue a healthy cash injection. Not to mention the casual anglers also visiting these venues. Bass has been in our waters for many decades and getting rid of them is an almost impossible task. In most venues that hold our fish of choice, these olive and gold denizens of the deep are well established and have been so for many years and somehow, nature has taken care of itself and believe it or not, in most venues there is still a good balance between alien and indigenous species. I don’t have all the answers but as editor of SA Bass Magazine, I feel it pertinent to get all the information and facts so that our readers can be well informed. With this in mind, we’ve set up a series of meetings to get the facts and will bring those to you, our readers here in the pages of SA Bass. Looking at the Readers-Go-Bassing section of last month and the photos from this month, it’s clear that at some places, the bite is on and as we move with technology, SA Bass Magazine has partnered with Basskingsapp to bring a tournament exclusively for bank anglers where the winner gets a year-long subscription to the magazine. Simply go to your IOS or Android app store and download the Basskingsapp and start fishing and submitting those entries. Culprit South Africa has also kindly sponsored our junior readers go bassing photo competition and some youngster is going to win a serious goodie bag filled with snacks for bass. March has always been a favourite time of the year for me. Quiet, calm days with gentle breezes, not much rain and more comfortable temperatures out on the water all comes down to one very important factor…. topwater time! Yes folks, it’s time to grab the frog rod and get casting as our fishy friends start eating and getting reserves up for the cooler winter months that lay ahead. Also nice to have some input from what we would deem the “fairer sex”. And as the article by Sharon states, there is space for everyone to enjoy this sport and pastime that we all love so much. SA Bass Magazine is a magazine for anglers by anglers and with your input; we can only make this publication so much better. If you have a story or maybe an adventure around bass fishing that you would like to share or perhaps you have an opinion regarding an issue around bass fishing, feel free to submit it to us and let’s work together for a better future, not only for the angler but also for our beloved bass. John Badenhorst/Editor 04 SA BASS March 2018
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>> SA BASS TACTICS
Lazy days without wind and slow moving clouds across the heavens… not too hot and also still pleasant in the early evening. These are the days that many anglers have waited a long time for; some have waited for as long as a year for these days to come around again.
Spinnerbaits can be fished any time of the year
>> John Badenhorst**
s the sun sets, the surface of ss the water is as smooth as glass with the odd fish showingg itself through the gentle dimple too ls mark its passing. You cast, the lure sails into your chosen spot and lands with a splash. You wait for the ripples to die down and then you give it a twitch. Slowly you work the lure back towards the bank and somewhere between the first and third cast, the water explodes in a flurry of foam and spray as a hungry bass launches itself out of the water below to smash that topwater lure you’ve been working so patiently. On another occasion, the lure will be sitting quietly waiting for you to twitch and when you look again, there is just a ripple but no lure and you feel the tension of the rod loading up. Setting the hook unleashes the full fury of our olive and gold denizens of the deep as it launches high into the air to try and shake the hook. The allure around topwater angling has to be the sheer adrenalin and excitement in seeing the take as a visual experience. While fishing with cranks and standard plastics and of course spinnerbaits, will at this time of the year result in some good solid fish, there is no denying the fact that all of us dedicated anglers look forward to that explosion on the surface. Some anglers will sit for two to three weeks replacing hooks, sorting baits and buying some new topwater toys to play with in anticipation of the next couple of weeks. 06 SA BASS March 2018
This time of the year, there is a slight drop in overall water temperature and l h h we as humans h i h not feel f l although might it in ambient temperatures, the fish below most definitely do and this will i h iinto some sort off eating i trigger them frenzy to help build up reserves for the colder months that lie ahead.
It’s the perfect time to get some surface action because as the seasons change, there is less likelihood of those pesky afternoon thundershowers and the wind that usually arrives with those.
deeper water to avoid hurting their eyes. A As the harsh h sun bbecomes lless h h iin its intensity, the bass tend to venture out to feed earlier in the afternoon and a bit later during the morning hours.
Lures There is a huge amount of topwater lures to choose from and one simply has to visit a tackle store to see what is available. From frogs to bats, rats, sliders, poppers and everything exotic in-between, the choices are endless. Here it helps to have a few standard, tried and tested options available for your arsenal. My first choice would be a hollow bodied frog such as the SPRO range of frogs. My second choice would be something like the classic Zara Spook with its unmistakeable walk-the-dog action. A good third choice would be a close faced popper
Due to the changing angle of the sun, the time that we usually fish our topwater lures during Soft plastic Super Flukes is a the height of summer now “must have” in any angler’s arsenal extends for as much as two hours before sunset. nset. et. Let me explain… ba bass ass have very sensitivee eyes and when the sun is at itss brightest, they tend nd d over or to hide in or near co cover most possibly sit in n slightly
th that hat creates a very distinctive popping ssound oun when jerked and to round itt off, off I would use something like a buzzbait or a something exotic like the bbuzz Savage Gear 3D Bat with its unique SSava swimming action. sw wim The retrieval method varies Th from time to time and only practice fr will give you an indication of how w aggressive the fish on patrol happen to aaggr bbe ggiven the time of day or the venue bbein being fished. After a few casts, you might notice some bow waves heading migh m towards the lure but stopping short ttow without any commitment. If this wit ha happens, try speeding up the retrieve to awaken the natural aggressive natu of the bass. If there is still no nature commitment, it either means that the com fish coming up for the bait is too small to commit or else they just not that interested from the start. Don’t give up yet though, a friend of mine has taken over three years to experience that very first explosion that left him breathless and weak kneed. It’s worth it to keep at it. That explosion might just come when you least expect it and it most often does.
Rods Rod choices are just as endless but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to get a decent medium to medium heavy casting or even a spinning rod matched with a good quality reel and depending on the structure around your chosen spot, using braid, monofilament or even fluorocarbon is a matter of choice. You haven’t been bass fishing if you didn’t catch bass on a top water Zara Spook!
Just some advice here, when you purchase a bait, especially frogs with the double hook, use good quality pliers and bend the hooks slightly outward by a fraction of a millimetre. This will ensure a better hook-up ratio. When the fish explodes on your lure, the normal reaction is to strike, this in most cases ends up in failure. Rather wait for a second or two, feel for the rod loading up and then set the hook. Bass will hit the lure violently and take it below the surface, once they do this, they will either drop the lure or swim away with it, this happens in a heartbeat and if you strike too early you might lose a good fish or even a possible PB. Topwater angling is just another incredible facet of our sport in what makes bass fishing so dynamic and rewarding. Grab a rod and some lures and get out there, soon the water and days will be cold and then we will long for those days of explosive takes and big smiles while taking pictures. Remember to send us your pictures for our Readers-Go-Bassin’ section. *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 11 March 2018
>> SA BASS READERS
Monster PB >> Gareth Dryden*
The snag turned out to be Garethâ€™s new PB
08 SA BASS March 2018
ecently, during a club comp held at Loskop Dam, Gareth Drayden, owner of local brand Hillbilly Poisen had the good fortune of landing his new PB. With recent high temperatures and those ever present late afternoon thundershowers, Gareth knew that he had his work cut out for him. In the previous days, a couple of solid fish had been caught between 5 and 10ft of water and it seemed that the fish were trying to hug the thermocline where cooler water would make things more comfortable for them. A friend of his had caught a healthy 3.6kg fish on a 15ft contour line and this got him thinking that instead of fishing really deep, maybe it was best to check out the mid water depth between 12 and 18ft of water. Gareth knew of a spot in particular that held some good brush piles in around 17ft of water and decided to work that area using a big Brush Hog. After not getting much, he decided to combine the deep brush together with some rocks again in 17ft of water. He quickly landed two solid keepers and the spot went quiet. He gave the spot a rest for a few hours and then returned later. After tying on a half ounce Hillbilly Poisen Watermelon Red jig, he worked the same are again but much slower and right on the bottom. At one point he thought he had been snagged up due to the rocks and brush. After jerking on the line, twitching the rod tip and pulling to get his line free of the snag, he then
pulled much harder to either pull free or to snap the line and start over. As he pulled with more force, the rod bucked and the line pulled back. This is when he lowered the tip and struck hard into whatever was pulling back. For a moment nothing happened and then all hell broke loose as this monster fish kept trying to dodge near the bottom and trying to get the line snagged up on the rocks and brush. A couple of times the line could be felt scraping along the rocks but, suddenly she was loose and headed to the surface where she exploded in a fountain of spray. Only then did Gareth realize how big the fish was and after some heart stopping moments managed to get the net under the fish and lift her out of the water. Laughingly he thought that this fish might not even fit into the net at all. A very proud moment indeed came down to this and sealed his new PB. The fish was then weighed later and held up for a few photos and then released to grow even bigger and hopefully to provide the same thrill to another fortunate angler sometime in the future. *Gareth Dryden is a humble, yet a highly competitive individual, who takes pride in everything he does and is always striving to do his best, but also willing to impart his knowledge onto upcoming fishermen. For him fishing is not just a sport but a way of life, incorporating family and everyday life experiences who fishes the Cast-for-cash FLW tournament under team Hillbilly Poisen.
>> SA BASS STRATEGY
Start-up Anglers Best Baits for Bass (Part 2)
>> Roger Donaldson*
n the previous issue we highlighted how start-up anglers can be swayed into buying lures that are not necessarily the ‘most effective’ choice. Also, experienced anglers will all have ‘go-to’ lures which they will select from and use for possibly 90% of their fishing day depending on weather, water conditions and the season too. Colour will play a big role here as well. I don’t know if I have NOT caught a bass on any of the colours available in the tackle store. They really all do work. The difference is that some are far more effective in different seasons, weather conditions, water clarity and depending on what the resident fodder is at the dam you’re fishing at. So this quick guide to selecting colours for sub-surface and surface lures will help you to hook up on more fish when you next hit the water. Similar to how we approached the water in last month’s article we need to consider the following:
Weather conditions I put this one first as weather can be a huge factor which influences lure colour choice! The day before fishing I will factor in the weather report for the following day and note also how it has changed from one day to the next. Analysing the weather can be turned into a whopper of a subject and take up many paragraphs of text. But to simplify, I suggest the following strategy:
Overcast or clear skies When selecting soft plastic lures and depending on just how dark the sky, or visibility is I would choose between brighter natural colours such as shad with a chartreuse tail for example, and alternate with very dark shades, including black and Junebug. Brighter colours help the bass locate your lure in the testing visibility and the dark shades provide a contrast against glare from the clouds. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits can be your best friends amongst your arsenal at this time and those flashy light colours such as lavender shad are enormously effective. On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, clear conditions can present more challenging fishing. Here the less radiant colours can supersede and you will do well to take cognisance of what resident fodder fish are present. 10 SA BASS March 2018
Your choice of lure colour will certainly make a difference to your strike, or catch ratio. There are a variety of subtle variations in watermelon colours available for soft plastic baits and without being too selective when you’re starting out you would do very well choosing Watermelon Black fleck, Green Pumpkin and/or Watermelon Candy/Gold/Blue/ Red fleck. Similarly, hard bait (crankbaits, jerkbaits) and spinnerbait colours can be toned away from brighter colours and allowing only for a lure with a white/light belly flash will do you well.
Hint for the day: In the clear weather conditions be patient and also allow your lure to swim down deeper than you would in overcast situations where bass can often be found very shallow. Water clarity There is really no difference in your colour choice strategy between overcast (cloudy) which is similar to stained water, and then clear skies and good water visibility. This simplifies your choice of colours for you and will make an incredible difference if you implement those same guidelines.
Clive Harries fishing a clear KZN farm dam on an over cast day testing the contrast of his bait selection
vibration. However, the darker colours will prove to be that much more effective on cloudy days as they increase the bait’s contrast against the grey sky. Also, lighter and brighter colours will work really well in the same situation and especially if the water conditions are slightly stained. When the weather is clear and water just as clear it would suit you better to follow those simple guidelines we discussed above and try to keep your lures in the most natural colours possible. Although, your retrieval technique here is also vitally important and will dramatically improve your catch ratio. This is a subject we will look into for the next issue. Enjoy your next experience out 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.
Seasonal changes For a start-up angler the only change in season which would motivate me to make any dramatic change from my advices above is when you are fishing the spawn season. Yes, you can still use those guidelines above and you’ll have a whale of a time. But interestingly this time of year bass are not really thinking about food, as much as they are about nesting. Taking this into consideration you will be well rewarded when changing your strategy to one of encroaching on the bass’ personal space. After all, how would you feel if you were bothered around this phase of your day? Brighter more imposing colour options even bright pink can turn a dull spring fishing day into one that produces all your personal best records more than once in a single day’s fishing.
Surface or topwater fishing Selecting the colour of your topwater lure need not be technical either. In fact, I have found that bass are much less selective about feeding off the top than with a lure that they can inspect beneath the surface before they bite. Ultimately, your weather and light conditions can help you to pick the colour to suit the prevailing conditions. Topwater lures are very effective in both clear and dark conditions, as bass will still rely heavily on sound and SA BASS 11 March 2018
To feature in “Readers go Bassing” send your story and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
This month ’s
HUNTER I have been targeting post spawn bass hunting along the thermocline. Cranks and spinnerbaits are very effective in this technique. Thanks for a great magazine. – Gary Peter
‘n EERSTE Ek het verlede week sommer vir die pret saam met my skoon- en kleinseun naby Newcastle na ‘n plaasdam gegaan en vir die pret ook ‘n bass-stok in my hande geneem. Dit was die heel eerste keer in my lewe. As see-en-rotshengelaar was dit ‘n snaakse gevoel om die plastiese wurmpie in te gooi. Met my derde of vierde gooi het ek hierdie swartbaar geland... groot pret! Geen skaal, geen liniaal, net die foto. En nou is ek ook ge-”hook”. Lekker maand en groete. – Gerhard Cillié
JEALOUS YET? This is my daughter Jade (9), who caught this 5.3kg bass in Paddock, KZN in December 2017. The fish was successfully released back into the dam to fight another day This was her personal best, beating her previous record of 3kg just two weeks prior. She is a keen deep sea fisherwoman as well. She was so proud of that fish and even more proud when she safely released it. Thanks for such an awesome magazine. Loads of info and tips - always a pleasure to read. – Lisa de Beer (Some anglers spend their whole life hoping to catch a bass this size, well done Jade! – Ed) 12 SA BASS March 2018
ONLY I caught this beautiful bass at Wagondrift Dam near Estcourt. It weighed in at 1.3kg and was one of the only fish caught that day. I used a Green Pumpkin Dead Ringer. Thanks for a great magazine. – Michael Morris
ZIM My friends and I went fishing at a private venue in Zimbabwe. The fish were incredibly strong and big. My friend, De Wet, caught a 3,6kg bass and Jan-Karel caught a 4.0kg monster. I managed to land a 3.2kg bass. – Wilhelm Roos
READERS GO BASSING Mail aiil & Win Wi n
E-mail your picture and details of your catch to email@example.com 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.
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.
Last weekend my friend and I went to Albert Falls Dam and had a very productive weekend. We caught alot of fish from the 1kg to the 1.5kg range with the exception of one 2.46kg fish and another 3.15kg fish. – Nathan Gilbert SA BASS 13 March 2018
>> SA BASS
Backyard Bassin – Witbank Dam
itbank Dam, situated on the outskirts of the town of Witbank in Mpumalanga, is a very popular bass angling destination for many. For the residents of the town of Witbank, this is truly backyard bassin’ and for those coming from Johannesburg or Pretoria, it’s a quick one and a half hour drive to the dam. For some though, it has earned the nickname of Witblank Dam due to its moods and more importantly, the temperamental nature of its resident bass. Witbank Dam can be daunting to fish if you head out there for the first time. With a very long river section and a large main dam area, finding 14 SA BASS March 2018
the fish is not really a problem, finding quality fish seems to be the challenge at this venue. Over this past year, I’ve personally fished this dam as often as once a week with good results to show for my efforts. Myself and a few friends started fishing this venue during the winter months and even though the water at times was as low as 11.2ºC, we still managed to get some solid fish. During tournaments held at the venue over the last year, the average winning bag has been in the 6 to 8kg class, which is a respectable bag for five fish. In the not too distant past, some truly big fish have been caught here with a fish pulling the scales
down past the 7kg mark. The dam has various types of structure for all facets of our sport including brush piles, weedbeds, rock beds and piles, jetties and fence lines. Whether you’re a finesse angler like me or maybe you enjoy power fishing and burning cranks or spinnerbaits along the top of weedbeds for an explosive reaction, this venue caters for all styles of angling and even drop-shot enthusiasts can and do their magic here. Bank anglers also have great results and on the day that we went to the venue for this article, a young guy walking the bank got a couple of good fish just casting from the shore.
Saturday evening, I shot some baits to use for our adventure and early the next morning myself, Kevin Holm, Raf Scremin and his brother Rick set out before sunrise for another day on Witbank Dam. Since there are so many places that are affordable to launch along the shores, we did on this occasion arrange with the manager of the Witbank Yacht Club to use their facilities. Most of the other spots to launch happen to be up the river and through the gorge and as we wanted to fish the main dam, we opted to launch where our travelling time would not interfere with actual fishing. While Kevin was pushing the amazingly light Crackleback 360 Lite into the water, I made a quick couple of casts right there next to the launch and landed two fish of around 500g. Rigged, launched and ready, we started up the Yamaha 15hp outboard supplied by Yamaha South Africa and headed into a section that some anglers know as Goose Bay. The bay itself splits down to two arms extending left and right with a rock pile situated around
120m from the shore at the junction where the split takes place. Kevin and myself decided to fish the left side of the bay while Raf and Rick opted for the edge of the weedbeds running down the right hand side. With water clarity looking good and average temperature around 24ยบC, we started working the left bank and soon both of us had a double-up with two fish coming to the boat of around 750g. A 9cm Junebug Seboko did the damage here and this would pretty
much be the pattern for most of the day ahead. Although the dam has a serious amount of weedbeds, we found that as on previous occasions, a light Mojo rig does the job very well and sometimes, just letting the bait sit dead on the bottom got some surprising results. During the course of the morning we landed many fish of between 400 and 700g. To try out the reaction bite, I threw a suspending crank- and spinnerbait, but with no big bites and went back to the finesse option. On
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SA BASS 15 March 2018
two rock piles we put our entry level drop-shot skills to the test and quickly boated another couple of fish. Meanwhile, Raf and Rick were getting some good fish casting their baits right into the thick of the bankside vegetation. We then used the same method and in some spots casting lures into nothing more than one foot of water, ended up with bigger fish for our efforts. Coming back into the main dam, we worked the left bank down towards the corner near a small inlet and picked up another couple of good fish. Getting to the bottom of this left bank, we fished a section absolutely thick with weed and algae but the action was fast and crazy with Kevin throwing a topwater frog and the resulting hit being so violent that the rod snapped. As it usually happens when youâ€™re having a good day out on the water, it was soon time to head back home
and between four anglers on two boats, we ended up on over 100 fish for the day. Admittedly, many small fish abound but with persistence, the bigger fish are there and will bite. Our two biggest fish for the day came in at 1.202kg and 1.620kg. Both caught on an 9cm ATG Seboko. Believe me when I write this, Witbank on the right day has an incredible topwater bite and here weâ€™ve thrown the Savage Gear 3D Duck and the smaller floating soft body Fruck with some massive blow-ups. Witbank Dam takes a bit of time to figure out since it is big but, spend a bit of time here and soon you will figure out a pattern to go by. In our own experience, Junebug, Green Pumpkin Gold, Watermelon Gold, Watermelon Red and the new ATG colours have produced our best results. Local brand Culprit Baits also supplied us with their Culprit Floozy in Watermelon Copper which we
fished along the weeds on a Mojo rig and weightless. At the dam wall we used the Culprit Worm in black with a blue flake, Texas rigged. The dam is not overcrowded with weekend warriors and skiers and even on a busy day, there is plenty of space to fish without being bothered by passing water craft. As the gorge links the main dam and the river section up to Stanâ€™s place, fishing here could be a challenge when boat traffic picks up but the results are always good in this section. Witbank offers good bass fishing only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and wouldnâ€™t cost you a trip to the bank manager to afford going there either. In my opinion, a very nice venue indeed. *John Badenhorst is the editor of SA BASS magazine and a keen angler himself. He is also a custom lure maker for Wolf Lures, Flies & Feathers.
Armor Shad â€œFlukesâ€? is alombekend en een van die beste sagte plastiekase wat omtrent in elke hengelaar se gereitas gevind word. Die Armor Shad is niks anders nie. Die beste manier om â€˜n Armor Shad te hengel is sonder â€˜n gewiggie sodat die aas â€˜n baie natuurlike swemaksie het. Gebruik dit in of naby struktuur waar kleiner vissies gewoonlik teen roofdiere skuil. Die Armor Shad kan vanaf vlak- tot baie diep water gehengel word. In diep water kan die aas aan â€˜n Mojo- of Texas strop gebind word. Mojo-sinkers word gebruik in en rondom watergras terwyl Texas-sinkers tussen bome en takke gebruik word. Gebruik â€˜n IWPHGLXPVZDDUDNVLHVWRNSRQGČľXRURFDUERQO\QHQČ†QKRÂ spoed katrol. Die drie basiese kleure wat elke hengelaar gebruik is Junebug; vroegoggend, laat middag of wanneer dit bewolk is. Watermelon Red wanneer die water helder skoon is en groen watergras sigbaar is. Green Pumpkin werk goed wanneer die ZDWHUHÎ?HQVČ†QNOHXUWMLHKHWRIGLHERGHPNOLSSHULJLV'LHDDVZRUG uitgegooi en ingebring met ligte gewrigaksies wat â€˜n sieklike vissie naboots wat sukkel om te swem.
Skandeer die QR-kode en sien â€˜n kort video van hoe die aas onder water vertoon.
Besoek gerus jou naaste hengelgereiwinkel en vra vir Damiki se Air Craw gelaai met Bass Juice.
16 SA BASS March 2018
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
CAT’s Hollow Frogs
CAT’s Creatures 3”/4” Yomama
4” Bush Pig 4 5” Jerk Minnow
4” Paddle Tail Jerk Minnow
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)
HOOK 3314 - (1/0-5/0)
Tel: (031) 261 42 33 | Fax: (031) 261 43 33 | Cell: 082 892 2674 PO Box 30478, Mayville, Kwa-Zulu Natal, 4058 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.catsﬁshing.co.za
HOOK 3197- (1/0-5/0)
FOR THE RECORD
COLIN MOORE Roland Still Rolling
s Roland Martin tells it, his first fishing trip with the Splendid Splinter “wasn’t so hot.” It was in the late ’60s at Islamorada, Fla., and Martin was substituting for another guide. The latter had asked Martin to take the famous, and famously cantankerous, Ted Williams fishing in his stead because of another commitment. Martin obliged, and did his best to see that the former Boston Red Sox great was kept entertained. In an attempt to pass the time while waiting on the clear flats for the tide to change and the fish to bite, Martin decided to while away the empty minutes by making small talk with His Worshipfulness. “So, Mr. Williams, who do you like for the World Series this fall?” asked the towheaded Martin, a bright-eyed 20something at the time. “Look, you blond-headed %$#@!, you don’t know a $#@% thing about 18 SA BASS March 2018
baseball, and I’m not *%$& going to talk to you about baseball. If you want to talk about fishing, that’s fine, but don’t %$@* talk to me about something you don’t know anything about.” Which suited Martin, because he didn’t want to talk about baseball anyway. There came a time, not too much later, when Williams would frequently call Martin to talk about fishing, and to plead with him to go fishing. Though it puts thoughts into Williams’ mind that we can only conjecture, perhaps he recognized and respected the kindred, unfiltered talent that Martin possessed. The sports for which they became famous were different, but Martin had what Williams had in equal measure – a natural ability and a drive to be the very best at something, or certainly among the best. Most people interested in fishing know Roland Martin the bass fisherman,
but few know that before he became a famous tournament angler, Martin was a saltwater fisherman. His apprenticeship began in 1958, during summer break from the University of Maryland, when Martin and a buddy decided to go fishing in the Florida Keys. Within a few years after that first visit he was guiding there, though his tastes in fishing were always ecumenical. In the ’60s, when he was becoming a well-respected guide on the flats around Islamorada, he was also splitting his time and guiding bass fishermen on Santee Cooper in South Carolina. One of Martin’s Santee Cooper customers was Homer Circle, the eminence grise of fishing writers who recognized Martin’s bass-fishing skill and potential when he met him. Uncle Homer wasn’t the only one to encourage Martin to compete in bass tournaments, though he took some warming up to the notion. In 1969, when Martin attended his first tournament at Lake Eufaula on the Alabama-Georgia border and saw Bill Dance come in with a 15-fish stringer that weighed 83 pounds, Martin remarked to nobody in particular that, “I’ve got no business fishing against these guys.” Even so, several months later he was taking part in his first tournament, an event on Toledo Bend. Martin placed second there and then won the Seminole Lunker tournament on Lake Seminole. Motivated by the championship purse of a whopping $2,219, Martin decided he was, indeed, cut from competitive cloth. During the next 35 years, he fished in 279 events and placed in the top 50 in 191 of them. He won 19 tournaments and was runner-up in 19, and was Angler of the Year nine times. This, in an era when one was as likely as not to draw a Bill Dance, Hank Parker or Rick Clunn as a boat partner, and then have to fish against him. Even so, Martin won more than $1 million, much of it during the years when tournament purses were notoriously meager. About the only thing that he didn’t accomplish, despite 25 chances, is winning a Bassmaster Classic. Martin has been reasonably successful in FLW Tour competition, too. He scored six top-10 finishes beginning in 1996 and was AOY runner-up in 1999. He’s still fighting the good fight; in the challenging Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky
PHOTO BY ANDY HAGEDON
At age 77, Roland Martin is still competing at a high level in Costa FLW Series events and maintains a busy schedule of filming and promotional appearances.
Lake (for which he qualified through the Southeastern Division) last November, Martin couldn’t scratch out a check, but he made a respectable showing. After the Costa event’s Friday evening weigh-in, after fishing for six days in practice and competition, Martin towed his boat to Old Hickory Lake near Nashville, where he and buddies Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston participated in a one-day tournament to raise funds for their Th3 Legends “Cast for a Cure” cancer research charity. Hard work, but Martin still loves it, and it’s all in a typical week’s routine. He continues to film his popular TV program, in which he reacts to every big fish that he hooks as if it is the best one ever. Nowadays, too, he’s involved with Dance and Houston in Th3 Legends, a promotional triumvirate that keeps them front and center in the fishing world. It’s entertaining to see and listen to the three together: Dance the wisecracker who’s never at a loss for words, Houston the clever-tongued jester and Roland, who usually is the foil for his two cohorts. “Roland is one of the most guileless people ever,” says Dance of his longtime friend. “He is what you see on TV, and he hasn’t changed a bit over the years. One thing I have always admired about Roland Martin is that he will not tell you an outright lie. He might be able to dodge telling you the truth, or avoid answering you, but if you just go up to him, look him in the eye and ask him a flat-out-yes-or-no question, he will tell you the truth. That’s pretty uncommon in a fisherman.” Dance is a practical joker of the first order, but early on he lost his ardor to pick on Roland; too easy a target, too much like giving a wedgie to an Eagle Scout. Even so, each man gets in his verbal licks when he can, though Martin is much more used to being on the receiving end. He delivered one of his best shots at Dance in 1980, when the latter announced that he was leaving the tournament scene to pursue his television career. At a tournament press conference, when asked for his reaction to Dance’s retirement announcement, Martin deadpanned that “sooner or later age catches up with everybody, and a man has to know his limitations. I guess Bill knew it was time to call it quits.” That was 38 years ago, and though they’re each 77 years old now, neither man is ready to call it quits. ■ SA BASS 19 March 2018
PUNCTURELESS CULLING SYSTEMS COME OF AGE THE LIST OF NON-INVASIVE CULLING OPTIONS FOR TOURNAMENT ANGLERS IS GROWING
irtually every action a tournament angler takes from the moment a bass comes into the boat until it’s weighed and released involves one common goal: keeping that bass alive and healthy both during the tournament and afterward. In fact, there’s an entire industry dedicated to ensuring that bass caught during tournaments live to swim and fight again, providing everything from rubber landing nets that don’t remove as much of a fish’s protective slime when it comes out of the water, to state-of-the-art livewell systems and water additives.
Now that catch-and-release ethic has made its way into the manufacture of a piece of equipment used by virtually all tournament anglers, but one that – until recently – hasn’t changed much over the years: the culling system. The majority of culling systems on the market involve metal clips whose ends are punched through the membrane around the lower jaw of each bass destined for the livewell. Once an angler catches his limit and then starts culling fish, he can hang what he thinks are his two smallest by their clips on a culling beam to determine which one is heavier. He then returns the lighter bass to the fishery.
By Chad Love Even under the best of circumstances a clip leaves a hole, while at worst it can leave a gaping tear that could interfere with a bass’s ability to feed and breathe. On lakes that host lots of tournaments, bass can be caught and subjected to the stress of culling punctures multiple times, making it harder to keep that fish alive. Enter punctureless culling systems, which typically utilize a clip that attaches to a bass’s jaw without puncturing its lip. These new, non-invasive systems are quickly gaining traction among anglers looking to minimize bass stress and also avoid potential dead-fish penalties.
PHOTO BY ANDY HAGEDON
20 SA BASS March 2018
ACCU-CULL ELITE E-CON TAGS
T-H MARINE G-FORCE CONSERVATION CULL SYSTEM
STAN SLOAN’S ZORRO BAIT CO. TEDDY’S TAGGING SYSTEM
CAL COAST FISHING CLIP-N-CULL
4 Punctureless Culling Systems 1. T-H Marine G-Force Conservation Cull System – Features strong plastic clips and a loop on one end that slides over the included balance beam and lets you connect the cull float cord directly to the balance beam. $49.95 thmarine.com 2. Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Teddy’s Tagging System – A unique clipless system that slides over the fish’s tail. $12 zorrobait.com 3. Accu-Cull ELITE E-con Tags – Features color-coded tubing and locking clips that attach to the lower jaw and hold with zero pressure. $27.99 accucull.com 4. Cal Coast Fishing Clip-N-Cull – Newly redesigned to be smaller, lighter and more streamlined than the original, the Clip-N-Cull includes seven clips to a set and comes with a bracket to store them. $49.99. calcoastfishing.com
FLW Tour pro Matt Stefan, who has been using punctureless clips for several years, became a convert after analyzing how much dead-fish penalties were costing him in tournaments. “For me, fish care is a huge factor,” says Stefan. “Going back and looking at my stats over the course of a season, it seems that every year I’ve had one or two instances where, depending on the tournament, that 4-ounce penalty [per dead fish weighed in] has affected me.” According to Stefan, the decision to use punctureless clips comes down to one question: “What are the things that I can do in my livewell to keep that fish as stress-free as possible? And a punctureless clip is much less invasive than punching a hole in its mouth.” Beyond stress, there are other biological reasons that should encourage anglers to switch to punctureless clips. According to Adam Martin, a fisheries biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, tears in the membrane of a bass’s jaw can affect
how efficiently a bass feeds and breathes. “Some people think that when a bass eats a prey item it simply opens its mouth and swims forward until it’s able to close its mouth around the prey. This is not the case,” says Martin. “Due to fluid dynamics, simply swimming forward with an open mouth would have the effect of pushing the prey away from the mouth by a wave of water being pushed in front of the bass. To overcome this, a bass will expand its mouth both laterally and dorsoventrally [up and down] to create a suction effect, which pulls water and the prey into its mouth. Having a hole in the soft tissue of its mouth results in a slight decrease in the overall suction force. This likely results in a slightly reduced feeding ability.” A bass’s breathing mechanics are also predominantly a result of the suction force created by expanding or contracting its gill flaps, says Martin, and holes from cull clips could also have a potentially negative effect on breathing ability.
Matt Stefan’s Cull Clip Tweak “One thing I like to do is take off the buoys that come with the clips, and replace them with rubber tubing. The idea behind that is most people put the clip on the bottom lip because it’s easier, but that buoyancy has a tendency to keep the bottom lip pulling upward and makes it more difficult for fish to open their mouths. It may make it more difficult for them to breathe. I’ll even use just the clip sometimes so all the fish has is the clip on its lip.”
Although punctureless cull clips are not currently required by FLW, their use is encouraged in the preamble to the official FLW tournament rules. So, are punctureless cull clips becoming a popular trend? Stefan thinks so. “In the past there just weren’t that many good clips out there,” says Stefan. “But I’m using the T-H Marine G-Force Conservation Cull System, and I think it’s the best one out there. Punctureless clips might take a little getting used to initially, but once you get used to it, it’s just as fast as puncturing a hole in a fish’s lip.” ■ SA BASS 21 March 2018
TAKEOFF THE DEAL
2017 COSTA FLW SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP BREAKDOWN
y Kentucky Lake standards, fishing was a challenge when 192 pros and co-anglers squared off in Paris, Tenn., last November at the Costa FLW Series Championship. Still, despite the reduced catch, we saw some history, and 11 Forrest Wood Cup berths were handed out. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more interesting stats from the championship.
Consistency Pays Champion Bradford Beavers won by 8 pounds but did so rather quietly. He won the tournament with impressive consistency, weighing in 15-13, 1500 and 14-15. Beavers was the only pro to catch a limit all three days.
Hicks Wins Co-angler Title In Two Days Justin Hicks of Roanoke, Va., brought in just one keeper on the final day of competition, but he could’ve blanked and still won the co-angler division. Hicks had 27-13 after two days, and second-place finisher Gabriel Scott weighed in only 26-3 in three days. The 2-14 keeper that Hicks landed on day three at least gave him something to hold up for cameras at the final weigh-in – other than the first-place trophy, of course.
A Star Co-angler Co-angler Gary Haraguchi finished ninth, giving him five top-10 finishes with FLW in 2017. Along the way he earned a Costa FLW Series win and FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year honors. Haraguchi also moved into a tie with longtime co-angler Todd Lee for sixth-most top 10s by a co-angler in FLW history with 26. David Williams has the record with 36.
by Curtis Niedermier
Thrift Could Earn Third Qualification Bryan Thrift locked up his 2018 Forrest Wood Cup berth by winning 2017 FLW Tour Angler of the Year, and he double qualified with his seventh-place finish at the championship. Considering Thrift has never finished outside Cup qualification range in the FLW Tour standings in his career, the odds are pretty high that he’ll actually triple-qualify for the 2018 Cup during the 2018 Tour regular season.
’Guch, Meet Grizzle Haraguchi’s five top-10 finishes in 2017 tie him with 46 other co-anglers for 19th most in a single season. The record is eight. Interestingly, Haraguchi’s total wasn’t even the most in 2017. That distinction goes to Harold Grizzle, who earned seven top-10 finishes while competing in the Savannah River, Bama and Bulldog divisions of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League. He finished in the top 10 in at least one qualifier in each of the three divisions, won two regular-season events, and made the top 10 at the Bulldog Super Tournament on Lake Lanier, the Regional on Wheeler Lake, and the Regional on Lake Lanier, which he also won. 22 SA BASS March 2018
Locals Not a Factor Of the pros who finished in the top 10, the only “local,” by any standards, was Todd Hollowell, who lives in Indiana but has fished Kentucky Lake extensively in his career, including when he lived in nearby Murray, Ky., while attending Murray State University. That’s surprising only because Kentucky Lake is usually generous to its local anglers. Also, the top 10 featured anglers from nine states plus South Africa. No state produced two top-10 finishers, and Jason Abram was the only top-10 angler from a state that Kentucky Lake passes through. He lives in Piney Flats, Tenn. – six hours by car from the Paris Landing takeoff site.
A Potential New Youngest Sheldon Collings of Grove, Okla., qualified for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup with his 11th-place finish at the championship. Collings, 19, won’t celebrate his 20th birthday until Feb. 2. When he competes at Lake Ouachita in August, he’ll be the youngest angler to ever compete as a pro in the Cup unless another younger person qualifies before then. Jacob Wheeler and Patrick Walters also fished the Cup at age 20 – Wheeler in 2011, and Walters in 2015. Wheeler was 28 days younger at the 2011 Cup than Walters was at the 2015 Cup. Collings, when he launches on the first day of the 2018 Cup, will surpass Wheeler as the youngest Cup pro by 138 days. Wheeler still holds the record as the youngest angler to win the Forrest Wood Cup, which he accomplished at age 21 in 2012.
Jumbo Fields The 2017 championship hosted 192 pros, which is tied with the 2016 championship on Table Rock as the third largest Costa FLW Series Championship field of all time. The record was set on Pickwick in 2005 when 200 pros competed.
A Big Bag And A Bust Bryan Thrift stunned just about everyone on day one when he weighed in 27 pounds, 8 ounces to take what appeared to be a commanding lead of more than 7 pounds. On day two, Thrift weighed only two bass for 3-9, and he blanked on the final day. Thrift finished seventh. Interestingly, Chad Foster, who led on day two of the 2017 championship, also blanked on day three.
A Tough Bite On days one and two, pros weighed in 44 limits – 11.46 percent of possible limits. That’s poor, but far better than the 2001 championship, which was held on Pickwick. In that tournament, only four limits – 1.26 percent of the possible limits – were weighed in the first two days. The second worst limit percentage in the championship also occurred at Pickwick in 2005, when 19 limits were weighed in two days for a 4.75-percent limit catch. The 2017 championship ranks as the sixth toughest in terms of percentage of possible limits caught during the qualifying rounds. The regular-season Costa FLW Series event held in May 1999 on Kentucky Lake saw only 24 limits – 7.41 percent of possible limits – weighed in the first two days, which is the lowest rate in history on the Kentucky/Barkley system in a Costa event. The 2017 championship had the second lowest percentage. ■
SA BASS 23 March 2018
January 2018 Results Gauteng
Gauteng 1: Team Valet Storage - 7.875kg 2: Team New Anchor - 7.055kg 3: Team Viper - 7.000kg 4: Team Boom Shaka Laka - 6.875kg 5: Team Stompie - 6.575kg
L-t-r: Wayne Louw, Michael Matthee, Dirk Smith, Calman Grobler, Alan Morgan, Kevin Lofstedt, Hayden Blunt, Barry Blunt
24 SA BASS March 2018
Mpumalanga 1: Team EQB - 6.850kg 2: Team J&B - 4.045kg 3: Team Woolly bugger Farm - 1.740kg 4: Team RTM - 1.325kg
Cast-for-Cash Mpumalanga - January 2018 - Grootdraai Dam
Limpopo 1: Team Suzuki - 7.905kg 2: Team Bouw er - 7.135kg 3: Team Beli VC - 7.040kg 4: Team DBS - 6.450kg 5: Team Sniper 3 - 5.945kg
Cast-for-Cash Limpopo - January 2018 - Tzaneen Dam: Top 5 Placed Winners & Lucky Draw winners
SA BASS 25 March 2018
1: Team SA Rare Game Breeders - 5.600kg
1: Team Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 - 6.250kg
1: Team Picasso - 3.815kg
2: Team Lucky Strike MK2 - 4.800kg
2: Team Predator - 6.025kg
2: Team J&J - 3.680kg
3: Teams GreensÂ˛ - 3.200kg
3: Team Yamaha Rapala - 4.970kg
3: Team Jogi - 2.895kg
4: Team Solly 's Anglers Rustenburg - 2.500kg
4: Team R & R - 2.660kg
5: Team Catastrofix - 1.200kg
5: Team Bass Warehouse Fishtec - 1.300kg
Cast-for-Cash The SA BASS Cast-for-Cash bass tournaments are qualifying rounds to the FLW SA Championship. Each team consists of maximum two persons per boat who are allowed to weigh five fish per day. Because it is a catch-andrelease event, teams are penalised for weighing any fish that cannot swim away from the way station. The top five heaviest bags for the day are declared winners at prize giving. Apart from the cash prizes contestants also have a chance to win various lucky draw prizes, but they have to be present at prize giving to receive the prize. Next event: Visit our websites for full results and tournament dates www.sabass.com and www.flwsouthafrica.com
Big Fish January 2018 - Cast-for-Cash Report >> Hannes Lindeque Sponsors & Benefit Providers: SA BASS would like to thank the following sponsors in supporting our Cast-for-Cash FLW tournament trial: Garmin SA, MasterCars Wonderboom, Arma Juris, Yamaha SA, Brilliant Effects, Ganiâ€™s Angling and Blue Water Gear. Every month the SA BASS Cast-for-Cash / FLW rig visits a different region to provide maximum publicity to our sponsors. In January we visited Gauteng at Rust de Winter. We had great weather and all the teams weighed fish with an average weight of 1.022kg. The winning strategies proofed to be soft plastic baits fished weightless early morning around grass patches, between 2 to 6ft. Favourite baits included Horny Toads, twitch baits and Super Flukes. Mike Matthee and Wayne Louw, our current FLW SA Champions, had a kicker of 2.01kg in their bag and a total bag weight of 7.875kg. However, the heaviest fish for the day, weighing 2.330kg, was caught by Nardus Harmse & Stephen Williams on a lipless crankbait in 12ft water. In total we weighed 172 fish with a total weight of 175.77kg Our January Winners: The top winning teams in each region were as follows: 26 SA BASS March 2018
7.905kg - LP: Jan & Basie Booysen 7.875kg - GP: Mike Matthee & Wayne Louw 6.850kg - MP: Tewie Wessels & Martin Ferreira 6.250kg - KZN: Neels Beneke & Robert Olivier 5.600kg - NW: Anton Vogt & Rino Sada 3.815kg - OFS: John Bulpitt & Rob McNielage Next event: Next month the SA BASS Cast-for-Cash / FLW rig will be visiting Limpopo at Injaka Dam. Visit our website www.sabass.com for all the dates and venues
Stephen Williams & Nardus Harmse
IF YOUR WIFE ASKS “DOES THIS SKIRT LOOK GOOD?” AND YOU REPLY “YES, IT MATCHES THE FORAGE.”
YOU’RE A CAST-FOR-CASH KIND OF ANGLER
The Cast-for-Cash tournament series, the monthly social tournament trail for all those anglers who are mad about bassing and mad about fun. For further information visit www.sabass.com
>> SA BASS PRODUCT NEWSS
Going Batty For an avid bass ﬁsherman, one always has his go-to lures that he or she rigs up ﬁrst when they arrive at any body of water depending on weather and water conditions. When a new lure comes on to the market there are often times of hesitation before actually purchasing and using it. >> Luke Coetzer* am one of those people who has his go-to lures and often hesitate when putting a new lure in my arsenal box, until I came across the Savage Gear 3D Bat which changed my whole topwater game from the first cast. The lure has a realistic look to it, combined with the most realistic swimming action from any topwater lure I have ever used. I was so excited to throw this lure that as soon as I had it, no less than 15 minutes later I was next to the water rigging up and ready to test. The lure’s weight is perfect, enabling the angler to cast far with no over runs, to doing a small pendulum swing and landing it on target smoothly. Rigged up and ready to go, I cast my 3D Savage Bat lure in and started my slow retrieve. The action the lure was giving off was one of distressful swimming and not even a couple of reel turns into my retrieval, this bass barrels along and smashes my lure so hard that the it breaches out the water, making it one of the most aggressive takes I have seen in a long time. Cast for cast I was on a fish each time. Then I took some time to play around with the retrieval of the lure. I found that the best method of retrieval was as follows… I would cast in, twitch my lure five times causing some disruption on the water then 28 SA BASS March 2018
leave it for ten seconds then reel five strokes and pause again and I would follow this sequence till fully retrieved. Usually after the first twitch and reel, I would be hooked up. The versatility of movements the lure provides and the colours it comes in make it an awesome top water lure to throw. Needless to say this is now one of my first lures I will cast when arriving at any body of water. Designed in Europe last year, this bait is also the winner of many international awards and now available from all good tackle stores locally. Originally designed to catch pike, sander and salmon, this lure has carved a road into the realm of bass fishing around the world. I suppose the whole magnet around the range from Savage Gear is the fact that the lures catch fish and have probably the most life-like appearance amongst so many other topwater lures available. Most of the bass in our water have seen the majority of lures in some form or another and here, the lure is something new and it looks very natural too. It’s that time of the year again where the late afternoons scream for some surface action and I can’t wait to get out there and throw my bat again. Go Batty and grab one, cast it out and hold on. *Luke Coetzer is a pro staff member of Deeper Sonar in South Africa. He is also a keen finesse, bass and fly fishing angler.
>> SA BASS INDUSTRY NEWS
Acquired Navionics >>
Cliff Pemble, the combined companies will offer the â€œbest available coverageâ€? to marine customers
armin Ltd, the multinational marine electronics manufacturer, has acquired Navionics, the Italian producer of navigational charts for the marine industry. Financial terms have not been disclosed. Garmin plans to retain the Navionics brand and its global staff of
more than 350. It will also continue to support existing customers. â€œNavionics has long been known as a leading supplier of navigational charts and mobile applications for boaters,â€? said Garminâ€™s President and CEO, Cliff Pemble. â€œBy combining Navionicsâ€™ content with Garminâ€™s BlueChart and LakeVĂź content, we
will offer the best available coverage to our marine customers.â€? Navionics founder and President Giuseppe Carnevali said that Garmin was the ideal company to carry the strong brand and reputation of Navionics into the future. Headquartered in Viareggio, Navionics produces a popular boating app as well as a large range of nautical charts for oceans, rivers and lakes. It operated subsidiaries in the UK, Australia, India and the US. Garmin, based in Olathe, Kansas, with corporate headquarters in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, also operates in the automotive, aviation, outdoor and sports markets. Last month it was named Manufacturer of the Year for the third consecutive year by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and dominated the Associationâ€™s product awards with eight wins.
Air Craw :LWKWKHVHDVRQIRUEDVVČ´VKLQJKHUHRQRXUVKRUHV KRUHV DWIXOOVZLQJDQGVRPHRIWKHEHVWGD\VVWLOOWRFRPHDVZH DVZH KHDGLQWRDXWXPQ'DPLNLKDYHVRPHWUXO\UHPDUNDEOH NDEOH EDLWVQRWWRRQO\HQWLFHWKHDQJOHUEXWWKRVHWKDWVZLP VZLP EHORZWRR 7KH 'DPLNL $LU &UDZ LV DYDLODEOH LQ DOO WKH SRSXODU XODU JDLQ FRORXUV IURP WKLV ZHOO NQRZ EUDQG DQG RQFH DJDLQ LQFOXGHV WKHLU SDWHQWHG VFHQW WKDW VHHPV WR JHW PRUH RUH ELWHVWKDQXVXDO7KHURXQGHGERG\RIWKHEDLWVLWVYHU\ HU\ ZHOORQDKRRNZKHQXVHGDVDWUDLOHUWRJHWKHUZLWK\RXU XU FKRLFHRIMLJ:KDWPDNHVWKLVFUDZGLÎ?HUHQWLVZKDWWKH KH WV QDPHLPSOLHVDQGKHUHWKHFODZVKDYHDLUČ´OOHGSRFNHWV WKDWDFWXDOO\OLIWWKHFODZVXSRÎ?WKHERWWRPZKHQLQD D W UHVWLQJ PRWLRQ JLYLQJ WKH EDLW PXFK PRUH PRYHPHQW WKDQ EHIRUH 6RPH RI WKH EHVW WDNHV ZH KDG GXULQJ J WHVWLQJ ZDV ZKHQ ZH OHIW WKH EDLW VLWWLQJ GHDG RQ WKH JURXQGZLWKWKHRFFDVLRQDOWZLWFKHYHU\QRZDQGWKHQ )LVKHGRQD&DUROLQDULJLWLVDOVRDJUHDWEDLWWRSURVSHFW WKHHGJHVRIZHHGEHGVDQGGURSRÎ?VDVWKHVLQNHUIDOOV DQGGXHWRWKHWUDSSHGDLULQWKHFODZVWKHEDLWIDOOVDQG WUDLOVEHKLQGOHDYLQJWKHFODZVXSLQWKHERG\RIZDWHUDV DFUDERUFUDZZRXOGKDYHDVDPHWKRGRIGHIHQFH7KLV
VHHPVWRVZLWFKWKHEDVVRQDQGWKHWDNHVDUHDOZD\V YHU\SRVLWLYH LWL $LU &UDZV DUH SDFNHG LQ EDWFKHV RI HLJKW ZLWK D KHDY\GXW\]LSORFNRQWKHSDFNHWWRKHOSPDLQWDLQEDLW IUHVKQHVV Visit jour nearest tackle store and ask for Damikiâ€™s Burn Grub loaded with Bass Juice
When things get tough, itâ€™s time to throw a grub
>> SA BAARS KLASKAMER
Baarshengel Kan vir Kinders Kinderspeletjies Wees Om vandag se kinders vir lang periodes geïnteresseerd te hou in ‘n spesiﬁeke aaktiwiteit, kan nogal uitdagend wees… Laat staan nog lang periodes van baarshengel terwyl die baars nie wil byt nie. >> Philip Kemp*
D e, Euniice ,E Die skrywer se dogter ol atr igk met ‘n toeges
Kinders sal selfs hulle voete nat kry, met modder tussen die ton e, net om daardie eerste baars te land
30 SA BASS March 2018
it is ‘n feit dat kinders van vandag hopeloos te veel tyd voor die televisie, rekenaars en met selfone spandeer. Studies het ook bewys dat kinders se motoriese vaardighede, perifirale visie en hulle vermoë om kreatiewe denke te openbaar drasties agteruit gegaan het. Ons jong ouers is ook so besig met hulle beroepe, sewe-uur soggens tot laat saans, dat die kwaliteit tyd met hulle kinders verlore gaan en nooit weer herstel kan word soos wat die kind ouer word nie. Na 27 jaar in die onderwys kom ek net meer tot die besef dat ons kinders in die gerekenariseerde wêreld van ons, werklikwaar meer tyd nodig het in ‘n wêreld ver weg van die stad se gewoel. En wat kan dan beter wees as juis kwaliteit tyd in die natuur met ‘n baarsstokkie in jou kind se hand?
Jong kinders en veral jong seuns bly nie lank geïnteresseerd in die hengel nie, veral as die baars traag is om te byt. Hoe nou gemaak?
Om die hengel vir die kind so eenvoudig as moontlik te hou is baie belangrik. Hulle is van jongs af nuuskierig en wil meer weet en vrae vra. Die belangrikste is om jou eie visstok neer te sit en werklik die tyd te gebruik om jou kind se vrae te beantwoord en hom/haar touwys te maak. Indien so ‘n hengeluitstappie gereël word, is dit dalk raadsaam om glad nie eers ‘n visstok saam te neem nie. Om vir jou kind ‘n onderwyser te wees is leersaam vir die kind en ook vir jou. Daar is soveel wat ek self geleer het in die tyd wat ek my seun die fynere kunsies van baarshengel geleer het. Ek het vroëer jare ook vinnig geleer dat jy vir jou kind ‘n visstok moet uitsoek wat so kort as moontlik is, verkieslik so lank as wat jou kind self is. Kinders hou nie van stadig hengel nie en daarom is dit belangrik om jou kind besig te hou met ‘n aas wat gegooi word en dadelik ingekatrol word. Sensitiewe visstokke is dus nie so belangrik in die geval nie. Ek het grootgeword met toegesig katrolle (closed-face Zebco of Shakespeare katrolle) en koffiemeulkatrolle (of spinningkatrolle soos hulle beter bekend staan). Hierdie katrolle werk baie eenvoudig en is ook meer kindervriendelik. Inlyn
draaispoelkatrolle (baitcasters) word op ‘n jong ouderdom beslis nie vir kinders aanbeveel nie. Probeer ook om nie aas met drie-angelhoeke te gebruik nie; en indien moontlik, kan die weerhakie op die hoek verwyder of met ‘n tang plat gedruk word. Dit is net soveel veiliger vir die jonger kinders en medehengelaars, veral as julle op ‘n boot met beperkte spasie hengel. Gewone swaailemme (spinnerbaits), grubs of enige plastiese aas met bewegende aanhangsels en selfs wurms met stertjies, wat vinnig gehengel kan word, werk baie goed. Maak egter seker dat die hoek se punt altyd ingesteek is om te keer dat die kind gereeld vashaak. Dit frustreer kinders baie vinnig en hulle gaan dan baie gou die visstok neersit en na iets anders soek om hulle te vermaak. In-lyn swaailemme (in-line spinners soos Black Fury’s) is beslis nie die tipe aas wat ek sou aanbeveel nie. Behalwe die gevaarlike drie-angelhoeke veroorsaak die soort aas dat jou lyn opwen en dit veroorsaak heelwat probleme as die kind met ‘n koffiemeulkatrol hengel.
Om ‘n jong hengelaartjie se belangstelling te prikkel kan die ouer selfs op naweke hulle kinders na ‘n naby geleë sportveld neem om daar hulle gooie te oefen. Omrede baarshengelaars oor heelwat vaardighede soos akkuraatgooi moet beskik, is dit dalk raadsaam om klein teikengooi-kompetisies te reël met jou kind. Hulle geniet dit verskriklik baie en is boonop baie beter voorbereid vir hulle eerste hengel-ekskursie. Die damkeuse van waar gehengel gaan word is baie belangrik. Daardie kleiner dammetjies met ‘n groot visbevolking, veral kleiner baars, is ‘n baie goeie beginpunt. Die idee is dat jou kind met ‘n glimlag op sy gesiggie
wil wegstap en graag gou weer wil gaan hengel. Dit kan gebeur dat die hengel moeilik is en daar geen vis gevang word nie. Probeer om so ‘n dag nie onnodig langer uit te rek nie, omrede dit ook vir die kind nie lekker is nie. Die hengel kan in so ‘n geval eerder oorstaan na ‘n latere geleentheid. Vroulief kan ook seker maak dat die uitstappie interessant afloop deur ‘n kosblik met allerlei lekkernye in te pak. Maak ook seker jou kind is goed beskerm teen die son. Maak ook van die geleentheid gebruik om vir jou kind iets uit die natuur te leer, en bewus te wees van dit wat om hom gebeur. Leer hulle om tussen verskillende voëlsoorte te onderskei, hoekom sekere voëls juis in sekere areas van die dam voorkom en wat hulle eet. Om byvoorbeeld die klein visvangertjies dop te hou en te kyk waar hulle jag maak op klein vissies, kan ook belangrik wees omdat dit juis daar is waar baars ook sal voorkom. Oppas om egter te tegnies te raak, want dit kan hom eerder afskrik as aanspoor om verder te hengel. Leer ook jou kind om die baars korrek te hanteer en om byvoorbeeld nie met droë hande aan die vis te raak nie. Droë hande beskadig die slymlaag op die vis wat die vis beskerm teen aanvalle van allerlei bakterieë in die water. Moet ook asseblief nie groter baars net aan die kakebeen optel of laat hang nie. Natuurlik gaan jou kind by jou wil weet hoekom jy dit dan nie mag doen nie. Maak seker dat jy altyd gereed is met ‘n goeie logiese antwoord indien jou kind jou moontlik bevraagteken. Die voortbestaan van hierdie wonderlike sport van ons is elke ouer (hengelaar) se verantwoordelikheid en hoe ons dit aan ons kinders gaan oordra hang van onsself af. Rondom jou volgende hengeluitstappie daag ek jou dus uit; en ek weet dit gaan baie wilskrag van jou verg; om jou kind en sy visstokkie in te pak, jou eie stokke by die huis te los, en al jou tyd op jou kind te vestig en sodoende die voortbestaan van ons sport te verseker.
se seun, met Maurice, die skrywer iddag met ‘n tm laa t wa rs ‘n mooi baa ang is gev bo-loper padda
‘n Kind se eerste swart baar is altyd groot pret en iets om te onthou
*Philip Kemp is ‘n gesoute swartbaarhengelaar en ‘n gereelde bydraer. SA BASS 31 March 2018
Beef it up! Autumn is going to be an explosion of unbelievable bass fishing as the fish get a hint of winter setting in and the necessity to build up their fat reserves to carry them through the colder months.
>> Roger Donaldson*
hy do bass do this? If you’ve spent enough time on the water during the summer months you will notice how life is so much more abundant around the waters edges; all classes, including amphibians, insects, fish and so many others such as small birds, snakes, lizards and even worms. The activity and intensity of this life around the winter period reduces remarkably compared to summer and the bass realise it long before we do. As we bend around the corner into autumn bass anglers can capitalise on this seasonal change. At their best bass are a hungry species to say the least. Come autumn they have specific objectives in mind and their aggression almost becomes more obsession. They want to fill up on the most food that they can and will chase it down in order to fulfil their needs.
The bigger your bait the better – beef it up! Here are some sure fire strategies to round up all those bass over the next few months and make for some great fishing before the cold weather sets in. Interestingly, the warmer water over summer often contains less oxygen than water during the cooler autumn months. Hence, there is the old advice that early morning and late afternoon fishing can be more productive in summer around the cooler temperatures of the day. Looking 32 SA BASS March 2018
at autumn however, these cooler periods are extended and the feeding windows therefore widen. That’s great news for the coming months! My first advice would be to launch yourself into your box of crankbaits and don’t look back. Today’s variety of hard baits allows you to fish into almost every situation, bar thick vegetation. I remember watching Kevin VanDam the international angler cleaning up at an event whilst fishing a lipless crankbait through hydrilla weed which was growing up on a sandy flat just off a channel break. What a great combination. By ripping the baits treble hooks through the hydrilla he managed to entice every hungry resident bass into feeding and he ended up winning the tournament. This epitomises the art of autumn fishing, not that we’re all aiming at winning the BASSMaster Classic. It doesn’t mean that you need to go to VanDam extremes by any means. Bass will be migrating across the lake and looking for food as they do so. When anglers stick to fishing slow moving soft plastic lures they can dramatically limit their chance of locating bass on the move. This is where crankbaits can help you capitalise as they cove large areas of water quickly. Casting and retrieving until you’ve found where the bass are most active at any given time of the day. Although I expressed my desire of larger baits during this time I certainly won’t overlook the medium and smaller crankbait options. I am merely highlighting that the larger
Baron Combrinck proving every available crankbait in the box was still successful at Inanda Dam during March
>> SA BASS STRATEGY
lures are most welcome during autumn months and you can feel confident fishing them now. The diving depth of a crankbait relies heavily on the size of its lip and then of course your line diameter. The thicker your line the more resistance the lure encounters when trying to dive to its maximum swimming depth.
There is never one particular depth in which the bass may be found during the autumn period and every dam will also have its changing conditions which relate to water levels, bait population and weather conditions. This brings about the necessity to equip yourself sufficiently with crankbaits to reach the variable depths in order to seek out the ‘active’ fishing zones. Once located it goes without saying that you can choose to settle down after landing a few fish and if you desire to reap the full reward of the area perhaps eventually exchange your crankbait for your favourite soft plastic lure to finish. This article was specifically focused on the benefits of crankbait fishing around autumn, yet there certainly are
other creative ways to take advantage of the season ahead. This will still include topwater fishing and running through your selection of spinnerbaits. So now that you are not short of choice get out there and put these strategies to the test! *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 email@example.com Authorised Financial Services Provider: FSP21529
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60 BOATS ONLY R1000 per boat (Max 2 anglers) VARIOUS OTHER PRIZES Entry fee includes: x Entry into Bivane Dam x Camping x Lamb spit braai (Friday night) x Goodie bag : T-Shirts & badge (First 50 entries)
Team prize for the 2ndd bigge bi biggestt bag
CONTACT: CO ONT Ajay 082 808 9999 / Louwtjie 060 527 7306 / Christo 083 289 5605 SA BASS 33 March 2018
>> SA BASS INTERNATIONAL | COLUMBIA RIVER SPECIAL
One of the many barges we passed on our way upriver
Cold Front Reactions Columbia River Smallmouth Adventure: Lake Umatilla (Boardman and Arlington, Oregon)
>> Story and Images by Fishingboy and David Swendseid (DUO Realis U.S.A)
n spring 2017, I had the honor of fishing with David Swendseid, the R&D Manager of DUO Realis U.S.A, on the Columbia River where we had recently experienced a reaction bite slugfest under prefrontal conditions that dropped on Lake Celilo unexpectedly. We were crushing big weights on Lake Celilo, hoping to ride the momentum to our next stop, Lake Umatilla, but a passing cold front stalled the bites that have been going great for us. Check out this two-part article where I bring you the highlights of Day-4 as well as some insights into our approach to unlock cold front reaction bites on a day where conditions were flat out tough.
Columbia River’s Lake Umatilla Before we talk about the fishing focuses, let us check out some facts and the lay of the lake of the Columbia River’s Lake Umatilla, a 177km long reservoir that stretches between John Day Dam to McNary Dam, straddling the border of Oregon and Washington. Lake Umatilla was created in 1971, with the construction of the run-of-the-river, John Day Dam, 45km east of the city of The Dalles, and McNary Dam, 1.6km east of the town of Umatilla. Lake Umatilla is one of the largest reservoirs on the Columbia River, with a surface area totalling approximately 223 square kilometers. Lake Umatilla offers some of the best fishing for walleye on the Columbia River which many anglers believe will one day produce a world record. The current state record, caught in 1990, is just less than 9kg. Walleye catches are common between 1.5 and 5.9kg and are found throughout this pool, but most of the conductive areas are from Arlington upriver to Umatilla. 34 SA BASS March 2018
Smallmouth bass fishing is also popular in Lake Umatilla. Tournament catches in this pool are on par with the best smallmouth fisheries in the U.S., and a winning bag of smallmouths on could easily exceed 10kg. Umatilla Park has some areas that are good for bank fishing for smallmouth and other warm water species such as largemouth bass. Besides walleye and bass, salmon and steelhead fishing can be good at the mouths of John Day and Umatilla Rivers. Steelhead fishing is productive from September through to January. Shad run occurs near Umatilla River in late spring and early summer. Crappie fishing can be good during fall, particularly around docks and marinas. Located on the eastern fringes of the Columbia River Gorge’s transitional zone, the landscape around Lake Umatilla is a dramatic change in scenery, from vegetation in the transition zones in the west to dry expansive grasslands in the semi-arid climate east. Most of the shoreline of Lake Umatilla is predominantly bordered by highways and railroads right up to the city of Boardman. However, there are several recreational facilities that provide boating access to anglers, such as Boardman Marina and Port of Arlington where we launched on Day-4.
Into rough water again Launching at Boardman Marina, we charted a course east but conditions out on Lake Umatilla were insanely rough from the get-go. The wind was blowing tremendously strong and the long ride to our fishing area was excruciating rough out of the marina. Unfortunately, conditions out on a primary area we intended to fish were not looking good either. We were
The waves come crashing on one of the islands
forced to fall back into a protected area, where we ended up catching only a walleye and a little smallmouth, by incredibly high swells and heavy current. For the first time, conditions out on the Columbia River actually made me felt nervous. More so, with further unstable conditions blowing our way, we decided to head back to the marina and replan. Safety is always the top
priority when you are fishing on the Columbia River.
Into a cold front Having made it back to the marina safely, we made an impulsive decision to relaunch at the Port of Arlington and headed downriver to check out the west pool. It was an unplanned move but in reality, we were headed directly into a cold front unknowingly.
One of the many riprap banks we fished in Lake Umatilla
The calm waters in the Port of Arlington
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SA BASS 35 March 2018
Swendseid catches a solid fish on the Realis Crank M65 8A
Swendseid caught this walleye on a DUO Realis Crank M65 8A in sea-like conditions
A cold front is defined as a leading edge of moving masses of cold, dense air which forces warmer air upward. From a bass fishing perspective, cold fronts are about as bad as anything can be. That might be true for largemouths. For smallmouths, however, they do not behave like largemouths and respond differently to the effects of cold fronts. There are lots of theories out there as to how the fluctuations in air pressure affect both largemouths and smallmouths. However, we cannot precisely address the biological responses to cold fronts fish exhibit because science is not able to fully understand them yet. What we do understand is that we can continue to catch smallmouths by adhering to several tactical approaches, such as slow, persistent presentations. Drop-shot is a potent weapon, as well as finesse football jigs dragged slowly,
downsizing or even dead-sticking and etc. In fact, the same ideology also applies to peacock bass in tropical conditions in Malaysia. From what I have observed and learned fishing on Lake Umatilla with Swendseid, slowing down is not the one and only answer. In reality, there is a multitude of variables as to how bass respond to cold fronts, and every cold front is technically different. In that respect, you will sometimes find fish that respond better to certain reaction baits even under frontal conditions, specifically in areas that exhibit stability in water temperature or some form of stability. Again, that philosophy applies to peacock bass fishing in Malaysia. To be continuedâ€Ś
A notification sign for boaters in the Port of Arlington
The Realis Crank M65 8A is crankbait that is made to catch fish in rough conditions 36 SA BASS March 2018
>> SA BASS INDUSTRY NEWS
Why is Killing the News >> Joe Sills
n 2013, Facebook announced a push into news. Last week, in the early days of 2018, it’s backing out. The news was announced by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, late last week, and the change is already taking place on your News Feed. “…recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content - posts from businesses, brands and media - is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Zuckerberg posted on his personal Facebook page last Thursday. “It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do - help us connect with each other.” That may seem like a lot of “coach speak” but the gist of it is this - business pages on Facebook are likely to see their reach and engagement plummet. If your website or business has been relying on Facebook for traffic and customers, the honeymoon could be over.
Who will take the biggest hit? Right now, brands and publishers are set to take the biggest hit from Facebook. Experts say Zuckerberg’s 180-degree tilt in strategy is a direct reflection of today’s tumultuous political climate, in which his company has been accused of complacency in the hi-jacking of the 2016 U.S. election by Russia, and failing to police the spread of unverified news organizations on its platform. Unable or unwilling to clean the well - 126 million people were reached by some 80,000 posts by Kremlin-linked Russian contractors
during the election cycle - Facebook is opting to dry it up. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” Zuckerberg said. “And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard - it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” In short: you’ll see fewer posts from brands and more posts of family photos. Zuckerberg knows this move will force people to spend less time on his network by decreasing time spent watching videos and interacting with articles and images from brands, but with two billion active users, Facebook has currency to spend. There’s a flip side to this. There’s the opportunity for outlets willing to rely less on social networks to set their fate, publishers who have diversified their traffic sources, who have pushed back on Facebook’s News Feed carrots, who have built (or are building) brands that resonate with audiences beyond what can be bought or given. Value not gifted by Facebook could be a very good thing for publishers. Last week’s news garnered attention nationwide from the New York Times, CNBC, Adweek, and Tech Crunch. Brands like Buzzfeed, which gained credibility over the social network, suddenly find themselves in peril. As for your tackle shop? It’s a good idea to start diversifying the way you reach customers if you’ve been relying heavily on Facebook. Outreach capabilities like email lists, SMS lists, and physical addresses are now more valuable than ever. As for that Instagram account you’ve been putting off? It’s probably time to get it going.
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BASSIN KIDS OUTREACH PROJECT A Division of SA BASS Magazine & South African Bass Angling Sport Society
01 - 07 April 2018 We at SA BASS are inviting all avid young anglers between the ages of 7-16 years to join us for loads of fun and adventure. Venue: Boskoors Farm, 30km North of Pretoria on the Moloto Road.
Bookings are essential! We have limited spots available as we like to keep the number of campers at a minimum, to ensure that every child gets the necessary individual attention and guidance. Please call Wilma on 065 849 3264 or 083 306 2718 to book your spot. For more information visit www.sabass.com or e-mail email@example.com
>> SA BASS PRODUCT/INDUSTRY NEWS
Mercury Fury 4 7KH8OWLPDWH%DVV3URS Mercury Propellers is giving “heavy boat” anglers just what they’ve been asking for by introducing the Fury 4 propeller last year.
ass tournament anglers who load their boats with the latest fishing technology require a propeller that will help them reach top speeds ahead of the competition. The Fury 4 has four high-progressive-rake blades made of Mercury’s X7 Alloy for additional lift and superior top speed on heavy, tournament-loaded bass boats. The Fury 4 features 8 PVS holes that get boats on plane faster and deliver excellent shallow-water launches. What’s more, the Fury 4 delivers stable handling and superior holding in rough water, so anglers can get to the weigh-in on time no matter what conditions might be. Mercury’s Fury 4 complements the original Fury propeller, so now there’s a Fury propeller for all anglers. While the three-blade original Fury set the speed standard for
bass boats with light and medium loads, the Fury 4 gives competitive bass anglers with tournament-loaded boats an additional 1.6km/h over the Fury – making it the fastest propeller in the world for heavy tournament-loaded boats. The new Fury 4 from Mercury Propellers is available in 24-, 25- and 26-inch pitches in right-hand rotation. It is recommended for tournament-loaded bass boats with outboard power in excess of 200hp. Visit your nearest Mercury dealer or visit www.rutherfordmarine.co.za
Realtree Fishing teams up with FLW
ealtree Fishing has followed the recent release of its camouflage brand by partnering with the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in a unique deal. The Columbus, Georgia company is now the exclusive camouflage pattern of the FLW and will receive exposure across all the competition’s media platforms. Realtree President and CEO Bill Jordan and FLW President of Marketing Trish Blake both expressed their delight with the agreement. “We are proud to announce our partnership with Realtree, an industry leader that shares the same enthusiastic outdoors audience as FLW,” said Trish Blake, FLW President 40 SA BASS March 2018
of Marketing. “Their camouflage has been a favourite amongst hunters and outdoorsman for many years and we are excited to showcase the high-quality Realtree Fishing gear and apparel. This partnership is truly a win-win
for our anglers, fans and the sport of professional bass fishing.” Realtree Fishing is an extension of parent brand Realtree, which describes itself as the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer and licensor.
Photo by Patterson Leeth
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>> SA BASS TACTICS
Jerkbaiting Into Autumn Jerkbaits have a special place in the tackle box as they can ignite your bass ﬁshing day when you’re least expecting it …
>> Roger Donaldson*
hilst shopping at my local tackle dealer I was confronted by the owner who asked me to advise a client about what lures to purchase. Although a very broad answer can be surmised, I was excited to provide a little insight to my past and most recent fishing experiences and to suggest a handful of lures for the fishermen to choose from for his next adventure. I was slightly taken aback by the clients comment when I suggested one of the lures to be a jerkbait. He quite simply stated; “They don’t work.” So for those of you out there who may reflect similarly about this little lure I’d like to give you some food for thought. Every lure has its place and there will be times and places that will not suit a specific lure. Jerkbaits will certainly be an option in any season. Here are a few hints on how to go about fishing jerkbaits in autumn. Bass don’t always feed around the same area. They move around according to water level changes, water quality, what structure and for many other reasons not forgetting 42 SA BASS March 2018
the most important one … where their prey are hanging out. The great advantage of a jerkbait in this situation is that you can fish the lure fast, and in so doing covering as much water as possible in search of bass. So off the bat, it’s a great option to start your day when you’re not sure where the fish have chosen to feed. In saying all this, you’re going to need to do a few things to make sure you’re fishing the jerkbait in the most effective manner. Your technique needs to be ‘spot on’ to induce those explosive bites that this lure is infamous for. Remember that there are ‘hard’ jerkbaits, such as the Rapala X-Rap, SPRO McStick, LiveTarget Jerkbait, Lucky Craft Pointer, Luck-E-Strike STX Jerkbait, Strike King Walleye Jerkbait, Storm bait options, and Smithwick too. Then there are ‘soft’ jerkbaits such as the Zoom Super Fluke, or Big Bite Baits Jerk Minnow, YUM Houdini Shad, and Trima Minnow to name a but a few from the myriad of options available here. But where, when and how do we apply these options?
HARD JERKBAITS We’re heading into autumn now and there is a combination of factors that will increase your chances of snagging your next bass on a hard jerkbait. Firstly, the bass are sensing the drop on water temperature and this will trigger them into a more aggressive feeding mode as they start to fatten up before the cold season. Secondly, the jerkbait available size and colour options are plentiful and enough to mimic Rigging Most jerkbaits have a split-ring attached to the front eye so I don’t believe it is necessary to tie any special knots to improve the action of the lure (which is crucial). Line choice Without trying to get too technical for the casual weekend angler; line choice actually does make a difference. Because there are ﬂoating, suspending and sinking varieties of jerkbaits it would make sense to match the lure with the line that you are planning to
use. Monoﬁlament line is suitable for ﬂoating and suspending lures, whereas ﬂuorocarbon (which sinks) is suited to the sinking variety. This ultimately complements the action of the lure. Furthermore, the ﬂexibility of the line plays a huge role. Just because the lure has many hooks doesn’t mean that the ﬁsh won’t shake itself loose – in fact they come off easier than when using a single hook! Lighter breaking strain line offers more ﬂexibility and tends not to tear the hooks from the ﬁshes mouth. This is often the
the fodder fish that the bass are feeding on. Thirdly, and quite often over looked is that the bass will find it very difficult to ignore a jerkbait fished imposingly and conspicuously through its domain. The technique of fishing this lure and the tackle used can decide whether you catch fish or not, so it’s important that you get it fine-tuned for your next outing: reason for losing ﬁsh hooked on a jerkbait. As a general rule I would select line of around 6 to 8lb breaking strain will suite your smaller (6 to 8cm) jerkbaits, while line of 8 to 10lb will be better suited to larger (10cm plus) jerkbaits. Rod Selection Whether you choose to ﬁsh a spinning rod or a baitcaster option this is entirely up to you, although the smaller, lighter jerkbaits will be noticeably easier to cast on a spinning rod. Most importantly, select a rod with a medium
backbone/ﬂexibility, instead of medium heavy and upward. And lastly, a shorter length rod will enhance your ability to impart the rapid ‘jerking’ action that the technique requires. Where to ﬁsh I would keep my jerkbait close at hand and on investigating a new spot I would simply ‘fan’ cast the area brieﬂy with the lure and probe for active ﬁsh. Stay away from casting into those weeded spots as this is a ‘no-no’ with all those treble hooks.
Autumn ﬁshing can be awesome
SA BASS 43 March 2018
Some popular soft plastic jerkbaits
SOFT JERKBAITS Apart from ‘hard’ jerkbaits there are also ‘soft’ jerkbaits. These baits requires for a whole different set of rules and allows the fisherman to target areas with the same technique as above, yet in heavily weeded areas. Rigging A soft jerkbait is rigged on a single wide gap hook and you can tie your chosen knot directly to the eye of the hook. Line choice Because I often choose to ﬁsh this technique into heavy cover (weeded areas, next to docks, brush piles, etc.) I select a heavier breaking strain of between 12 to 16lb and I prefer to choose a line with good abrasion qualities. You want to respond quickly to strikes before the ﬁsh buries itself in the cover and apply maximum pressure
Ridwan Dockrat caught this beauty at Bronkies 44 SA BASS March 2018
to get the ﬁsh away from snagging itself. Rod Selection The only option for me here would be to upgrade the backbone of my rod to at least medium heavy to give me the most strength to pull the ﬁsh through or even over the cover. Where to ﬁsh This is one of my favourite strategies for catching bass and it is highly likely that I will spend most of my time ﬁshing this technique, provided that the cover is available.
Next time you are out on the water, have at least one jerkbait rod ready, even if it is only a back up rod for when you missed the fish and want to make a quick follow up cast. *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.
Burn Grub :LWKWKHVHDVRQIRUEDVVÈ´VKLQJKHUHRQRXUVKRUHV DWIXOOVZLQJDQGVRPHRIWKHEHVWGD\VVWLOOWRFRPHDVZH KHDGLQWRDXWXPQ'DPLNLKDYHVRPHWUXO\UHPDUNDEOH EDLWVQRWWRRQO\HQWLFHWKHDQJOHUEXWWKRVHWKDWVZLP EHORZWRR 7KH 'DPLNL %XUQ *UXE LV D VKRUWHU YHUVLRQ RI WKHLU SRSXODU 0U -XPER JUXE :LWK PRUH ULEV DQG D VOLJKWO\ WDSHUHGERG\EXWVWLOOZLWKWKDWXQPLVWDNHDEOHWDLODFWLRQ WKLV EDLW FDQ EH È´VKHG DV D ULJ WUDLOHU RU VLPSO\ È´VK LW ZHHGOHVV RU ZLWK \RXU SUHIHUUHG ULJ 6LQFH WKLV EDLW LV VPDOOHUWKDQWKHRULJLQDO0U-XPERWKHDSSHDOLVPRUH IRU WKH È´QHVVH DQG HYHQ XOWUDÈ´QHVVH DQJOHU KRZHYHU WKHUHVXOWVVKRZDELJSXQFKIRUDVPDOOEDLW 7KH %XUQ *UXE LV DYDLODEOH LQ SDFNV RI ZLWK D KHDY\GXW\]LSORFNRQWKHSDFNHWWRKHOSPDLQWDLQEDLW Visit jour nearest tackle store and ask for Damikiâ€™s Burn Grub loaded with Bass Juice IUHVKQHVV
SA BASS 45 March 2018
>> SA BASS KICKBOATING
Kickboating in Summer
The seasons have changed and things are starting to warm up. This is truly my favourite time of the year to be fishing. Not only is the weather a lot better but the fishing generally improves a fair amount as well. >> Dwayne Frenzel nother plus is that I get to throw my favourite baits that I have not been able to use as much during the colder months. With summer fast approaching and the days starting to heat up, you will definitely find the bass start to move shallower, which is great for kickboats. This means less time kicking to look for offshore structure and drop offs, and more time being able to actually fish. It is important to know what baits to pack, as space is normally quite limited on a kickboat. I have learnt over the years what to pack for certain dams and what baits are more effective for each dam, so I can take the bare minimum if I have to. I really enjoy fishing reaction baits, as do most of us, so what I have done is dedicate one tray to just topwater and fast moving baits, such as lipless and spinnerbaits. In my second tray I have various crankbaits and jigs. In the way of plastics, I have two specially made bags; one being for fluke type baits, Senkos and a variety of other plastics. In my second bag I have my plastic frogs, pitching baits and various creature baits. Lastly, I have my terminal tackle box, which consists of all my hooks, sinkers and odds and ends. Throwing a topwater bait would be the best way to start off your day, it really is also a lot of fun and a great warm up to the day ahead! I generally target structure right up against the bank or weed patches just off the bank. Normally, I start off by throwing either a hollow body
The author with another trophy size bass caught from his kickboat 46 SA BASS March 2018
frog or a soft plastic frog and have had great success with them. Other effective baits to use are spooks, buzzbaits and floating plastic jerkbaits. Some days you can catch on topwater all day, but as the day heats up the bite might die down and the fish will move deeper into cover. When this happens, I change tactics. I then either fish weed patches with slightly slower baits, such as spinnerbait or jerkbait, or I pitch creature type baits into the structure (this I find very productive). In the end it all comes down to experience. If you fish a certain body of water often enough you will know what to pack and what to throw during the day. If however you are fishing new waters, then pack your confident baits as well as a few different baits just to experiment. As I mentioned in my previous article (Catching Big Bass from a Kickboat), do some research before heading out and ask around to see what has been working. One last thing, protect yourself from the sun; especially your legs and your face. We are hitting our hotter months now and you need to be aware of this. In a kickboat, you are much lower to the water, meaning that not only do you need to worry about the sunâ€™s direct rays but also the reflection off of the water; these will be more intense than if you were on a boat. Cover up and hydrate, you will definitely enjoy yourselves more. Enjoy those topwater bites and have fun out there.
Be aware of the sunâ€™s direct rays and also the reflection off of the water
Pack confident baits as well as a few different baits just to experiment
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SA BASS 47 March 2018
>> SA BASS DESTINATIONS
SA BASS PRESENTS FISHING
As a service to readers Fishing Resorts and Lodges are invited to place their information in this section. Readers who discover other destinations are invited to place the information on this page. Each entry consists of one photo plus no more than 200 words. Om ons lesers ingelig te hou word Hengel-oorde en Lodges uitgenooi om hul inligting in hierdie afdeling te publiseer. Lesers wat nog bestemmings ontdek word uitgenooi om die inligting op hierdie afdeling te plaas. Elke inskrywing beslaan een foto plus nie meer as 200 woorde. Stuur aan: email@example.com.
estled in the heart of the Natal Midlands, overlooking its 23 hectare private dam, Beacon Vlei has a beauty and serenity which seduces, and imparts to one a state of supreme wellbeing and inner tranquillity. After a stay at Beacon Vlei, one returns to the city refreshed, invigorated and ready to face the challenges of life. This gracious family home, formerly known by generations of Michael-house old boys as ‘Cliffs’ Dam’ Beacon Vlei now offers discerning guests the choice of luxurious B&B accommodation in the Manor House, and in its five separate freestanding self catering cottages, The Boat House, Rose Cottage, Heron Cottage, Otter Cottage and Crane Cottage. Fireplaces abound throughout the establishment for those icy winter days and nights and all
48 SA BASS March 2018
the bedrooms have heaters to further enhance the comfort of the cotton percale linen on all the beds. With magnificent views, bass fishing, birding and hiking, Beacon Vlei is ideal for a relaxing getaway. Beacon Vlei is situated in Balgowan, in the centre of the Midlands Meander and is a ten minute walk from Michaelhouse, 21km from Howick and 10km from Nottingham Road. As a destination for those who want to just relax or those who want to explore the delights of the Midlands Meander, Beacon Vlei is unsurpassed. For more information or bookings, please contact Beacon Vlei on 071 8721360 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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....
Published on Mar 23, 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....