Page 1

March 2019

RSA: R39.34 (VAT incl.) Other Countries: R34.21 (Tax excl.)

Issue 215


olour ounts

13 DIY tackle projects | Autumn kilos | Destination - Bernally’s | Four stroke maintenance | How reservoirs age Autumn tips | A tale amongst vegetation | Flooded timber | Lipless | Bassin’ Kids adventure camp VW Amarok review | Industry news | Tournament reports and more...

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

Volkswagen Amarok. Greatest load capacity. McCarthy Volkswagen Wonderboom Cell: 083 488 8529, Tel: 012 567 9345

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SA BASS Magazine

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

Office hours:

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

Contact numbers:

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

Postal Address:

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



Hannes Lindeque -

Assistant editor:

John Badenhorst –

Regular contributors:

Roger Donaldson, Philip Kemp, Jay Röhm-Williams, Gary Peter, Gordon Brown

International Columnists:

Bertrand Ngim, Clint Skinner, David Swendseid, Curtis Niedermier, TJ Maglio, Matt Williams, Tyler Brinks, Joe Balog, Anthony Hawkswell

Advertising Manager:

Wilma Lindeque -


Hannes Lindeque -

Digital subscriptions:


FLW “Snap jigging fall smallies” Some people think the only way to coerce finicky smallmouths into biting is to use finesse baits and light line. Sometimes that’s the case, but another approach that can work is to fish more aggressive tactics – Kyle Wood


FLW “Seasonal tips and tricks” – Paul Strege

y Paul Strege

Layout and Design:

Storm Deezigns -

Distributed by RNA:

Jannie Junius (011) 248 3536


14 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 02 SA BASS March 2019

sport among all the 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: 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.

FLW “How reservoirs age” The vast network of dams and reservoirs in the USA is certainly among the great works of the 20th century. Beginning in the late ’20s, the construction of dams by local and federal governments brought electricity, flood control and unprecedented prosperity to folks in desperate need due to the Great Depression. – TJ Maglio

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 “DIY tackle projects” Easy hardware store tackle tweaks that are inexpensive, but effective.



38 28


SA BASS “A tale amongst the vegetation” The first thing I look for, and certainly around the months heading up toward autumn, is what vegetation is available in the waters I’m fishing. I have some incredible memories of large bass being caught around this type of cover. – Roger Donaldson







Letter to the Editor


>> Cast-for-Cash report >> A small craft angler’s road to Lake Guntersville (Part 4) INDUSTRY NEWS




SA BASS “Colour Counts” The colour revolution became so popular and evident that in 2010 even bait designers in South Africa started producing soft plastic baits, which clearly resembled our resident fodder species – Bass Spy

VEHICLE REVIEW “Amarok Double Cab Highline Auto Plus” The first thing that one notices when viewing an Amarok is its imposing size. The overall design hasn’t changed much, but under the hood and the interior is a different story. – Hannes Lindeque

“Autumn kilos” If you thought you had some fun bassing over the summer, hold on tightly to your reels because now we are going to catch some really, nice sized bass – Jay Röhm-Williams

30 22

SA BAARS “Bassin’ Kids” Dit is een van die dae weer vakansie en baie ouers wonder wat die kinders met hulsef gaan aanvang om hulself besig te hou; veral die kinders wat die gaan tuis bly – Hannes Lindeque

“Land of flooded timber” Bass fisherman in Southern Africa will be very excited to learn that areas of flooded timber exist in many of our dams. Most are completely hidden from sight until the dams experience some sort of drought – Roger Donaldson

FLW “Four stroke maintenance” Whether you outfit your rig with a twostroke or four stroke outboard hinges on the type of boat you’re running and what your performance needs are on the water. What’s much more cut and dry is the difference in routine service schedules between the two – Joe Balog


SA BASS “Know Your Bassing” Here are great facts you may or not know about South African bass angling and large-mouth bass in general. – Jay Röhm-Williams

36 37

>> Mercury Marine celebrates 80th anniversary >> NRF B-Complex >> DUO Apex DESTINATION


>> Bernally’s Fishing Lodge

“Liploos” Liplose kunsvissies is uitstekende “soek-ase” en word net soos ‘n swaailem dikwels gebruik in areas om te bepaal of daar baars in die area is en of hulle bereid is om te jag. My gunsteling tyd vir ‘n liplose kunsvissie is natuurlik die hele jaar, maar gedurende Januarie tot einde Maart is die aas dodelik – Philip Kemp

ON THE COVER “Shaun John” Image: Hannes Lindeque

SA BASS 03 March 2019

has gone digital !! GET YOUR FAVOURITE SA Bass MAGAZINE


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Die jaar is op ‘n drafstap en hier is die Maart-uitgawe op die tafel. In die afgelope tyd was daar welkome reën oor plekke in ons land en ten spyte daarvan, is daar nogsteeds plekke wat droogte ervaar! Ons gebede gaan uit dat al ons damme en ons harte, regoor die land, spoedig gevul sal wees met dankbaarheid en opgewondenheid. Soos toe ons pas, teen saktyd van die tydskrif verneem het dat Suid-Afrika weer die Swartbaar Wêreldkampioenskappe as deel van die “Sport Fishing World Games” op die Vaalrivier gewen het. In die tweede plek was Australië en Duitsland derde. (Meer daaroor in die volgende uitgawe.) Baie geluk aan al die hengelaars en ons vertrou dat ons gaste hulle kuiertjie terplaatse terdeë geniet het. Mag ons hulle almal binnekort weer sien. Herfs is een van daardie jaarlikse hoogtepunte waarna elke swartbaarhengelaar uitsien. Dit is die tydperk waartydens die visse hulself begin gereed kry vir die aankomende winter. Hierdie uitgawe is weer propvol goeie artikels, geskryf deur ervare plaaslike en internasionale hengelaars, om ons lesers te help om meer en groter visse te vang. Die FLW Cast-for-Cash hengelseisoen is nou in volle swang en die spanne is besig om mekaar op die punteleer af te druk. Daar is nog genoeg toernooie oor om te kan kwalifiseer vir vanjaar se Suid-Afrikaanse FLW Kampioenskap. Die “venue” waar dit gehou gaan word, word in hierdie uitgawe bekend gemaak. Soek gerus die antwoord en lees mooi….die kompetisie om uiteindelik by die FLW Forrest Wood Cup uit te kom word stawwer vir die “skipper”, maar die goeie nuus is dat selfs die “co-angler” vanjaar ‘n kans staan om deur te dring na die Forrest Wood Cup toe. Gryp die geleentheid aan en baie sterkte aan al die deelnemers vir die laaste pylvak. Die skoolvakansie is ook om die draai en SA BASS bied weer ‘n Bassin’ Kids avontuurkamp aan tussen 24 en 29 Maart. Die kampe gaan oor meer as net “visvang”. Meer daaroor op bladsy 34. Laastens, ons volgende uitgawe is ons verjaarsdaguitgawe en daarmee is SA BASS agtien jaar oud! Ons hoor graag van ons lesers en rig die uitnodiging dat julle welkom is om artikels, staaltjies, bydraes, voorstelle en fotos aan ons te stuur. Intussen, laat julle lyne sing. Hannes Lindeque, Uitgewer

04 SA BASS March 2019



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

GOED BEGIN Die Nuwejaar het sommer met ‘n persoonlike beste afgeskop. Ons eerste hengeluitstappie vir die jaar was na Heyshopedam, duskant Piet Retief. Die oggendhengel was maar traag en moeilik, maar die 7-jarige MG het sy persoonlike beste van 1.33kg gevang. Daarmee het hy sy pa en boetie uitgestof en was omtrent uit sy vel van opgewondenheid. Die vis is gevang met sy gunsteling blou-chartreuse crankbait. Ek en die kinders geniet SA BASS tydskif en lees dit graag van hoek tot kant. Baie dankie vir die handige wenke en interessante artikels – Pieter Boers

ALBERT Here is a picture of a bass I caught at Albert Falls on New Year’s Day at Pelican Bay off a rowing boat. On my first cast I landed a bass of 2.490kg on a purple lizard. On my second cast I caught this 2.950kg with an orange worm. Best catches for the new year thus far. Water levels are as low as 34% however fishing is going well – Mohamed Feroz

BASSIN KIDS OUTREACH PROJECT A Division of SA BASS Magazine & South African Bass Angling Sport Society

24 - 29 March 2019 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 087 808 5406 or 083 306 2718 to book your spot. For more information visit or e-mail

06 SA BASS March 2019


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


Call 082-416-5524, or get all the rules, dates and venues on SA BASS 07 March 2019



Good day Mr Badenhorst. Firstly I would like to commend you on the the article “Licence to kill”, page 34 in the February issue. What is disturbing is the photograph in this article. I am not sure if this pic was chosen on purpose but be that as it may. I have spear fished off the east coast for years as well as scuba dived for several years. This may be a while ago but I know that it is or at least was highly illegal to spear fish with tanks. I remember a friend of mine being caught at the coast. His boat, scuba diving equipment and his car were all confiscated by nature conservation. Even if these spear-fishermen had permits I am sure they would not be allowed to use tanks as this would give the fish no chance of escape. Just a thought.

The photo that actually sparked this article caused a massive uproar on various social media platforms but as the laws regarding social media has become a rather grey area, we chose not to publish the photo that was doing the rounds as even though the culprit might have broken the law, it could only land us a magazine and its publishers into some serious legal hot water for slander and in the end, it’s the integrity of our editorial staff that we also have to look after. The law in terms of spear fishing inland waters and our coastal water is very clear on certain aspects and in extreme cases, allowances are made to make research easier as the target species can be harvested in a fraction of the time that it would take free diving or even trying to target them with conventional methods like rod and reel. It’s when individuals use this as an excuse that the public like you and me that care for our fish species start raising our eyebrows and voices. Once again, thank you for the feedback as we rely on readers like you to help us make the magazine better – John

Kind regards, Derek le Roux Thanks so much for the response. While it is regrettable that your friend got busted, I guess every sport has its injuries as they say. I’m also sure that he had learnt a valuable lesson in that regard. In this instance, It’s just hard to comprehend that even though people have a permit, they will somehow still end up crossing the line whether it be for brownie points or in the most extreme cases, for greed. South Africa: R34.90 (VAT included) Other Countries: R30.61 (Tax excluded)

Art of Bass Fishing

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Autumn Tactics

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Search Baits Uncovered





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Art of Bass Fishing

April 2017

Issue 192

June 2018

Issue 206

How to...

* Casting a Jig * Fall Fishing * Pre-fish

Catch Lunkers


08 SA BASS March 2019


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Video Game Bass Fishing >> Dag Saam Met ... Frans Swanepoel >> Understanding Pressure >> Useful Fishing Apps >> Destinations

For Everyone That Loves Bass Fishing Where Did All The Bass Go? | The Art Of Flipping | Backyard Bassin’- Boskop Dam | Keep That Showroom Shine | March Bass Fest | Crankbait Retrieval Techniques | Die Eskimo Ding | Line Selection For Top Water Fishing | The Strike Zone | Light Rock Fishing | Big Water, Big Weather, Big Smallmouths | New V-6 FourStroke Outboard

Tel: (031) 261 42 33 Fax: (031) 261 43 33 Cell: 082 892 2674 PO Box 30478, Mayville, Kwa-Zulu Natal, 4058 E-mail: Website:

Tungsten weights 1/4 oz

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By Kyle Wood




ome people think the only way to coerce finicky smallmouths into biting is to use finesse baits and light line. Sometimes that’s the case, but another approach that can work is to fish more aggressive tactics in order to trigger sluggish fish into biting. In the fall, snap-jigging ice fishing baits such as the Rapala Jigging Rap is one technique that works really well. While the Jigging Rap and similar ice baits don’t look like much, they’re highly effective fish catchers.

When to Try It Jigging Raps catch bass in many scenarios across the country, but they work especially well on the clear natural lakes of the North where smallmouths have to contend with ice over their heads for a major portion of the year. The technique shines when the water temperature dips between the low 60s and upper 40s. In the North Country, this period spans from mid-fall into early winter.

(up to about 7/8 ounce), but have a tip soft enough so it doesn’t rip the hooks out during the hookset. Braid is the best main line. It helps to transmit the feel of bottom content and make long casts. The lack of stretch means fish stay pegged better, too. Probably the most important piece of gear is a swivel. Casting these baits is like launching a helicopter blade through the air, so you want to avoid the headache of line tangles. Use a No. 4 or 6 swivel to connect a 10-inch-long leader of 12-pound-test fluorocarbon.

Baits While the Rapala Jigging Rap is the original bait in this category, several other similar baits work, too. Generally, for Northern fisheries, stick with crawfish or p perch colors.

Where to Look As the water cools, smallies transition toward areas where they’ll ride out the colder months. Rock is usually king, but some form of transition – sand to rock, mud to sand, little rock to bigger rock, etc. – can also be money. Specifically, look for rock humps, points or flats anywhere from 15 to 30 feet deep on natural lakes, though in some places bass will winter even deeper. Try starting in areas near deep water where you caught fish earlier in the summer and expand out from there. Most wintering areas are the same from year to year, so once you locate a few spots you can target fish there every season. Use your electronics to scan good-looking areas. The fish should start to school up this time of year, so when you catch one you can slow down and thoroughly work the structure to put more bass in the boat.

No. 7 Rapala Jigging Rap

No. 6 or 8 Rapala Snap Rap

Lunkerhunt Straight Up Jig

The Gear Spinning gear is the best choice. Jigging Raps and similar baits sport small hooks, so use a quality reel with a smooth drag set to slip on the hookset to keep fish hooked up. A 7- to 7 1/2-foot, medium- to medium-heavy rod is ideal. It needs to be stiff enough to handle the weight of the baits 10 SA BASS March 2019

Northland Tackle Puppet Minnow


Deep Points

The basics of snap-jigging are simple, but to get the most out of it, you have to master the intricacies of the presentations. There are two approaches: casting and fishing vertically.

Casting How you fish the structure depends on the depth, its shape and the wind. Generally, casting works best when trying to cover water or eliminate water quickly on large points or deep flats. When the wind blows, it’s usually easiest to start upwind and drift along the key areas, fan-casting as you go. Zigzagging with the trolling motor works best in calmer conditions. Drifting



Vertical Fishing

On deep points, start with the boat in the middle so you can make casts to all sides while keeping an eye on your electronics for anything below the boat. For humps that break off on all sides, start by casting to the edges with the boat held off on the downwind side. Slowly move toward it, fan-casting and monitoring the depth finder for fish. If you spot one on the screen, drop down on it as you would a drop-shot. The presentation starts with a long cast. Let the Jigging Rap fall on a slack line. As soon as the line stops and the bait is on bottom, reel up the slack and give a swift snap of the rod. Your arm should bend at the elbow, not the wrist, to apply the right action. Let the bait fall on a slack line, and when it touches bottom again repeat the snap. The key is getting into a rhythm where the bait almost never stays still as you fish it back to the boat.

Inside corners, tips of points, smaller humps and other types of smaller structures require more precision, and dropping the bait vertically and using the boat to move it is the easier approach. To do it, drop the bait to the bottom and begin moving forward with the trolling motor so that the line slopes back at about a 45-degree angle. Maintaining bottom contact is key, so don’t move so fast that the bait can’t touch. Use sharp hops, bending the arm at the elbow, to rip the bait off bottom and let it fall back again. If you spot a fish on your graph, drop down right next to the transducer and snap the bait on and off bottom. Sometimes it takes the fish a minute or more to commit, so don’t stop after two or three hops. ■ Vertical Fishing

SA BASS 11 March 2019


Seasonal tips and tricks

other odds and ends

By Paul Strege

TRY THIS: FOOTBALL JIG/SWIMBAIT COMBO One of Ontario pro Chris Johnston’s fall favorites for up north is a football head fitted with a swimbait. It’s unconventional, but has proven highly effective for bass relating to hard-bottom points and flats. “Fish are looking for either shad or gobies in the fall, and that lure mimics both very well,” says Johnston. The rig: 1/2-ounce football-head jig with a 3.8-inch Jackall Rhythm Wave in prism shad or green pumpkin pepper Key tackle: 10-pound-test PowerPro braid with an 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader Target areas: “I start on deeper points, focusing on ones located adjacent to wintering areas,” says Johnston. “Hard bottoms are best, with a chunk rock or rock/sand mix, in the 15- to 40-foot depth range.” Presentation: dragging, or casting and creeping it slowly back


1. David Williams Swim Jig “As long as fish are shallow, they will eat a swim jig. It mimics lots of different types of baitfish or bream.”


2. Matt Arey Spoon “I think a spoon is a killer fall bait. Lunkerhunt makes one called the Spud that’s shaped a little differently to cause it to glide backward. It catches a lot of fish around here [the Carolinas], or all over, really. In the fall they’re 100 percent bait-oriented. You have a lot of fish that migrate to the backs of creeks, but you have a ton of fish that stay offshore and relate to these giant schools of bait.”

Most people know that the backs of creeks are good target areas on reservoirs in fall, but according to FLW Tour pro Clark Wendlandt, some folks have the approach backward. “Most everyone knows that, as a typical rule of thumb, shad work their way to the back of the creeks in the fall,” he says. “A lot of people work their way into those areas, but I prefer to go back as far as I can and work my way out. What I’ve found is that I intercept active schools of fish more quickly by utilizing that approach.” Wendlandt generally follows the creek channel on his way out, searching for subtle depth changes or signs of surface activity. Shallow-running cranks and topwaters are his primary baits.

3. Greg Bohannan Spinnerbait “A plain old 1/2-ounce, double-willow spinnerbait is still one of my favorites. I catch a lot of fish on it throughout the year. It hasn’t received as much attention as other lures in recent years, but is still very productive.” ■

SEASON TOTALS FOR THE BFL Another T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League season is behind us, and the stats generated by FLW’s weekend warriors are impressive. Here’s a rundown of some of the 2018 BFL’s stats from 120 regular-season derbies:

12 SA BASS March 2019







a reservoir that’s heavily silted might reach a high-water stage faster than in previous times. 3. Altered flow regime – Another side effect of siltation is that, as reservoirs age, their flow capacity and volume decrease, which makes them less efficient at generating electricity. Although not noticeable on the largest reservoirs, this effect and resulting changes to generation are noticeable on some of the smaller ones. 4. Loss of timber and cover – Over time, any wood in the system such as standing timber and stumps will decompose and rot away. Wave and ice action can also destroy standing timber. Siltation fills in rocky areas and bottom contours, reducing the amount of preferred habitat available to bass.

Effects on the Fishery The effects of reservoir aging have a multitude of impacts on the fisheries. The biggest factor is definitely siltation, which has great physical impact on the bottom topography. It causes ditches, drains and shallow areas to fill in, making them less suitable to bass. Areas that had a steep drop might only taper gently, and drains leading back to spawning flats might level out, changing how bass use them. Siltation also greatly impacts navigation, rendering some areas previously accessible to boats unfishable. Loss of cover is also a big factor as bass and baitfish both rely on cover to proliferate. Typically, the less cover available, the less prolific the bass population. ■ PHOTO BY JODY WHITE

he vast network of dams and reservoirs in this country is certainly among the great works of the 20th century. Beginning in the late ’20s, the construction of dams by local and federal governments brought electricity, flood control and unprecedented prosperity to folks in desperate need due to the Great Depression. From a bass fisherman’s perspective, these dams provided the sport’s original home base, and brought bassrich waters to areas that previously offered minimal fishing opportunities. Many years have passed since the bulk of those dams were built, and the reservoirs they impound are getting long in the tooth. The average age of dams in the United States is 52 years, and many are significantly older. Although the reservoir aging process is not typically something noticeable to anglers on a day-to-day scale, understanding the process in the context of regional and multi-year trends will make you a better angler.

Results of Aging Whether designed for power generation or flood control, or to provide a source of drinking water, dams are all basically the same. They are engineered structures that back up a stream or river and allow for controlled release of water. The constant influx of water, freeze-thaw cycles and recreational uses have definite effects over time, including: 1. Siltation – If you think of a reservoir as a dustpan of sorts, then every year’s spring runoff is like a new broomful of dust swept into the system. Because of the dam, the runoff water slows when it hits the reservoir, causing sediment to drop out, which over time fills in creeks, ditches and other areas. 2. Loss of storage capacity – A side effect of siltation is loss of storage capacity. From an angler’s perspective, 14 SA BASS March 2019

By TJ Maglio

Stumps and timber remain in many reservoirs, but they degrade over time.

We guarantee to save you money







1. Create a Trailer or Stinger Hook with PVC Tubing


Want to turn any hook into a trailer or stinger hook? Head to the plumbing department and buy some clear tubing. Cut off a small piece and put it around the eyelet of the hook you want to use before piercing it on the main hook. – Sean Ostruszka

2. Add a Scale Pattern with Drywall Tape and Spray Paint A fancy scale pattern can make any hard bait, blade bait or spinnerbait blade look good, but if you’re in a pinch and want to replicate a color pattern or convert an oddball pattern into something better, just pick up a roll of drywall tape and some spray paint. Stick the tape to the lure, cover anything you don’t want to cover with painter’s tape, spray over it, remove the tape and your bait now has scales. – Sean Ostruszka



3. Use GREAT STUFF to Repair And Modify Lures GREAT STUFF expanding foam can seal a leaky hard bait, turn a rattling bait silent or even enhance the buoyancy of a plastic crankbait to make it act more like a balsa one. Simply drill a small hole in the bait’s body, tightly snug the nozzle into the hole and spray in a small amount. GREAT STUFF expands A LOT, so a little is more than enough. Just let it expand and dry, carve off and sand the excess, and you’re done. – Sean Ostruszka

16 SA BASS March 2019



4. Contain Umbrella Rigs with O-rings One of the quickest and least expensive ways to make an umbrella rig more manageable to store is to use a small, rubber O-ring (frequently used to fix a leaky faucet) to retract the wires and hold them in place. To use it, hold the ends of the wires together, and slide the O-ring down to keep them in place. To deploy the wires, slide the O-ring up so it rides at the base of the head. It won’t affect the action of the rig, but it’ll be there when you need it. Umbrella rig head and O-ring sizes vary, so it’s a good idea to bring your rig of choice to the hardware store to make sure you get the right size. The ring should fit snug as it slides over the head, but loose around the “neck” area. An O-ring with an inside diameter of 3/8 inch is a good starting point, but you might need to go slightly bigger or smaller depending on the rig. A large split ring works too. – Sean Ostruszka

5. Weight Jerkbaits with Solder Wire Solder wire makes a great “weight” for dialing in the suspending action of a jerkbait. Just wrap it around the shank of a treble hook. Adding weight to the middle hook will make the bait suspend horizontally, while putting it on the front hook creates a nose-down position. Multiple sizes and metal combinations are available in solder wire. Look for a thin, pliable electrical solder that is easy to wrap and won’t end up too bulky. For really small hooks, buy some lead wire wrap from a fly-tying retailer. – Tyler Brinks

6. Create a Simple Rod Balancer


Rubber leg tips and plastic covers used to slip over the ends of kitchen chairs and walking canes make good rod balancers. Measure the diameter of the rod end, and match it to the closest corresponding size. Covers are generally available in sizes ranging from 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches, in 1/8-inch increments. Slip the cover on the rod butt, which might be enough weight to create a more balanced feel. If you need more weight, add quarters or nickels in the bottom of the cover before sliding it on the rod. Wrap electrical tape around the rod butt if a tighter fit is desired. This system is mostly used with long, heavy flipping sticks, or other heavy-action rods that at times can feel cumbersome and tip heavy. – Paul Strege


7. Use an Earplug to Add Scent To a Tube

Glass lure rattles are great, but they can break and are quite expensive. Make your own rattles with some aluminum or copper craft tubing and a few 1mm or 2mm metal beads (available in the necklacemaking section of most craft stores). Lead shot works too, and provides a different pitch. To make one, crimp one end of the tubing, put some beads in, and cut the other side diagonally. Copper will crimp when you cut it; aluminum might not. The beveled cut makes it easy to insert the rattle into plastics. – TJ Maglio

10. Make a Wire Swimbait Keeper


The hollow body of a tube is a perfect reservoir for your favorite scent. To make the scent last even longer, douse an old foam-rubber earplug in your stinky stuff of choice, stuff it into the tube body and then rig it up. Your scent will last longer than your tube. – TJ Maglio

9. 8. Tie Skirts with Craft Wire Lengthen the life of your skirted baits by “hand tying” them out of the package with 22-gauge or smaller craft wire from a local hardware or craft store. Cut a piece a few inches long. Bend it into a U-shape around the skirt band. Twist the two ends together by hand once, and then use a needle-nose plier to twist the wrap a couple more times. It should tighten onto the band. Clip off any excess, and your skirt will be secured for the life of the lure. – TJ Maglio

9. Create Your Own Rattles

Ditch messy glue in favor of a homemade wire swimbait keeper. Attach one end of a 5- to 6-inch piece of wire or a paper clip to a jighead’s line tie with a simple twist loop. Next, about 1 1/2 inches back, bend the wire down toward the hook at a 45degree angle. Now create a V-bend bend in the end of the wire. The V should be about 1/4 inch deep. Trim off the excess. To install, slide the swimbait up in place, then push the V through the top of the plastic. It should clip around the hook shank. Adjust the length and angle of the keeper as needed. – David A. Brown


SA BASS 17 March 2019

11. Make a Frog a Popper with A Suction Cup Turning your favorite “standard” frog into a popping frog is easy with a suction cup. First, clip off the “nipple” on the suction cup and pierce a hole through its center with a thin tack or nail. Slide a rubber bobber stop up the line, followed by the suction cup. Now tie on the frog and push the bobber stop down to hold the suction cup in place. Suction cups are cheap and come in packs of several. You can also try to Paycheck Baits Nose Job, which serves the same purpose. – Curtis Niedermier



12. Prevent Swimbait Tears With a Toothpick A soft-plastic swimbait body or straight-tail swimbait body (like the Jenko Tremor Shad or Castaic Jerky J) can tear easily on the hookset when the plastic is forced down the hook shank. A toothpick, carefully inserted through the body, blocks the plastic from sliding and tearing. Jake Lawrence, Costa FLW Series pro from Paris, Tenn., has perfected the trick. First, he glues the jighead in place and tests the bait to make sure it’s running true. Then he inserts the toothpick through one side and out the other, so that it rests on top of the hook shank just in front of where the hook bend begins. When using a hollow swimbait, he always glues the ends of the toothpick in place. Lawrence says using the trick has made a single hardto-find Jerky J last for a week or more. – Curtis Niedermier


13. Turn a Swimbait into a Line-Thru with a Pop Rivet Lawrence also converts unrigged swimbaits into line-thrus using two techniques. Originally, he pushed the rivet end of a pop rivet from the belly up through the nose of the bait. He then passed his line through the rivet and tied on a belly treble hook. Small nail weights inserted as low in the belly as possible helped “balance” the bait for proper action. More recently, Lawrence discovered the Fattube Line Thru Swimbait Tube (visit It looks like a rivet, but comes in a weightless plastic version and several weighted versions made of brass. To rig the Fattube, Lawrence first pushes a toothpick through the bait, from the nose to the belly, to “predrill” a channel. He then slides the Fattube right over the toothpick (to make sure it’s straight), removes the toothpick and ties up. Either method works, but the key is to keep the bait straight, and to run the rivet or Fattube at the correct angle. With either, the broad end should be on the belly side. Line it up by laying the swimbait down on its side, holding the rivet or Fattube outside the body, and marking the exit point on the belly. Then rig it. Expect to tear up a few baits in the process of learning how to make this rig, but Lawrence says once you learn to do it properly the swimbaits will last a long time and are highly effective. – Curtis Niedermier

EPOXY: YOUR ULTIMATE TOOL By Sean Ostruszka Anglers carry a lot of tools with them on the water, though there’s one they should have, but often forget: epoxy. Whether it’s resealing a crankbait, welding that piece of your trolling motor back together to finish your day or fixing any of the thousands of other things that can break on the water, epoxy is often the cure-all. Choose a clear, waterproof, five-minute epoxy. Store it in a plastic bag with some paper cups, Popsicle sticks for mixing and craft paintbrushes for application. Five-minute epoxy cures fast, so make sure everything is ready to be glued back together (dry and ready to be assembled) before mixing it. Also, once you feel it warming up through the paper cup, it’s curing, so waiting an extra couple seconds after that point will minimize drips, as the epoxy will set even faster once applied. ■

18 SA BASS March 2019


Mercury Marine celebrates 80th anniversary in 2019


OND DU LAC, Wis. - Mercury Marine will celebrate its 80th anniversary throughout 2019, reflecting on its strong heritage of innovation and leadership in the marine industry. On January 22, 1939, E. Carl Kiekhaefer purchased a bankrupt engine manufacturing plant in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Now, 80 years later, the business that emerged from those modest beginnings, Mercury Marine, is a company with 7,000 global employees that is heralded as the world’s leading manufacturer of marine propulsion systems, as well as marine parts and accessories. “80 years ago, Carl Kiekhaefer had a vision for Mercury and that was based around product innovation and technology – and it’s that vision that built the foundation for us to continue to innovate today,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine president. “Mercury has come a long way over the past eight decades because of the hard work and dedication of everyone who has been a part of our journey. While the past 80 years have been fantastic, we are looking forward to continued growth over the next 80 years and celebrating throughout 2019

with everyone who has made our success possible.” Mercury, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: B C ) , has invested more than $1-billion globally since 2008 in the expansion of research, development and manufacturing capabilities. In 2018, Mercury successfully launched its largest engine platform in its 80 year history with nineteen new V6 and V8 four-stroke outboard engines covering the 175 to 300hp range. The global launches of this engine platform, both in February and May, was heralded in the marine industry and featured in national publications around the world. While celebrating its 80th anniversary throughout the year, Mercury will showcase some of its strong heritage during the 2019 boat show season. “We have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to celebrate,” said Pfeifer. “I’m looking forward to sharing those celebrations around the world. 2019 will be yet another exciting year with more innovations to introduce.”

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SA BASS 19 March 2019


Most basic outboard maintenance is outlined in the owner’s manual. If in doubt, consult an authorized dealer or mechanic.



hether you outfit your rig with a two-stroke or fourstroke outboard hinges on the type of boat you’re running and what your performance needs are on the water. What’s much more cut and dry is the difference in routine service schedules between the two. Two-stroke maintenance has been covered extensively in this and other publications. If you’re considering a fourstroke and want to learn more about how to keep it performing optimally, whether your maintenance is done at home or by a professional, the steps outlined here should help out. We consulted members of the service crew at Toho Marine and Outdoors in St. Cloud, Fla., one of the country’s largest bass boat dealers, for the basics. Luckily, there are some industry standards (and rough guidelines) to follow when it comes to four-strokes, but some of the specifics vary by make and model. If you decide to tackle it yourself, you’ll want to consult your dealer to make sure you’re following the proper maintenance procedures. And, it’s never a bad idea to simply rely on the dealer to do the maintenance for you. If that’s the route you go, you’ll understand the basics and know what services are being provided after reading this. 20 SA BASS March 2019

Draining the engine oil.


Change Engine Oil If your new four-stroke has been broken in correctly (according to manufacturer’s recommendations) and operated for a few months under normal bass fishing conditions, the first maintenance usually occurs at the 20-hour mark. At that time, the engine oil and oil filter should be changed. Only use factory-recommended parts and lubricants. Although four-stroke motors perform similar to, say, an automobile, their needs are drastically different. For example, oil must be able to withstand extended high RPM. Changing oil is simple. A drain screw is located on the lower gear case. A special wrench may be needed for the oil filter located beneath the cowling, but it, too, can be easily removed and replaced. Don’t over-tighten when you replace it, and refill with the appropriate amount of oil. Inspecting the fuel filter.

1-Year Maintenance

Replacing the gear oil.

Change Gear Oil Along with an engine oil change, owners should also change gear oil at 20 hours. The drain and vent screws for this may be located on the lower unit, or possibly behind the prop. In any case, both must be removed to allow all the gear oil to drain. Check the oil for any discoloration (milky means water has entered the gear case) or metal pieces. The drain screw is also magnetic; check it for shavings that could indicate a gear problem. When refilling, gear oil must be pumped back in through the drain hole until it comes out the vent. Wait five minutes and pump a little more in to ensure it’s filled to capacity.

Change Fuel Filters Fuel filters require initial 20-hour maintenance as well. Large four-stroke outboards include a fuel/water separator filter in the bilge area of the boat. This can be easily changed and should be during this initial service. Other filters vary by manufacturer. For instance, Yamaha recommends an authorized dealer check and change other fuel filters (located on the motor) at 20 hours, then again every 100 hours. The Mercury Verado also includes an additional pressurized filter that should be serviced by a dealer, but not until 300 hours.

Usually, after one year or 100 hours it’s time for the outboard’s second scheduled maintenance. At this point, engine oil and filter, gear oil, and fuel filters should be changed again. In addition, the water pump should be inspected, and the impeller should be changed by the dealer (while the impeller may be in good shape, simple pump inspection requires substantial labor cost, so the part is changed for preventive purposes). In addition, spark plugs should be inspected and changed as needed. Good plugs will have a bronze coloration and sharp edges. Additionally, some dealers such as Toho Marine will perform further tests as part of their regular 100-hour service, including a computer diagnostic to check for codes that might indicate operating errors, and make sure the motor is firing efficiently. Further service also includes a compression check to ensure there’s no advanced carbon build-up or ring problems within the motor. This same 100-hour service should be performed annually with normal usage. As discussed, check your user manual for recommended 300-hour inspections and filter changes, as well as belt service at 1,000 hours.

MORE ADVICE A number of other service items can reduce headaches on the water: 1. Use fuel additives whenever possible, and stabilizer when needed, to reduce carbon build-up and fight the problems created by ethanol. 2. Fight corrosion on battery terminals with terminal cleaner. 3. Spray down the cowling seal with a silicone spray to keep it supple and watertight. 4. Visually inspect the power trim and tilt rams and seals for any leaks, and retract the rams all the way in during extended periods of non-use. 5. Each spring, inspect the cooling system outflow hole on the side of the motor to ensure it’s not clogged. 6. Finally, the best tip for any of today’s outboards: Buy gas at a busy station, and do not allow it to sit in your tank for more than a few months. ■ SA BASS 21 March 2019



VEGETATION The expanse of lily pads and vegetation covering Rust der Winter Dam, one I did not mention


he first thing I look for, and certainly around the months heading up toward autumn, is what vegetation is available in the waters I’m fishing. Some incredible memories of large bass being caught around this type of cover abound. I have to relay just one of these to you so you too can use my experience with fellow anglers to expand your strategies, techniques and thinking around vegetation. Driekoppies Dam brings back a special memory experienced with an angler, Erwin Schroeder. There were three scenarios that Erwin had identified on Driekoppies which were all apparently producing good quality bites. I was so excited on the day, as I was promised that the bass were in prime condition and there 22 SA BASS March 2019

was a chance that we were going to catch fish in the region of 3kg. Well I certainly don’t get to do that every day! We launched from the gravel slipway travelling away from the dam wall towards the Lomati River and Swaziland border which dissects the dam. Before we reach the river there is an elongated island/ridge (Snotterbel Island) on our right-hand side – a fair expanse of shallow ground. From a distance, or travelling too quickly you would possibly not have recognised that it was flooded with air grass in a depth of only 5 to 8ft. The water conditions were clear and only a slight breeze was available, a luxury in the Lowveld heat. The activity was palpable and as we arrive it was evident that

>> Roger Donaldson* something was at play beneath the vegetation. There were intermittent splashing noises of baitfish escaping and the distinguishable sound of bass smashing at their prey near the surface. Snotterbel provides perfect ambush area for bass and is paradoxically ideal cover for baitfish. It’s also quite relentless toward snagging your hooks, so you have to be particular about your fishing method, which Erwin certainly was. It took only until Erwin’s third cast punching through a hole in the snotterbel with a Texas rigged Senko and his promises were redeemed. There aren’t too many plastic lures that will penetrate this nature of weed as easily. Perhaps a Super Fluke is one other. A large, hungry bass snapped up his lure as the bait entered the water between

a mat of weeds. What a start! Erwin was practising for an upcoming event so he was sufficed to confirm the bass were still present where he had found them a week prior. So, we left the spot soon after assessing the expanse of the snotterbel and made our way into the Lomati River. The river current had increased recently due to some heavy rains, which had an effect on the visibility compared with our previous spot. However, here too showed evidence of activity and again the water grass was stacked up along an island ridge, the water also around 5 to 8ft deep. Erwin wasn’t there to waste time and he plunged his bait into the mix of activity. Another bass locked on to the Texas rigged lure mangling it and then diving deep into the snotterbel to escape. They were happily feeding and cajoling beneath the vegetation. Here the baitfish had moved up out of the fast current to seek refuge in the shallow vegetation. By now I’d recognised that similar areas also existed in other dams which I had fished. Albert falls dam has snotterbel dotted around numerous areas of the dam and I can’t tell you when I didn’t catch a limit of bass in any of them. Rhenosterkop dam is practically made up of snotterbel and large bass and other marine life thrive in and around this vegetation year-round, very similar to Darwendale Dam in Zimbabwe which possible hosts some of the continent’s largest bass. Last year Inanda Dam boasted large mats of snotterbel and bass anglers certainly made hay if this. Vegetation exists in most dams, but you may need to search to find the key areas. There was just one other spot Erwin wanted to investigate and this obligated us to travel back to the opposite end of the dam and opposite bank close to Three Tree Bay, nearer to the wall area. We first arrived upon deep patches of snotterbel grass in around 15 to 18ft. The water provided exceptional visibility and with the sun now getting higher the fish were very likely to be descending slightly. Erwin was planning his way around the dam meticulously. In the morning while the sun was low he would target the

shallower areas where the fish would still be prevalent. Later he knew the bass were very likely to retreat from the sun and choose slightly deeper haunts where they would find baitfish doing the same. The anticipation here was enhanced now because you need to allow your lure time to swim below the surface and dive to depths more than we’d encountered earlier. The feeling of setting a hook when the bass are buried deep in the vegetation is incomparable. You realise immediately the challenge which lies ahead, as getting this freshwater game fish from its lair will be a task. The reward however well worth it. I’m trusting that this whirl around the lake will provide you with a new lease on searching for and fishing vegetation. *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.

SA BASS 11 March 2018


Liploos >> Philip Kemp*

‘n Liplose kunsvissie



en van die hengelaars het ook een van die unieke ase per ongeluk onder sy motor se voorruit gelos waar die son die kunsvissie laat swel het. As gevolg van die vergroting van die kamertjie waarin die koeëllaër vibreer, het dit die vibrasie verhoog en die klank van die vissie het so verander dat die sukses van die hengelaar, waarvan sy naam nie aan my bekend is nie, uiters suksesvol was. Daarna het hengelaars alles in hulle vermoë gedoen om dieselfde effek te kry al sou dit beteken dat hulle die kunsaas in kookwater moes kook om die kunsvissie te kry om te swel. Die liplose kunsvissies is uitstekende “soek-ase” en word net soos ‘n swaailem dikwels gebruik in areas om te bepaal of daar baars in die area is en of hulle bereid is om te jag. My gunsteling tyd vir ‘n liplose kunsvissie is natuurlik die hele jaar, maar gedurende Januarie tot einde Maart is die aas dodelik. Nodeloos om te sê, het ek hulle al in die winter ook met groot sukses in tot drie meter diep water gebruik.

24 SA BASS March 2019

Toerusting Wanneer dit kom by stokke en katrolle wat die mees effektiefste werk met ‘n liplose kunsvissie, verkies ek ‘n 6.1:1 spoedkatrol met ‘n medium-swaar stok en 14 pond fluorocarbon lyn. Sommige hengelaars sal selfs 17 pond lyn gebruik vir hierdie tegniek. Jy wil juis ‘n stewige stok vir die tegniek gebruik om die aas uit die gras te pluk as hy sou vashaak, maar tog ‘n punt wat meer toegeeflik is en die skok kan absorbeer wanneer die baars die kunsvissie gryp. Gewoonlik kom die byt sodra die aas uit die gras gepluk is. Ek verkies ook ‘n langer stok en soos Scott Martin, een van die legendes in baarshengel, gebruik ek ‘n 7’11 voet stok wat jou aas verder kan gooi en sodoende ‘n groter area vinnig dek. Dit is meer effektief om ‘n vis oor ‘n lang afstand vas te kap met ‘n langer stok.

Tegnieke Dit is ‘n kuns om hierdie kunsvissies te hengel, omrede dit ook ‘n tegniek is waarin jy maklik jou aas kan laat vashaak en sodoende verloor. Een van my gunsteling tegnieke is om hulle juis te gebruik waar daar gras is wat in ‘n halfmeter tot selfs twee meter diep water lê. Om die liplose vissie so te swem dat hy net so nou en dan die bopunte van die gras raak, kan ‘n uiters suksesvolle tegniek wees. Dit is juis wanneer die aas uit die gras gepluk of geruk word, en weer laat sak word dat die baars die aas sal gryp. Dit sal soms ‘n

sagte gryp van die aas wees. Jy sal maklik kan dink dat jy in die gras vasgehaak het. In warmer waters sal die baars die kunsvissie egter harder gryp en sal die hengelaar beslis weet daar is ‘n vis aan die lyn. Nog ‘n tegniek wat goed werk- en glo dit of te nie; is om die aas tussen en oor versuipte boomstompe te swem. Indien jy nie met hierdie tegniek vertroud is nie is dit raadsaam om jou kunsvissie in ‘n swembad te toets deur jou eie obstruksies in die swembad te plaas (stoel of iets dergliks) en die kunsvissie oor die obstruksie te laat swem. Dit is belangrik dat die kunsvissie met die obstruksie kontak moet maak. Liplose kunsvissies swem met hul neuse na onder en daarom sal die neus eerste met die obstruksie, soos byvoorbeeld ‘n boomstomp, kennis maak. Meestal sal hy dan op sy sy draai en oor die obstruksie gly sonder om vas te haak. Dit is juis wanneer die kunsvissie teen die boomstomp stamp, dat die baars tot die aanval sal oorgaan. Net so ‘n effektiewe tegniek is om die kunsvissie na die bodem te laat val, vir ‘n oomblik te laat lê, en dan weer op te tel, ‘n entjie te swem en dan weer te laat val tot op die bodem. Die tegniek is beter bekend as die jo-jo tegniek en dit boots ‘n beseerde vissie na. Baars is geneig om die vissie op die val te gryp. Die hengelaar moet met die grootte en kleur van die liplose kunsvissies eksperimenteer. Ek verkies egter chroomkleurige kunsvissies in die meeste gevalle, maar in water wat vuiler is werk goudkleurige liplose kunsvissies ook goed. Daar is egter ‘n hele paar verskillende kleure op die mark waarmee die hengelaar kan eksperimenteer. Ek verkies ook beter en sterker hoeke op ‘n liplose kunsvissie en daarom vervang ek die hoeke sodra ek die vissie uit die pakkie haal. Ek sal ook die hoek op die pens gedeelte van die aas gewoonlik vervang met ‘n effens groter hoek, omrede liplose kunsvissies daarvoor bekend is dat die baars hulle maklik uit sy bek uitgooi. Wat ook goed werk is ‘n effens groter spleetringetjie wat die hefboomkrag wat die baars op die aas kan uitoefen, effens verminder. So het ek al ‘n kunsvissie gehad wat onder die lading van die stok teruggeskiet het en homself deur my broek in my binnebeen tuisgemaak het. Nodeloos om te sê, die operasie om die hoek uit my been te verwyder was nie ‘n baie aangename ervaring nie. Die beste vaskaptegniek is dus na links of regs sodat die aas die hengelaar sal mis, sou die hoek loskom. Wees egter net bedag op jou medehengelaar langs jou op die oewer of op die boot. Indien jou kunsvissie sou vashaak, is dit raadsaam om nie dadelik te trek en pluk aan die aas nie, omrede die hoeke net dieper in die obstruksie sal vasslaan. Maak eerder dadelik jou lyn slap en die aas sal meeste van die tyd loskom. Andersins werk die ou “banjo” tegniek ook goed. Rol lyn van die katrol af, draai dit om jou hand, en in die geval van vleglyn (braid) om ‘n stok, gee skiet, en trek die lyn met jou ander hand styf en laat skiet net soos wat jy ‘n banjo se snaar sou trek. Die tegniek veroorsaak ‘n golf in die lyn wat met die lyn af sal hardloop tot by die kunsvissie, en hom sodoende los skud.

‘n Rattletrap

DIE HENGELAAR MOET MET DIE GROOTTE EN KLEUR VAN DIE LIPLOSE KUNSVISSIES EKSPERIMENTEER Liplose kunsvissies is ‘n baie suksesvolle tegniek wat in meeste toestande kan werk en veral daardie tyd van die jaar wat baars op kleiner vissies jag maak. Groete en lekker hengel die somer. *Philip Kemp is ‘n gesoute swartbaarhengelaar en ‘n gereelde bydraer.

SA BASS 25 March 2019


LAND OF FLOODED TIMBER A field of flooded trees contrasted against the African sunset has to be the most iconic panoramic for an angler. Fishing amongst dry old timber can have a very eerie feeling about it.

Flooded timber on Lake Mteri is a great example of some dream fishing for anglers

>> Roger Donaldson*


he brittle, aging, decaying branches stretching out their sharp ends and shuddering their way down the side of your boat, often making their way towards the decals of your outboard motor. In the mean while we’re trying desperately to navigate our path deftly through, while keeping an investigative eye upon the sonar to understand the bottom contours. Bass fisherman in Southern Africa will be very excited to learn that areas of flooded timber exist in many of our dams. Most are completely hidden from sight until the dams experience some sort of drought and only then will the forests beneath the water be revealed. You realise how much opportunity you had missed out on not knowing. I have done much studying about dams in their early years and then also visited venues when they are at their lowest water levels. This has been a tremendous help to my fishing and has also been a very exciting experience to see where bass are often hiding while you are fishing only the visible structure above. 26 SA BASS March 2019

In saying this, I urge you to make use of your sonar and start searching and making note of where flooded timber exists. Google earth is also a very powerful tool and can lead you to some areas you would never have found easily otherwise. Bass locate to these areas of structure because it provides a point of protection from predators and the elements and also tends to draw in creatures, or food types of many kinds. These may include, fish species, crabs and other crustaceans, birds, lizards, and sometimes even snakes and rodents looking for relief whilst crossing a pond. Some dams with exceptional opportunities to fish these flooded areas are Nandoni Dam, Albert Falls and Inanda Dams, Inyaka and Driekoppies, Rhenosterkop and Arabie, Mokolo Dam, De Hoop, Theewaterskloof and of course the Vaal River barrage. Outside South African borders in Swaziland you can enjoy Maguga Dam, Letsibogo in Botswana and before we head too far north into Zimbabwe, the infamous Lake Mteri near Chiredzi. I’ve certainly left a few out, but the above proves that we’re not short of dams which offer this type of exciting fishing.

Methods of identifying timber: Sonar: the most obvious method is certainly by way of traversing your favourite dam at an idle speed keeping your attention focused on the fish finder. Whether you choose to use standard down-looking sonar, side-scanning, or the tremendous new 360º sonar it will be a matter of time before you start collecting information on where these areas exist. I know I’ve highlighted destination above which have a proliferation of flooded timber I urge you to search your favourite dam for specific spots. They may contain trees which are still standing, or might even have fallen trees, only stumps, or large lay-down logs. Google earth: winding the timeline back on Google earth is a great way to spot areas where trees were present before the dam was flooded. Making note of these on a map, taking photographs, or plotting these areas to your GPS will instantly turn you into a local hero. I could spend hours doing this as the rewards are truly incredible. Down rigging: for those of you who don’t have sonar, or any access to the internet at the time you can rig up one of two ways; a Carolina rig, or a deep diving crankbait. By fishing both of these all the way to the bottom you will be able to make contact with any available timber and probably the bass too! *Roger Donaldson is an experienced journalist and knowledgeable bass angler who has enjoyed many enlightening hours with many of South Africa’s top, competitive bass fishermen. As a competitive angler himself, he also enjoys sharing his expertise with fellow bass fanatics in the hope that they find the same joy in this unique sport.

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IMPORTANT TIPS: Bear in mind that fishing around timber comes with its challenges. You cannot fish your bait too quickly through the area otherwise you subject yourself to numerous snagging opportunities. This will certainly frustrate you. Take your time and cast to the thickest stumps and then feed your line from your reel to allow the lure to sink vertically to the bottom. Watch your line ever so carefully as the lure sinks and react by striking if you see a change in the speed which the line sinks, or any identifiable twitch or jerk on the line. You’ll need to upgrade the durability of your line and make sure it has strong abrasion resistance qualities as the timber can be ruthless. I hope you don’t learn this too often on your biggest bites. Be sure to return again to the same spot during the day as bass will move in and out as they feed and attend to their daily migration duties.

3 57” Punch Craw 3.57”

Pieter Bezuidenhout |


Speed and repetition tactics for the changing season

Ladies and gentlemen please put your rods together as South Africa brings you… autumn. If you thought you had some fun bassing over the summer, hold on tightly to your reels because now we are going to catch some really, nice sized bass.

>> Jay Röhm-Williams

A beautiful 1kg autumn bass


s the leaves fall sprawling out over the garden I personally get more and more excited. Changing of seasons is crucially acknowledged by many a bass enthusiast as it marks a tactical change in our fishing techniques and approach. This is the keenly observed time frame where larger specimens of the bass population make their rounds clearing up anything that moves within its attack zone. While autumn lasts the bigger bass will feed notably more aggressively as they feel fit before trailing back to their wintery, safe houses where water temperatures will fluctuate less. This is where we, the bass anglers of today float in and make sure we capitalise respectfully over these next few, magic months. One such tactical strategy, which in some cases might be over looked, is the repetitive cast. The notion of controlling the speed of your retrieval to match each cast as you throw line after line in the same patch of water. Most bass anglers will cast in a particular zone a few times before moving on changing the angle constantly if no success is to be had. Yes you will get a small hit or an average take when swopping positions but what you really want is the opportunity to try your hand at the lunker who 28 SA BASS March 2019

we all know is probably there too. This is where perhaps casting in a reputational manner might just yield you the results you are after, especially this season. The following is a guideline pattern covering top water action, shallow whacks and deep to medium water attacks.

Top water When targeting any structures in the water or aquatic vegetation that is providing substantial cover it has often been recorded that after some perseverant, continuous casting eventually the waters erupt in a solid strike. Often an area where big bass are holding tight is disregarded after we fail to achieve any attention but if we had just hung in there a few more casts things could’ve been different. The reason could be that in researched theory, while we are working the water’s surface above the view for a bass could be obscured below due to the very structure providing the cover. In more cases than one a bass will be intrigued as to the continuous disturbance above and in order to get a better look will have to manoeuvre into a more suitable position before deciding further action. By diligently replacing our top water lures in relatively the same spot close to any cover while holding to the exact

retrieval speed each time, we might possibly be hugely rewarded!

The shallows This is a favourite zone where soft plastics really come to life producing aggressive hits in knee high waters. The daily temperature is still decent and warm enough providing fairly stable conditions for large bass to move around comfortably. In this case, cruising the shallows during those early, daybreak hours in the morning or as the skies turns a peach like colour come dusk. Bring out your creature baits everyone because you are going to be busy. When angling shallow water we have to remember that spooking any fish nearby will not take much effort so it is better to observe at first. After reviewing any activity or potential strike zones, establishing a line of retrieval will be easier. The aim is to bring your lure at a steady, jerk like pace through the same area repeatedly where a bass ambush is most likely. Just keep working the same route and be sure you are been watched for when the strike comes it will be forcefully quick. If movement has been noted, instead of targeting the bass itself rather cast strategically close by within a range of sight and attackable accessibility.


Deep to medium water As autumn lags on and the days eventually become recognisably colder it is time to focus on the deep to medium waters to coax those last big bass out of hiding. If you feeling the change in weather guarantee that the bass have felt it before you and will be getting ready to ditch the shallows. This doesn’t mean they won’t grab a bite or two before calling it a season. Spinners and crank style lures do the job pretty well when it comes to enticing the larger bass to annihilate a continuously, travelling by snack. Selecting drop offs and any submerged shelter will be ideal focal points. Here repetitive casts while bringing your lure quickly out from deeper water towards the safety of the surface will prove irresistible. If it seems that the bass are not on the feed do not despair as strikes of aggravation will often be dealt one way or another eventually. The size and vibration of your lure combined with a hasty speed of retrieval in most cases, is still enough to entice a freshwater, green and gold giant into attack mode. The fortunate and fantastic thing about been a passionate angler is that no matter where you are in the world, it doesn’t really matter what season it is. If an opportunity for some bassing is on the cards you can bet your fortune we already have the rods packed in the car. Come rain or shine, wind and storms, bass fishing takes on many forms. However you chose to enjoy this exciting, sporting activity have fun and make sure each moment counts. Rods out and safe fishing everyone.


Example of deep to medium location





Example of shallow water location



Example of top water location SA BASS 29 March 2019


Secrets of South Africa’s Pro’s – Part 8

Colour Counts

Glassies, or river sardine, are heavily predated on by bass and can easily be resembled with a small jerkbait


he colour revolution became so popular and evident that in 2010 even bait designers in South Africa started producing soft plastic baits, both Flounder / Fluke styles and Senko / Stick worm options which clearly resembled our resident fodder species. These included the likes of all the kurper species, namely blue, vlei, dwarf and canary. Fun thing, many competitive anglers which I’ve known have kept these species in an aquarium at some stage. You would never imagine the brightness and distinction of intense colours in these small fish, so much so that if they were available in our local pet stores as a tropical variety. I’m quite sure you would select from the kurper species as some of your favourites. So, was the colour and preciseness of these lures necessary?

30 SA BASS March 2019

Well remember, we’re still on our scouting journey and learning everything that we can about the waters that we can before the big fishing day. Bass are particularly honed in to their prey and if your lure more truly resembles their target species then you can bet your bottom dollar that your chances will be heightened. At different times of the year and depending on water and weather conditions the baitfish will display different colours. So, although the plastic lure designed to depict a certain colour may be very evident in the species habitat during summer, this may be vastly different in winter, autumn and spring. Water temperatures have vast impact on the fish’ colouration - certainly evident in the kurper, bluegill and carp species, yet maybe not so much with glassies,

>> Bass Spy*

mosquito fish, or juvenile catfish (yes bass will prey on young catfish) species to name a few. An interesting method of learning baitfish colours can be to target them specifically. My artlure compatriots will attest to this and in a learning experience out on Rhenosterkop Dam I witnessed incredible examples of how to source the difference species. Very small hooks and tiny plastic baits can be implemented, or you can simply look for shallow vegetation and run a fine mesh net along the edges. You may come across more than you bargained for, as there is more life within these areas than you can imagine – certainly in the summer months. Although there may be less activity from these small inhabitants in winter you will begin to notice how the colours of these creatures change with the seasons.

Vlei kurper, one of many kurper species which are a popular source of fodder for bass

Fish species and even crabs change colours depending on their life cycle stage and the seasons too. A general rule of thumb is that the younger the specie the less developed (prominent) the colours will be. It goes without saying that a monumental amount of effort goes into establishing the basic natural colour schemes of the different species and which exist most prolifically in which dams. However, once you’ve established all this you’ll have an excellent basis to make your lure colour choice a more informed one. IMPORTANT NOTES: It will still be necessary for you to make complementary notes about where you found these particular fish and what the water conditions were. Was it that the water was stained or clear? What were the water temperatures at the time? What was the season? What were the water levels doing – rising rapidly, falling, or stagnant? Although we related the bait colours to soft plastic lures it goes without saying that crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and top water baits can be considered similarly. They too have colour varieties which can match various scenarios that you’ll be faced with. But are the baitfish always these vivid colours? No, certainly not. This is very seasonal. Mostly, you will find success by trying to keep your bait colours as “natural” as possible. When

anglers refer to “natural” colours they are often implying that your bait should blend in with the surroundings. I have found an easy method that has worked successfully for me and I recommend you attempt it. With soft plastic lures it will be very helpful to you to keep a range of watermelon colours. They are available with various fleck (glitter) options, red, gold, candy, green black etc. This is a good start. Hold the lure close to the water and see how it immediately soaks in the surrounding colours and tends to blend more easily than the next colour. Sometimes the fleck needs to be prominent – slightly stained water may require this, and at other times a black fleck will be your choice – most often in clear water conditions. Now try the same with crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and top water baits. Spend some time selecting the lure which my suits the environment and I believe you will immediately make a tremendous impact to your catch ratio. And size of the bait matters too so see you next time and we will dig into this method of preparation for you! *The Bass Spy has fished alongside and been exposed to the secrets and tactics of many competitive bass anglers on waters throughout the continent. This column is dedicated to all fanatical bass enthusiasts looking for the inside track and an edge on their favourite past time.

Join FLW’s

For quickest delivery, visit or call 065-849-3264

FLW Bass Fising is only available in digital format outside the borders of USA

SA BASS 31 March 2019

>> SA BASS >> Jay RĂśhm-Williams

KNOW YOUR BASSING Ten great facts you may or not know about South African bass angling and large-mouth bass in general.

Autumn morning


h bass fishing, the two words that will literally catch my attention anywhere any time. My mind starts reeling with all sorts of burning, inquisitive questions to ask anyone who shows an interest in this mind blowing, sporting activity so many of us share. The discussions never get old and the stories can just keep coming for as long as you draw breath. There are lists of different topics we could converse about all relating to the practice of bass angling with each time us learning more from one another than before. Here are just few interesting facts that perhaps are worthwhile mentioning out of curiosity and to possibly add to your own knowledge.

1. 2.


The oldest reported age to date for an adult largemouth bass was 23 years. Bass in general usually live till about 15 years of age assuming the conditions are ideal. The biggest largemouth bass caught in Southern Africa that has been recorded, weighed in at 7.192kg by angler Wayne NaudÊ last year in 2018. The world’s current record for biggest, large-mouth bass caught weighed in at 10.120kg by angler Manabu Kurita in Japan; a few grams ahead of George Perry from the U.S. who held the record for 83 years! Largemouth bass do not have any eye lids. Their eyes actually have the same vital components that we as human beings have namely the cornea, pupil and retina as well as the exact type of light sensitive cells found in the rods and cones of the eye.

32 SA BASS March 2019

4. Nine of the largest, freshwater dams in Southern Africa are known to have recordings of bass actively present: t(SFBUFS#SBOEWMFJJOUIF8FTUFSO$BQFDBO hold 474 000 mega litres of water. tɨFFTXBUFSLMPPGJOUIF8FTUFSO$BQFDBOIPME 480 200 mega litres of water. t,SVJTNBOSJWJFSJOUIF8FTUFSO$BQFDBOIPME 637 900 mega litres of water. t#MPFNIPGJOUIF/PSUI8FTU'SFF4UBUFDBO hold 1240 200 mega litres of water. t+P[JOJJO,XB;VMV/BUBMDBOIPME mega litres of water. t7BBM%BNJOUIF'SFF4UBUF(VBUFOHDBO hold 2603 400 mega litres of water. t4UFSLGPOUFJOJOUIF'SFF4UBUFDBOIPME 900 mega litres of water. t7BOEFSLMPPGJOUIF/PSUIFSO$BQF'SFF4UBUF can hold 3171 300 mega litres of water. t(BSJFQ%BNJOUIF'SFF4UBUFDBOIPME 600 mega litres of water.

Bass eggs

SA Bass’

5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10.

first issu

e, April


It only takes a minimum of 2 to 4 days for a bass egg to hatch under the right conditions. A bass’s mouth is full of tiny, unique bones and muscles all interacting together to form a 4-bar linkage system with three degrees of freedom. Meaning each linkage can move on three different planes similar to that of a ball and socket joint explaining how they can open their mouths so wide. The South African team were among the top 5 standing positions in the 14th World Black Bass $IBNQJPOTIJQTIFMEJOCFBUJOHCPUI*UBMZBOE $BOBEB A large-mouth bass can swallow prey whole up to an astonishing 25 to 35% of its own body length. Largemouth bass were first recorded been introduced to Southern Africa from as early as the 1920’s. Smallmouth specimens were then later introduced a few years soon afterwards. 4"#BTTNBHB[JOFXBTÍSTUQVCMJTIFEJO"QSJM and will be celebrating 18 years of bass angling publications this year!

The world of bass fishing is truly something of an honour to be part of and each angler’s journey is unique in their own way. Where ever you find yourself whether local or abroad you can almost be certain that some heart thumping, bass action is possibly just around the corner. Rods out and safe fishing everyone.

Bass eye

Gariep Dam

Kanabu Kuirta with his 10.120kg bass SA BASS 33 March 2019


A V O N TU U R K am p

>> Hannes Lindeque >



it is een van die dae weer vakansie en baie ouers wonder wat die kinders met hulsef gaan aanvang om hulself besig te hou, veral die wat die “tuinroete� gaan doen of anders gestel, met Jantuisbly se karretjie gaan ry. SA BASS se Bassing Kids avontuurkampe bestaan reeds sedert

Julie 2003 waartydens ons seuns en dogters tussen die ouderdom van 8 en 16 besig hou met gesonde pret. Die volgende kamp begin op Sondag, 24 Maart en duur tot Vrydag, 29 Maart. Tydens die kampe word kinders nie net hengelvaardighede geleer nie, maar stel ons hulle ook bekend aan ander buitelug aktiwiteite soos

veldkuns, hindernisbaan, teikenskiet en al die lekker dinge toe kinders nog kinders was. Ons het beperkte slaapplek met die gevolg dit is nodig om vooraf te bespreek. Die besprekingsvorms en lys van goed om saam te bring is op ons webwerf beskikbaar.

Vir meer besonderhede skakel Wilma tydens kantoorure by 065-849-3264, of e-pos

34 SA BASS March 2019

SA BASS 35 March 2019


Small Craft Championship May 4 & 5, 2019 Inanda Dam Hillcrest, KZN

FLW FORREST WOOD CUP August 9 - 11, 2019 Lake Hamilton Hot Springs, AR

FLW Championship August 23 - 25, 2019 Lake Oanob Rehoboth, Namibia

FLW Championship August 23 - 25, 2019 Venue to be announced Zimbabwe

FLW RSA Championship August 29 - 31, 2019 Witbank Dam Witbank, MP

Costa FLW Series Championship Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2019 Lake Cumberland Burnside, KY


+NRF B-COMPLEX FIZZY – instant energy boost


ith modern day stress and fast pace living, it is difficult to maintain high levels of energy necessary to keep going all day long. NRF B-Complex fizzy is a delicious, cranberry flavoured d effervescent tablet with antioxidants which helps to boost energy effectively. A tablet should be taken daily in half a glass of water. B1 (thiamine) ensures that thee body can produce new and healthyy cells. This vitamin has anti-stresss properties, can help boost yourr immune system and is vital for thee breakdown of simple carbohydrates.. B2 (Riboflavin) can help prevent agingg and reduce the risk of heart disease.. It is essential for the production off red blood cells and haemoglobin n which help the body receive oxygen.. B3 (niacin) helps increase the levelss of HDL (good cholesterol) in thee blood and has been known to help p with skin conditions such as acne. B5 (pantothenic acid) can be found in many foods in small quantities where the main uses include breaking down fats and carbohydrates for energy and the production of important hormones such as testosterone. B6 (Pyridoxine) has several different qualities. Firstly, it works to regulate blood levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid associated with heart disease. It also helps to body to produce hormones such as serotonin and melatonin, as well as norepinephrine. These are our sleep and stress hormones that alter mood and energy levels. It may also improve the condition of patients who suffer from arthritis. Vitamin B7 (biotin), also known as the beauty vitamin, has several benefits in relation to appearance, as it has been linked with improving the appearance of skin, hair and nails. There have also been studies that suggest that vitamin B7 can help to control blood glucose levels, suggesting that supplementation

can be beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes. Folic Acid has several key benefits and has been linked to the prevention of memory loss, as well as improving depression. The main role of B12 is to aid the other vitamin B supplements in completing their roles. A lack of vitamin B, especially B12, can potentially lead to anaemia, which is a low red blood cell count. B12 deficiency includes fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, dizziness, lack of appetite, weight loss, sore tongue, mouth ulcers, pins and needles, irritability and depression. . *NRF B-Complex is free from Tartrazine, aspartame, gluten, preservatives and yeast and is safe for diabetics. It is not recommended for pregnancy or children as it does contain a small amount of caffeine. NRF B-Complex fizzy is available from Dis-Chem and independent pharmacies.


The Vibe 100 Apex – the highest point of anything; culmination; peak

The thoughts and inspirations of Aaron Martens are now found in a new lure line called Apex



019 will celebrate the distinctive assembly of a lure line, not to be defined as just another lure in the industry. It will indeed be drastically different. It is the culmination of over 25 years of professional angling and all-time records. It’s the remnants of three Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles, three US Open Crowns and the intelligence of twenty Bassmaster Classics. It is the wisdom of Western and Eastern US dominance accomplished by only one angler. The thoughts and inspirations of Aaron Martens are now found in a new lure line called Apex. The highest point of lure development and angling skill will converge to a peak in collaboration only achieved by DUO International and Aaron Martens. “I am really excited to be part of the family”, said Martens. Known in the world of professional angling as The Natural, The Hawg Snatcher, The Lure Doctor, and King of Consistency, Aaron Martens is the only professional bass angler to rank the highest averages in Bassmaster Elite Angler of the Year seasons. His 25 years as a professional angler mixed with the lure creativity of DUO’s famed designer, Masahiro Adachi have come together to create Apex. “I have had a passion for fishing and lures at a very young age. Not only do I love fishing, but also fish as a living species. I am always looking into their biology to create efficient lures”, said Mr. Adachi.

Together Mr. Adachi and Mr. Martens will embark on a journey to forge a series of innovative lures. The first in the Apex line-up will be called VIBE 100. The 100mm giant lipless crank will carry a meaty profile and weight not regularly seen in lipless designs. It will release a unique vibration, exit cover and obstructions with little effort and reach its targets in adverse conditions. It will also possess swim-descent motion and an upright posture, aiding in better line control. “The VIBE 100 will help tournament anglers. I’m really excited about Apex! Finally, I have a home for my ideas and lure modifications.”, Aaron Martens. *David Swendseid is a professional bass angler in the USA and is currently the Research and Development specialist for DUO. He spends a great time teaching other professional anglers on how to execute techniques or learn new ones and also assist the international community on bass angling presentations. He pursued trophy bass records and held two lake records and an official state record. The study of fish behaviour and lure action is his forte. He currently contributes to about 16 international bass angling magazines, including SA BASS.

QR code: DUO Apex Check out the videos: https://youtu be/HYHe-C6DjmA SA BASS 37 March 2019


Commercial Vehicles

6SHFLɵFDWLRQV 2.0 BiTDI 132kW @ 4,000 r/min 420Nm@ 1,500 – 2,000 r/min 8 speed automatic Fuel consumption 11.9 km/litre The Amarok Double Cab Highline Auto Plus 2.0 BiTDI

Permanent 4MOTION

Amarok Double Cab Highline Auto Plus VW’s Amarok was launched in September 2014 and is still one of the vehicles WKDWPDNHKHDGVWXUQ7KHɵUVWWKLQJWKDWRQHQRWLFHVZKHQYLHZLQJDQ$PDURN LVLWVLPSRVLQJVL]H >> Hannes Lindeque*


he VW Amarok offers the best of both worlds. It is a comfortable luxury sedan, but also a trusty workhorse. The overall design hasn’t changed much, but under the hood and the interior is a different story. The dash board is fitted with a sixspeaker radio/CD sound system which is also a touch media screen. Features include satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, MP3 capability, two SD-card slots, USB connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a very handy, rearassist camera neatly installed above the number plate and front- and rear parking sensors. Below the media screen is dual-zone climate and air conditioning control. The cabin is well laid out with plenty of loose item storage spots; including a dash-top box, storage space in front of the gear selector with USB

38 SA BASS March 2019

and auxiliary cable slots, three 12 volt outlets, decent size centre console, and a pair of cup holders between the seats. Behind the consol is another 12 voltoutlet for the rear passengers. There are dual front air bags and front-side air bags. All four doors have large bottle holders and pockets. The front seats are comfortable with heating and adjustable back support. The Amarok’s leather-lined, multifunction steering column is adjustable and functions on the steering wheel include indicators and speed control on the left; wipers on the right hand side; radio, cell phone and onboard computer controls on front of the steering. With certain settings the lights switch on automatically in low light conditions and so does the wipers when there are moisture on the wind screen. The rear view mirror dims automatically and the headlights has

three electrically adjustment settings. The exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable and can fold in when parking in confined spaces. They can also be electrically heated to clear on cold mornings. The Amarok still makes use of the traditional key to start the vehicle. A very handy feature is the head and cabin lights that lids up when you remotely unlock the vehicle. The rear seat has Isofix child-seat mounts and easily accommodates three persons across. The seat can be lifted if you don’t want to place heavy objects on it, or the back rest can be dropped down. The emergency equipment, first aid bag and tools for changing a tyre are stowed away behind the rear seat. Unfortunately; there isn’t a flipdown rear armrest at the back and the two cup holders on the floor can sometimes be in the way. Also there are no air bags or air vents at the back.

The huge cargo bin of the Amarok measures 1555mm long, 1620mm wide, 508mm deep and the vehicle has a 1,000kg payload. An additional weatherproof 12 volt outlet can be found in the cargo bin. To rubberise the bin is optional. The model I drive is fitted with a soft Tonneau cover. Although I found that the bin is not dust proof it can easily be fixed if you are a DIY person. The Amarok Double Cab Highline Auto Plus has a 2.0 litre twin-turbo charged diesel engine which delivers 132kW @ 4,000 rpm. Peak torque is 420Nm at 1,500 r/min. I had no problem towing the heavy double axel FLW mobile weigh station across the country and getting it into position at our tournament venues. The Highline’s towing capacity is rated at 750kg for an unbraked trailer and 3,500kg for a braked trailer. (The maximum ball down-weight is 300kg.) The transmission is an eight speed automatic with paddle shifters, and there is a manual shift mode for the lever. The sport drive mode allows for higher revving and works excellently in Gauteng traffic, or when towing. Pulling away is smooth and the vehicle quickly jumps out of the starting blocks. Transitions between the gears are smooth, and a very handy feature I found is an adjustable speed warning setting. Especially when one is travelling through KZN on the N3 and one has to be aware of all the traffic cameras. Using speed control, the average fuel consumption (without a load) is between 11 and 12km/l at 120km/h. At 100km/h the consumption comes down to 14km/l, but when I tow the FLW trailer it goes up to an average of 6.7km/l. The fuel tank capacity is 80 litres and the fuel gauge is accurately calibrated in ten litre intervals. It is recommended that low sulphur diesel, 50ppm or less, is used. The ride is truly comfortable and quite. Suspension, wind and tyre noise are excellently suppressed. Driving an Amarok does not feel like driving an old “plaas bakkie”, instead it is an

Plenty of loose item storage spots; including a dash-top box, storage space in front of the gear selector

The Amrok has a decent size centre console and a pair of cup holders between the seats

absolute pleasure and the comfort levels are among the market segment’s best. A feature I found very useful was the digital voice enhancement, which amplifies voices from the rear seats to the driver’s position. Also impressive is the radio’s automatic volume adjustment according the vehicle’s speed and surrounding noise levels. The Amarok Highline Auto Plus offers permanent 4MOTION which is a registered trademark of Volkswagen, used exclusively on VW branded automobiles with four-wheel drive systems. If you are not used to driving off road conditions or gravel roads, then the “off road” settings will assist that the vehicle doesn’t lose track and the rear end breaks away. The Highline does have a rear differential lock which is controlled via a switch next to the gearlever, and that combined with the vehicle’s intelligent electronics is more than enough to do what most people will need. The onboard computer provides traction control with ESP and hillstart/hill-descent assist which I found very useful at the slipway. And…. you don’t need to worry about shifting between 2H, 4H and 4L. Maintenance intervals are every twelve months or 15,000km, and Volkswagen offers a three-year/ unlimited kilometre plan for all of its models.

Optional extras: The hidden rear-assist camera is VERY useful

The back seats can be folded up or down, depending on your needs

The following features can be added to the Amarok Double Cab Highline to give it a really impressive look: Bi-Xenon headlights, tow bar, roll bar, sidesteps, Tonneau cover, rubberising and satellite navigation. Visit McCarthy Volkswagen in Wonderboom, Pretoria to book a test drive and see for yourself how incredible the VW Amarok really is. Their contact number is 012-567-9345. *Hannes Lindeque is the founder and publisher of SA BASS magazine since 2001, the tournament director of the SA BASS Cast-for-Cash bass angling tournament trial and FLW Southern Africa. SA BASS 39 March 2019


Kwa-Zulu Natal

L-t-r: Roy & Michael Cannon, Martin de Kock & Gavin Richardson, Schalk & Wentzel Gordon, Dirk van de Merwe, Hedley Groger

13.120kg Venue: Albert Falls Dam

Top ten places: 1: Team Zman Fishtec - 13.120kg

2: Team Yamaha Rapala - 11.805kg 3: Team Gordon2 - 11.255kg 4: Team D & H Engineering - 9.790kg 5: Team All The Gear, No Idea - 9.260kg 6: Team Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 - 7.950kg 7: Team Kazmarine - 6.450kg 8: Team J & L Fishtec - 5.545kg 9: Team NP Auto Electrical - 4.880kg 10: Team Nitro Circus - 4.835kg

Catch more, bigger bass, read...

SA baars BASS MAGAZINE Since 2001

Championship 2019 Witbank Dam, 29 - 31 Aug VisitVisit for entry for entry forms, forms, dates, dates venues and and venues. results. For general enquiries phone 082-416-5524

40 SA BASS March 2019

January Laboria - GP


L-t-r: Henry Petersen, Richard Dunn, George Newham, Bruce McKinnley, Peet vd Schyff, Shaun John

L-t-r: Frank Gottschalk, Simon Bezuidenhout, Len & Dalton Bakkes, AndrĂŠ & Justin Morison



Venue: Witbank Dam

Venue: Middelburg Dam

Top ten places:

Top ten places:

1: Team All Ov er - 8.7100kg

1: Team Double Trouble - 4.595kg

2: Team All Lift / Wolf - 7.690kg

2: Team Sukkelaars - 3.940kg

3: Team Gel Ev ents* - 6.940kg

3: Team Reel Rebels - 3.660kg

4: Team Madfin - 6.780kg

4: Team Woolly bugger Farm - 3.640kg

5: Team GLT Petroleum* - 5.960kg

5: Team Keeping it Real - 3.055kg

6: Team Young Terminators - 5.810kg

6: Team Graceland Outdoors 2 - 2.845kg

7: Team Timols* - 5.590kg

7: Team Trim Dow n For What - 2.810kg

8: Team Eco Log Homes² - 5.320kg

8: Team Aquaholics - 2.765kg

9: Team Cobat Transport* - 5.270kg

9: Team X Factor - 2.670kg

10: Team Fish Eagle - 5.110kg

10: Team Stan Rio Pipe and Steel - 2.650kg

For the complete results and next venue: see our website

For the complete results and next venue: see our website

T: 0861-282-282 E: W: Alpha Laboria, inter alia renders the following labour law services: disciplinary codes, grievance procedures, charge sheets, etc. Revision of current documentation and/or drafting of all the required documents form part of our presentation. We also do training, conduct disciplinary hearings, arbitration, union negotiations, handle strikes and more. We are available for advice 24 hours a day and act within 72 hours. Alpha Laboria 258 West Street Pretoria North, South Africa

McCarthy Volkswagen Wonderboom


T: 012-567-9345 F: 086-573-4246

Confidence, peace of mind and customer satisfaction. That's what you can expect when you purchase a MasterCar - thanks to our professional Network, a long trusted South African brand and our ten point customer brand promise. A MasterCar is a demo or used Volkswagen that is less than 5 years old, or has less than 120 000km on the clock.

Lavender Road Annlin, Pretoria, 0182

SA BASS 41 March 2019



North West

Back (l-t-r): Gavin Dorfling, Stefan Badenhorst, Justy Varkevisser Front (l-t-r): Courteney Grant, Alexis Kuisis, Reed Eastman

Back (l-t-r): Giulio Nolly, Greg Schluep, Karel Lensley, Pieter Khourie, August Lingnau Front: Loutjie Louwies



Venue: Nandoni Dam

Venue: Roodekopjes Dam

Top ten places - day 1:

Top ten places:

1: Team BB Mazda - 5.500kg

1: Team Secret VC - 5.660kg

2: Team Fear no Fish - 4.940kg

2: Team Khourie - 5.500kg

3: Team Beli VC* - 4.585kg

3: Team Raptor - 4.850kg

4: Team Beli Farming - 4.575kg

4: Team Bass Reapers - 3.800kg

5: Team Erasmusse - 4.365kg

5: Teams Greens²* - 3.400kg

6: Team Lev ubu Bulle - 3.660kg

6: Team Bassw orld - 3.030kg

7: Team Optimax - 3.500kg

7: Team Greens* - 2.830kg

8: Team ABU Riv o - 2.770kg

8: Team Terminator 2 - 2.690kg

9: Team Tw ins - 2.640kg

9: Team Bass Boy s - 2.170kg

10: Team Nunu Bass - 2.090kg

10: Team Surgical Strike - 2.140kg

For the complete results and next venue: see our website

For the complete results and next venue: see our website

Record Catch Polokwane / Pietersburg

Did you catch a record size fish within the last 60 days? You can claim an official FLW accredited record in various categories including overall tackle, men’s category, ladies category, junior category in different line classes and even fly rod records. Records for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass can be claimed. Terms and conditions apply. Visit our website and download the application form PO Box 24938 Gezina, Pretoria, 0031 E:

42 SA BASS March 2019

January O.F.S.

Winners - January 2019

Winning team - Cholera bros D. Collyer & R. Collyer



Venue: Vaal River

Venue: Darwemdale Dam

Top three places:

Top ten places:

1: Team Bassin buddies - 4.600kg

1: Team Cholera Bros - 10.36kg

2: Team Tjoppie - 0.710kg

2: Team Marondera Mamparas - 9.54kg

3: Team Termenator - 0.210kg

3: Team Big & Small - 8.71kg 4: Team Keep Net - 8.55kg 5: Team Starbell Auto - 7.18kg 6: Team Matbass - 5.66kg 7: Team Team Choppy - 5.58kg 8: Team Tengw e Boy s - 5.46kg 9: Team BTAP - 5.35kg 10: Team Kross Tech - 5.08kg


C: 082-416-5524 T: 065-849-3264 F: 086-234-5052 E:

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For everyone that loves bass fishing! SA BASS is a specialist bass fishing publication catering for a well-defined niche market since April 2001. Our mission is to promote bass angling as a socially acceptable and popular outdoor recreational activity, and in addition, to encourage acceptable angling ethics. Due consideration is given to developing the sport among all the country's people.

Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is the world's largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across various tournament circuits. FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, South Korea and South Africa. The FLW television show is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.

PO Box 24938 Gezina, Pretoria, 0031

PO Box 24938 Gezina, Pretoria, 0031

SA BASS 43 March 2019


to Lake Guntersville

Part 4

A small craft angler’s road >> Vicus Horn*

Archie, Vicus and Juan

In the previous issue: On our way to Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, where registration was to take place, we stopped at a local tackle shop. Lo and behold, outside was parked the vehicle of a certain Mr. Bryan Thrift. Once inside we duly saw the legendary pro bass angler browsing the shop.


he next day was planned to be the first day of the main tournament. The friendship anglers were only to compete on the final day. One troublesome piece of news we got during the evening, was that some bad weather was forecast for day one. On the morning of tournament day, we arrived at the dock to find the weather not looking too bad. Overcast, no rain and the wind no more than a breeze. I hoped that it would hold. Unfortunately, soon after our arrival, we got news that day one was cancelled. A tornado had touched down to the west, and the organizers decided that safety comes first. This had implications for Juan, Hendrik and I. Usually when a tournament like this runs for three days, only the top ten qualifiers fish the last day. The friendship tournament was planned in such a way, that some of the pro’s that did not make the cut, would act as skippers and 44 SA BASS March 2019

team mates for the International Friendship Tournament. Now, there was to be no cut. All competitors in the main event fished both the remaining days. There would be no skippers or boats available for the Friendship Tournament. We were told that the organizers were still in discussions to try and make some sort of plan, so that our friendship tournament could still take place. We were to be informed the next day of the outcome. As we drove home, Hendrik, Juan and I were slightly depressed, and a little nervous. Could it be that we came all this way, only to end up not participating? To dispel the gloomy atmosphere, Juan, Hendrik, Hannes, Peet and Christine made a plan to go and fish a nearby piece of water for the rest of the day. I decided to stay in, and tend to cooking duty. Later, the fishing party returned home with some cheer. They had managed a couple of nice spotted bass, with some photos to prove it. I made a chicken curry that was sub-standard by my cooking standards by a fairly long way. I had to deal with pots that were too small and slow-cooker that did not really work that well. Everyone complimented my cooking, but to be honest, I think they were just being polite. There was a nervous silence in our vehicle as we drove to the dock the next morning. On arrival, we mingled with the hustle and bustle, and watched the boats prepare for launch. After approximately an hour we received news that local bass fishing club members have agreed to act as skipper and team mates and also to provide boats for

the International Friendship Tournament. Needless to say, the news was well received! After launch, we drove back to the guesthouse in much better mood that when we left. We returned to the dock later I the afternoon to attend the weighin. We were excited to see how the South African contingent had fared. Fairly early on, Bryan Thrift weighed in a huge limit of bass once again, to take a big early lead in the open division. As it turned out, Neels and Peet had a tough day, Shaun had a limit, and was leading the international division. Robbie did well in the co-angler division, ending up in eight place over-all for day two, also leading the international coangler division, and if he could manage a good final day was in range of winning the co-angler division outright. We could not hang around too long, as we had to attend the international dinner that evening at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge. We were treated to a seafood buffet dinner. I had some of the long legged crab, and catfish for the first time in my life. I must say that the catfish was in no way similar to our “barbel”. The flesh was white, light and tasty. It tasted like fish from the ocean. After dinner we left for the guesthouse. For Juan, Hendrik and I, excitement was building, because the next day was tournament day for us. Before bed, we had some animated discussions of strategy and technique as one might expect. We were also told that due to Barend not being available for the friendship tournament, his place was to be filled by Shaun’s girlfriend, Michaela, as Hendrik’s team mate. We were assured that she could fish. It turned out that she could indeed fish, as we found out later. The next morning after we arrived, we watched the launch and then just stood around, waiting to be told what to do next. I noticed a few guys standing around who I have not seen before. One man noticed me with my fishing gear, and walked up to me, and asked if I was one of the competitors that he was asked help out. I answered in the affirmative, and he introduced himself as Archie. It turns out that Archie did not really know much about the situation. He was just phoned at short notice and asked if he would make himself and his boat available to help out in a tournament. He was intrigued to hear we were from South Africa, and he immediately offered to also make his boat available to us the next day. He even went a step further and offered to take us out to dinner that evening, to a place called Craw-Mammas. I was really impressed by his friendly and welcoming attitude. If this was a typical example of an American, then they had something to be proud of, for sure. Soon after, the teams were paired with skippers. After a short pre-tournament briefing, we boarded our boats, and a few minutes later, we were off. We only had four hours to fish, as weigh-in was at 12:30. Juan and I decided to let Archie decide where to start off, as he was local. He first

Juan and legendary pro bass angler, Bryan Thrift

went to a nearby point just off a dock, and proceeded to scan the bottom with his fish-finder. He announced shortly after that he could not see any fish, and that we would go to the next spot he had in mind. We took off and arrived at the next spot about twenty minutes later. It was a point roughly 12ft deep, with the bottom covered in scattered grass. We proceeded to cover the area for about thirty minutes, with no luck. I was getting a bit nervous, as time was very limited. There really was no time for experimentation. I suggested that we once again go looking for some matted grass, similar to the ones where we had success during pre-fishing. Archie said that there was a spot like that five minutes away. We duly arrived at the spot five minutes later, as Archie said we would. As we approached, Archie made a cast, and was on straight away. He landed a largemouth of just over a kilo. I picked up a Texas rig, and Juan a drop-shot. We proceeded to fish hard, with no more luck for about half an hour. Then we approached a spot where some murky water met a matted weed edge. Archie said, “I have five dollars that says we get a fish here.” He was right immediately, three times over. All three of us cast at the spot at the same time, and all three of us proceeded to hook up with a fish. All three spotted bass was boated a minute later. We went from one fish in the live-well to four fish in one minute. We proceeded to each take one or two more from the same spot during the next twenty minutes. We had our limit, and were pretty happy about that. After a brief discussion we decided to stay in that spot, and just see if we could cull a fish or two, which we did. Then, way too soon, time was up, and we had to go to weigh-in. Michaela gestured to us as we arrived, showing five fingers with quizzical expression on her pretty face. Yes, we have limit, I signalled back. And you? I signalled. She answered in the affirmative. At the weigh station, Hendrik and Michaela were carrying a big bag of fish, clearly much heavier than our bag. It also turns out that Michaela was chiefly responsible for catching most of them. It seemed SA BASS 45 March 2019

FLW MC, Chris Jones with Michaela, Ron Lappin and Hendrik on stage

that the two South African teams were in a good place. Archie said his goodbyes, but not before confirming our arrangement to see him at Craw-Mammas later that evening. After weigh in, we had a short prize-giving. South Africa took first and third. We were content. Later, the competitors fishing the main tournament started to come in. We were anxious to see how our guys fared. Shaun did not have a good day, but still finished well in the international division. He had to endure some banter from us, along the lines of needing to learn from his girlfriend. Neels made good ground after a slow start the previous day, and barely missed out winning the international pro-division. Robbie unfortunately also had a miserable final day, but still won the international coangler division. Peet bagged a couple of fish. By the time prize-giving was concluded, it was too late to go home and shower, and still be in time for our dinner date with Archie. So Hannes dropped as at Craw-Mammas directly. Archie and his son Baylor soon joined us. Later Peet and Christine also arrived. It did not take Peet long to become the life of the party. I was seated next our host, Archie, who kept me entertained with questions about South Africa, and some fishing stories, and by keeping all sorts of interesting food coming. I had alligator meat for the first time. I also had a couple of different varieties of American beer, maybe a little too much beer. Luckily, I was not driving. A couple of hours later, our little party drew to a natural close. As we left, Archie confirmed arrangements with us to use his boat to fish the lake one last time. 46 SA BASS March 2019

I woke early with a bit of a headache. This confirmed my suspicion that I possibly had a bit more beer the previous evening than I should. I thought back over the happenings of the previous day. I would happily deal with the headache. What a day it was. The little headache was certainly worth it. As per usual I got up first, and made my room-mate Juan a cup of coffee. Soon Hendrik and Hannes was also up. We loaded the Suburban, and left for the place where Archie said we should meet up with Baylor, who would take us out. We arrived, and met up with Baylor who soon had us speeding over the water to our first spot for the day. It was a steep bank with matted grass, teeming with baitfish. I opted for a popper, which I borrowed from Juan, as I was not happy about the state of the trebles on mine. Juan, Hendrik and Baylor opted for chatterbaits, swimbaits and flukes. They were fishing relatively fast, trying for the reaction bite. The reaction technique did draw a few blowups but no hook-ups. So the fish were there. They were just not committing. This prompted me to stick with my popper, fishing it slow as possible, trying to tease a bass into finally committing. About forty minutes into the fishing, I finally got bit. Not a big blow-up, mind you, but more of a swirl. I set the hook, and had to put a bit of pressure on the keep the fish out of the weeds. Half a minute later I landed her. Baylor immediately said that fish was a four pounder. My estimate would agree, somewhere between 1.7 and 1.9kg. Certainly worthy of being named my USA PB. We kept at it for about another hour. Then after a short discussion, it was decided to have a go at some striper. Baylor took us to the dam wall, where water was being released, causing heavy current. It was a rough ride, as the wind was picking up. He told us to fish directly in the current. We tried for about a half hour before deciding that the wind was just becoming too much. On our way

back to the launch, the wind picked up even more. The ride was bone-jarring, and we got soaking wet. But we were soon at the launch, and helped Baylor load up the boat. Hannes arrived to pick us up, and we expressed our appreciation to Baylor, said our goodbyes, and drove back to the guesthouse. We spent our last night in the guesthouse, packing and relaxing, and also reflecting on the awesome time we had. Unique experiences shared, and meeting awesome people like Archie and his son. It had truly been an experience, and adventure. The flight home was pretty similar to our first experience, with two added complications. On the flight between Atlanta and Doha, there so many babies on board it sounded like a day-care center. The toddlers and babies took turns crying, mostly objecting to being strapped in. So sleep was hard to come by. It was a long fifteen hours. We also had, what was supposed to be a ten hour lay-over in Doha. We used the time to attend a tour of the city. When we got back, we found to our dismay that our flight was delayed another two hours. We finally got on our plane, and eight hours later, we landed. I was happy to see my wife’s lovely face again at the airport. There was not much I could tell her. She was following my little adventure through Whattsapp and social media every step of the way. I think she knew more about my trip than I did! When Hugo first announced the prize, he mentioned that the International Friendship Tournament was not really that competitive, and that the prize was more about going to the Costa FLW Series Championship in the USA,

Hendrik fished a nearby piece of water for the rest of the day

Getting ready for the International Friendship Tournament

and experiencing what it was like. Well, he told no lie. It was an absolutely amazing experience, one that I was very privileged to have. If you are sitting at home, reading this, and you are a small craft bass angler, wondering if you should get involved with TBC and FLW… just do it. At the very least you will have loads of fun, and meat great people. And who knows? It may be you who is on the next flight out of South Africa to attend an FLW tournament. If you have small craft, a life jacket, and some bass tackle nothing is stopping you… *Vicus Horn is an FLW South Africa small craft bass angler and represented South Africa at the Costa FLW Series Championship in 2018 at Lake Guntersville, AL.

Robbie Olivier won the international co-angler division SA BASS 47 March 2019




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:

Bernally’s Fishing Lodge


nly 50 minutes from the bustle of Johannesburg, it’s well within reach for a welcome break for the whole family (and even pets by arrangement). Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Magaliesburg, Bernally’s offers furnished self-catering chalets with fire places, tented accommodation, camping sites and caravan sites. There is also a boma and bar area (self catering) are set close to the water. Facilities for campers and day visitors and well stocked dams make this an ideal getaway place. Bernally’s has four

dams which are stocked with bass, blue kurper, barbel, carp, yellow fish and in winter, trout. Small rowing boats are for hire. For those not keen on fishing Bernally’s offer safe walking trails along the river, dams and wooded areas. Some beautiful indigenous bird life can be seen here or bring your mountain bike and enjoy the trails around Bernally’s. Other activities in the area include hot air ballooning, horse riding, quad biking or visit the home of Hekpoort Heksie in Magaliesburg.

For more information or bookings, please contact Bernally’s Fishing Lodge on 071-367-6990 or e-mail them on 48 SA BASS March 2019

R16 900








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SA BASS Mar-19  

SA BASS has been the leading bass magazine since 2001 for everyone who loves bass fishing. In this issue: Snap jigging fall smallies - Kyle...

SA BASS Mar-19  

SA BASS has been the leading bass magazine since 2001 for everyone who loves bass fishing. In this issue: Snap jigging fall smallies - Kyle...

Profile for sabass