Thursday, March 4, 2010

bass fishing tips

Gear & Tackle
Among serious fishermen, bass are by far the most sought-after game fish in South Africa. More gear and tackle is available for bass fishing than any other, catering to the myriad methods for finding and catching this explosive and powerful predator. Rod-and-reel combos range from light action spinning outfits for finesse presentations to heavy duty bait casters designed to yank the biggest brutes through heavy cover. Line choices range from limp, castable 6# Trilene XL to extra tough 20# Trilene XT to no-stretch FireLine in up to 30# test weights. Depending on the body of water being fished, line considerations also include high and low visibility, diameter, stretch factor and more.

If there was one all-around bass fishing outfit to be recommended, it would arguably be a medium heavy, 6' to 7' graphite rod with a fast action tip and plenty of backbone, combined with a rugged levelwind reel, in the class of the Ambassadeur 5500. Line choice would most likely be Trilene XT in 10# to 14# test.

Bass Fishing Lures & Presentation
Plastics of every size, shape and color. Crankbaits that run shallow and deep and everywhere in-between. Rattlers. Buzzers. Spinners. Poppers. Chuggers. Wobblers. Baits that look like frogs, rats, birds, lizards, crawfish, even french fries. All are tucked into their own little spot in some of the largest tackle boxes known to mankind. And every one of them catches bass. Basically, though, bass fishing can be broken down as follows.

Shallow bass can be taken with horizontal casting lures such as topwater and shallow-running plugs, weedless baits, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina rigs, flippin' and pitchin' jigs, split-shot finesse plastics and live bait under a float. Mid-depth bass are most often caught with diving crankbaits, lipless sinking crankbaits, neutrally buoyant plugs, Texas-rigged plastics and unweighted "whacky worm" rigs. Deep bass can be hooked casting deep diving plugs and slow-rolling big spinnerbaits, or by vertically fishing heavy jigs, weighted plastics, jigging spoons and blade baits.

Generally speaking, bass prefer smaller, slower-moving baits in cold water, and larger, faster-moving baits in warm water. The best advice is to spend as much time on the water as possible and experiment.

How to Locate
Bass is one of the most adaptable species that swims and bass can be found almost everywhere in South Africa. Bass inhabit lakes, rivers, reservoirs, farm ponds and coldwater streams. Bass live in water ranging from crystal clear to dark as cocoa, relating to weeds and brush, rocks and docks, roots and timber, grass and rip rap.

To narrow down your search, remember that bass spawn on shallow beds in spring, usually relating to sand or gravel. As the season warms, fish tend to be drawn to weeds- either shallow slop or mid-depth weedlines.

During the hottest part of the season, bass go deep, holding on rocky humps and drop offs. If deep water is not available, fish will hunker down in the shade of any cover they can find, usually in ambush positions. Check cuts in reeds, open areas in lily pads, the ends of docks and boat lifts and horizontal timber extending into deeper water. Undercut banks are common holding areas. Even shadows cast by trees or buildings have been known to harbor bass in warm weather.

Effective bass fishing Baits
Live baits effective for bass fishing include minnows, leeches, frogs, crawfish and salamanders, although plugs and scented plastic baits are far more popular. Recognized by professional bass fishermen as the most effective of these is Berkley Power Bait. Power Bait is made with an exclusive scent and flavor formula which stimulates the natural feeding instincts of bass. It is available in dozens of soft plastic shapes, which imitate a wide variety of bass prey, as well as a number of choices in color and opacity.

Power Bait for bass includes original formula; Tournament Strength, which doubles the intensity of the active ingredient; Custom Poured, a softer form of Power Bait; and Neonz, a special, bright-color formula. Power Bait is available in silicone skirts on spinnerbaits and jigs; liquid formula for applying to various hard and live baits; and even a fluorescent jelly form, which is specially formulated to withstand the rigors of casting and retrieving.

If you had to choose only one bait to use to chase bass, the Berkley Power Bait 7" worm would be at the top of the list. Because it can be rigged in so many different ways, Texas style, jig worm or Carolina rig; it is truly effective for bass in all seasons

Barometric pressure
Barometric pressure is the pressure of the atmosphere at a given point and time. Understanding its effect on bass behavior has made me a better fisherman. All serious bass anglers know that barometric pressure has a dramatic and immediate impact on a fish's personality and mood. It is an important element that influences fish behavior, especially shallow-water bass. Deep-water fish are not affected as much by major pressure changes and this is why they are more dependable on those low-pressure days. Something to keep in mind is that barometric pressure doesn't change dramatically during a period of just a few hours unless a major storm is moving your way.

Rising and falling water level
"When fishing an unfamiliar lake, the most important thing you can learn before ever leaving home is whether the water level has been rising, falling or remaining stable. That will tell you where the bass will be positioned throughout the lake. If the water has been rising, the fish are going to be on the inside portions of cover and tight to structure. They will be in the backs of creeks and coves. In a deep reservoir, they will be on the tops of points and flats. If the water has been falling, you will find bass on the outside of the points and breaks. They may even suspend off of the breaks. Generally, they will be out from the cover when the water is rising. That knowledge gives you a starting point."

Worms and toothpics
"For doodling or vertically jigging a plastic worm in deep water, a trick that has paid off handsomely for me over the years is inserting a toothpick through the worm and the eye of the hook (clip off the ends). A lot of times with this type of fishing, the strikes are real light and by the time you set the hook, it's too late. If you insert a toothpick, the worm will stay in place and won't pull down on the hook. So you can drop the worm right back down and the same fish will often come back and take the worm again. Without the toothpick, you usually have to reel the bait in, straighten the worm and then drop it back down. By then, the bass may have moved off and you've missed your chance to catch it. Time is of the essence in situations like that. "Another trick for doodling worms is to place a glass bead between the hook and the sinker. That creates a rattling noise that will often attract bass."

Mismatched Tackle
"One of the biggest mistakes I see throughout the country -- even with some tournament pros -- is using mismatched tackle. By that, I'm referring to using the wrong rod and line size to fish a particular lure. The first step in bass fishing is to figure out which bait will work best for that certain situation and then use the proper technique and equipment to increase your percentages. Not only will you hook and land more fish, but you will also get more strikes because using the proper rod and line gives the lure a better action. Plus, you will be able to cast it better and it's going to be more comfortable to fish. "Although selecting a rod for a specific purpose was once difficult, many of today's rods are labeled for the technique that it is best suited for like cranking, flipping, pitching, worming or spinnerbait fishing. These rods have the proper action built into them and the correct range of line sizes is printed on the rod. Match it with a well-balanced reel and you are pretty well set."

Monday, March 1, 2010

grootdraai dam

Grootdraai Dam is situated in the upper reaches of the Vaal River less than 10km upstream of Standerton. It has a catchment area of 8 195km2, a mean annual precipitation of approximately 750mm, a mean annual potential evaporation at the dam site of 1 400mm and a natural inflow of 580 million m3/a. The full supply capacity of the reservoir is 364 million m3, making it a 0.7 MAR dam.

Grootdraai Dam is a composite structure comprising a central concrete gravity section 360m long and two earthfill flanks giving a total crest length of 2 180m and a maximum wall height of 42m above lowest foundation level. The dam was completed in 1982 and was built primarily to support the water needs of the SASOL I, II and III coal to petrol plants at Secunda, ESKOM's, Tutuka Power Station as well as the Matla, Duvha, Kendal and Kriel power stations located on the coal fields in the adjacent Olifants River basin.

Standerton Boat and Angling Club
Location: Grootdraai Dam
Tel: +27 (0)17 712 4364
Cell: +27 (0)82 720 6994
Standerton Boat and Angling club also has caravan and tented sites. This park is siutated at the Grootdraai Dam just outside Standerton. Day visits to Standerton Angling & Boat Club with its facilities at Grootdraai Dam can be arranged. You can either go fishing at the Dam or the Vaal river. If you are prepared to drive a mere 78km from Standerton you will be able to watch some of the Big Five species of Africa like Lions or Buffalo. Standerton has a Golf-Course which is +- 2.5km from our Guest House

we went there just for the day and it had been raining for two weeks before.We got there and sat on the municipality side just as you enter the camping area.we caught a couple of modderbekkies and then the big carp started biting.we used banana floaties and it worked.Bloekom dips also worked but try what you like you might just get lucky.The dam is also known for really big bass so if you like catching a predator go for it.

witbank dam

Witbank Dam is a very popular fishing dam in the region and, although it is a reputedly difficult dam to fish, there are carp, mudfish and yellowfish here.

While no private vehicles are allowed into the Witbank Dam Reserve, a parking area near the gate provides 24 hour security. This provides peace of mind for day-visitors and overnight hikers to the reserve.

Witbank Dam is located a mere 120 km from Pretoria alongside the N4 highway making it very easily accesible for Gauteng residents, depsite the fact that it lies in the province of Mpumalanga.

The dam is home to some very decent Florida strain Largemouth Bass, in fact the previous South African record Largemouth Bass was caught in the dam in 1997 and weighed in at 6.045 kg almost 13 1/2 lbs). So while the average fish is in the 1 kg mark, 3 to 4 kg lunkers are regularly caught and the chances of catching a real monster are real.

The dam has excellent launching and accommodation facilities and security is of a high standard, making this a venue that should be on any Bass anglers itinerary. Surprisingly fishing pressure is not excessive on this very pleasant Bass fishing lake. Witbank is the venue for the annual Witbank Bass Classic, usually held in September of each year

accomadation in witbank(many more on the web)

Witbank Municipal Recreation Resort (013) 690 6911

Barham Bay
Location: Witbank dam in Mpumalanga
Internet: http://www.barhambay-lodge

crucian carp

The Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius)

is a member of the family Cyprinidae, which includes many other fish such as the common carp, or the smaller minnows. They inhabit lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers throughout Europe and Asia. The crucian is a medium-sized cyprinid, which rarely exceeds a weight of over 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg). They usually have a dark green back, golden sides, and reddish fins, although other colour variations exist.

They are often caught as a sport fish: the British rod-caught record for largest crucian is four pounds, nine ounces, caught by Martin Bowler in a lake in southern England in 2003. There have been various bids for a breakage of this record since, but they have been passed off as the specimens have not been said to have been "true" crucians, but hybrids between the carp and one of its relatives, such as the goldfish, which are not native to the British Isles. In the Netherlands a typical crucian specimen of 54 cm, weighing 3 kg has been caught and photographed. Hybrids often exhibit hybrid vigour or heterosis, being much more adept at finding food and evading predators than either of their parents, and thus pose somewhat of a threat to the native carp population, and to other native aquatic animals.

These carp are also occasionally kept as freshwater aquarium fish, as well as in water gardens, although they are not commonly available commercially, mainly because they are not in particularly high demand due to the presence of more colourful fish such as the koi or orfe. However, they are one of the most important aquaculture species. In 2005 they were the species with the 10th highest production, globally (FAO 2005).

The variation in shape of a Crucian carp can be very high. The fish get an almost perfect disc shape with well rounded fins. If no predators like pike or perch are present, the Crucian carp will grow in length rather than height and the fish will be more slender looking. The growth in height will make it difficult for predators to swallow the crucian carp.

i am not to sure if these species are found in our dams but let me know if u have ever caught one

common carp

Common Carp
(Cyprinus carpio)

The Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus) was first described in writing by fishing enthusiasts in the year 1758. This South African freshwater fish species is not indigenous to the rivers and dams of the country. The Common Carp originates from Europe and Asia and is closely related to the Goldfish and Koi fish species. The most well know and widely introduced fish in Southern Africa is arguably the Common Carp. It is a very popular angling species and puts up a very good fight. These fish can grow up to about 30 kilograms but the angling records are a lot bigger for the Common Carp; which are close to 40 kilograms. The Common Carp often lives in proximity with Barbel, Grass Carp and Blue Kurper in large dams and slow moving rivers, which is this fishes preferable habitat.

Common Carp are reported to of been introduced into South Africa in the 1700's. The Common Carp is an omnivorous fish and breeds in Spring and Summer. It is a very well valued aquaculture species whereas it is considered a pest by conservation authorities due to it's destructive feeding habits

I believe we have the common carp in most of our dams throughout the Highveld