Top tips to outsmart your prey

THERE are many facets to angling which bring out the most interesting ideas and experiments.

Over the years I have met many interesting people who have inspired me to search for ideas to acquire the edge for a catch when angling was slow and the fish uncooperative.

I have always admired artificial lure anglers who work those lures to entice a strike. Lures work with presentation and vibrations, while natural baits rely on scent and presentation in order get that pickup.

Often the conditions are such that visibility is poor and the scent and vibration factors are crucial to success.

The quest to find answers to conditions versus techniques is where the secret of successful angling lie – that predator instinct to outsmart your prey.

The Eastern Cape has many freshwater venues, however many are restricted and require booking well in advance.

Unfortunately this requires a little travelling and a vehicle equipped to handle rough terrain.

The Freshwater Conservancy controls many of these venues, however some are open to all.

The Loerie Dam is one of these dams that has free access and is accessible by car.

This is a bass dam and requires a kick boat or float tube to navigate the dam.

Bank angling is a little cumbersome as the reeds create problems with access to the water’s edge in most places.

Bass are nesting fish and also very territorial so they inhabit the areas with structure. Look out for these structures and fish the areas adjacent to them.

Bass often attack a lure presented there, not because they are feeding but rather protecting their nest.

Generally the rule is a light sky requires a lure light in colour and visa versa with a dark sky. Bright colours such as red usually get some reaction too. Surface lures are also very productive and quite spectacular when a fish smashes into that lure.

Freshwater angling has a variety of baits such as worms (plastic baits), crank baits (rapalas) and fly. As a result, there is a variety of techniques and different rods and rigs. Fly fishing is by far more technical as imitation is an art on its own and fly tying is a large part of the preparation before any trip. This is a hobby on its own and there are many publications available to assist in the building of your own fly.

It is a very rewarding aspect to fly fishing and usually fills that void in inclement weather. But be warned, there is practice needed and it is best you get yourself a mentor.

Starting out I would suggest one starts with crank baits, then progress to plastic baits and, as your knowledge of the fish and species are better, the fly becomes a little more forgiving.

Casting fly is far more technical and a few lessons will be necessary to avoid the frustrations that can plague you from the start.

Fly fishing is really for trout that are not as aggressive as bass and require the skill of trickery to be caught.

Trout are found further away from the Bay area where the water temperatures are more favourable for this species and where running waters of the mountain streams promote a better environment for them.

It is usually this scenic wilderness that rewards the angler when there is little angling action. A fair trade to make it worthwhile at the end of the day!

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