WELL, summer is proceeding with extreme passion. The daily temperatures are ridiculous to say the least and water temperatures have peaked. Not the ideal when targeting bass, which tend to become more selective with their feeding patterns.
And with air temperatures touching 40 degrees, staying motivated throughout a day on the water is not an easy task. This uncomfortable heat coupled with reduced feeding patterns means anglers have to understand when and why to change their tactics, ensuring a higher percentage of effective fish targeting.
There are a few factors that will help you in this quest to beat the heat and outwit tough to tempt bass. The first and most important step to employ during these hot months is to select your days where possible.
If your schedule is flexible, check the weather forecast and isolate the coolest day with the most cloud and rain forecast. I am not talking about storm predictions, I am referring to those miserable days of drizzle. On these lowlight and more bearable days the fish just bite better.
If you don’t like the rain, take a rain jacket!! If you want to catch more fish, then go fishing in this weather. The fish will stay shallower throughout the day and feed more actively.
Then maximise your time on the water: fish as early as possible and as late as possible. This is when the water is naturally cooler and therefore you will find an increase in feeding activity.
When it comes to choosing the right baits in the heat, the most influential change to be made is go lighter and smaller. I fished Albert Falls this week on an insanely hot and cloudless day with local resident Steve Gray. We targeted deeper areas, going down 30ft to cooler waters with smaller plastics on weightless and drop-shot rigs.
Fair enough, we never boated any giants, but even in such adverse conditions we caught fish all day long.
During the midday we found schools of baitfish on the sounders and downsized our crankbaits on lighter line to get extra depth and definitely did not struggle to put fish in the boat. The colours we used were as natural as possible to suit the clean water and to mimic the ever present baitfish.
The dam level is rising nicely which should set up for a productive February and March. To re-cap, choose your days carefully, spend the right hours of the day on the water and lighten up and downsize your offerings and enjoy some hot fishing in the heat.
On a not so positive note, but important to mention, there have been a crew of anglers illegally accessing the restricted wall area at Albert Falls. Photos and stories of big fish not being released have surfaced and have put the bassing fraternity in a defensive mood to say the least.
For security reasons, the dam wall is off limits and because of this has become a last sanctuary for the bass. With anglers taking these fish out, the over-exploited bass will suffer the consequences as usual.
Please, if you see anglers on the wall call the Msinsi office immediately to have them removed.
So remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource!
E-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch ’em up!