SA BASS

I have had many days en­joy lis­ten­ing to tour­na­ment guys dis­cussing strate­gies, maps and bait se­lec­tions for their up­com­ing tour­na­ments. This does change as the level of fish­ing goes up from a club comp to a money tour­na­ment, di­vi­sional and in the end nati

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Colin Willmer

“Set Out On a Quest …To Go Where No Man Has Gone Be­fore!” I have had many days en­joy lis­ten­ing to tour­na­ment guys dis­cussing strate­gies, maps and bait se­lec­tions for their up­com­ing tour­na­ments. – Colin Willmer

Ihave had many days en­joy lis­ten­ing to tour­na­ment guys dis­cussing strate­gies, maps and bait se­lec­tions for their up­com­ing tour­na­ments. This does change as the level of fish­ing goes up from a club comp to a money tour­na­ment, di­vi­sional and in the end na­tion­als.

The one thing I have no­ticed is that the cir­cle of trus­tees shrinks at ev­ery level. The group be­comes smaller quickly as soon as trust was bro­ken or some­thing was not shared. Let’s be hon­est in the end the bass is the only win­ner. There are thou­sands of them and we man­age to land 200 of them a day (40 boats; 5 fish). This was ob­vi­ously a part of my bassing tour­na­ment life and took me a while and a very ex­pe­ri­enced boat part­ner to get it out of me.

On tour­na­ment day he would walk around and talk to every­body, shar­ing a cup of cof­fee and just en­joy­ing him­self. The sec­ond tour­na­ment I just had to ask what this was all about and his sim­ple an­swer ac­tu­ally caught me off guard, “Re­lax Shamwari, the fish are go­ing nowhere.”

I am the guy that had his boat in the water forty min­utes be­fore the start and check­ing rods for the fifth time, re­think­ing my first set of lures that was tied on and had enough tackle in the boat to stock a tackle store for a sea­son. The first tour­na­ment we fished to­gether we were for­tu­nate enough to win that one and I learned one of the most im­por­tant things of my fish­ing life that day.

Fish­ing Rust de Win­ter I was con­fi­dent with a pat­tern and start­ing spots was easy to pick, but then it hap­pened. At 07:10 on my way to the river my part­ner pointed to a bay and asked me to stop. Be­ing the first tour­na­ment to­gether I de­cided to be po­lite and com­ply to his re­quest. Af­ter stopping I looked at him with a large ques­tion mark on my face.

“What ?”, he said all smil­ing. “Why did we stop” I asked see­ing all the other boats fly­ing past.

“What do you mean; we are fish­ing” he said dig­ging in an old five litre ice cream bucket for a jip or some­thing. “Where, I asked”, while look­ing around. “That bay”, still scratch­ing in his bucket. Now here is the prob­lem; none of my prac­tise days, or the info gath­ered, or even the last five years of fish­ing ever in­cluded this bay. As a mat­ter of fact I have never even seen any­body in this bay. So my all my KVD, DVD’S were shout­ing at me not to fish in this spot. In the end be­ing a good boat part­ner I stood up, put the trolling mo­tor in the di­rec­tion of the “cho­sen” bay and set off. On en­ter­ing the bay I have made three or four casts with a fluke and my part­ner still has not found the rod in the rod box he was go­ing to use.

Af­ter the sec­ond fish went into the live well he joined me, all re­laxed and smil­ing, tap­ping me on the shoul­der “Pack them Shamwari, pack them in”, he said light­ing a cig­a­rette.

We won by fish­ing out of my trained mind­set and just re­lax­ing and fish­ing his favourite way. He had a say­ing es­pe­cially in the morn­ing on take of “Find us vir­gin water and we will be fine”. He did not care where it was.

This taught me to take my head out of my live-well and start fish­ing and this ap­plied very well when fish­ing dams or rivers that I did not know or have never been on.

I went on hol­i­day to a dam I have never seen or fished but al­ways wanted to. This was re­ally a big piece of water and the spot op­tions were end­less and we were still on the bank. I had my boys on the boat so wanted get some fish quickly and in­stead of run­ning to all cor­ners of the uni­verse we just started fish­ing and had one of the best days of fish­ing ever. We must have trav­elled 100m from the slip­way be­fore get­ting the first bite. This only be­came sig­nif­i­cant to me when I heard that the di­vi­sional tour­na­ment, two weeks later, was so tough and many of the guys blanked. The fish we caught were ev­ery­where; well ev­ery­where we fished.

Lis­ten­ing to a story of a di­vi­sional an­gler on a lake he did not know; he was lead­ing a star stud­ded field af­ter the first day. I spoke to him the Mon­day af­ter. I lis­tened to a guy not telling me about ex­actly where he was, or what lure he was putting out there, but heard a guy that re­mem­bered ev­ery bite in de­tail and ev­ery lost fish like it was the last one on the lake. I thought to my­self; “that’s awe­some”.

The fun­ni­est thing is that he did not win in the end but fin­ished well placed. He was more chuffed with the fish he caught than not win­ning the di­vi­sional. Now that’s fish­ing! *Colin Willmer is an ex­pe­ri­enced pro­vin­cial an­gler and rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Ra­pala South Africa Dis­trib­u­tors.

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