SA Bass

MASTER CLASS

- >> Roger Donaldson*

“Choosing a Spinnerbai­t” I have these tantalisin­g visions of the bass I’ve witnessed caught on a spinnerbai­t. There have been many. I can’t bare it any longer and I need to tell you my secrets of where, how and when – Roger Donaldson

Ihave these tantalisin­g visions of the bass I’ve witnessed caught on a spinnerbai­t. There have been many. I can’t bare it any longer and I need to tell you my secrets of where, how and when. I hope my fellow anglers who shared these experience­s with me will forgive me for opening this chest of treasures to all the readers, but I cannot leave the planet without these enthusiast­ic bass anglers not knowing.

There are some vast difference­s in the colour, size, weight and blade configurat­ion of spinnerbai­ts. Truthfully, each factor needs to be considered independen­tly in order to obtain the maximum results. In fact, should you fail to apply any thought to your action there is a good chance you will be left without any reaction to your spinnerbai­t at all. Getting to know how to select your bait for the best results will take some learning (time on the water), but I will do my best here to shortcut this process for you.

I remember two distinct occasions fishing on Rust der Winter Dam just outside Pretoria. The dam is renowned for its expanses of vegetation and shallow water fishing. Six years ago you could land a few bass in the 2 to 3kg range, but these large bass are very rare at this venue today. Neverthele­ss, if you wanted a chance at one Rust der Winter’s larger quality fish then a spinnerbai­t would certainly be the bait to use. I think my old friend Tony Wilkinson who holds the Rust der Winter record of 4,2kg will confirm this.

Because of all the vegetation in this dam you can now begin to define which spinnerbai­t will provide you with the most success and also the least frustratio­n. Also, once you’ve done this you can take the same spinnerbai­t here and apply it to the next dam which boasts plenty of aquatic vegetation.

To retrieve a spinnerbai­t between aquatic vegetation at a depth more than 3ft will not be necessary. Immediatel­y now we can decide that in order for the bait to stay relatively elevated in the water column (and not get dragged into the vegetation below) the lure should be of a medium weight (1/3 to 1/6oz). Heavier than this and you’ll be dragging a lot of weed and lighter than this you’ll simply be skimming across the top. Added to this the blade configurat­ion should have a streamline­d profile in order to slide easily through the vegetation with as little snagging as possible. For this purpose a double willow leaf configurat­ion will be most suitable as the splendour shape of the blades will not snag like that of the wider, broader Colorado blade. Ultimately, the effect you want to create in calmer water conditions will be for the spinnerbai­t to ‘trickle’ over and between the grassy stems, raising your rod tip to gently flick the lure free of the vegetation and allowing the blades to spin feely again. If you can get this right you’ll be having the time of your life.

Timber filled dams are equally as attractive for fishing a spinnerbai­t.

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 ??  ?? Justin Booth with a large Florida bass caught on a spinnerbai­t in the flooded trees on Lake Mteri
Justin Booth with a large Florida bass caught on a spinnerbai­t in the flooded trees on Lake Mteri

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