SA Bass

SA CLASSROOM

Or more importantl­y, know what your target fish is eating and know its behaviour.

- >> John Badenhorst*

“What’s For Dinner?” Or more importantl­y, know what your target fish is eating and know its behaviour. – John Badenhorst

Bass are notoriousl­y greedy and will in most cases eat anything they can comfortabl­y fit into their mouths and if it just so happens to be something that is an easy meal, then it’s a bonus for Mr Bass. Bass will sometimes even try to eat something around its own size too. I guess it all depends on how hungry that particular bass happens to be at the time.

Selecting lures these days are pretty easy and in many cases the lure that catches your eye on the shelf might just catch the eye of a hungry bass and then its game on. This being said, there are so many choices in swimbaits, crankbaits, spinners and more that it can get confusing to even the most ardent angler.

The term “match the hatch” has been coined by our fly fishing brethren and entails matching their fly presentati­ons to whatever insects or fish or invertebra­tes their quarry happen to be feeding on. The idea has in recent years caught on more and more in the world of bass and every other aspect of angling too. Bass have a big menu to choose from and if we as anglers can understand their quarry better, we have a better chance of making the right choices when it comes to bait selections for specific waters. With that, we give ourselves a better chance at getting quality fish.

The most common food item on the menu for bass happens to be minnows and small fish from the barb species to the kurper family and of course juvenile carp, barbel and even smaller bass. Some dams will have a bigger concentrat­ion of redbreast kurper, while another dam will have more three spot barb serving as natural bait for bass. Understand­ing and doing a bit of research into the other fish species available on the menu will give you a better understand­ing of what the bass are eating. This in essence is common knowledge but here is the twist… do you know what kurper actively feed on? Do you know where the three spot barb forages and under what conditions?

Knowing what the bass are actively eating is one thing but part of the bigger picture is to figure out what their prey is doing. Let’s for instance say that in a particular impoundmen­t, bass are actively feeding on redbreast kurper. Redbreast kurper enjoy eating algae and prefer

Nothing is safe, not even ducklings

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