06 TAC­TICS

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Gor­don Brown*

“Land­ing big bass” As we are com­ing into that time of year, (spawn­ing sea­son) where the fe­male bass are big and heavy, let’s con­sider ways to put these big fish into the boat, weigh, pho­to­graph and re­lease them. – Gor­don Brown

As we are com­ing into that time of year, (spawn­ing sea­son) where the fe­male bass are big and heavy, let’s con­sider ways to put these big fish into the boat, weigh, pho­to­graph and re­lease them. This also ap­plies to any big fish any­time in the year.

Alot of good com­pet­i­tive and pro­fes­sional an­glers have de­vel­oped tech­niques and strate­gies on land­ing big bass. Suc­cess­fully land­ing a big, hard fight­ing bass be­gins with con­sid­er­a­tion made be­fore the lure even hits the wa­ter. All of the con­sid­er­a­tions be­low and more can de­ter­mine whether you land or loose a big fish.

I am al­ways think­ing about what I am go­ing to do if I get a bite, in a par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion. Am I go­ing to set the hook to the left or to the right? Is there an open gap in the veg­e­ta­tion or grass, and how can I get the fish mov­ing in that di­rec­tion? One al­ways has to con­sider the type of cover. If you’re fish­ing heavy cover, it’s likely the fish will hang you up in the cover, and you have to be pre­pared to hit the trolling mo­tor on high and quickly go get him out. If it’s more of an open wa­ter sit­u­a­tion, I know that af­ter I set the hook, I can take my time and play the fish back to the boat.

Let’s move on to af­ter set­ting the hook. Now what? If it’s pos­si­ble, check how well the fish is hooked. This will de­ter­mine how to fight the fish. If the fish is lightly hooked with only one tre­ble hook on the one side of his mouth, by giv­ing him a bit of slack line and mov­ing your rod in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, some­times moves the lure across his mouth and get­ting an­other tre­ble hooked into his mouth. This will give you a much bet­ter chance of land­ing the fish.

The most dan­ger­ous mo­ment dur­ing the bat­tle be­tween bass and angler is when the fish de­cides to jump. A list of bad things can and do hap­pen when a bass is air­bourne. How do we avoid this oc­cur­rence? One rea­son they tend to jump is when one ex­erts a lot of pres­sure on them, and the only way a fish can ease that pres­sure is to come up. So by go­ing easy on the fish, it will tend to turn back down and start thump­ing. As long as the fish can take a lit­tle line once in a while, the fish will keep its head down. One com­mon tac­tic used to dis­cour­age hooked bass from jump­ing is to thrust the tip of the rod be­neath the sur­face of the wa­ter. Al­ways watch your line, it will of­ten be able to tell whether the fish is go­ing to jump or not.

A while ago I had to lip land a 5kg plus fish for my Zim­babwe part­ner when fish­ing an In­ter­na­tional in Zim­babwe. Even though we were op­po­si­tion, I had to make sure I did not mess up. I had to be pa­tient and dis­play steel nerves of a bomb squad tech­ni­cian. My part­ner eased the fish to the boat as I had one hand in the wa­ter to grab the bass. I put my thumb as deep as I could in his mouth and se­cured my fin­gers firmly un­der his jaw. Once se­curely gripped, I used my other hand to help slowly lift the bass into the boat. For my part­ner, all this seemed to take for­ever, and this beauty was safely boated. Re­mem­ber, don’t try and lift a big fish un­til you have a good grip on his jaw.

An­other tech­nique used, is by plac­ing your hand un­der the belly of the fish. If not us­ing a land­ing net and the fish has a face full of tre­bles, this is a good way. This seems to re­lax the fish al­low­ing the angler to lift it into the boat.

When fight­ing any fish around the boat, make sure you dip your rod deep enough down ma­noeu­vring around the trolling or out­board mo­tor and also when a fish de­cides to swim un­der the boat.

All the above and more can de­ter­mine whether you land or loose a big fish.

I know of many an­glers that can re­late to what I am shar­ing and are still dry­ing tears from their eyes. Trust­ing UIBU ZPV XJMM QVU UIBU i#JH 'JTIw PG B MJGFUJNF JO UIF CPBU and be able to trea­sure that mo­ment for eter­nity. *Gor­don Brown is a mul­ti­ple Protea bass angler and a reg­u­lar SA Bass con­trib­u­tor.

The author with a tro­phy size fish caught dur­ing a Cast-for-Cash event

Don’t try and lift a big fish un­til you have a good grip on his jaw

Hen­nie Naudé landed this tro­phy size fish at Mteri

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.