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Niel Malan

Clanwilliam dam 5 June 2012

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Travelled from Cape Town to Sprinbok and decided to wet a line half-way at the Clanwilliam dam. I approached the dam via the dirt road from the Algeria turn-off and once I crossed the low-water bridge made sharp left and kept going for some 15 km till I passed the "Mango Estate" sign. About a km further I stopped and made my way to the water where there is a nice rocky ridge and the remains of an old road, Armed with a rod, a funny round think attached to my waste and a hand full of feathery bits stuck to an equally strange looking over-coat I was met with strange looks from the three local fisherman. Their fire was burning nicely and they have obviously been there for a while, but they said: "Neee, dit is doodstil - hier gaan niks aan nie"- dead quiet, nothing happenning here."Ons vang met paddas = we are using frogs. I showed them my self-tied deerhair frogs and even more skeptical looks. I threaded my rod and checked my leader = a bit on the light side, but I suppose it will be OK. I tide on my own version of a tiger clouser and started casting. About 5 minutes later I hooked into a solid fish, but the leader popped quickly. For sucks fake - you lazy bastard. You should have changed the leader! To irritate me further, the fish broke the surface with a mightly splash, presumably trying to get rid of the hook. Another reason why I was very cross with myself. I shouted that I had a bite, but the fish broke my line. Some mild interest, but disbelief - he must have got stuck on a rock. I tied on a heavier tippet and another tiger clouser. A few casts later I hooked and lost a largemouth bass of around 35 cm. I then cast right next to the water pump as there just HAD to be a fish under the floats - and I was not disappointed. I hooked into and landed a solid largemouth of around 40 cm. Now the locals became very interested and even though I release 99% of my fish I decided to donate it to them - I had to, otherwise they would not have believed it was a real fish, but rather an optical elusion. They still had no bite, but they had a closer look at my feathers and decided to go and get their bags and come closer to me.
2012-06-05 lm bass Clanwilliam dam.jpg Just as the one elderly gentleman got right next to me I had a vicious take from a solid fi. It was fighting hard right next to a rocky ridge and I expected to be cut off any moment. Despite repeat lunges for the depths, I managed to get it onto the reel and over the ridge into shallower waters. It was a beauty of a small-mouth bass! It made repeated runs and at one stage went around a piece of rope that someone left in the water. A few minutes later I landed the fish. Even more difficult than landing the fish was explaining and getting the gentlemen with the small remains of three teeth sticking out between his widely smiling lips to take the photo with my cell phone. The bright sun on the screen did not help either!. Nevertheless, he earned his fish and was chuffed to bits as he was going to feed his family that night. I felt for the fish, but at least it was an exotic invasive species and I had a photo to proof it was indeed a real fish - alll 49 cm of it! I fished a bit longer, but as I had a meeting to attend that evening and I could only stay for around 1.5 hrs. No further takes - as they said, "Dit is doodstil hier, daar gaan niks aan hier nie!" Oh, I nearly forgot: On the way back a stone stuck through the side wall of my car's tire - two expensive fish; hope it tasted yummy and helped to fill their tummy.
2012-06-05 49 cm Clanwilliam dam low res.jpg2012-06-05 49 cm Clanwilliam dam close-up.jpg

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Updated 06-06-12 at 10:25 PM by Niel Malan

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Comments

  1. damage's Avatar
    awsome post !!
  2. Niel Malan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by damage
    awsome post !!
    thanks damage caught some more two days later - 54 & 45 cm. will post photos soon
  3. BuzzLiteBeer's Avatar
    Classic Niel!!!
  4. Stones's Avatar
    Nice going Niel.