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Thread: Witvis of the Berg/Breede

  1. Default Witvis of the Berg/Breede

    Hi all

    There have been some posts/pics of late about witvis. I was fishing the Breede in the worcester area and managed to land a 2.5kg specimen (my biggest to date). I was pleasantly surprised to see a school of about 30 witvis breeding in the rapids as well.

    I haven't seen any of these beautiful fish in the breede for the last 5 years and I kind of assumed that with the low water levels and the farmers canalising and damming the river had pretty much wiped out the witvis population in the worcester area. The second last fish that I caught was in 2000! Pre 2001, there used to be witvis regularly feeding in the rapids/tailouts of pools. Haven't seen this for ages and I fish the breede regularly?

    My questions:
    • Has anyone else also seen an increase in the witvis population of late?
    • The bass fishing was very poor on my last trip, could the decline in the bass population be a possible cause for the revival of the witvis (Although the carp and barbel population has grown considerably )?
    [/LIST]

    Regards
    Liam
    Last edited by nkula_nkula; 05-12-06 at 06:04 PM. Reason: correction of spelling error

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nkula_nkula View Post
    Hi all

    There have been some posts/pics of late about witvis. I was fishing the Breede in the worcester area and managed to land a 2.5kg specimen (my biggest to date). I was pleasantly surprised to see a school of about 30 witvis breeding in the rapids as well.

    I haven't seen any of these beautiful fish in the breede for the last 5 years and I kind of assumed that with the low water levels and the farmers canalising and damming the river had pretty much wiped out the witvis population in the worcester area. The second last fish that I caught was in 2000! Pre 2001, there used to be witvis regularly feeding in the rapids/tailouts of pools. Haven't seen this for ages and I fish the breede regularly?

    My questions:
    • Has anyone else also seen an increase in the witvis population of late?
    • The bass fishing was very poor on my last trip, could the decline in the bass population be a possible cause for the revival of the witvis (Although the carp and barbel population has grown considerably )?
    [/LIST]

    Regards
    Liam
    The barbel and the carp are certainly taking their toll! Bass are slowly being wiped out, but the good thing is the Wivis are being restored as a result. As Dean explained to Kevin and I, Witvis are global egg scatterers, laying their eggs in between small rocks as apposed to concentrated gravel pockets, and they do this over a wide area. The barbel or carp can't hoover all of those scattered eggs up. Bass eggs on the other hand are concentrated in reds, and the carp have a field day on them. Less bass also means less predators of Witvis fry. It can only do the witvis good in the long run, although, I am still not happy about the introduction of these undesirable alien species into our river systems.

    Thanks for your report back Liam. I will pass this onto Dean.
    Last edited by Chris Shelton; 06-12-06 at 03:41 AM.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Liam,

    Not referring to the Breede system and the demise of the whitefish population in particular, wherever carp and barbel populations boom other species seem to suffer.Theewaterskloof and Voelvlei dams is two good examples. These, once top bass waters have collapsed when it comes to bass fishing. Also interesting is Sean Mills fishing the Breede section at Francois Claasen's place in October (Bonnievale I think). Mainly Largemouth bass were caught, where Smallmouths were the prime species not that long ago.

    The Tygerberg bass masters drained and cleaned a dam on a farm in the Wellington area two years ago. I went there as they netted the dam. This dam had a population of barbel and largemouth bass. Loads of barbel came out, quite a few small bass in the 200-300 gram range and very few fish (I think less than 5) over 1kg. Barbel are extremely efficient predators, while carp will demolish bass nests. I've often seen barbel with fish stuck in the throat too large to swallow.

    I also find it strange that the carp in barbel populations seem to boom all of a sudden, since these species have been in the above systems for some time. It might be that water quality has deteriorated and these species are the most resistant. Runoff from fruit farms adding nutrients to the water is a culprit (Algae blooms depleting oxygen).

    Us humans are very efficient stuffing up nature

    Cheers,

    Philip

  4. Default

    Phillip

    In my opinion, the breede river is in the best state it has been in for the last few years. The water level is exceptionally good for this time of the year and the river is flowing clear. There is also very little evidence of eutrophication (algae blooms), I have noticed a large increase in esp the carp population. I think this could be affecting the bass population badly.

    I can't agree with you more about the way in which man (the farmers esp) are stuffing up nature.....

  5. #5
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    Default

    Apparently the last Bassmasters classic that was held a Voelvlei only produced 5 Bass. It seems that any dam or river where carp and barbel are taking over are to the demise of the bass. Is it possible that we will see bass restricted to a few private farm dams in the future and as a result moving up the list in terms of threatened and highly desirable amongst anglers?
    Last edited by Chris Shelton; 06-12-06 at 03:42 AM.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  6. Default

    I agree with you chris

    There are still some sections of the breede with really big smallmouth bass. It could also just be a cycle, with the bass population recovering in a few years?
    I really don't know, i'm not a scientist and only time will tell......

    Plus there are so many smallmouths up the tributaries like the smallblaar and holsloot, as long as the barbel and carp don't go up there I think the bass will still be around.

    I really enjoy catching smallmouth bass, they are so aggressive and love nailing topwaters.... Its such fun catching them!

    The olifants river system does still have a healthy population of small and largemouth bass......

    My 2c worth

  7. #7

    Default

    Where on the Breede area did catch that beauty, Grant and myself went down the Breede a few weeks ago. We only saw bass and carp. I agree that the farmers themselfs are causing major problems. Their was stretches where you can see evidence of bulldozing that must surely mess up the habitat for witvis. I hope this working group which Dean wants to start will help with this

  8. #8
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    Default Witvis

    Hi all.I see u speaking about Witvis,i do bankanglng aswell and we have league competitions in Quaggaskloofdam,we catch lots of witvis,nothing big,biggest is about 700grams,but i have heard of monster witvis being caught.I wanna go to Quaggaskloofdam with my flyrod,but dont know what flie's i can use for the witvis,any suggestions,any help will be appreciated.???

    Thanks
    Dirk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouser View Post
    Hi all.I see u speaking about Witvis,i do bankanglng aswell and we have league competitions in Quaggaskloofdam,we catch lots of witvis,nothing big,biggest is about 700grams,but i have heard of monster witvis being caught.I wanna go to Quaggaskloofdam with my flyrod,but dont know what flie's i can use for the witvis,any suggestions,any help will be appreciated.???

    Thanks
    Dirk
    Hi Dirk, welcome to the site!

    What worked for a few of us who targetted Witvis recently was #16 GRHE nymphs and I also had success with a small bloodworm immitation. The key was small flies and light tippets. Witvis are extremely tippet shy! We found that switching from 5X to 6X made a huge difference on the day.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  10. #10
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    Default

    I was at the breede yesterday in the slanghoek area and I could not find a section that was deeper than about waist deep but most of it was dry and there was no noticeable flow whatsoever.

    I saw a couple of bass in the pools that were left but these poor guys were in terrible shape. All of them were practically black with white sores all over them and their fins looked like they were rotting away. I could only imagine that these bass were literally cooking in the water they were living in and I can't believe they will make it through the summer.

    Obviously this would not be the first time that they have had to endure a very hot summer so obviously enough of them survive, but this summer of ours has been pretty damn hotter than the last 5 since I moved down here so I wonder if this one could have a much more serious impact.

    I would think that the witfis have evolved over a much more extensive time period so should be able to get through warm periods like this with much less difficulty so perhaps we could see an increase in the number of witvis in the coming years? Wishful thinking i guess but you never know. There's always the carp and catfish that I guess would make it through this lean period with even more ease though.

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