BIG BASS

The definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site

 

REVIEWS

This page will review anything and everything to do with Bass fishing!

1. For a start, let's look at a Bass fishing book any serious Basser should add to his (or her!) library:

This is Bill Murphy's book, "In Pursuit of Giant Bass". If you have not read it you should! Bill has been catching monster Bass for about 30 years and you will learn about one of his favourite techniques, called "stitching" which utilizes a special plastic worm and a spinning tackle set-up!

You can order the book from www.lunkercity.com or www.amazon.com

 

2. If you are one of those Bass fanatics (aren't we all?) wanting to construct and/or stock your own Bass pond or dam, you will find a lot of info at www.pondboss.com

It’s one thing to catch a giant largemouth. That’s merely the culmination of angling skills, stout tackle and a well-timed cast.

Producing that hefty bass is quite another. It’s clean water, plenty of food for the fish to eat, suitable habitat and years of thoughtful management.

Fisheries biologist Bob Lusk has examined these factors and broken them down to the basics for amateur pond owners in his new book "Raising Trophy Bass". Fully illustrated with dozens of photos and line drawings, this instructional handbook is a must for the working stiff with a weekend place out in the country.

Lusk, a veteran of 20-plus years in raising fish and managing ponds and lakes, takes the layman through the step-by-step process required to produce bass that will bend a casting rod and test the heart patient.

Lusk, together with longtime outdoor writer Mark McDonald, has gleaned his years of practical experience and delivered one pearl after another. From the author’s note:  "Today, we recognize the depth of human impact and how we absorb renewable resources. Under the water surface, nature runs its course, ebbing and flowing, coming and going. Water levels rise, aquatic vegetation flourishes and diminishes. As part of this grand scheme, fish eat and they, in turn, are eaten. Just as these animals reproduce their own in spawning, they support the lives of others when their offspring are consumed by predators. There's plenty of information on this natural underwater teeter-totter, available from professors, state biologists, extension agents, even private fisheries consultants like me. Each of us, in our own way, is trying to promote the conservation ethic, the bedrock philosophy that we must take care of this planet. It's the only one we've got."

This book, second in the Pond Boss How-To Series, stands tall on the shelves of any naturalist’s personal library, but especially the pond owner’s. It is the culmination of many years experience, knowledge, learning from ups and downs, trials and errors associated with literally hundreds of ponds and lakes across the south.

To order your copy, access www.pondboss.com

 

3. From books, let's go to BATTERIES ...

Every Basser with a boat probably has (or at least wants) a deep cycle marine battery to run the trolling motor, fishfinder etc.

AC Delco Voyager Deep Cycle Marine batteries are used in all the Bassmaster tournaments in the USA and they have a formidable reputation for reliability and longevity. 

If you have trouble locating these AC Delco imported batteries locally, contact Richard Rovelli (tel.: (011) 394-1725/9 or 082-851-7019) of PROBE for a good deal (also on any other AC Delco battery for cars and trucks)! 

Tell him Jacques from the Big Bass website sent you.

 

For an interesting review article on the AC Delco Voyager range, click on www.activeangler.com/articles/boating/articles/reed_montgomery/batteries.asp

Once you have your prized possession and the state of the art in batteries, you must be prepared to charge and maintain your battery properly in order to get the best in terms of service and life from it. Not any old charger will do for a deep cycle battery, and if your charger does not cost as much or more than the battery itself, the charger is probably not up to standard! Expensive hobby, this Bass fishing!

For some helpful information on battery charging and maintenance, visit this link: www.batteryweb.com/batterymindercomparison.cfm

The BatteryMINDer charger/ maintainer is apparently one of the best, but as far as I could ascertain to date, not available locally. But you can always order one from the USA!

Locally, the best option in chargers for deep cycle batteries seems to be found in the Hawkins range. Either the 12V Auto Pro 10 or the Smart 15, would be the way to go. AC Delco also offers a range of excellent battery chargers. Your battery will love you for it!

 

4. You will probably need a pair of good sunglasses to protect your eyes whilst on the water - and to spot those elusive Bass! The thing to look for is polarized lenses preferably in glass! 

Can't find anything suitable locally? Then go to:

I can particularly recommend Ocean Waves sunglasses in Boca Grande style with the glass mirrored lenses in "backwater green" colour! The "unfair advantage"!

For great value and style in polarized "Blublocker"-type sunglasses eminently suitable for fishing, try the Blublocker Super Viper Pola (see pic below):

Highly recommended "shades" for sightfishing are Kaenon polarized sunglasses:

Try the Kaenon in the Kore style with the Large lens (pictured above) , but with the yellow colour high-contrast lens #35. You probably won't find these locally and they are very expensive, but if you are interested, you can order them here (1) or here (2).

Check them out!

 

5. OK, on to some general remarks about tackle ...

Ever heard of Castaway Rods?

Not very well-known in these parts (yet!), but an excellent product, highly recommended by all who have had first-hand experience fishing these rods. Not available locally, you will have to go the Internet mailorder route.

Try www.temescaltackle.com/castaway.html for a full range, or www.usatackle.com for a more limited range of the more popular models, BUT thankfully,

  also now (since 2003) offer a great range of Castaway Standard Graphite and HG 40 rods (already built up on Shikari blanks with quality Portuguese cork grips and Fuji reel seats and Fuji guides at good prices). I would go with Cabelas which offer a great range at a good price and their service is prompt, professional and excellent in every respect!

Check out the great new Castaway flippin' stick range all available from Cabelas too! 

 

Another excellent make of fishing rod, which I can personally recommend, is Most models are readily available locally - enquire at your favourite tackle shop.

Regarding fishing reels for Bass, you can't go wrong with ABU (my personal favourite) or .

Both these manufacturers don't make bad rods either!

Currently, I am using Berkley Whiplash braid (spectra fibre) on both spinning and baitcasting reels with great results - I probably will not go back to mono. Berkley also makes fishing rods which offer very good value for money - another plus is that they are available locally. My favourite soft plastic baits are also to be found in the Berkley Powerbait range.

If you want to try flourocarbon lines or if you want to use a fluorocarbon leader with braid, then don't look further than Seaguar. Nothing else comes close. I would go so far as to say you would be wasting your money on anything else - even Berkley Vanish does not make the grade! So if, after you read the previous paragraph, you thought Berkley was sponsoring me, you obviously missed it!

Two brands of fishing hooks have really impressed me lately and I cannot imagine fishing confidently without Gamakatsu or VMC hooks. Both brands are available locally and probably worth the expense.

 

6. For those of you who are yearning for an affordable soft type of tackle bag, Pieter Lombard (the guy in the eastern Free State who breeds Florida Bass fingerlings and who is also an accomplished Basser) has a great, practical idea which beats the exchange rate.

Get one of those royal blue soft Cadac coolers with the yellow trim for under R120.

You will find that 6 Plano 3600 transparent tackle stowaways (generally available for around R50 - R70 each) and 1 Plano 3500 will fit nicely. The various branches of Sportsman's Warehouse also have similar sized generic transparent tackle stowaways for around R30 each.

Now you will have something comparable to the imported tackle bags at a fraction of the price!


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