TOUGH CONDITIONS TEST THE BEST
And just like that, the 2019 LBT series is in the books with the 8th event having been hosted at the beautiful De Hoop Dam. It was a day full of surprises as the weather again turned against the anglers. Post-frontal conditions on a venue that experienced massive fishing pressure in the past months all stacked the odds against the anglers. Despite this, 37 hopeful teams arrived to line the shores in search of that final massive bag that would secure their place amongst the top 20 teams on the overall log. Proceedings ran perfectly and teams were willingly helped by Josias and his team at the respective launch sites.
As for the fishing, pre-fishing reports turned out to be true as teams struggled to locate fish throughout the day and bites being few and far in between. It was truly a stage set to test the best of anglers.
On the day, surprisingly 27 of the competing teams managed to weigh in a limit of fish and only 3 teams blanked. 156 fish were weighed in with a total weight of 112.963kg. An average weight of 0.724kg per fish. Although these figures seem to be respectable, it does not come close to the 2018 results at De Hoop that produced 193 fish at an average of 1.289kg per fish between only 40 teams. Nonetheless, it is in tough conditions that true angling prowess is tested.
Closing off the 2019 season before heading to the LBT final in October, we can reflect on an amazing LBT season considering the tough fishing conditions that were experienced. Of our 5 venues that were competed at throughout the year, Inyaka and Nooitgedacht dams were by far the most challenging venues for the anglers that crippled many teams’ hopes to perform well on the log and finish the year above their friends and other competing teams.
It would be a tough call to decide between the February Inyaka and April Nooitgedacht dam as having been the worst event. Inyaka only producing a 0.295kg per fish average and 0.329kg for Nooitgedacht. Amazingly, not one team blanked at either of those events.
Driekoppies has to be a contender to be voted the best venue of 2019. And in particular, the May event. The feeding frenzy was in full swing and 216 fish were weighed in between 47 teams. 42 Teams managed a limit. But Vygeboom has once again proven itself to be one astonishingly good winter venue. The June event at Vygeboom having delivered the best results for competing anglers. A healthy 0.9kg per fish average and 68.89% teams that weighed in a limit.
On a very tough day where bites were scarce, 1st placed team 5 Limit of Johan de Villiers and Wynand Potgieter targeted a main point with a Black/Red weightless fluke and managed to fill their limit within 40 minutes. They moved around in the area and also found fish on a secondary point leading into a spawning bank. They later explored more towards the river section with little success and decided to return to their starting location. Managing to cull once more with a solid keeper. All their fish were caught on a Fluke and a texas-rigged presentation helped them when the wind started to pick up. They ended their day with a 7.785kg bag to take the win by more than 1.5kg ahead of the 2nd placed team.
Team Nelspruit Ford of Rudi and Chris Vermaak delivered an outstanding session on the water to weigh in a bag of 6.225kg at the end of the day. Although they only landed 6 fish for the day, they were the right size. Having struggled to keep fish pinned throughout the day, they managed a kicker fish of 2.340kg moments before the tag board closed. They got fish to react to a lavender shad squarebill crankbait fished through brush in 4meter water towards the back of spawning bays. They also had great results on a Black/Green Fluke bait. Although placing among the top-3 teams at any event is a thrill, the biggest delight for Nelspruit Ford is the results they obtained on the overall log. Their 6.225kg bag placing them among the top-20 teams to be invited to the LBT final.POSITION
Below is the Top-10 from De Hoop Dam, and what they took home thanks to our generous sponsors:
- Bucket Mouth 2.345 kg
- Midas Hamper, Nichols Lures Hamper, Rudamans Voucher
2nd Biggest Bass:
- Nelspruit Ford 2.340 kg
- Midas Hamper, Nelspruit Trailer Parts Voucher
3rd Biggest Bass:
- Bass Attack 2.210 kg
- Rudamans Voucher), Induna Adventures Voucher
A word of thanks to our Round 8 sponsors:
Alan Hudson Motors,Angling & Outdoor World,Arkansas Spur,The Bass Angler Mazazine,BeliTelo,Clean a Carpet,Extreme Fishing Tackle,Hazyview Midas,Induna Adventures,Instru Lec,Laeveld Agrochem,Mazda,Mugg n Bean,Nelspruit Ford, Nelspruit Trailer Parts,Nichols Lures,Rudamans,Sakata Seed,Solly’s,The Fridge Factory,Tripwired,Wittus Angling.
Congratulations to defending 2018 log winners, team Thermocline on a solid year with consistent results which had them lead the 2019 race from wire to wire to defend their title and once again be crowned Angling Team of the Year. Their victory included 7 Top-10 finishes and 2 first place finishes at Inyaka dam and Driekoppies dam. They managed to close out the year and win by a mammoth 8.015kg lead.
The top 20 are invited to the prestigious 2019 LBT final and it is expected that the top 10 teams on the log will be invited to the 2019 SABAA Team Tournament Trail Final to be hosted by the LBT in November.
The LBT final has always been a prestigious event and teams that have qualified can be proud on their achievement.
As we close of a wonderful 2019 season tour of the Lowveld fishing venues, we would like to thank each and every team and angler for their contribution and helping the LBT grow to new heights. From the committee side, thank you for your dedication and support. There were times when tough decisions had to be made and we appreciate your understanding in this regard. We can understand that some might not have agreed with certain decisions and respect each anglers opinion.
*The LBT final is scheduled for 4-6 October with fishing taking place on Saturday and Sunday.