VLOEDE – SEËN OF …?
WORDS/WOORDE: Eugene C. Kruger, Editor-in-Chief
Drie maande reeds binne-in die jaar 2023 en vir seker is die oorvol riviere en damme ‘n seën op die een kant, en dan ook vir sekeres nie so nie. In Engels, ‘a blessing on the one hand but a curse on the other’. Maar ‘n ‘curse’? – Nie vir ‘n hengelaar nie! Maar natuurlik is ons jammer vir mense vir wie die vloede erge skade berokken het en wens hulle alle sterkte toe. Nietemin, hartlik welkom aan almal by ons Maart digitale uitgawe!
Here on the southern tip of Africa, inland anglers are not unmoved by the vagaries of the weather. We are acutely aware of our dependence on available water. For coastal anglers not so much – the sea does not deliver drought or flood conditions and there is always water in which to cast a line.
Inland anglers are of course acutely aware of prevailing weather conditions. Freshwater fish are, sometimes more so than their saltwater cousins, highly sensitive to weather conditions. That’s why so many anglers cast a quizzical eye at weather forecasts, and not only social anglers but for sure also our highly competitive (and skilled) freshwater bank anglers.
Bad weather ahead, with an impending low pressure system and low air temperatures part of the equation? Well, fish, with their air bladders attuned to atmospheric pressure, will surely seek the deeper parts simply because that is where their air bladders will have the necessary pressure to keep them comfortable. That’s not such good news for bank anglers as the fish then become grumpy and quite often go off the bite. That’s when experience and skill come strongly into play with dip combinations and fishing distance critical factors in determining a full or empty weigh bag. For social anglers such a weather forecast is more often than not a sign that the weekend will be more enjoyable surrounded by home comforts.
The opposite, namely a high pressure system, more often than not accompanied by sunny skies and warm temperatures is nothing more than fantastic encouragement to ‘go fishing’!
What South Africa has experienced in past weeks is what Hollywood producers term a ‘perfect storm’, namely a clash between high and low pressure systems and moisture-heavy skies.
It’s happened before, and will certainly happen again. For those who reckon that such a weather pattern is happening only now and is another sign of climate change and excessive amounts of carbon in the environment, just remember that we have had our fair share of such ‘perfect storms’ before. Examples include the Domoina cyclone in the previous nineties when among other weather excesses the newly built Renosterkop Dam in KwaNdebele near Marble Hall filled up in less than a week, in the process creating what was then an even better blue kurper venue than Loskop! Cyclone Domoina also poured huge deluges down the Pongola River valley, and when flooding into the St Lucia estuary swept the extra heavy dredger that was used to keep the estuary open to the sea into who knows where. It has never been found. It also washed away the entire dolosse-lined parking lot and boat launching ramp, also never to be found and impossible to rebuild.
In amongst all the might that Mother Nature at times hurls at us, we anglers can only give thanks that our waterways have sufficient water to provide safe havens for our fish populations. When this water supply exceeds comfortable levels, namely in floods, and also when the levels drop, namely during droughts, all anglers, being hardy types, adjust their tactics accordingly, never regarding them as a curse, but always as a blessing, but, just sometimes, a blessing in disguise!
Op ‘n ander noot, die regulasies oor die vang van die grootbek-geelvis is onlangs op die ‘TOPS’-lys aangepas. Volgens ons viswetenskaplikes, want dit moet hulle wees wat hierdie aanpassing aangevra het, is die grootbek-geelvis se voortbestaan nou so erg in gevaar dat die vis na dit gevang is onmiddellik teruggeplaas moet word. Lees die berig hieroor deur Bernard Venter in hierdie uitgawe. In kompetisiehengel mag dit nie eers na die weegskaal geneem word nie. Dis darem orraait om ‘n foto van die vangs te neem. Na my mening nog ‘n drakoniese, oordadige regulasie wat in elke geval weer die hengelaars aan bande lê in plaas daarvan om die eintlike rede vir die bedreiging, naamlik al die besoedeling uit verskeie oorde, aan te spreek. Hierdie regulasie sal in elke geval nie sonder die totale samewerking van hengelaars toegepas kan word nie, wat, bygesê wel gegee sal word.
Intussen geniet die hengel in hierdie maand terwyl die dae korter word en die temperature na hul wintervlakke begin daal, en soos altyd, Take Care!
*Enige saak op die hart oor hengelsake? Lug jou mening gerus.
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