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Eddles

Spring is in the air

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#31
Sounds like a full time job getting that pond up to standard again :blue-biggrin:
Snakehead fishing has been great this summer. We caught some monsters, but unfortunately it's all over now until April next year. We use bass gear. Heavy action 7ft bass rods with baitcasters. 90% of the time we fish top water, but really fast. Biggest Giant Snakehead we've landed was just under 10kgs. My friend landed it on Saturday. Massive fish. We've landed numerous giant snakehead between 5 and 7kgs, which we're really chuffed about. We've also landed couple of really big Chevron Snakehead. I was lucky enough to land one a couple of weeks ago, that is 110grams bigger than current IGFA world record. Just got the scale certified, so will submit the catch to IGFA over next couple of days and hopefully i'll get the record.

Bass fishing at home at the end of the month, which i'm really looking forward to. Has been way to long since my last bass outing.

PM me your e-mail address then i'll show you a couple of the snakehead. Don't wanna put it up here, don't think BM would like the site to be flooded with snakehead pictures :blue-badgrin:
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"The man who persists in casting will succeed in catching" - Capiez
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BWG
#32
Ok, so today my eldest son, Mat, was supposed to be fishing an Eastern Division Junior fish-off @ Wriggleswade but it has been postponed to later in the month. Both my boys got a new Shimano Caenan reel paired with 6’6” Clarus rods from Father Xmas and they have been dying to try them out. So, seeing as Wriggleswade was out I decided to take them plus a friend of Mat’s to my pond to check on the condition of the fish mid summer.

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It wasn’t long and Mat was into a fat kilo plus fish from a texas rigged junebug dead ringer. The quality of the fish post spawn even surprised me!

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Some of the younger fish looked as though they were bursting at the seams so obviously I’m doing something right with the food chain this season.

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Nathan, not to be outdone by the bigger boys, proudly announced, “Dad, one more fish and I’ve got bag hey!” Even when he’s catching bullies in the rock pools it always has to be a BAG (5) of bullies!!!!

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Tyler (Mat’s mate), the heartbreaker rock n roll drummer, was also into the action with some fine fish.

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We had to very careful how we handled the fish because if Rastus got half a chance he would swim after the released fish so that he could get a good “sniff” in to see what all the rattle and shake was all about.

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Nonetheless, I eventually had to call it a day as the kids were bagging over and were decimating my carefully cared for fish. Only one fish was gut hooked and we had to cut the hook off and release this fish with the hook as it was too badly hooked to attempt a through the gill hook removal. The plant growth from last season is now in full swing and all were holding fish.

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To round off the evening, we took a detour on the way home to look for oak mushrooms (cep) for supper but unfortunately only bagged one decent one – just like fishing sometimes!

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Well it’s nearly back to school again and these youngsters can count themselves very lucky that whilst they were drilling bass, their mother and sister were covering and labelling their school books. Ha, as though school is back on their minds yet.
LIFE IS TOUGH IN AFRICA…………..
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#33
Very nice, fish are looking fat and healthy. :blue-cool:
The more I learn about fishing the more I realise
how much more I have to learn about fishing.
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#34
Awesome stuff!

Geez those fish do look good. Nice to see the youngsters fishing and being out doors. :blue-cool:
[Image: dbfa278d-72d0-4191-8a1b-dfc8df2ce222_zps5101ae66.jpg]
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#35
The Vlei Kurper destined for the pond to supplement those existing are currently carrying on like scurvy sailors fighting over fruit. They have become colourful, territorial, and aggressive and gone off their food. It would seem that they will be breeding in the nice 26 degree water. If they do they will be relocated to the pond for hopefully another 1 or 2 spawns before autumn.
The time has come this week to remove some of the medium fish from the pond and replace with a few hawgs – that is if we can find them?

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#36
nice fishies and very nice pond.Those pics makes me want to fish already and there is a mountain of a week in front of me before i can get on the water again.


All depends on how deep you hook it:
what I do if I gut hook a fish if the tip of the hook sticks out I flatten the barb and 90% of the time I get it out without hurting the fish to much.losing a hook is nothing compared to losing a fine fish.
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BWG
#37
I remember reading somewhere about trials done in “Rhodesia” in ponds with bass and platannas @ different stocking rates. If I recall correctly, bass didn’t really have a marked effect on the platties so that is why I have introduced more into the pond from time to time.
This time I captured a lot of youngsters, some with tails, some without and some mini me platties for relocation. This is just a sample of the first scoop.

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So there I am standing next to the pond making a moer of a noise, SAFM blearing so I can listen to a talk on cross cultural relationship differences (out of pure curiosity because I think men & woman don’t belong to the same culture anyway), bright chartreuse kiddies net casting a shadow over the newly released “4 fingered flat gars” and lo and behold here comes a shoal of big bluegill mixed with young bass and begin decimating those on the outskirts of the group.

They weren’t fazed by me and bear in mind that these are wild fish. The big bluegill would sneak up and them grab them, give them a shake and throw and only engulf it upon the second hit. The bass were more methodical and totally unpredictable as follows:

• Some would only flash and grab one when it came up for air.
• Others would zone in and watch that wriggly tail and as soon as it stopped moving, nail it.
• If they were approached by one, they would back off and only take it if they could hunt it.
• Some were picked up off the bottom.
• Many were missed and you would be amazed at the speed and dodging abilities of a tadpole with legs and ½ a tale.

There was no definite “pattern” and I only wish I had sunglasses with me and the sun was shining so that I could actually get to see fully what was going on. This has changed my thinking on bass feeding behavior and could probably be a whole book on its own.

We have had so much rain recently that a few days back the waterllilly flowers were semi submerged and I thought that it has now got too deep for them and they will perish. Nope, they have stretched and continue to grow into some lekka cover for the bass. Where can I get a GoPro entry level camera??
I don’t “Ninjanate” my fish, so there was no rod handy for further research!

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#38
You don't really get a entry level go pro but if you want something to just stick in the water up to 3m then you have a whole range of cams available to you and some takes great pics too

look at the Kodak zx3 or zx5 fuji xps olympus tough and there is a few others

DO NOT BUY A AGFA YOU WILL REGRET IT LIKE ME trust me on this one.
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#39
Ernst, thanks for the info about those cameras.

Took another (bigger) load of platties to the pond this evening. This time a school of fingerlings associated themselves with the school of half developed platties. Although their hunting instincts kicked in it would seem they are just going to hang around till they are big enough to engulf one!

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#40
A fish shop once told me I can't mix vlei kurper (sparmania) with other species as they are too agressive. Now there are many waters within the regressing republic which have them as a food source for bass but I've been watching these critters carefully in my tank.

As soon as there is a male/female imbalance and one or other successfully defends it's territory and gets a hap in on another challenger thus leaving a scar / mark / dent or similar, one may as well take that fish & flush it to France as it's as good as a certain rugby team's tickets!

Thus my question, I had a problem carp in my pond which succumbed to ballistical pressure and the original vlei kurper population hasn't really swelled that much - I'm not gutting any of my fish to see what they are eating.
Does anyone know of a water that has a healthy population of mature vlei kurper, good bassing and a stagnant carp fishery??
Maybe they are the answer to carp caviar?
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#41
Hi Riprap.Ek hou van jou forum en al jou moeite wat jy doen met jou bass pond. Die vleikurper is baie aggresief. Ek het al gesien hoe hulle in groepe jag. Hulle jaag kleiner vissies na die kant toe waar hulle dan vir hul vang as hul vas gekeer word teen wal. Ek weet soutwater vis doen dit ook soos Kingfish.Die dam was gestock met Bluegills en hulle het verdwyn, ek glo die vleikurper het net vinniger aan geteel as bluegills .Ek weet nie watse invloed dit gaan he op karp,maar ek glo die inpak gaan beide op Karp en Bass dieselfde wees. My 2c groete
SMILE, it can change the world around you. Stywe lyne
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BWG
#42
With the pond filling for the first time in years, the opportunity has arisen to restore and improve on the vegetative cover in the pond for the benefit of the baitfish and the bass. Herewith some results after 1 full seasons growth.
Regardless of time of day, bass can now be observed from super shallow to deepish as they have numerous escape routes. They are still spekvet and in bassing heaven, if there is such a thing!

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#43
Awesome looking piece of heaven on earth there RipRap!
Regards
Robert Jacobs
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#44
You know Navrik, I found a dam in the "Ciskei" that I used to fish as a kid that had dark stained organic water with beautiful bass and now only has a solid mass of waterlillies due to droughts, floods, wattle inundation and siltation but no bass. This is where I get my rootstock, lost slops and leeches but it seems to be paying dividends.
Not only do they look pretty when flowering but they create a form of micro-climate that bass can't resist. This is not common in the EC as with other waters where it would appear that whole "pockets" and flats enjoy the luxury of this plant but slowly I'm seeing the benefits of strategically placing existing (in the area) water plants for the benefit of a water system as a whole.

If I can grow a 3 kilo fish naturally, I'll be happy. I still see young acrobatic fish sumersaulting for dragonflies but that is because they can & probably enjoy the challenge - easier than chasing down F1 florida fingerlings on steriods.
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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#45
LaRocks, you have me interested with your comments about Bluegill vs. Vlei Kurper. The two species don’t seem to co-exist well together so let’s take a look at their diet and feeding behaviour:

Bluegill: Young bluegills' diet consists of rotifers and water fleas. The adult diet consists of aquatic insect larvae (mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies), but can also include crayfish, leeches, snails, and other small fish. Their diet can also include the waxworm and nightcrawler that can be provided for them by anglers. If food is scarce, bluegill will also feed on aquatic vegetation, and if scarce enough, will even feed on their own eggs or offspring. As bluegill spend a great deal of time near the surface of water, they can also feed on popping bugs and dry flies. Most bluegills feed during daylight hours, with a feeding peak being observed in the morning and evening (with the major peak occurring in the evening). Feeding location tends to be a balance between food abundance and predator abundance. Bluegill use gill rakers and bands of small teeth to ingest their food. During summer months, bluegills generally consume 35 percent of their body weight each week. To capture prey, bluegills use a suction system in which they accelerate a water into their mouth. Prey comes in with this water. Only a limited amount of water is able to be suctioned, so the fish must get within 1.75 centimeters of the prey.

Vlei Kurper: Adults feed preferentially on filamentous algae, aquatic plants and vegetation on the water edge like leaves, plants and seeds. They will also not say no to small crustaceans, midge larvae, water insects and even small fish, but prefer plant material. If you find a Vlei in an area with no vegetation, it probably means there is no vegetation in the dam.

Observations from my pond: The more Bluegill we introduce, the smaller the average size of the resident snail population. Apparently when prey is plentiful, they will concentrate on the bigger specimens of a certain prey species thus expending less energy for more energy per gulp. As the prey source dwindles, so too does the fussiness in the feeding habit but I have noticed that bluegill shoals seem more resilient to predating bass than vlei kurper. Bigger bluegill shoal and swim with younger bass whilst vlei kurpers are not social with other species and border on intolerant – my breeding tank highlights this fact as well, they are basically intolerant of anything else and each other – seem familiar!? In the tank, vleis will shift gravel, plants and anything else they can as though they are dune mining in St. Lucia without the need of an EIA!

I still find it interesting that one carp in my pond could have had such a large influence on the baitfish population of bluegill & vlei kurper and indirectly also the bass. Now that the carp has emigrated to the big blue, the interaction between these two seems not to be very symbiotic with the ponds objective, unless of course they are sitting in the bass’ fat stomachs and which I’m not prepared to check just yet.
Duckweed; in high nutrient ponds this harbours huge amounts of snails and ducks. Perhaps the nutrient load needs to be stepped up a gear or two before winter (the water clarity seems to indicate anyway) and the snails will assist the bluegill to fatten up before winter?
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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