Not even the most skilled of actuaries with a super computer at their disposal can tell you exactly how many fish a trout dam holds.
The variables of nutrient levels, water quality and fluctuating temperature coupled with stocking densities and rod pressure along with the unpredictable angler are just that……too variable!
You certainly cannot conduct a head count and it’s at best an educated guess on their survival and growth rates. So, we try our best be scientific about the management of any fishery, pray for stable weather and hope that the fly fishers find their way to the water.
In the 1st leg of South Africa’s premier trout festival, the Corporate Trophy Challenge, brought to you by Fishtube.tv, only 256 specimens were recorded, as opposed to the historic annual average in the 1st leg of about 320.
As always there were many excuses grasped at, not least of which was the difficulty in finding the exit of Notties pub.
For those who are quick to blame the shy fish, they did hit a significant milestone, being the 10 000th Trout to be caught and released since the inception of the event in 2002, a remarkable achievement.
One angler. Frank Ferguson took the honors, by eclipsing the biggest trout of 56cm fish caught in session 2, with a 57cm, then followed it up with a 58cm on his next cast, only to conclusively assert his right to the title with a 60cm beauty……..all in the space of 30 mins…..... all caught on the new WildFly minnow……unfortunately not available in stores as of yet.
A first in the last decade that this event has been going, in so far as he caught the top 3 fish for the entire competition in a 30 minute purple patch!
Admittedly it was unseasonably warm, with water surface temperatures hovering around the 14 degrees Celsius, and as a result I think the trout didn't know whether to feed or fornicate.
Not that the same can be said for the stockies shoaling at the hotel on Friday night! The legendary venue proved yet again to be the catalyst for all and sundry to prove that white men can’t dance.
Needless to say, the festivities far out shone any interest on the fishing front, culminating in many nominations for the coveted WildFly choice awards.
That said, best angler was awarded to John Travis for his 12 fish – 3 recorded in each session, being the maximum of fish that can now be counted in each of the four fishing sessions……a new rule that prevents stockie bashers walking away with all the prizes.
And prizes there were no shortage of. A Million Rands worth is up for grabs, to put a figure to it, so there is certainly an incentive to make it to the final
The Yamaha boat worth R250 000, being for the tagged fish didn’t get caught in this leg, so this valuable fish still roams free
And that was the impetus behind this years festival….the Roam Free conservation initiative, so make sure you log onto fishtube.tv to register free of charge and protect our recreational angling.
The first 6 six teams that qualify for this years final are-:
1st Place – Leads2Business
2nd Place – Dammitt Construction
3rd Place – Paarl Media Gauteng
4th Place – White Wooly Buggers
5th Place – Paarl Media KZN
6TH Place – Hogs Hunt Estate
18 teams will be battling it out for the grand title from the 26th to the 29th July 2012