Fishing in the Breede River has been a popular pastime over the years for anglers in South Africa. The river’s ecosystem is home to a multitude of organisms, plants and fish, and stretches through the Southern Cape. Fishing requires a fair amount of skill and timing, and depending on where you fish on the river, your tactics will be different. Everyone has their own preference and style of fishing which is why it’s such a revered hobby.
Here are some fishing techniques to try when fishing the Breede River:
Bait fishing is a versatile way to fish. It can be done from a pier, an anchored boat or from shore. The casting technique is simple; in an overhead motion swing the rod forward and release the line (where your fingers are holding the line) as you extend your arm, point your index finger in the direction you want the line to go and towards the area you wish the bait to land. Secondly, tighten the drag and wait for a fish to find your bait. Using a float, or bobber, makes it easier to fish near the surface while adding sinkers, or weights to your line will allow for a deeper catch. Bait fishing requires a lot of patience but it is the simplest method of fishing and possibly the most effective.
Spinning is an angling technique where a spinning lure is used to entice a fish to bite. Anglers usually cast out as far as they can and then slowly retrieve the spinner, which will make it come back towards them. Reeling in quickly will make the spinner move higher up in the water, which can be useful for catching fish that feed on or near the surface. Reeling in slowly will make the spinner come back near the seabed and tempt fish which feed in those areas, however, this also runs the risk of getting your lure or line snagged as there are more obstructions near the seabed. Spinning near the surface is a preferred way of catching leeries in the Breede River as the strike is visual.
Bottom bouncing is a spin fishing technique where the spinner is cast up river from the shore, and then allowed to bounce on the river bottom until it has moved downstream. The rod tip is held higher in the air than normal and the speed of retrieval is faster. This method is commonly used when float fishing from a small fishing boat or inflatable. The spinner is cast directly behind the boat until it settles on the bottom. After the spinner has settled, it bounces on the bottom –naturally attracting fish of all species.
Drifting is a technique which requires the wind and tide to oppose each other, so that the boat’s drift will be slow enough. Alternatively, there must be little or no wind and the tide must not be strong. The idea is to drift with the tide and cover a large area, thereby increasing your chances of hooking a grunter. If you drift too fast, your bait will be lifted close to the surface, even with heavy sinkers on, making your fishing attempts futile. Drift fishing allows you to fish over a variety of habitats as your boat drifts with the currents or wind movement. You can drift fish on the bottom or change the depth with a bobber or float. Natural baits work best but jigs, lures and artificial flies will yield good results too.
Jig fishing is a popular challenge for an angler because it creates an action that attracts, or doesn’t attract, the particular type of fish you’re trying to catch. Start by casting out and letting your jig hook sink to the bottom. Then use your rod tip to raise the bait about a foot off the bottom before letting it drop back to the bottom and repeat if necessary. You can jig up and down, side to side, or sideways. Jig rigs come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be used with or without live bait. It’s always a good idea to use matte-coloured lures as shinier lures reflect too much light and confuse the fish.
Tips and Tricks
- When fishing in a lake or river, fish where water turns from shallow to deep as fish like to congregate and look for food in these areas.
- Shiny fishing lures can attract certain fish, but the reflection of the sun can blind them and cause confusion.
- Cast close to the shoreline for more bites.
- Many people use worms as bait, but locusts or grasshoppers are also a great choice. Larger fish like bass really enjoy these insects. Sand and mud prawns are excellent for catching grunters. Remember to always use the freshest bait available.
- Sunrise is an excellent time to fish.
- Always research the region you will be fishing in to find out what kinds of fish live there and what they like. This will save you time and ensure you make the most of your day.
Remember that patience is the key to good fishing and all good things come to those who wait.
For more information regarding accommodation, charters or attractions on the Breede River, visit Mudlark.co.za