Clanwilliam float tube specialists Malcom and Andrew took advantage of a break in the Cape winter to hit one of their favorite float tube venues; Smallmouth bass capital of South Africa Clanwilliam Dam.

Thanks again for the article Malcom and congrats on the PB! Photo credits Malcolm Palmer

Earlier last week Andrew and myself said we’d like to do a proper fishing session soon, none of this “few hours on a Sunday afternoon” business.
Clanwilliam Dam

Long story short we decided late on Friday evening while he was on his way back from PE to go to Clan. Drive up after he had finished work on Saturday and fish Sunday. Awesome, sorted.

We got to Clan later than we’d hoped but that was OK. Got settled in at the hotel and then headed to De Kelder for some chow and to watch some rugby.

Morning arrived and we got ready and headed down to the dam, we decided on Caleta Cove. The morning started off quite slow but Andrew was the first one into a Smallmouth. He sent his bait over a semi-submerged log and began to drag it back over when he was solidly hit and the fish decided to head into the sticks of course and after trying for a minute or two to get it out Andrew went in closer to try unwrap it. I went over and we were able to lift the log and net the bass on the second try. It was a solid 1.8kg. The 12lb invisx held up very well.

Clanwilliam Dam

I thought since I’m here let’s have a cast and sure enough I was hit by a stream train but as I struck my line snapped, not the best thing to happen on your first bite. Andrew being the poacher that he is then send his bait across the whole area and caught another smallmouth of about 1kg. Nice little flurry of bites but that was it.

Do not try this at home

Andrew trying his hardest to fall in – Do not try this at home

Not long after this Andrew got another kilo model and then I opened my account also with a kilo model. Nothing much had happened along the bank we were fishing so were started heading back to the main bay.

Smallmouth bass

It was a good thing we did go back. We were soon into a couple good sized smallmouth each and then just like earlier the bite vanished.

Smallmouth Bass

We headed out the bay towards the point, I got another and Andrew had a knock or two. We decided to work this area hard because the bass were around. I went shallow while Andrew was working slightly deeper water.

I sent my bait a bit far into the grass, just as I ripped it out into open water I felt a knock and again, this time it held on and it was not happy when I set the hook. It came flying out the water a few times, what an epic fight it was. When I eventually landed her I knew this was my new PB but by how much? I kicked over to Andrew for some photos and held her up. He told me lets get a weight before taking photos…she tipped the scale at 2.08kg beating my old PB by 80grams.

Small mouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

We carried on fishing and got a few more around the kilo mark again.

Smallmouth Bass

All in all it was a successful day, not many bass caught (me 5, Andrew 12) with the bites few and far between but the ones that did bite let us know all about it. All except one were caught on mojo junebug plastic, something with some action to them. The other was caught on a lipless crank.

Clanwilliam Dam Sunset