Upper Vaal Yellows
(An article submitted by Mahomed Doola - Thank you)
This summer we once again braved the mud, miggies, mozzies and all that the upper Vaal River could throw our way.
On the first two outings a number of keen, enthusiastic fisherman joined us – their spirits were soon dashed by rapidly rising waters and painful mozzie bites. On the third outing, only a few die hard guys armed with Tabard, braved the mozzies and the mud and were rewarded with a few juvenile large mouth yellows and a number of small mouth yellows – no big large mouths were caught.
Not to be beaten by the mighty Vaal, we had to make a fourth and final trip to try and catch these elusive beauties of the murky water – the large mouth yellow fish. We ignored all weather reports and flood warnings and once again sacrificed our bodies to the mozzies and other exotic insects which infest the banks of the upper Vaal.
We got to our favourite spot at around 2:00am. The first few hours yielded no fish, but to our delight the weatherman was wrong and there was no sign of the heavy rains forecasted. The first largemouth hit at about 3:20am – a smallish fish of about two kilos and then all was quiet again. At around 6:00am all hell broke loose – we landed about four large mouth yellows in the space of an hour. A few big small mouth yellows were also landed in between. The hysteria of landing the large mouth yellows made us overlook the beauty and size of the small mouth yellows.
As the day passed the fishing slowed down. In total we probably landed about six large mouths and well over ten (fat) small mouths, not counting a number of barbell and a carp in between. After much perseverance and effort, we were once again rewarded with some beautiful specimens. ‘ALL’ of the fish caught were released unharmed. It is also important to note that over the years we have noticed a decline in numbers as well as sizes of these beautiful fish. I dread the day when these already protected species fade entirely from our waters due to pollution and over exploitation.
Below are some pictures of the fish caught – not all of them were photographed as the guys were too busy fishing.