15 October 2016
Author: Francois Nel
I recently targeted redbreast Tilapia and found the experience to be unique in the way I caught this species. It is one of our country’s most beautiful species and to be tried by every angler at some time. Targeting shallower sections of a dam like a warmer bay area with the Salmo Hornet (size 1 to size3) proved effective. They just slam these lures on a normal slow retrieve over the nests.
Another technique that I believe is not known to many and not used as often that also proves very successful is using poppers like the Salmo pop in Silver or Gold colours. The size of the Salmo poppers is ideal for catching them. Adding a white feather to the back hook will also help. Catching the fish in this manner requires a keen eye because many of the bites can be seen when your popper just slightly and softly dips down. I found that even though many strikes are aggressive you get even more bites that are hardly visible and if you don’t strike these fish will not be caught. When you find a suitable spot cast your lure out to where you think the nest is and let it lie until the water smoothed out again. Many strikes happen while it just lies quite. Use a softer pop and vary the retrieve back to the boat. Popping the lure too hard will scare the fish off. Pop it once, twice and three times continuous with pauses in between.
Take note that catching the redbreasts with Salmo’s art lures is time-specific and usually best when the fish start spawning. From October to April in South Africa, they are much more aggressive and you will catch fish using this technique guaranteed.