Yellows on Hornets at the Vaal River, Parys

14 March 2016
Author: Evert Laubscher

Although Smallmouth yellowfish is a favourite species amongst fly anglers, they are not so commonly targeted on a lure. On a recent visit to the Vaal River near Parys, I decided to target these strong fighters on the Salmo Hornet 2cm crankbait.

The section of the river I was fishing was a stained colour, which didn’t help me much. I used a small inflatable boat with a battery motor to navigate the river and find spots with some potential to hold smallmouths. The most productive water was where there was an increase in the flow, whether it was slightly faster or even white water.

The tail end of these faster-flowing sections held the most fish. The ideal way to recognize eddies formed by boulders and tree stumps in the current and then target these little pockets behind the structure. I caught most of my fish casting upstream, to about 45 degrees across the current, and then slowly retrieving the Hornet so that it had a slow but deliberate wobble in the current.

My choice of tackle was a 6’6 Medium Fast action spinning rod, a 2500 size spinning reel paired with 10lb braid. The Salmo Hornet enticed very aggressive takes, even in the stained water. This is a great alternative to target these indigenous species without a fly rod.