THE EBASS TRAIL – Vaal River 2016

Report by Ben Alborough. Images Dirk Briel

The first competition on the trail for the year saw a good complement of teams in attendance, and with the showing of the trail on TV’s OpenView, it’s a great opportunity for teams to promote their sponsors too.

Impeccably organized, the start went off without any hitches, and some teams made long runs for the barrage area while others made just as long runs upriver in the opposite direction. The Vaal is famous for helping you spend your money on fuel with a 50km plus stretch of water to fish. The warm summer rains are usually indicative of good fishing to come, and the Vaal didn’t disappoint for some teams. With water temperatures in the mid twenties and some overcast weather, the early morning fishing was really tough for some.

Finding the pattern on the Vaal was vital to achieving a good result on the day, and although there were many fish caught, the big ones were rather elusive. The big fish of the day was 1.79kg’s. A huge rainstorm at 3 in the afternoon brought many teams in early. Overall, the bags were small for the day.

The results were:

1st Team F1 Grand Prix Tours 2 – Ben Alborough and Adriana Alborough 7.07 kg

2nd Team Espag Auto – Pieter Espag and Tinus Barnard 4.41 kg

3rd Team Mercury Quantum – Shandon Hawman and Izak de Beer 4.21 kg

4th Team F1 Grand Prix Tours – Johan van Veelen and Niki van Veelen 4.11 kg

5th Team Bru Force – Craig Ninaber and Kewan Ninaber 3.78 kg

See the website for the complete logs and our Facebook page as well.


The Vaal can be difficult to fish if you don’t know the river, so time on the river is important. Some spots always produce while others that look really good, produce nothing.

Dark lures with a bit of action work well in the brown water. If the water is muddied, try find cleaner water somewhere else.

Don’t forget to pack your spinnerbaits. Crankbaits work well some days when all other methods fail.

The Vaal is all about pitching. You’ll find many Carp in the trees and laydowns, but don’t be afraid to pitch amongst them too for bass.



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