THE EBASS TRIAL – Witbank Dam 2017

The last and final qualifying event for the 2017 EBASS season took place on Witbank Dam on the 14 October 2017.

The event was postponed by one week, in order to accommodate EBASS participants the opportunity to skipper and help at the Black Bass World Championships which was hosted by SABAA on the Vaal River the previous week.

The dam was just about full (99%) and the fish was in various stages of spawning, which resulted in and produced some good bags for the event.

The total prize money on offer for the event was once again a healthy R 15 500, with a number of day entries also competing for these rewards.

The dam was shared with Witbank Bassmasters for the day, which resulted in quite a number of competing boats and pressure on the fishing waters. Overcast early morning conditions did produce a short top water bite, but in the end, fishing very shallow water 1-4’ proved to be the most productive patterns on the day.

Fishing 4” senkos and flukes was mainly responsible for producing the winning bag. Spawning nest were scarce but could be found, but once found, the fish seemed to act very jittery. Once a nest was located the key was to move away from the nest with the least possible disturbance and then make long cast back to the nest, with weightless or very lightly weighted plastics and slowly work the bait into the nest.
The wind came up strongly around noon, spoiling the above pattern and anglers had to switch to mainly blind casting into the shallows.
The fish was in abundance and generally a very good and healthy condition.

Congratulations to the following top 5 competitors, for weighing some really good bags:
1. Mercury Pro Team Shandon Hawman Izak De Beer R6500 7.04kg
2. Merc Carriers Leon Potgieter Willem Lubbinge R3000 6.43kg
3. Axiom Bruce McKinnley Gary Hagemann R2000 5.64KG
4. Bru Force / Hatfield VW Com Craig Ninaber Neels Botha R1500 5.51KG
5. Greenfish VC Allan Baker Louis Barbosa R1000 5.49KG

Biggest fish:
Merc Carriers Leon Potgieter Willem Lubbinge R1500 Voucher 2.06KG

The Ebass committee would once again like to extend a big thank you to the following sponsors – without their fantastic support this great tournament trail would not be possible: F1 Grand Prix Tours, Viper Doors, Bark Unlimited, The Gearbox Company, Escape Boating, Hooked on Bass, Climbing Kilimanjaro and Netspace Internet Solutions.
Please support these sponsors to show that we do indeed appreciate their efforts.

The EBASS Grand Final will take place over 2 days at Heyshope Dam on the 03 and 04 November 2017. The winners of big, big prizes, money as well as the final team slots to the SABAA Team Super Final will be decided during this event. The stakes and rewards are huge and the excitement and pressure is building up massively for the participating teams.

The outcome of the 2017 final will be on a knife’s edge, with the top 4 teams going into the grand final literally grams apart! The qualifying teams will be competing for big cash prizes as well as the prestigious “Team of the Year” title, which carries the top award of a fantastic, all expenses paid tour, to the 2018 F1 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona (valued @ R 50 000), for both the captain and co-angler.
After the EBASS Grand Final, the top 10 teams in the “Team of the Year” standings, will qualify and will be invited to compete in the inaugural SABAA TEAM SUPER FINAL, also to be held at Heyshope Dam on the 01 and 02 December 2017.
Close to 50 teams representing 6 different SABAA provinces and tournament trails from all over South Africa, have been confirmed for this prestigious event. The SABAA 2017 inaugural Team Super Finals will boast the biggest PRIZE MONEY in the history of South Africa’s team tournament finals.
The top 2 teams of this event will qualify to compete in the USA Bassmaster Team Championships, which will not only afford them the opportunity to compete for the 2018 Bassmasters Team Champions title, but will also offer them a chance to qualify for the world’s most prestigious bass angling event – the 2019 BASSMASTER CLASSIC!!

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