A few months ago I discovered a technique that is absolutely deadly on spotted grunter. I was trying to catch a Breede river slam, and time was running out (see Twinkle, Two Slams and the Legend of the Turd Burger). I was fishing with my buddy Mike and needed to catch a grunter in order to get the slam. The sun was setting fast. I suggested to Mike that we call it a day, he persuaded me to stay. “OK, five more casts”, I replied. I got the grunter on the fourth cast.
Since then I have caught quite a few grunter on the five cast technique. I cannot say why, but grunter respond exceptionally well to this method. Perhaps it’s because grunter suddenly feel the tables are turned on them; usually they will blatantly give you the middle finger, now suddenly they have to deal with rejection and abandonment issues when the five casts are up. Believe me, it works. They will eat that fly like a mielie. Typically, this technique has no effect whatsoever on any other species.
It is particularly effective when grunter that’s been tailing hard a few minutes ago, have suddenly stopped and you can see loads of grunter tailing a few hundred meter down the flat. Don’t fall for this trick; the grunts are still there, but merely fucking with your head. Now is the time to show mental dominance and throw that five cast dice.
Here are a few points to consider while employing this technique. Never start a session or walk onto the flat with the intention of doing five more casts when you’re done. The grunts are not that stupid and will smell a fraud a mile away. You have to surprise yourself; “Come on man, just five more casts!” Also, when you go for five more casts, make those five casts. No more, no less, even if you miss a hard take on the fifth cast. Grunter are like elephants man, they never forget. You don’t wanna jinx it.
Two weeks ago, I made quite a breakthrough when I discovered a variation on the five cast technique. I was fishing with Mike and we promised our holiday going spouses that we’d be home before sunset. It was late, and I was still fishless. Plenty of missed takes and I found it very difficult to pack up and leave without having pinned a grunt. What was worse was that the fish seemed to have stopped tailing. My chances were slim. I told myself that if I could make 5 casts without seeing a tailing grunter, I would call it a day. If you see a fish tailing, you start counting from cast one. One can only leave when the fifth cast is retrieved. The effect on the grunter was unbelievable! Fish started tailing with remarkable consistency! It was only much later that Mike and I managed to get off the water, each managing to pin a fish at number 99. It was while we were driving home, discussing the day’s fishing; when we both realized the utterly futility of attempting to explain the five cast phenomenon to an angry wife.