Lowrance SA Pro - Brendon van Zuydam
2011 Jan 16
Brendon van Zuydam is our current National Champion following his win at the SABAA 2010 event held on Tzaneen Dam earlier this year. He has also had some great success in the money tournaments as seen here at Midmar after winning the September leg of the BETT, with Team Yamaha Panasonic partner Gavin Richardson.
Brendon’s ‘hardware’ is a Tornado with a 300Hp Yamaha VMAX HPDI on the back, and an 80lb Minn Kota Maxxum Pro on the front.
Brendon has just signed up with Lowrance recently after being an avid Lowrance supporter for more than 20 years.
Brendon has the following electronics:
1. LCX37c flush mounted in the console with FishTec Charts.
2. HDS8 on a MB35 RAM mount next to the console with HST-WSBL transducer mounted on bottom step.
3. HDS5 in the bow with PDT – WBL transducer on trolling motor
4. StructureScan LSS-1 with transducer mounted on bottom step next to HST-WSBL.
The transducer setup is right at the bottom of the boat allowing good returns at high speeds. What’s interesting about this setup is that two sections of hose have been used to support the transducers while at high speed, or in the event of hitting something in the water. This helps keep the transducers at right angles to the lie of the boat.
Sonar:- (HDS5 and HDS8) Fishing Mode in ‘General’
StructureScan:- Notice the range on the SideScan – 50ft
The HDS5 on the bow is a split page 50/50 – 83kHz and DownScan. While at the console, Brendon has the LCX37c split 50/50 between FishTec Chart and Sonar (83kHz). I also noticed that he uses quite a high zoom, either 4x or 8x looking closely at what’s just off the bottom or just above or around structure. His HDS8 is also split 50/50 with DownScan and SideScan. FishTec: “Why do you use this #1 palette Brendon?”
Brendon: “I found it was just easier to spot finer detail using this black & white inverted screen.”
Q & A
Question by Sealine member:-
1. How he approaches a spot to fish and why he selects the lure he will use when he arrives there...what his go to bait is and why.
Brendon: A: Deep Water - 10ft - relatively fast -
B: If Shallow - slow with main motor for quite some distance - in last 50 - 20m with sneaker motor if fish are skittish.
Go to Bait: Depends on: Time of Year, Weather, structure, fishing trends at time, etc etc etc, but most of the time I use a mojo fluke. If I am in deep water I will drop shot a finesse worm.
Question by Sealine member:- 2. His favorite dam and why?
Brendon: I like to follow where the fish are biting best, but all round I do have a soft spot for Inanda - I remember the old days when the dam was still new and full of timber and the fishing was on.
Question by Sealine member:- 3. How he selected the electronics on his boat and why he selected the electronics he has fitted...
Brendon: I have fished with Lowrance electronics for 20 years, they have been my favourite since my first fishfinder, an X4, which showed a rudementory fish arch, whereas the counter parts at that stage showed a dot, and if I remember correctly, a red dot was a bigger fish. To me at that stage Lowrance was the leading brand, because anything could form a dot on the screen, but to form an arch as we knew it then, had to be formed by fish. I have followed Lowrance over the years, and now I have the HDS8 for the side and down scanning, and LCX37 for the 83htz for the sonar and for FishTec's maps. I have the HDS5 on the front for the 83htz and the down scanning.
Question by Sealine member:- 4. Does he fish with his electronics running during a comp or does he switch them off? I noticed he mentioned he doesn’t worry about spooking the fish.
Brendon: Interesting question. Yes, I always run 100% of the time on the first day, however, on the second day, if the fish stop biting, and I feel that I am still in the right area, and have located the fish, but boat pressure has set in, I may turn them off to see if it helps.
Question by Sealine member:- 5. What does it take to become a great fisherman...always being in the points.
Brendon: Dedication, Dedication, Dedication, an open mind, and some Persistence & Perseverance. Try and gain knowledge of different styles, techniques, spots etc by fishing with as many different people as you can, Especially from Juniors, it is amazing you can learn from a fresh perspective. I have never skippered a Junior and not learn a valuable lesson or technique.
Question by Sealine member:- 6. … style of fishing
Brendon: I enjoy a spinner bait bite, but with that said - I really enjoy catching fish on whatever they are biting on.
Question by Sealine member:- 7. … favorite lures
Answer: Once again, a spinner bait, but whatever the fish are biting on.
Question by Sealine member:- 8. … what makes him the winner at the bett and what he feels makes the difference between him and the weekend warrior?
Brendon: A good partner on the boat, if your partner is on a roll, let him roll with it - Do not try and fish against him! Fish against the Fish - not people! Just try catch one large fish to boost the bag, or try and match his style to help the bag. See for answer for no 5 - same rule applies!
Question by Sealine member:- 9. … is it the electronics or time on the water or a combination of both or is there something we don’t know?
Brendon: There is time ON the water and then there is time UNDER the water. I find that Time ON the water is most beneficial, but studying what is UNDER the water may be the edge to winning an event, however, an important tool is knowing how to use your electronics effectively under the conditions that you are fishing. I see a lot of anglers with top electronics on their boat - but the settings are so out of sync, they may as well be on demo mode!
Question by Sealine member:- 10. … of course some trade secrets
Brendon: Don't get hung up on a certain type of bait or fishing technique. They get stale - like with frogging, the bite has slowed down. Always strive to be the first to try something new. The beauty of our sport is that it is constantly evolving. If you don't keep up - even if you are on top - you will get left behind.
Having answered all these questions - First and Foremost - Have Fun Fishing - Don't do it if you're not enjoying it!
As we approached one of Brendon’s many waypoints, he full locks the steering and starts doing what he calls “Donuts”. He circles the point of interest many times with a marker buoy close at hand. He will not drop that marker until he is 100% sure that he has the POI marked perfectly. FishTec: “Aren’t you worried that you chase all the fish away while you are idling over them?” Brendon: “We are not looking for scared fish.” FishTec: “laugh”
Once the spot is marked, I noticed that Brendon will fish the marker for a while, and if there is no bite in the first couple of casts, he will target the surrounding area with a reaction-bite type bait.
I would just like to thank Brendon for having me on board, and look forward to joining him for another session, in the not too distant future.