My job working with the World Surf League (WSL) as commentator for the Championship Tour takes me to some of the coolest places in the world. Recently, I visited South Africa, and it was a trip I’ll never forget.
Of course, as a competitive bass angler, I couldn’t make the trip without checking out the local bass scene. So before I left, I chatted with a friend of mine named Ryan Rogers, who fishes the South African Bass Angling Association (S.A.B.A.A.) tournaments. He turned me on to a couple of good online resources, including sabaa.co.za, which is the S.A.B.A.A. website, and bassing.co.za, which is the main bass fishing website and forum for the region. Tournaments in South Africa follow the same format as most American events. Each year, the top angler, which they call the Wrangler Angler, competes in the United States at the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. This November, it’ll be Japie Botha representing South Africa at the championship.
Chasing bass around the world
Tournament fishing in South Africa is pretty solid, with about 500 serious tournament anglers in the country. There are many more recreational anglers in the region too.
As I continued my research, I realized there were a couple of good lakes in the region where I could bass fish on an off day. So I packed a few bags of Roboworms, some ima crankbaits and a few small swimbaits in hopes of having a day to fish.
I was in South Africa working two surf contests. The first event was the Ballito Pro in Ballito, South Africa, which is near Durban. At each contest, we maximize the conditions to get the best surf during the event window. Generally, we have a couple of off days due to the conditions not being ideal to run competition.