UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

The 8,000-Mile Fishing Trip

The 8,000-Mile Fishing Trip
Morne Duvenhage

The first thing you notice about Morne Duvenhage when he talks is that he probably isn’t from Georgia, even though that’s his current state of residence. For certain, he communicates with a Southern drawl, except it’s South African, and words such as “far” and “bad” come out of his mouth as “fah” and “bed.”

Duvenhage’s accent is reminiscent of that of Costa FLW Series stick Lionel Botha, which is understandable as both men are of the same rugged Afrikaner stock that helped settle South Africa. Accent or not, Duvenhage speaks the universal language of bass fishing very well, and has found to his satisfaction that bass in the U.S. behave much the same as bass in his native land.

This year, Duvenhage is fishing the FLW Bass Fishing League’s Choo Choo and Bulldog divisions, with hopes of qualifying for the BFL All-American championship. That’s the first of a two-pronged goal. The 44-year-old also hopes to fish the Walmart FLW Tour one of these days.

“I told my wife [Yolande] that it’s now or never for me,” says Duvenhage. “I first came here in 2006 and fell in love with this country. It took a while for it to become economically feasible for us, but we have no regrets. My wife, my two daughters [Dene, 16, and Shimei, 9] and my son [Duwalt, 13] have settled in very well. It’s mind-boggling to me how people you don’t even know make you feel so welcome here.”

The same could be said of his reception into the BFL ranks, though getting equipped to fish the events hasn’t gone so smoothly. For one thing, the used boat he bought soon after he got here a couple of years ago has given him nothing but trouble. Before the first Choo Choo Division tournament of the season at Guntersville, Duvenhage actually rented a boat to fish. Although he expected a fiberglass Ranger with a 200-hp Evinrude, he wound up in an aluminum boat with an outboard of substantially less horsepower.

“I wanted to fish last year and tried to get in as a co-angler, but the waiting list was so long that I couldn’t, and I decided to fish as a boater this year. That, too, is proving to be a test,” he explains.

Still, he finished 58th among 160 anglers in his first tournament, on Lake Guntersville, and likely would have made a check had he caught two more keepers to go with his three bass that weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces.

Duvenhage, a building contractor who mainly builds convenience stores and groceries, is likely to see better days in BFL events, once he gets his boat problems solved. He has a well-rounded fishing background, and says that one of his assets is that he sticks to his own script and doesn’t try to fish outside what he considers to be his strengths.

Typically, that’s junk-fishing the shallows with a variety of lures and techniques. Duvenhage sees his biggest challenge as learning how to use the sophisticated fishing electronics that most Americans take for granted, and figuring out ledge fish.

He grew up fishing various lakes near his home in the northern part of South Africa, not far from the border with Zimbabwe. Bass weren’t the only targets of his early fishing forays, as various types of panfish, carp and catfish also were targeted. As he grew older, however, he gradually started specializing in bass fishing.

Morne Duvenhage

Though Americans often visualize South Africa as a wild and wooly country whose inhabitants spend most of their time dodging lions or other dangers, the bass that inhabit its lakes and rivers are no different from the red, white and blue bass that swim our waterways.

“Years ago, and I don’t know who it was that started it, our sport fishermen took it upon themselves to stock bass in some of our lakes,” notes Duvenhage. “It’s illegal now, because bass aren’t considered native fish, but they’ve taken hold quite well and are self-sustaining. Still, it would be nice if the government did support more stocking. Zimbabwe [formerly Rhodesia] does stock largemouth bass in its lakes, but there aren’t nearly as many sport fishermen there.”

He’ll find no lack of anglers in the U.S. and is glad to be joining their numbers – for more reasons than one. The biggest difference he’s noticed so far between bass fishermen here and in the country of his birth relates to the availability of tackle. Though Duvenhage says that there are lots of tackle stores in South Africa, and Internet-based suppliers are just a few mouse clicks away, ordering fishing equipment and getting it in a timely fashion are two different things.

“It might take weeks or even months to have something shipped from the States,” he notes. “If you watch an FLW weigh-in [Walmart FLW Tour and Costa FLW Series events streamed live on flwfishing.com] and decide to order a lure that one of the pros used, the season might have changed and the bass might be on to something else by the time it arrives in the mail.”

Fishing the wrong bait at the wrong time? How unusual. Actually, Duvenhage should fit right in with the rest of us.

Tags: morne-duvenhage  colin-moore  angler-features 

Erik Luzak Wants to Go Fast

Erik Luzak Wants to Go Fast

Erik Luzak is a man who likes speed. He’s an adrenaline junkie who spends his winters ripping through snow on a sled (or, as we in the States call it, a “snowmobile”) or a snowboard. He rides wakeboards and mountain bikes. His girlfriend, Emily Roberts, is a well-known motorcycle rider in Canada and one of Luzak’s biggest supporters. READ MORE »

Davis Bounces Back … And Then Some

Davis Bounces Back … And Then Some

By his own admission, Clent Davis came close to being the Forrest Wood Cup champion that wasn’t. Davis, of Montevallo, Ala., was crowned the 2018 Cup champion Sunday evening in Hot Springs’ Bank OZK Arena by virtue of a three-day sack that totaled 36 pounds, 13 ounces. In his remarks before the standing-room-only crowd of 9,000, however, Davis noted that he almost decided to forego the 2018 season and return to a job with an Alabama power company. He attributed his change of heart to a phone conversation he had with Bill Taylor, FLW’s senior director of tournament operations, last fall. Taylor convinced the 32-year-old Davis that instead of giving up a promising career as an angler, he return to the FLW Tour fold. READ MORE »

Go Big or Go Home Worked for Farlow

Go Big or Go Home Worked for Farlow

In any tournament on the eastern end of Lake Erie, a competitor’s flight number often dictates whether he goes after numbers or size first thing. When Neil Farlow left Safe Harbor Marina in boat 156 on the opening morning of the Costa FLW Series North Division event presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, his was an easy choice to make: He opted for quality over quantity. READ MORE »

One and Done on Lake Erie

One and Done on Lake Erie

A stubborn weather front packing westerly winds lingered overnight in the eastern basin of Lake Erie near Buffalo and forced the cancellation of the final day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Polaris. Ron Lappin, Costa FLW Series tournament director, made the call at about 4 a.m. after boating out to the mouth of the protected harbor where the tournament was headquartered. READ MORE »

Day Two on Lake Erie is Cancelled

Day Two on Lake Erie is Cancelled

High winds that churned up the eastern basin of Lake Erie overnight and prompted a small craft advisory also forced cancellation of day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Polaris. Sustained southwesterly winds of 14 mph and gusts up to 26 mph were forecast for Friday, making boating conditions untenable. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Friday’s semi-final round is expected to produce more exceptional stringers, and perhaps changes in the top 10, where only a pound and an ounce separate 10th place from first place. Meanwhile, here’s a look at some of the anglers trying to tip Farlow out of the top spot. READ MORE »

Smallmouths and the wind are cooperating in Costa Erie Event

Smallmouths and the wind are cooperating in Costa Erie Event

Lake Erie lived up to its billing as a top smallmouth destination Thursday morning, much to the satisfaction of anglers competing in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Polaris. By midmorning, several limit stringers had been reported by FLW reporters and photographers as anglers fishing in the shadow of the Buffalo, N.Y., skyline were in the process of culling their weights from the mid to high teens into the 20s. READ MORE »

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Stop two in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division got underway under clear skies this morning on Lake Erie out of Buffalo. The event, which drew 169 boats, is presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. The field features some of the top smallmouth sticks in the Northeast. The big question at game time was not whether anglers would catch plenty of fish, but how many and of what size. READ MORE »

Another Smallmouth Smackdown?

Another Smallmouth Smackdown?

A lot can change about a fishery in seven years, and not always for the best. The consensus on Lake Erie at Buffalo, N.Y., site of the second Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament this weekend, is that the smallmouth fishing is better than 2011 when the Series last visited. This year’s event, presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, begins Thursday morning at 6 a.m. ET out of Buffalo’s Safe Harbor Marina and will involve about 180 pros and an equal number of co-anglers. READ MORE »

Bass Have Gone Global

Bass Have Gone Global

It’s safe to say that before last fall many, if not most, fishermen in this country weren’t aware that bass lived anywhere except the northern half of the Western Hemisphere and a few places in Asia and Africa. Turns out that bass are a lot more international in their range than we might have originally thought, and it portends an interesting future. READ MORE »

A Strong Finish for Scott Dobson

A Strong Finish for Scott Dobson

When the end of an FLW Tour season comes into view with only a single tournament left, a lot of pros get nervous. Mental pressure builds as they realize that this is it: their last chance either to bump up a few places and qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup or else hold on to their placement in the top 40. READ MORE »

FLW's Colin Moore featured at StepOutside.org - 10 Best Bass Waters Off The Beaten Path

FLW's Colin Moore featured at StepOutside.org - 10 Best Bass Waters Off The Beaten Path

FLW Bass Fishing Magazine Editor Emeritus Colin Moore recently posted a feature story at StepOutside.org - The 10 Best Bass Waters Off The Beaten Path. Moore showcased a few hidden gems... READ MORE »

Size Limit Lifted at Cumberland

Size Limit Lifted at Cumberland

As part of a program to determine the impact of tournaments on the fishery, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has temporarily imposed a 12-inch minimum size limit on largemouths and smallmouths during the Lake Cumberland event. Since 2001, the minimum size limit for largemouths there has been 15 inches, and 18 inches for smallmouths. The five-fish daily limit remains the same. READ MORE »

Browne Comes Through Cancer Surgery OK

Browne Comes Through Cancer Surgery OK

After battling colon cancer last year, Glenn Browne was looking forward to returning to the FLW Tour and its first 2018 event at Lake Okeechobee next week. That plan was nixed, however, following the discovery that the cancer has metastasized into Browne’s liver. The Florida pro underwent surgery last Friday afternoon to remove a cancerous tumor, and was released from the hospital Tuesday. READ MORE »

Tour Rookies: Joe Thompson

Tour Rookies: Joe Thompson

“I’m sinking my life savings into this because I’m short on sponsors, but I got my chance and I’m taking it,” Thompson says. “I’m putting everything on hold to go fishing.” READ MORE »

Tour Rookie: Miles Howe

Tour Rookie: Miles Howe

California’s Miles Howe is the latest Costa FLW Series Western Division standout to take his shot at the FLW Tour READ MORE »

Texas Angler Wins Old Hickory Charity Event

Texas Angler Wins Old Hickory Charity Event

“Beginner’s luck” might not be an apt description of Clifford McCarty’s victory on Old Hickory Lake Saturday in the first annual 3Legends Cast for a Cure Bass Tournament, but it was the first time he fished a tournament in Tennessee, and the first time he fished Old Hickory. READ MORE »

3Legends Ready to Rumble at Old Hickory

3Legends Ready to Rumble at Old Hickory

Bass fishermen who have ever wondered what it would be like to fish against Roland Martin, Bill Dance or Jimmy Houston will have their chance Saturday when the Cast for a Cure Big Bass Tournament takes place on Old Hickory Lake at Hendersonville, Tenn. The 3Legends, who haven’t fished against each other in several decades, will participate in the charity fundraiser for cancer research. READ MORE »

Th3 Legends Signed up to Fish Charity Tournament

Th3 Legends Signed up to Fish Charity Tournament

Three legendary bass anglers have teamed up to lend their support to the first annual Cast for a Cure Big Bass Tournament on Old Hickory Lake near Nashville Saturday, Nov. 4. READ MORE »

Wonders of Wildlife Opens with a Collective WOW

Wonders of Wildlife Opens with a Collective WOW

No roller coasters, no rides, no people dressed in mouse suits. When the massive Bass Pro Shops Wonders of Wildlife opened in Springfield, Mo., Friday to the general public, visitors didn’t find anything that’s not connected to the real world outside their doors. READ MORE »