UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Italy Leads World Championships

Italy Leads World Championships

VANDERBIJLPARK, SOUTH AFRICA (Oct. 5, 2017) – Competitors in the XIII Black Bass World Championships awakened this morning to a different South Africa. A damp, cold rain pelted anglers at the launch ramp, and the steely skies forbade a lingering frontal system. Anglers who practiced under warm, sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s faced changing weather, changing patterns and a high temperature of 62 degrees.

Today marks the official launch of the southern Africa rainy season. The rains come ritualistically, every year in mid-October. Drab landscapes change to verdant green, and nutrients trickle into the waterways. Every living creature in Africa awaits the rains … man, beast, fowl and fish. Precipitation renews life.

The importance of rain for African waterways cannot be understated, but it also creates challenges for anglers. Sudden frontal systems bring pressure changes and water temperature fluctuations that can deconstruct an established fishing pattern. Especially on the Vaal River, a fishery known for its instability.

The team that was best able to weather the changes on day one was the crew from Italy. The European team of three two-angler pairs corralled 15 fish with an average weight of 2.24 pounds, giving it the lowest number of penalty points at 28 (see tournament format information below for more details). Team members remained mum on their specific pattern but indicated they worked hard despite the soaking rains and will continue to fish the same water on day two.

South Africa earned a second-place day-one finish with 15 fish that averaged 2.19 pounds, awarding them 29.5 penalty points. Team member Darryl Quinton says the entire team remains glued to a great pattern and maintains confidence for a strong finish.

Zambia, another African team, finished day one in third place with a full bag averaging 2.15 pounds and penalty points of 33.5. Zambian team members have spent many hours on the Vaal system, and their experience propelled them to a top ranking.

Germany rose to fourth position at the end of day one with a full limit of fish averaging 2.07 pounds and 38 penalty points – a surprising finish considering there are no largemouth bass in the European country. German bass anglers travel to distant countries to hone their skills.

Namibia, one of the favored teams in this event, struck a fifth-place finish with a full bag averaging 1.93 pounds and 50.5 penalty points. Namibian anglers have spent an extraordinary amount of time learning the river system, and their placement holds no surprise.

Team USA rounds out the top six. The American pros pulled a full limit of 15 fish with an average weight of 1.91 pounds and 52 penalty points. Spectators flocked to the weigh-in to see the celebrated U.S. anglers, who were expected to feature easily in the top 10. This is new water for the Americans, who had only two days to pattern the river.

The rest of the field is as follows:

7. Spain - 57

8. Swaziland - 61.5

9. Zimbabwe - 68.5

10. Croatia - 69

11. Portugal - 86

12. Russia - 100

13. Mexico - 106.5

“If we had had sunshine it would have been a different story for us. We couldn’t see into the water and work our pattern,” says Lionel Botha, who’s concerned it will take another full day of good weather before fish return to the team’s targeted areas.

“It was so dark we could not see to pitch much of the morning,” adds David Fritts.

A total of 182 bass were weighed among the 39 international teams competing on behalf of 13 countries with an average weight of 1.82 pounds. The largest bass brought to the scales weighed 4.66 pounds. Thirty-three two-angler teams weighed a full bag of five fish. Only six teams failed to limit.

Forecasts for day two indicate a sunny outlook and warmer weather. Look for the USA team to weigh bigger bags. Every day on this new piece of water makes the Amerians stronger.

Complete results

Tournament format

American team pairings for the first day consisted of Scott Martin and Scott Canterbury, David Fritts and Lionel Botha, and Mark Rose and Dave Dudley. James Watson and Fred Roumbanis sat out day one but will fish the following round.

To understand results, spectators near and far must take time to familiarize themselves with the unique international scoring system called a Reverse Grand Prix.

Each country remains represented by six anglers – two anglers in each of three boats. At the end of each fishing day, each two-man team will present the weighmaster with a five-fish bag. The weight of the bag will determine placement among all 39 teams. As an example, the heaviest team bag will be awarded one point (called a penalty point). The lightest bag will be awarded 39 points. Penalty points for each of the three country teams are added for an aggregate country score, and each day’s score gets added to the tournament total. The team with the lowest number of penalty points at the end of three days of fishing will be awarded a gold medal.

Among the U.S. anglers, the team of Martin and Canterbury checked in the strongest finish in 11th place with about 10.69 pounds, followed by Dudley and Rose in 18th with about 9.61 pounds and Fritts and Botha in 23rd with about 8.38 pounds.

Complete results

 

Additional photos

Tags: george-robey  article 

The Top 5 Limits of All Time

The Top 5 Limits of All Time

Catching 25 pounds in a single tournament day is a pretty rare feat, and catching five bass for 30 pounds in a tournament has been done fewer than 200 times in FLW history. Knowing just how special those giant limits are, we decided to dig into some of the top bags from years past. READ MORE »

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

Pickwick Midday Update – Day 2

The red-hot shad spawn bite that fueled the big catches on day one of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick has fizzled this morning. READ MORE »

A New Outlook on AOY

A New Outlook on AOY

As the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season looks to start back up in June on Lake Chickamauga, there are some new factors to consider in the Angler of the Year race.   READ MORE »

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

6 Super Tournament Story Lines

The expanded field list for the new Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournaments brings with it some very fun matchups and the potential for some record chases to reignite. Because many of the newly added Major League Fishing anglers have had longer careers than those at the top of the Pro Circuit, they’re in a unique position to chase down some records that otherwise may not have been touched this year. In other cases, it’s simply going to be a pleasure to watch the best of the best duel on some epic bodies of water. READ MORE »

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

Be a Super Tournament Marshal

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish-limit tournament trail, and it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting for the remainder of 2020. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Roster Set

Super Tournament Roster Set

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, released the expanded 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit roster, which now includes top Major League Fishing (MLF) pros like Jacob Wheeler and reigning REDCREST Champion Edwin Evers. When the season restarts June 23 on Lake Chickamauga, the final three regular-season Pro Circuit events will feature 209 boats and nearly $4 million in prize money. As previously announced, FLW extended invitations to all MLF anglers to compete in three “Super Tournaments” after MLF announced an abbreviated schedule due to the mid-season pause in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

The BFL Returns on May 30

The BFL Returns on May 30

After a nearly two-and-a-half-month hiatus from fishing tournaments, FLW is excited to get back to business with the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League season. The action kicks off again on May 30 with the Volunteer Division on South Holston. From there, the BFL season will waste no time getting back in the swing of things with a full slate of tournaments scheduled nearly every weekend from the beginning of June through October. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

Beginning on July 3 and running through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. New this season, episodes have been expanded to two hours long. Each show goes in depth to break down the final rounds of competition, with six unique episodes covering each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Championship. READ MORE »

2020 FLW TV Schedule

2020 FLW TV Schedule

READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

Pros’ Favorite Shad Spawn Baits

With the bass spawn winding down across the South, it’s time to capitalize on the shad-spawn bite. Shad spawn patterns usually don’t last long into the day, but fishing the shad spawn can be a fantastic way to catch a pile of fish and some big ones to boot. READ MORE »

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

Mark Rose’s Greatest Hits

FLW is looking forward to getting back on the water once it’s safe to come together and fish tournaments again. In the meantime, we’ll be offering a little retrospective on some of the all-time greats who’ve fished with FLW through the years. This time around we’re shining the spotlight on Mark Rose. From his Angler of the Year title to winning multiple FLW Tour events and even joining the bass-fishing millionaire club, it’s easy to see why the Arkansas pro is one of the best to have ever fished with FLW. READ MORE »

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

FLW Adds Free High School Minicamps

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Murray State University announced that it will not host any summer camps this year. As a result, FLW is replacing its traditional High School Fishing Camp, scheduled for July 22-24, with a series of FREE minicamps held in conjunction with three Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tournaments. Campers already registered will receive a full refund and are invited to participate in any of the FREE minicamps.  READ MORE »

FLW Classics – Week 4

FLW Classics – Week 4

This week’s shows cover some old FLW Series Western Division events, Steve Clapper's 2007 FLW Tour Open win on the Detroit River and more high-level tournament action.  READ MORE »

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW Making Final Preparations for Restart

FLW is looking forward to restarting the tournament season May 28-30 with the Toyota Series stop on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. There may be a few more schedule changes as states ease restrictions and reopen their economies at different rates, but FLW is optimistic that most of the schedule changes are behind us.      READ MORE »

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

FLW Revamps Pro Circuit

FLW has extended an invitation to Major League Fishing’s pro anglers to join the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit for three newly created “Super Tournaments” that include an expanded roster and higher payouts. The Super Tournaments are made possible by the abbreviated schedules announced recently by MLF and FLW. READ MORE »

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

Anglers React to Super Tournaments

When the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season picks back up, it will be with a new schedule, some new anglers and a lot more money in the pot than originally planned. READ MORE »

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Pros’ Favorite Baits for May

Across the country, May is a great time for fishing, with tons of bass in and around the spawn and a lot of baitfish species spawning as well. With warming water, it’s a great chance to throw a topwater for the first time, or really to do just about whatever you want in some parts of the country. READ MORE »

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

2020 MLF College Faceoffs Canceled

Originally announced in early March, the four-tournament series featuring the MLF-style catch-weigh-immediately-release format was set to feature 20 College Fishing teams that qualified through the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI circuit. MLF officials are hopeful that the Faceoff events will return in 2021. READ MORE »

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

One of the key aspects of buzzbait fishing is the sound, and Bradley Dortch modifies his with a file and some pliers to get the most squeak he can. READ MORE »

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

Q&A: Winnipeg Jets Goalie Connor Hellebuyck

The Michigan native, who now spends plenty of time on the ice in Winnipeg – both playing hockey and chasing after walleyes – grew up fishing, and bass fishing has become one of his favorite fair-weather hobbies. We got a chance to chat with Hellebuyck about his background in fishing, his future on the water and his present on the ice. READ MORE »