UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Beneke, Olivier Win Tough FLW South Africa Championship

Beneke, Olivier Win Tough FLW South Africa Championship
Neels Beneke and Robert Olivier (photos by Darryn Brooks)

(Photos by Darryn Brooks)

The 42 teams that participated in the 2018 FLW South Africa Championship at Bivane Dam in Kwa-Zulu Natal faced a tough bite and conditions that saw many teams struggle to just catch bass – though there were certainly some big fish brough to the scale. Luckily, the quality of the fishing didn’t diminish what was on the line during the three-day competition: four spots in the Costa FLW Series Championship at Lake Guntersville in early November.  

The anglers who bucked the odds and put up the best performance to get to Guntersville were Neels Beneke and Robert Olivier, the FLW South Africa Championship winners, along with runners-up Shaun John and Peet van der Schyff. Beneke and John will fish at Guntersville as boaters, while their tournament partners will participate as co-anglers.

Along with the rest of the top finishers, the teams split a total prize pool of R285,000.00 (more than $19,000 USD).

 

The fishing

Partly cloudy conditions greeted anglers on the first day of the event. Despite a strong early start that saw competitor Ian Brown bring a 7-plus-pounder to the scale, it quickly became apparent that Bivane was not going to give up its bounty very easily. Only the team of Shaun John and Peet van der Schyff managed to catch a five-fish bag limit, which put them clearly in the lead. Many anglers didn’t even get a bite.

Day two started overcast with wet conditions from some solid rain that fell during the night. The leaders hit the water running and brought a fish in for weighing early to prevent it from dying and incuring a penalty. However, by the end of day two, the leaderboard had shuffled, and Bryan Leppan and Michael Cannon took over the top spot.

By day three, clear skies, rising barometric pressure and warm conditions greeted anglers for what turned out to be another challenging outing. Only two fish were brought to the scale for the entire day.

Neels Beneke and Robert Olivier managed to piece together a seven-fish tournament catch that weighed 10.48kg (a little more than 23 pounds) to earn the championship by a scant margin over John and van der Schyff, who finished with 10.38kg.

The four FLW South Africa qualifiers will compete against upward of 200 anglers at Lake Guntersville in November. They’ll not only be matched up against the best American anglers, but also International Division qualifiers from Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Portugal and Mexico.

The top finisher on the pro side among International Division qualifiers at the Costa FLW Series Championship will earn a spot at the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs.

 

2018 FLW South Africa Top 10

1. Neels Beneke and Robert Olivier – 7 fish – 10.48kg (23-2)

2. Shaun John and Peet van der Schyff – 9 fish – 10.38kg (22-14)

3. Justy Varkevisser and Reed Eastman – 6 fish – 10.23kg (22-9)

4. Michael Cannon and Bryan Leppan – 5 fish – 9.23kg (20-5)

5. Andre Pretorius and Nigel Potgieter – 5 fish – 8.335kg (18-6)

6. Gordon Brown and Ian Brown – 4 fish – 6.73kg (14-13)

7. Japie Botha and Herman Ras – 3 fish – 5.415kg (11-15)

8. Stefan Badenhorst and Alexis Kuisis – 2 fish – 5.30kg (11-11)

9. Vikesh Parbhoo and Johann Zwarts – 2 fish – 4.605kg (10-2)

10. Troy Batty and Bryn Batty – 2 fish – 4.23kg (9-5)

For more information about FLW South Africa, visit flwsouthafrica.com

 

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