36 SA BASS
“SABAA” Currently clubs are busy dying a slow death, and as such communications from SABAA (South African Bass Angling Association) are not seen as of particularly high importance in the struggle for survival – Kevin Lofstedt
Currently clubs are busy dying a slow death, and as such communications from SABAA (South African Bass Angling Association) are not seen as of particularly high importance in the struggle for survival. SABAA SHOULD KNOW THIS. For this reason communication between some clubs and their members leaves a lot to be desired, and should be considered by SABAA when they need to communicate a message to all paid up members.
Now I know this has the potential to, and has already in some instances, become a really contentious issue. For this reason, it must be stated that the views expressed in this article are mine, and in no way do they necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or the staff of SA Bass magazine.
If you read the communication from SABAA (pictured), it seems innocuous enough. However, if you have a close look at the choice of wording, it clearly seems to be an INSTRUCTION rather than a polite request to us to refrain from organising any events of the Vaal River over “the period concerned”. Also INSTRUCTS regular, nondivisional fishermen to “stay away”. Is this a case of the “tail wagging the dog?” Failing to adhere to SABAA’s demands creates the impression that the majority of anglers, (nondivisional / recreational fishermen) don’t care what happens at national level, and are unsympathetic to the SA BASS Team. This is NOT TRUE!
Before I go into the problems that I personally have with this, I wish to place on record my full support to the South African Bass Angling Team, and any comments are not directed at them, their managers, coaches and or reserves.
I paid my dues to SABAA last year, and as far as I can tell, they have all my, and every affiliated club member’s contact details on their system. With this in mind, I believe it may well have been appropriate for SABAA, to either send emails directly to all their paying members, or to send a request to clubs to ask for consideration in regard to the Vaal River and the World Champs. Next, we then see that the SA Team may continue to fish the River until the 17th September. The logic of this escapes me, and I’ll tell you why: This time of the year: pre-spawn, spawn, post spawn, the river is evolving and patterns are changing all the time, so in my (maybe not so intelligent opinion) anything learnt during this period could be negated by three or four days of heavy rain. Therefore, any information gained about conditions even two weeks before the event, could be, but most probably will be null and void by the time the event takes place. Truth be told, this is how it should be. I know our SA Team has the talent and the dedication to win this thing under any conditions, and I do not believe we need, what I, and others, might consider an unfair advantage. We have home water advantage, and that is enough for our guys to do us proud.
The situation regarding the way thing are going in the federation at the moment leaves a lot to be desired. The Interprovincial Team “selection” is based on one criteria. “Can you fish at Clanwilliam for a week?” – Yes, good, you’re in the team. Come on guys, this makes a mockery of what this event is supposed to represent. Anglers should be fighting tooth and nail to go and represent their particular province. Why is this happening? Well, seems to me that hosting such events has become more important than what they are supposed to represent. The question needs asking: how many interprovincial anglers go on to seriously compete for National Colours? How many are even competing at national level? Seems to me that the system should be as follows: 1) Fish for your club. Earn the right to get an invitation to
compete in your provincial team. 2) Earn your right to compete at national level by proving
yourself at provincial level. 3) Earn your right to compete at national selection events.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish our guys well, and hope they make us as well as the country proud. Words of wisdom “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” - Thomas Payne.
*Kevin Lofstedt is a regular writer and a well known veteran bass angler with three times Southern Gauteng Colours since 1985. He is also the main founder of Clearwater Bassmasters Bass Chapter (1994). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org “The official cut-off date to be on the water for all participants is sunset on 17 September 2017, as per the FipsED rules. All Provincial Presidents endorsed that they will not organise or arrange club events, nor will any SABAA members that are not part of the Protea World Champs Team fish the Vaal River from 1 August 2017, this was to ensure that SABAA can host the best World Championship possible.”