Bass Safari

My one major regret from last year’s three week sojourn to Southern Africa was that I didn’t get a chance to fish for bass. I know that seems odd because even though they’re spread all over the globe bass seem to be the quintessentially American sportfish and I live in their home territory. Nevertheless, I always want to be on the forefront of both emerging fisheries and fisheries that are peaking and countries like Botswana and Mozambique seem primed to explode as destinations for the well-heeled bass traveler. I was glad that I got a chance to go to Falcon before the masses discovered it, and I hope to go to Rayburn this fall while it’s on the upswing, but Africa is a whole different bag of Senkos. While bass have been there for decades, I’d assume that issues related to access to many of the prime waters make many of their fisheries akin to what America’s great reservoirs were during the 50s and 60s.

I’d already wanted to go back to the continent because even in 3 weeks we saw only very small slivers of five countries – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia – but my friend George Robey’s article in the latest issue of Bassmaster entitled “The Wildest Bass Destination on Earth” transformed it from a “some day down the road” event to something that I need to make happen.

It’ll probably be a few years until I’ve saved the Dollars/Rand and vacation time necessary to get there to chase big’uns (what’s a 10 pounder in kilograms?), but I won’t rest until I land an 8-pounder with a hippo off my port side and a croc off the starboard.