Hall of Fame - Andre van Vuuren
In the words of Andre: As I can recollect:
1. I have been Bass fishing since 1999, thus 18 years of fun
2. I love the complexity of bass behavior that always keeps you guessing, its habits, its feeding patterns and its ability to learn and adapt to any threat. It is one of the few fish species that can see colour and can be caught on a wide variety of lures. I love this highly evolved predator.
3. Lake El Salto, Mexico
4. I was fortunate to have experienced many highlights in the NBAA especially to have been one of the founding members of the Bass Fishing Association in Namibia(NBAA) in 2000. We formed 4 clubs within the NBAA to conform with the rules of B.A.S.S. in the USA to whom we were affiliated at the time. The Freshwater Federation grouped us under the Artificial Lure facet and did not want us to be an independent facet at the time as the Sport Council wanted the sport of Angling to be consolidated. When I took over as Chairman of the NBAA, I started negotiations with advocate Louis Botes, the President of NFFA at that time, and after two long years of negotiations we eventually got registered as a new facet. I also started speaking with the Namibian Sport Council to award the bass angling facet with Namibian colours. They requested a development event first and I arranged for a 6 man development test between Namibia and RSA team with top anglers like Leon Lategan, Darryn van Heerden and the multi SA Wrangler Angler Justin Booth. During my appointment as chairman of the NBAA a new constitution was written and after many meetings with all clubs and modifications it was instituted and handed to the Sport Council. At that stage Gerry Leach the President of SABAA did not want to compete with Namibia on International level, and in frustration I turned to Swaziland and with Mickey Figaredo , Chairman of the Swaziland Freshwater Association arranged our first official Bass International competition. We were awarded Namibian colours for the first time and it took us more than 3 years but we pulled it through! As Captain in the first three tests I had to arrange everything involved on and off the water! This got the ball rolling and two tests were held at von Bach and one at Goedertrouw Dam in Natal. We realized that we were not competent in many bass angling techniques such as plastic fishing and I arranged for dry water clinics to be held at Friedenau dam with Darryn van Heerden, Justin Booth and John Bulpitt training us in the finer arts of bass fishing. We also started with a Bass relocation program and held bass catching sessions at Friedenau and von Bach dam and transported these fish by truck in 44 gallon drums to Oanob dam. We also held many fund raisers to finance the importation of thousands of Florida Bass fingerlings by air to Oanob dam.
In 2014 I caught a 4.8Kg Bass in that dam, a great highlight from our little fingerlings! Another highlight at that stage was that we had 210 participants in the Radiowave Bass Classic and other tournaments like the Winter Bass Classic and the Bass Corporate Day were started. We had 64 fishing members at that stage (junior league and ladies league included) and the NBAA was booming. Junior development programs were put in place and one invitational test was fished at junior level and I also arranged social team building trips to the Caprivi for Tiger fishing and Shark fishing at the coast which was great fun. During this period, I was greatly assisted by Anton Hallgreen and Chris Louwrens who must not be forgotten in NBAA history.
I was also Vice Chairman four times in later years and won 42 tournament medals at association and international level and won the Bass Angler of the Year trophy four times and overall stayed in the top 3 for 14 years. One highlight was when at one International test at von Bach I won 3 gold medals for biggest bag, biggest fish and winner of the test. In total I have fished 6 official tests and have been the Manager in one. After a leg operation and ankle injury in an endurance horse competition I started fishing more socially and my most recent highlight was a visit this year to Lake El Salto in Mexico where I caught my PB of 13 pounds. I then attended the Bassmaster Classic, the holy grail of Bass Fishing, in Houston where I had the honor to rub shoulders with all-time Bass fishing greats like Rick Clunn, Danny Brauer and Kevin van Dam. There a 25 year old kid Lee Jordan won the 43rd Classic which proves that in this sport nobody is too old or too young to compete and win at the highest level!
The biggest highlight of all is to see the effort guys are putting in nowadays to promote the sport and carry on the flame here and overseas - well done guys and thanks for your effort!
5. 13 Pounds, Lake El Salto, Mexico
6. My go to lure is a Gary Yamamoto Stretch 40 grub
7. Carolina rig
8. 72 years old Rick Clunn with 28 Bass Master Classic appearances, 4 wins and heaviest winning bag of all time of 75 pounds!
9. 20 feet Triton with a 250 Verado