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You may like to visit:


the website for Saltwater Surfcasting with a South African perspective


The definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site

Site Launched: 24 October 2001

Last Update: 19 September 2018


The BASS that started it all -

and still tied for current official World Record

22lb 4oz

This 22lb 4oz Hawg started it all!

George W Perry caught the Bass on 2 June 1932 at Montgomery Lake, Georgia, USA,

on a Creek Chub Fintail Shiner lure.

The guy (with the cigarette) holding the Bass is probably Jack Page, Perry's fishing buddy.

The Bass was cleaned and eaten.


BUT Japan now holds the Bass World Record jointly with the USA!

This massive Bass of 22lb 4.97oz (just over 10kg!) was caught on 2 July 2009 in Lake Biwa, Japan,

by Manabu Kurita and IGFA recognised this fish (caught on a live Bluegill) as a tie

with George Perry's Bass (new IGFA Records must be at least 2oz heavier than any existing IGFA Record).

This was no flash in the pan for Manabu Kurita who caught a 8.48kg (18.66lb) Bass at the same Lake in 2008!


Another view of the Bass World Record and current Japanese Record Bass - not the best quality pic

and probably not the biggest angler (in terms of size),

BUT check out that Bass!


Check out this link for more pics and story of this Japanese Bass.


The amazing thing is that Kurita said he saw many fish bigger than the world record, but he saw one in particular three times that he's sure was near 30 pounds and 36 inches, but could not get her to bite!



Read about Paul Duclos and his massive catch here.


There was controversy about this catch some years ago, just as there was controversy when the "catch" below hit the Bass fishing headlines towards the end of March 2006!



This just has to be the biggest Bass yet "caught", photographed and released!

Mac Weakley foul-hooked this massive Bass (25.01lb or 11.37kg) on 20 March 2006, in Lake Dixon, California, USA.

The Bass is held by Mac's buddy, Mike Winn.

This Bass is not the new World Record Bass as it was foul-hooked,

 but shows to what size a Bass can grow!


Click on the pic to read more.

Get the link to the Video here:


Controversy aside, these two Bass show that the World Record of 22lb4oz (held by George Perry since 1932) can still be challenged!


BUT will it now take a Bass of 25.5lb or even 26lb to be considered "worthy" of the official World Record status?


Whichever way you look at it, this 25lber, even though foul-hooked, has definitely raised the bar!



The BEST day to go fishing is any day that ends with a "Y"!



Have you noticed?
This site has been up and running since 24 October 2001.




It would be great if more of you visitors signed the Guestbook! Thanks to all those who have done so ... Any suggestions or constructive criticism (!) would be much appreciated.


I do hope you like the site, find it interesting and informative and visit again soon!


Why this site?
Bass fishing, and especially tournament or competition bass fishing, has grown over the the past few years in South Africa.


While this is all great if you are inclined to fishing competitively, it is evident that the trophy Bass angler, the specimen hunter, the casual Basser, the "loner" and the angler who would rather worship God on Sundays (when most tournaments unfortunately seem to be scheduled) than participate in a fishing tournament, are not specifically being catered for. Some very proficient Bassers who love the sport have also grown tired of the "politics" and pettiness sometimes found in competitive Bassing circles ...


This site will therefore be geared to augment the Bass fishing experience of this more loosely-knit group (probably the silent majority) of non-competitive Bassers, although the tournament anglers or "Bassmasters" would presumably find many points of interest on this site. 


Contrary to recent developments in respect of SA-based fishing-related sites, this site will remain a free site with all info accessible to anyone who visits the site.


For an excellent article on Tournament Bass Fishing v Trophy Bass Fishing, by "Fish Chris" Wolfgram, click on the link.


"Fish Chris" has a great site at - I visit it almost as often as I check my e-mail! You can see photos of more 10lb plus Bass here than anywhere else on the web and learn a lot in the process.


Bass anglers in the USA have a wealth of great sites to choose from. Sadly, there are few South African websites dedicated to Bass fishing. These are some that have some Bass fishing info: the official website of the South African Bass Chapter Federation is probably the best of the bunch in SA at the moment, but mainly competition oriented. This site will update you on tournament info and results and, in addition, has details of Bass clubs all over the country if you are interested in competition or tournament angling or want to contact or join a Bass club.


  The SA BASS Magazine website!


The South African Angling Community


caters for fishing generally, but it has a Bass fishing section too - well worth a visit!


... a great new site catering to the passionate Basser! Although the website and its excellent Bassing Forum are focused on South African Bass waters, there members from around the globe.  Go Bass Fishing in Africa!


ALL links are operational ...
Please click and check each link in the column on the left of the page!


New information will be posted as it comes in and as time allows. Hey, not all of us can be professional Bass fishermen or webmasters! Tell us what you would like to see on the site ... It would be nice to know who is visiting ... and what you think of the site!


The Fishing Spots section also includes links to Bass Fishing Guide Services operating in Southern Africa. Obviously this Fishing Spots section will take a lot of time and effort to "grow" and will probably never be totally complete. What this section ultimately looks like will, of course, be dependent upon appropriate responses from Bassers in the various areas. So, please send in that info about your favourite Bass Fishing Spots!


A new venue at Lake Manyame (Zimbabwe) is Hideaway Fishing Camp.


A new addition to the Fishing Spots section is a list of Top Trophy Bass Waters in South Africa scroll right down to the bottom of that page to check it out.


Photos and articles

See photos of Bass not only from Southern Africa, but also Bass photos from the USA, Mexico and Japan in the Photos section!


Anyone can send in photos and articles for possible posting on this site. As this is a site focusing on trophy Bass, let's concentrate on Big Bass! I'm not going to place a formal cut-off (yet!) on the size of Bass to be featured on this site, but please don't send in photos of Bass under 3kg unless the circumstances surrounding the capture of the fish were unusual or noteworthy or the lure or bait used was something out of the ordinary.


Notice that I do not mind if you catch your bass on natural baits or artificial lures as long as you release your catch, except perhaps for what you would consider to be your trophy of a lifetime and some smaller Bass under 2kg as part of a proper management programme in waters overpopulated with small or stunted Bass.


To check out the webmaster's Personal Best Bass, go here.


Catch and Release

Please practise "Catch and Release" with the Bass you are privileged to catch! Read these great articles:

Don't "needle" Deep Caught Bass in an attempt to deflate their swim bladders - there's a better way! Go here to find out.


If you want to check out a great "Catch and Release" sequence pic (Rob "Swimbait" Belloni releasing a 12lb11oz beauty), go here.



Newsflash 1!


The most


Bass lures in the world?



Click on the pic to find out more.



Click on the pic to find out more.



Must see VIDEO Clips

You just have to see these Video clips

(click on the pic and then on the Butch Brown links)

of big Bass taken on the Huddleston Deluxe Swimbait!


To read about the history of this lure, click on the link.




Newsflash 2!

The previous Japanese Record Bass!


Click on the pic to find out what lure and technique accounted for this monster Bass!



Another Biggie from Japan!


The pic is courtesy of "Capt" Greg Vella

This monster of 18.66lb (8.48kg) was caught at Lake Biwa, Japan, on 6 April 2008 by t

he holder of the current Japanese Record Bass and joint World Record Bass, Manabu Kurita.

Check out that girth in relation to the length! So now you know why you just cannot trust those popular length/weight tables, especially when it comes to big Bass!



Big Bass from Mexico!


No other info available, but this hog taken recently in

Sugar Lake, Mexico, weighed 20.9lb (9.5kg)!

A 16lber was caught there in mid 2015.


The beautiful Presca el Azucar (Sugar Lake), Mexico.



This magnificent 18.3lb Bass was caught by Mike Hutcherson of Plainview, Texas, while fishing Lake Baccarac in Mexico on the afternoon of 13 February 2005. The Bass took an 8" watermelon Lizard in 14ft of water.

Rene Salazar (a local guide and lodge owner) is holding this fish for Mike.

Click on the pic for a link to Lake Baccarac where the lake record Bass is 19.1lb!


Big Bass catches from the USA!

Inspiring Bass catches from the USA, the original home of the Bass



The now famous Butch Brown with possibly the biggest Bass taken

with the whole fight captured on video!

Butch caught this 19.3lb beauty early in 2008 (at Castaic Lagoon, California) on a Huddleston Deluxe Trout.

Go to to see a video clip of this action.

Butch nearly loses the big Bass right at the net - you just have to see the vid!



Mike Long with a PIG of 19.02lb caught on 23 April 2005 at Lake Mission Viejo, California

on an 8" Huddleston Deluxe Swimbait.

Click on the pic to read the whole story.

Using Swimbaits and Jigs are great Big Bass techniques which have paid off for Mike in the past.



Rob Belloni with a beaut of 14.2lb recently caught somewhere in California

on a 5" Big Hammer Swimbait.

Click on the pic to visit Rob's excellent website.



There's hope for flyfishers!

Joe Shelby got this beauty of 17.15lb on a fly (!!!) in the California Delta on 2 March 2005 while targeting Striped Bass.

Click on the pic for the full story.



Jed Dickerson of Carlsbad (Carlsbad Bassers seem to be exceptionally blessed - see pic directly below!) pulled this absolute dream Bass from Lake Dixon in Southern California - the weight, an amazing 21.7lb! This monster was taken on the morning of 2 June 2003. Dickerson, a 30-year-old fanatical big-bass fisherman, caught and released this Bass, the fourth-heaviest on record in the world, the third-largest in the State of California and the  heaviest ever in San Diego County's rich bass-fishing history. "Way to go, Jed!". The lure was apparently a Mission Fish Swimbait! Click on the pic above to find out more - this Bass could have been caught before in 2001 by Mike Long! An amazing example of "Catch and Release" working! Also click here.



Mac Weakley of Carlsbad landed of one of the largest bass ever caught in Southern California, a huge 19.7lb beauty taken on 20 May 2003 from Lake Dixon. The lure: an 8" Mission Fish Swimbait! To find out more about this lure, click here.



Totally phenomenal! "Fish Chris" Wolfgram does it yet again! His most recent personal best of - wait for it - 18.4lb! Click on the pic to read about this most amazing catch taken on 10 April 2003 at Rancho Seco, California, USA. By the way, this Bass is the new Rancho Seco lake record! Congrats, Buddy!

OK, so now you most probably want to know what lure this monster was caught on ... Click here to find out! It is a relatively new (and rather small!) lure.



Fish Chris Wolfgram with a massive 16.5lb San Pablo Dam, California, monster taken on 14 November 2002 on the now famous Castaic Trout. This guy catches more trophy Bass on a consistent basis than any other angler I know of! Click on the pic to read the whole story about this awesome catch. Click here to read how "Fish Chris" fishes the Castaic Trout.



Fish Chris of just keeps reeling them in!

Here's a a 17.1lber taken (and released, of course!) somewhere in California, during the March/ April 2008 pre-spawn.

The lure used was the new 6" model Huddleston Trout (



A Double Digit Double!

Capt Greg Vella and fishing buddy Dave were fishing at Casitas (California, USA) in 2007 when Dave got this "double digit double" on a 10 inch jointed swimbait!

As "Capt" Greg says: "Lipping one double digit is not a problem, but two is tricky ...".

I'll say!



Newsflash 3!

Big Bass catches from Southern Africa!


Some years ago I said: "With Florida strain Bass becoming more widespread, chances are good that something major will happen in the next few years.


The big Bass photos from the USA shown above are the result of the stocking of Florida strain Bass into California waters in the 1960's and 1970's! Before that California had only some northern strain Bass and catches were nothing to get too excited about. Really big Bass started appearing regularly in California only about 10 - 12 years after the introduction of the Florida strain. 


And happen it certainly did!


Since 2004, good catches (indicating the increased presence of Florida strain genes) were reported all over SA recently. (Click here to find out where to get Florida strain fingerlings in SA. Please do your part to contribute to spreading Florida strain genes in SA to ensure bigger and better Bass in our country!) If you ever wondered how the Florida strain Bass ended up in Africa, click here.


For starters, a 18lb4oz (8.3kg) Bass was taken in Zimbabwe on 25 July 2004! This is the new Zimbabwe record Bass (but the sad thing about this great catch is that it is obvious that the Bass was not released!).




Maxwell Mashandure caught this 8.3kg (18.26lb) Bass on 25 July 2004 ("pre-spawn" season in Southern Africa) on a Junebug Zoom Super Fluke at Lake Manyame (Darwendale Dam) in Zimbabwe

Another report, however, states that the lure was a 6" Junebug Senko.

Maxwell, a 42-year old Harare electrician, says that he has caught bigger Bass than this one (!) and it was only at the urging of Clive Harris at the Master Angler Tackle Shop in Harare that he learned the value of officially weighing trophy bass. Maxwell reportedly explained he was fishing a lightly weighted Senko on 25lb test line in 4 to 6 feet of water using the "deadstick" method putting the worm on a likely spot and leaving it ... and the rest is history!

A new venue at Lake Manyame is Hideaway Fishing Camp.



The new and current official South African Record Bass of 7.192kg (15.82lb) caught by Wayne Naude in Loskop Dam, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, on 18 August 2018.



Wayne is a successful artlure angler with many Bass over 4kg (and massive Barbel/ Catfish) to his credit. Caught in a competition, this Bass (obviously his current PB and the new SA Record!) was safely released after the weigh in. Well done, Wayne!

It is reported that just the day before, a 6.3kg (13.86lb) Bass was caught in the same area by another angler!


The previous official South African Record Bass of 6.45kg (14.19lb) caught by August Lignau in Bloemhoek Dam, Free State Province, South Africa in late spring 2012.



The lure was a KVD Strike King Lipless Redeye Shad (Blue Gizzard Shad colour).

August says that lipless crankbaits consistently deliver for him ...

Congrats, August!

Sadly, Bloemhoek Dam has since been badly affected by drought and dried up at one stage.


A former official South African Record Bass of 6.29kg (13.84lb) was caught by Julian van Zuydam in Midmar Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on 24 September 2004.



For the full story of this great catch, click here.


Midmar Dam has reputation for being tough to fish successfully and only sporadically delivers Bass in the 4 - 5kg size range. It is, however, rumoured that an even larger Bass of around 7kg was taken in Midmar shortly after the record catch. Midmar has Florida strain Bass, Northern strain, Spotted Bass and Smallmouth Bass. Smallmouths are hardly ever caught any more and the small Spots can be a bit of a nuisance.


It was also reported that a brace of Bass, one over 6kg and the other of 7,5kg was taken earlier in 2004 in Florida Lake, Roodepoort, South Africa, by a subsistence fisherman on livebait. Sadly these Bass were not released and there are no photos to back up the report!




If you have pics of noteworthy big Bass catches, please e-mail me so I can put them up on the site for all to enjoy and also to show USA Bassers visiting this site the size of our Bass in Southern Africa!




WE have Big Bass too,

and here are some pics of recent catches to prove it!


Let's just remember to practice Catch & Release to ensure the survival of our Bass stocks!





The winning Big Bass of 5.299kg (11.66lb) taken by Roy Friday

at the 2018 Albert Falls Bass Classic

over the weekend of 8 - 9 September 2018 at Albert Falls Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

2 Bass of over 5kg each, 6 Bass of over 4kg each and more than 20 Bass of over 3kg each were officially weighed in over the 2-day competition!




Rozaid Dawood looks very chuffed - and so he should be - as he displays

a hefty and healthy Bass of 5.532kg (12.17lb)

taken on 6 October 2017 at Albert Falls Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa!

Thanks for sharing your inspirational catch, Rozaid!




Mohammed Esat ended off 2016 in the right way - with a Bass of 5.62kg (12.36lb)

taken on 31 December 2016 at Maguga Dam, Swaziland!

From the pic, it seems that Mohammed was walking the bank

and casting a Junebug coloured Senko type lure ...

What a way to end the year - thanks for sharing!




One of the best Bass catches in South Africa!

Heavier than the official record.

Leon Cronje boated this monster of 7.3kg (16.06lb) early on 19 April 2015

at Albert Falls Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

This Bass inhaled a crankbait (Rapala DT10 in Bluegill colour)

and was released promptly after weighing.

What a healthy fish - Double Thumbs Up for the prompt release, Leon!

This Big Momma will be even bigger in the upcoming spawn later in the year

and will make an excellent contribution to the Bass gene pool in Albert Falls.




 Billy Miller is obviously chuffed with his most recent catch - a Bass of 5.042kg (just over 11lb)!

This beautiful specimen took a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog on 6 April 2015

at Theewaterskloof Dam, Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Good to see Theewaters is producing quality Bass! Perhaps a dose of Florida strain genes?



Hanre Loots beats the summer heat and landed this beautiful Bass of 4.99kg (just on 11lb)

while casting a Mepps spinner on 10 January 2015 at Kwena Dam, Mpumalanga Province,

South Africa. This Big Momma would have weighed even more during the spawn!

Thanks for sharing your catch with us, Hanre - just shows that the old favourite Mepps spinners

are still very effective!



Jesse Schubach looks rather chuffed with a PB of 5.5kg (12.1lb)

taken on 27 October 2014 at Albert Falls Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Fantastic catch, Jesse - this is what can happen when you go fishing instead of working on a Monday!



The 2014 season kicks off well for Rehaan Alverani

with a beaut of  5.9kg (13lb) taken on 25 August 2014

somewhere in southern Africa on a Fluke.

Congrats and thanks for sharing - what a Bass!



Big Bass from Botswana

Earlier I reported that I found this pic on the The Bassing Guy blogspot. A 7.8kg (17.16lb) Bass

caught around the end of July or beginning of August 2012 somewhere in southern Africa

by an unnamed angler! Congrats - what an amazing catch!

No further details were available until July 2013, when I got an e-mail from Suleimaan Essack informing me that he was "the dude with the hairstyle" in the pic! Double "thumbs-up" to Suleimaan for releasing this monster alive! The location: somewhere in Botswana ...



Another Big Bass from an undisclosed location in Southern Africa

This time we have a name! The proud angler is Cris Berry and that Bass

weighed in at 6.58kg (14.48lb)! I have been asked not to reveal the location,

so I will keep my word ... I suppose, it may be a little easier to guess where the location is!

The Bass were thick here in late winter and early spring of 2012, and Cris's group had 3 other big ones on board almost simultaneously! See pic below:


15.55lb and 13.33lb!

2 Big Bass a couple of days apart for 1 blessed Basser!

Nico Matthee is obviously one Happy Basser! This one weighed 7.07kg (15.55lb)

and was taken on 28 August 2012 (we won't say where just yet ... but the pic has been doing the rounds on other websites ...). Just a few days prior to that, on 25 August 2012, he latched onto this one of 6.06kg (13.33lb) at the same venue!

Congrats, Nico!

It may take a while after this before you get your next PB!



Kwena Dam has big Bass, too!

Hannes Eloff sent me this pic of a beautiful Bass of 4,95kg (10.89lb), he caught

at Kwena Dam, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in late spring 2012.

The lure was a watermelon red flake Fluke

and the Bass took in 4' - 6' of water about 20 paces from the side!




 Some Earlier Catches ...



A big Bass from Midmar 

Barbara Pittaway, from Westerns Bass Club, caught and released this

big momma Bass of 5.17kg (11.4lb) at Midmar Dam, KwaZulu-Natal,

on Saturday 13 November 2010.

The lure was a Speed Worm moved extremely slowly along the bottom on 12lb test line.

Thanks to Ada Evans for sending in the pic.



One of the biggest Bass officially caught in SA and definitely the biggest Bass caught in SA by a lady!

Colleen Veitch, fishing with her husband, Mike, boated a 6.5kg (14.3lb) Bass at Nagle Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday 4 October 2009.

Lure was a mojo-rigged lizard on a sloping bank about 5m deep.

Great care was taken - and the Big Momma was successfully released too!
Congrats to Colleen on the Bass of a lifetime! 
Thanks to Grant Hewitt for the pic and info.


More from Nagle Dam, KwaZulu-Natal

Father and son team, Ziggy and Andreas Ziemkendorf



Ziggy Ziemkendorf's 5.22kg (11.48lb) beauty from Nagle Dam, taken on

a homemade swimbait on Sunday, 11 October 2009.



 Andreas Ziemkendorf with his 5.10kg (11.22lb) Bass taken on the same day!

Fantastic, guys!



Andreas Ziemkendorf makes a habit of catching (and releasing) big Bass!

He got this one of 5.44kg (11.97lb) at Goedertrouw on 13 September 2009

after persisting with topwater lures!

Great stuff, Andreas!



Danie Barnard, son of Barries Barnard (see pic below), displays a Bass of 5,44kg (11.97lb) taken at Midmar on 28 September 2008. Danie and Barries were practising for an upcoming competition at Midmar, KwaZulu-Natal, when Danie latched onto this beauty at 07h25 in 14.5 degree C water. The Bass hit a mojo-rigged fluke (seems to be a favourite set up for this father and son team!). The fish and its weight was witnessed by three other fellow club members.




Barries Barnard seems delighted with his 6kg (13.20lb) Bass taken at Goedertrouw on 20 August 2008. Barries reports that this big momma bit a mojo-rigged fluke in 4 - 5 ft of water (17.5 degrees) at 06h30 in rainy weather on 20 September 2008. The weight was checked on no less than three electronic scales and witnessed.

"Great catch, Barries!"



Carl Gutzeit displays a wide grin and a 6,16kg (13.55lb) Bass taken at Goedertrouw, KwaZulu-Natal, on 9 August 2008. 



Grant Hewitt displays a beauty of a Bass of 5,7kg (12.54lb) taken one November at Albert Falls in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on a slow-rolled spinnerbait.

"Way to go, Grant! I am waiting for that invitation to fish with you sometime!"



Daniel Louw proudly displays his 5,3kg (11.66lb) Bass taken on 23 June 2008 in a dam near KaMhlushwa in Mpumalanga, South Africa on fly tackle!

Danie says: "I used an olive minnow fly to catch this beauty. On the second cast of the day, about 10 - 15m from the bank, in no more than 2 - 3 feet of clear water it took the fly almost as it landed!!  I felt from the start that this was a big fish but when it cleared the water the first time, my knees went weak and I started shaking!  After about 5 minutes of delightful tug-of-war with some strong runs it was landed.  What a day!!".

"Great stuff, Danie! Just shows that flyfishers can also bring in the big ones!"



One of my old fishing buddies, Nicky Stapelberg, has at last made it onto the website - thanks to Herman Nel (above) who told me of his current whereabouts!

Nicky was (and still is!) an artlure expert who now concentrates on Bass fishing with his son.

This was Nicky's first fish of the day during a club competition held at Driekoppies Dam in the Lowveld on 12 April 2008. The beautiful Bass, currently a personal best, took a white Problade spinnerbait and weighed in at 4,95kg (10.89lb).

"Mooi so, Nicky!"



Newsflash 4!

Mattlures appoints SA Agent


Mattlures has just (November 2008) appointed a South African Agent for Mattlures products!


So, Bassers, you will now be able to get your Mattlures Swimbaits (and the soon to be released Mattlures range of Swimbait rods) locally!


Go here for more details.


distribute Mattlures in SA.


Also see:




Newsflash 5!

Bass do have a place in South Africa!


We do need to protect and conserve indigenous fish stocks and recognise that certain river systems (mainly in the upper reaches of those systems) are sensitive, but Largemouth Bass (both the Northern and Florida strains) and trout, which are now being branded as "undesirable aliens" do have a legitimate place in many waters in South Africa, especially dams and impoundments.


Click here for more on this subject ...


Newsflash 6!

If you don't yet know, South Africa has a few Bass Fishing Guide Services ...


Click here and scroll right down on that page for more information on guide services.



Newsflash 7!

Do you want to build a Dam or Pond suitable for Bass? Click here for a wealth of info and tips from Bob Lusk of Pond Boss and Ray Scott who started B.A.S.S in the USA.


If you want to do the job properly, you may need some outside help! Contact these construction companies which have experience in dam building and construction, but make sure they will build in the features and structure you desire!




For smaller dams or ponds, an earthmoving contractor would do, but make sure he does not scoop and scour the intended bottom of your dam or pond entirely clean thereby removing all structure. Usually someone who does not fish for Bass themselves cannot understand the necessity of having "structure". 


Once your Dam or Pond is built, make sure you stock and manage it properly, first creating the appropriate food chain for Bass.



Newsflash 8!

You may like to visit SurfMaster, the website for Saltwater Surfcasting with a South African perspective.










... Before you leave this site, 

don't forget to visit all the links in the blue column on the left ...



You may also like to visit:



The South African Saltwater Surfcasting site