As we enter the new summer season with record largemouth bass on the menu in South and southern African dams and lakes, bassers from all walks of life and skill levels will be contemplating their own efforts to hold aloft a new national record. It’s therefore quite opportune to reflect on past records that milestone the fish’s momentous influence on the country’s angling scene.
American artist, Andy Warhol, commented years ago that “everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame”, but for lucky bass angler Tom Wills in KwaZulu-Natal, his celebrity status in the bassing world lasted much longer than that, namely all of twenty days.
The year was 1996 and Tom competed in the annual Albert Falls Classic. He was joined by son David and his friend, Stuart Sprunt, a Protea artlure angler. The trio jabbered and drifted merrily along the Red Banks section of the lake, when suddenly things got serious.

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