Jooste masters bass fishing in traditional Zimbabwe fashion Practice in office pays off for early Classic leader

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Picture, if you will, this scene: A businessman places a chair outside his office door and practices pitchin' a lure under it while keeping an eye on the hum and drum of commerce.

It could be at any small business in any small town in the country where bass fishing is king, right?

Wrong.

Zimbabwe. Harare, Zimbabwe, to be exact.

And pitchin' a lure beneath a chair is how Gerry Jooste practiced his technique for the BASS Masters Classic that ended yesterday on Lake Logan Martin near Birmingham, Ala.

Jooste, a 39-year-old boatbuilder, had a problem, you see.

While there are big bass in Zimbabwe thanks to a stocking program started by the Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society in 1982, there is a dearth of docks and piers on the bass waters of that African country.

Practice paid off for Jooste on the first day of the Classic. He weighed in 14 pounds, 9 ounces and became the first international angler to lead the competition among 40 of the best bass fishermen in the world.

"I'm using a spinnerbait and a worm, pitching both lures at shoreline boat docks," Jooste said after Thursday's competition on Logan Martin, a suburban reservoir with a developed shoreline and steady traffic. "I located a lot of fish like this in practice, but the bites didn't come as quick as I'd have liked," he said "The fish here in the States are no different than they are in Zimbabwe."

But waiting in the wings at the end of Day 1 were 39 others, and on Friday several of them were starting to make runs toward a championship, while it seemed Jooste had expended his 15 minutes of fame and fallen from first to 19th.

On Day 2, Jooste caught another limit of bass but was penalized for an improper weigh-in and lost the weight of one fish plus a pound.

Even then, though, Jooste was still 15 places and six pounds ahead of Davey Hite, the angler of the year from Prosperity, S.C.

Super sporting clays

The Central Maryland Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is holding a team sporting clays tournament on Sept. 6.

The meet will be held at Delmarva Sporting Clays in Mardela Springs, starting at 9 a.m.

IGFA clarification

The International Game Fish Association discussed and clarified two fly fishing rules at its recent meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: how much line could be stripped after casting the fly and whether a shoulder harness can be used.

The trustees determined that 120 feet from the fly can be stripped off the reel to still qualify for an IGFA record.

The trustees confirmed that it is acceptable to use a harness and to attach a ring to the fly rod to snap a harness to.

In a related change, the IGFA will begin to keep saltwater fly records in separate categories for women, starting in January.

Pub Date: 8/10/97

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