Sandwiched between the Namib and Kalahari deserts, the African country of Namibia has become the latest—and possibly strangest—addition to B.A.S.S Nation. According to a Bassmaster news article from March 4, Nambia officially joined B.A.S.S Nation’s Mid-Atlantic division. But how did this sparsely-populated country with no permanent natural lakes find its way into the organization? It has something to do with the dedication of its small, but energetic angling community.
With a population just above two million, Namibia is one of the least densely-populated countries in the world. Much of that is due to the desert that stretches across the nation’s coast and southern regions. Of all the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia receives the least rainfall.
That did not deter the creation of two man-made lakes. According to Bassmaster writer John Neporadny, Jr., there is a rising interest in bass fishing for Namibian anglers, who first introduced largemouth bass to the country in the late 1970s. The species was originally brought over to control populations of carp and barbell in Namibia’s crowded and precious lakes.
“Bass angling as a sport became formally recognized in the early 1990s with the establishment of the Namibia Bass Angling Association (NBAA),” Namibia B.A.S.S. Nation founder Neil Engelbrecht said. “The NBAA is the only officially recognized bass angling body in Namibia and is affiliated with the Namibia Federation for Freshwater Anglers (NFFA), which is the only freshwater angling body officially recognized by the Namibian government.”
There are now a little more than 100 B.A.S.S. members in the desert nation. Namibia will be joining eight other foreign states in the organization, and plans on sending a delegate to the 2015 Championships.
“It is always exciting to get a new Nation and it seems like we are getting more interest from foreign countries,” said Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director, “which is good for us that we are getting the B.A.S.S. brand spread all over the world.”
Other countries in B.A.S.S. Nation other than the United States include Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Canada, Spain, and Zimbabwe.