Catch of the day

Rikus van Staden is a grade 11 learner at Windhoek High School and the World Angling Games junior section bank angling champion.

26 February 2019 | People

Michelline Nawatises

Rikus van Staden has been fishing since a young age. His major highlight in angling by far was the recent World Angling Games held at the Vaal Dam in South Africa, where he won the junior section for bank angling.

Another highlight was being selected for the Region 5 team in August of 2018.

Rikus believes his main strength is always being well-prepared.

He feels he needs to improve his casting, which is one of the greatest skills needed to fish competitively.

“I will always practice casting. Distance and accuracy will keep you in the game,” he said.]

Another important area he needs to improve on is speed angling.

Rikus started fishing when he could barely walk. He was introduced to both fresh and seawater angling by his dad.

“At the age of nine I started to compete in national competitions (freshwater bank angling). At the World Angling Games the first two days are set out for practising, specifically to determine distance and different types of baits.

“I determined during those two days that fish were caught constantly at a distance of 55m to 110m,” he says.

This was followed by a rest day when all competitors prepares for the next three official test days.

During the test day’s rain caused the fish, which were initially feeding at 55m, to move to a deeper distance of 85m and later fish were only caught at 110m. “Because of this change in feeding distance, I drastically needed to change my game plan. Fish were also biting really fast, and I needed to adapt to a quick tempo.

“The team captain and team reserve assisted me in helping to land the fish and preparing for the next cast. The wind was blowing right from the front. I ensured that my casting stayed accurate and managed to reach 110m, even though I changed to a heavier casting weight. This is where accurate casting comes in handy!

“I got the upper hand by being able to reach my casting spot in the fierce wind, whilst my opponents struggled to achieve the same,” Rikus said.

On test day one Rikus caught a total fish bag of 28kg, beating the closest opponent by almost 10kg. This secured him a first spot on the bank overall. On test day two, the same happened, with him land a bag weight of 34kg and over three days he caught a whopping 82kg!

Rikus has taken part in national competitions for eight years.

He was the under-13 overall champion (penkop) and in 2018 the u-20 (junior) overall national champion. He had the privilege to compete in two Region 5 tournaments between Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and the big one, the World Angling Games.

Rikus also thrives on mathematics as well.

When he does not fish, he enjoys hunting with his dad. He has other interests as well. He plays rugby but fishing always comes out tops and whenever he gets the chance to go to the coast, saltwater fishing is a top priority!

Rikus in his own words:

· I like being competitive in almost all areas of my life!

· Fishing is an extremely competitive sport and at the same time teaches you loads of patience.

· I think of myself as being disciplined both in school and on the sports field.

· Apart from fishing, I also play rugby for WHS.

· Being respectful at all times is non-negotiable and I have compassion for the elderly.

· I am grateful for my talents and opportunities and strive to be a better person each day.

· My parents keep me firmly grounded and they are my greatest mentors!

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