The Magazine for Tips, Advice and for Us 

In 2003 print broker, plastics company proprietor and enthusiastic freshwater bank angler Kevin Downey of Kempton Park was chairman of the Central Gauteng Angling Association and intensely involved with competitive freshwater bank angling. He saw the need for a Match Angling facet in South Africa so that local anglers could become used to this manner of angling and become more competitive on the international stage, and so introduced Match Angling as it is practiced in the UK and Europe to the country. At the time he noted that freshwater bank angling, both the competitive side as well as the social sector, was the biggest facet of angling in the country, but that no publication existed that was dedicated to the sport and catered for its specific needs, so together with wife Annetjie – who was and still is a top lady angler in her own right – established The Bank Angler magazine. It was initially published as a bilingual publication four times a year, and was appointed as the official publication of the South African Freshwater Bank Angling federation (SAFBAF), which it still is.  Kevin also strongly supported the fledgling Competitive Carp facet, and in the same year the first national Protea team to participate in the world Carp Championships achieved a laudable third place, the best placing ever that a South African freshwater team had achieved. Since then South Africa has attained a dominant position in the Competitive Carp angling world, having won the World Championships four consecutive times since 2008. South Africa is now accepted as a world leader on the international Carp angling stage. In 2005 Kevin was elected as manager of the National Women’s Protea team that participated in the World Match Angling Championships in Croatia. He never regarded himself as a journalist, and referred to himself as an “apprentice editor”! Until his untimely death in 2006 he certainly achieved excellent results! After that tragedy Annetjie, who was the magazine’s Managing Editor and Business Manager, bravely took over the reigns as publisher, and has achieved considerable success. Annetjie is the managing member of Annecat Print & Publishers cc, a successful printing and publishing firm headquartered in Kempton Park on the Witwatersrand, Gauteng. She has fished for the Central Gauteng Association women’s team on no fewer than 15 occasions, was a member of the SA Federation team seven times and also has twelve caps for the national Protea team. She was closely involved in the development strategies and actions of the sport, and obviously places emphasis on the involvement of women and juniors. In November 2004 well-known angling journalist, Eugene Kruger joined the magazine, first as Consulting Editor and later as Editor, bringing his considerable journalistic skills and angling knowledge to the publication. In addition to the millions of words on angling related subjects he has contributed as a fulltime freelance angling journalist to a host of local and international magazines, radio and television programmes, he was instrumental in establishing the concept of open angling tournaments as fund raising events for organized angling. He is a member of the International Committee of the International Game Fish Association, and holds the IGFA World Record in the All Tackle Class for Blue Kurper. 

 In December 2006 the well-known freshwater bank angler Werner Lubbe joined the management team as General Manager. He has a distinguished angling and corporate career behind him, having represented North East Mpumalanga at provincial level several times, both as a senior angler, and has been the manager of the women’s Protea teams, and also a full member of the senior Protea team at world championships. He is qualified in Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and joined the magazine from Eskom, where he held a senior position as Production Integration Manager. Werner was the convener of the Match Angling facet within the South African Freshwater Angling Federation, and also instrumental in the establishment of the Feeder Fishing facet. Werner and Annetjie were married in December 2007 and make a formidable management team for this highly successful magazine.

GROWTH

Since its inception The Bank Angler magazine has progressed so well, and found so much favour with its readers and advertisers that it has seen multiple expansions - first into a bi-monthly publication, then in 2007 it went to eight issues a year (namely published monthly during summer and bi-monthly in winter). In 2008 it saw 11 issues and in January 2009 it became a fully-fledged monthly publication. Its circulation has enjoyed similar success - the very first issue sold only 880 copies, but by December 2009 just on 20 000 copies were sold! The magazine is now accredited with the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) and its print order varies between the summer and winter months, but is never below 22 000 copies. It peaks in January as a 116 pager with a print order of 27 000 copies. It is distributed country-wide by RNA to 1720 retail sales points, which includes all fishing tackle stores, supermarket chain stores and bookstores. It also has approximately 1000 subscribers and 7700 readers are also friends on Facebook. 

EXPANSION - THE SECOND MAGAZINE

By 2010 it became clearly apparent that The Bank Angler was nearing its saturation point - at least for the time being - and that it was opportune to launch an extension of the publishing business . After considerable market research it was decided to launch a specialist fishing magazine for the growing bass fishing sector. In July 2010 Eugene Kruger was tasked with designing its editorial recipe and compiling an editorial team of knowledgeable bass fishing writers, and in August he was joined by erstwhile colleague Duncan Murfin as Sub-editor, who is an established authority on bass fishing product knowledge as well as being qualified in print and electronic media. The Bass Angler was launched with its September 2011 issue, and immediately made an impression on the market with an innovative cover illustration, an original bass fishing painting by well-known outdoor artist Tony Fredriksson, who also supplied the next three original art cover illustrations (the first one hangs in the Annecat offices, with the other three in the hands of fishing art collectors). The Bass Angler is a specialist bass fishing magazine published every month and distributed country-wide by RNA to tackle stores, supermarkets and bookstores. The print order varies between 7000 and 10000 copies. It emulates high quality American bass fishing magazines in style and layout, but provides editorial that serves the indigenous South African bass fishing scene, in both the competitive and social sectors. The editorial mix encompasses all aspects of bass angling in South Africa – from the beginner weekend warrior to the competent social boat and bank anglers, right through to the top anglers in the competitive sector and enjoys the support of the South African Bass Angling Association and semi-professional bass angling tournament trails such as the Bass Equalizer Tournament Trail (BETT).