Africa on a budget - part three - Uganda

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Dr Enrique dela Costa
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Africa on a budget - part three - Uganda

Post by Dr Enrique dela Costa » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:02 pm

Uganda – Nile Perch

Murchison Falls National Park on the Victoria Nile in northern Uganda was a BAD area according to the Australian DFAT website due to crazy people with guns, but a Google search on ‘Uganda Nile Perch Fishing Africa’ convinced me to take the chicken bus from Kampala to Masindi anyway. I then had to negotiate with a taxi for the 120km trip into the Park. I camped above the falls near the ranger station, where you have to pay $100US for a 4 day licence plus about 10 bucks a day for camping. When I left I hitched out with a bl..dy crazy local driver. It was totally worth it.

Bank fishing for Nile Perch at the Falls was the most awesome experience of my life. The river is full of fish, there are more crocodiles than shady camp (almost), there were plagues of bloodthirsty tsetse flies, leopards and lions roamed freely throughout the park, and mobs of hippos were camped around every bend in the river. Simon, the Ranger would come down to check on me every so often to make sure I hadn’t been eaten.

But the fishing was bl..dy fabulous. My first Nile Perch was nothing to write home about, but the first of any species is always exciting. It snaffled a Killalure Flatz Rat at a rocky point downstream of the falls. Simon took it back to his family.

A little later in the morning a small Reidys minnow was munched by something bigger. The fish held in the current for a few seconds, shook its head a few times, and then powered off into mid stream. I was using my little four piece rod, and it bent double. The Perch did the barramundi tailwalk thing next to a Hippo, which stirred him up and had me a bit nervous, but after a few runs I beached the fish and ran up the bank away from the hippos to let them settle down. I caught several more after that on bigger barra style lures.

They were much like Barramundi, though they were much fatter for their length with smaller scales and narrower heads. They almost had the proportions of cod. Of the ten fish I caught in the two days I was at Murchison their fight did not match a Barra by any means, but when the average weight was around the ten kilo mark they were still top fun. Best lures were RMG Scorpions. Best time was morning and evening – same everywhere. I also jagged an electric p o w e r t a i l which I released VERY carefully.

A tour operator told me of fish to 75 kilos are caught below the falls with several over 100 kilos hooked every year. The gear he carried was more like what we would call LBG equipment, with 10 foot rods and 9000 class reels filled with 40lb mono.

Other Areas
I reckon Namibia would have been good if I had bothered. I saw one local with a pile of thumping big bream caught from the coast at Swakopmund. I hear they have mulloway and sharks too.
Mozambique sounded pretty good from all I have read.
And South Africa’s north east has all sorts of wicked saltwater fishing. I saw a guy at St Lucia Wetlands national park catch a respectable GT off the beach, and a couple of blokes in an inflatable catch about 10 decent macks on lures just off the coast.

Tips

• Research as much as possible about a place before you go. Internet’s a good start.
• Search backpacker hostels for brochures that mention affordable fishing. Talk to locals and other travelers.
• Let camp staff know as soon as possible that you are a crazy angler so that they can arrange something.
• Have a friendly chat with boat owning locals. It may be possible to hire the boat and a guide for a small fee.
• Carry as much gear as you can, for situations as varied as bait catching to lure casting.
• Make sure your gear is up to the job, and ensure it is truly portable. No seven foot rods – you, or someone else, will break them.
• Leave gear with sentimental value at home.
• Take a decent camera.


Gear
In addition to all my camping and cooking gear (spare clothes and soap optional), my fishing equipment included
• 4 pc Shakespeare light baitcaster and reel with 14lb braid
• 3pc medium baitcaster and reel with 30lb braid
• 4pc 6wt fly rod with reel and floating line
• Trace materials (25lb, 60lb fluorocarbon and 40lb wire)
• Fly leader materials (3kg and 1.5kg)
• Assorted wet and dry flies
• Squidgies 2â€Â
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Dr Enrique dela Costa
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Post by Dr Enrique dela Costa » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:21 pm

Cheers Matt.
In a few years when i am more financial I will be organising a return trip to Murchison - hopefully the fish are still there. I hear they have been netting downstream pretty hard for the European Nile Perch market.
So far it is reasonably protected because it is in a Nat Park.
We'll see.

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Post by andrew.south » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:53 pm

Great read Costa....awesome post..... all 3 of them.....8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)
Southy

Very rarely when the ship misses the harbour is it the harbours fault

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Post by ntfishn » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:27 pm

Great adventure and info.... I'm planning a trip to Africa next year - part of the deal with the missus is that I do a charter or something for a chance of a big Perch.... Super keen...
Any advise on when and how (via PM) much appreciated....

Cheers
TIMBO..... :mrgreen:

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Post by Dr Enrique dela Costa » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:26 am

Hve been offline for a few days..
Sorry Timbo - don't know how to PM, but the info i have is not that great anyway.
As far as guides go, i do know that there is a company that does Nile Perch charters on Lake Victoria who operate out of Entebbe in Uganda. I dont know how successful they are, but the fish look pretty impressive (can't remember the website, but google should find it). 40-50kg perch seem run of the mill.
Most of the good guides seem to do groups and charge a hefty amount of money. I have read about Nile Perch charters in Egypt, Angling Adventures no doubt would be able to arrange something.
The situation in most of the parts of africa that i visited is pretty different to home in terms of availability of day charters etc. I guess it depends on how much money you can squeeze out of the piggy bank.
The other option is to go to Murchison Falls - a hard slog in, and you have to be self sufficient, but well worth it. Best thing i ever did.
If you have any more questions, fire away.

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Post by ntfishn » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:39 pm

Cheers mate - thanks for the tips..... Can't wait.....

Cheers
Timbo! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Post by Mud » Mon May 18, 2009 4:18 pm

I knew you would have a report on Nile Perch!! Quality Enrique!! Cheers!!
Its not a crisis unless there is blood around.
If there is blood around......well its a police matter...

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Post by max » Mon May 18, 2009 8:52 pm

Shite mate your certainly out there doin it it makes fishing here seem tame great report and photos

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