Africa on a budget - part two - Zambia

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Dr Enrique dela Costa
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Africa on a budget - part two - Zambia

Post by Dr Enrique dela Costa » Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:53 pm

Zambia – Tigerfish and Nwembe

In a pile of brochures Tina discovered a couple of places that we had to investigate. The Clubhouse on the shores of Lake Kariba offered a cheap backpackers package with transfers that suited us nicely, including the opportunity to arrange fishing trips on the lake. I managed to get out for a couple of half day sessions, both of which were productive for Tigerfish. It was pretty cheap, and I hope they are still around as they seemed to be struggling a bit when we went.

Cross a Tarpon and a Pitbull Terrier and you get tigerfish. Their teeth are ridiculous, and I was bitten through twice with 40lb piano wire trace - don’t even think of using mono leader, a mistake I made during my first afternoon session. Matching the hatch to the local baitfish I ended up casting baby sized Squidgies around the weed beds and rocky outcrops for a number of little Tigers. I also managed a solid 4 kilogram fish on livebait which jumped about 6 feet into the air.

Further up the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls was a place called Jungle Junction on Bovu Island. Also cheap and friendly, run by expats, and very efficient. While Tina was visiting the local clinic and drinking banana beer with the village boys, I headed downstream in a dugout canoe with my guide Godfrey. Lots of white knuckle rides through crocodile/hippo infested rapids – good fun. Again the light baitcaster and baby Squidgies out fished the Mepps spinners and spoons used by the locals.

Tigerfish appeared to hold in the current directly above and below the rapids, and any eddy or pressure bulge in the water indicating the presence of rocks was a likely place to drop a cast. The current also provided the fish with a great deal of leverage, and fights were more drawn out than with the lake Tigers of Kariba. These were fit, fast fish and they would leap repeatedly when hooked. Some of them were so fast that the line would make a hissing sound through the water – unreal.

I also caught a couple of thumping big Nwembe, a kind of Sooty Grunter look alike that did great leaps and head shakes. They smashed my little green Squidgies in really (less than 1 foot deep) shallow rapids. Godfrey was more excited by the Nwembe than the Tigerfish – we ate them that night and they were delicious.
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Post by jimbobbolty » Mon May 18, 2009 3:26 pm

I think I'd be letting the guide get the lure back :|
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Mud
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Post by Mud » Mon May 18, 2009 4:09 pm

Wow! Havent seen this story before....thanks for the report. Awesome fish those tigers. And it must be such an adventure to fish in that wild environment.
I remember the Mepps. It was the lure of choice fishing for redfin perch when I was a kid. We would often get trout on them too. There was another like it if I recall....a Celtic? Last year I made a large one reinforced with strong pointy bits and found it was quite successful as a Barra lure.

Thanks for the report and great pics. Yeah jealous...gonna try and find your first report to see if there is anything there about nile perch....

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Post by max » Mon May 18, 2009 8:43 pm

great report, that I reckon I could handle with the wildlife and all

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Re: Africa on a budget - part two - Zambia

Post by leopard » Wed May 06, 2015 5:12 pm

like a big tarpon with teeth!
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