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The Ultimate Guide to Tigerfishing the Caprivi Stretch of the Zambezi River! 

 

 

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River News and Water Level Updates

 

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Technology these days has made it a lot easier to Update a Facebook page with news and pics than it is to edit and upload a webpage. It takes me while to get around to my “big” computer in the “city” and do this stuff in civilization so if you want the latest pics and news from the river (and my below blog is looking a little out of date) then please visit the TigerfishFrenzy Travel Facebook page and “like” us to get the most up to-date notifications and news when they happen: 

 

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2017 March  20

 

Current River Levels at Katima Mulilo 2017.03.20

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What an awesome upward turn in the current water level at Katima Mulilo, still about 2 weeks later than last year’s flood but already way higher than the 2014/15 flood.

Graph Courtesy from the Hydrological Services Namibia

 

 

 

2017 March  15

 

2016 Wrap-up

I can’t believe we are already past the half way mark in March!! I was hoping to get this wrap-up report out 6 weeks ago but life seems to march on at its own pace and not worry about those who can’t keep up. It has been an incredible past 14 months for me. Since Jan last year we have opened our new Safari Camp on the Banks of the Chobe River on the Border of the Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana – Muchenje Campsite and Cottages (sorry no fishing here), started a new vegetable business all whilst guiding my heart out for tigers during both the winter and summer seasons on the Upper Zambezi.

 

 2016 Winter Season

2016 winter fly-fishing and spinning season can best be described as both incredibly tough and rewarding at the same time. The poor 2015 flood or more aptly regarded to as the 2015 drought  has had far reaching consequences on the eco-systems of upper reaches of the Zambezi river (as well as a number of other Southern African rivers as well)

What I believe has happened is that the drought and poor flood thereof meant that a very small percentage of our Caprivi and Barotse floodplains were actually covered by flood waters and in turn  most species of fish in these sections of the Zambezi river weren’t able to spawn due to lack of spawning areas. This as a result led to a very small amount of baitfish being produced from the spawn. This then meant that the larger predatory species of fish such as Tigerfish (and Catfish) turned cannibalistic and starting eating away at the younger generations. As a result our catch records this year reflected a very different story to the norm. Very few tigers under 5 pounds were hooked and landed with the vast percentage of fish landed being over the 6 pound mark with the average tiger weighing in at just over 7.5 pounds. This is a huge jump from the average size of between 3 to 4 pounds. The lack of juvenile tigers in the system meant that actual numbers of tigers caught was right down to approximately 35% of total catch numbers but the really interesting statistic to notice is that the average number of double figure tigers landed per person was almost double the normal figure. This basically translates that fishing in the 2016 winter season was much harder, fewer smaller tigers in the system meant less activity on the fly and lure, longer periods of time between bites, BUT when an angler did get a bite on the end of his line the size of the tiger was invariably a good one.

 

2016/17 Summer Season

This year’s Summer drift baiting season was much more forgiving and even provided me with a couple bonus surprises which keeps me wondering “will this river ever stop teaching me a lesson”. After the very trying winter season I was expecting a very difficult summer season too, but good rains in December and a quick rising river in January gave us fantastic conditions that led to some fantastic drift bait fishing for tigers over newly flooded sandbanks and drop-offs. Drift bait fishing usually targets the larger fish of the species and so the generation gap that was so apparent in the winter really didn’t feature much and our catch records showed and increase in number of tigers landed per person per day as well an increase in the average size of tigers landed compared to previous years. The quality of fishing was so good it even gave me the opportunity to spend 10 days with one of my favourite guests guiding and catching tigers on fly! Yes, we were able to target and catch tigers on fly in summer, on stained rising water and have finally made some significant headway in cracking this code.

 

Going forward into Winter 2017

Thanks to the wonderful support of my repeat groups and guests ( Most of whom have been with me for 10 years or longer) and despite the tough fishing conditions currently been experienced on the upper Zambezi, my 2017 winter season is already fully booked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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