TIGER, TIGER BURNING BRIGHT….. Jozini Report 1-5 October

2010-10-07 05:57:22
Pongolapoort Dam, KwaZulu-Natal - Freshwater Fishing Report
River Section
Mike Laubscher

Day 1

We only got going at around 16h00 and it was a hot day with the thermometer almost at 40 deg. C, the water was a little cold at 21.5 deg. C.

The session was short and basically everyone was learning the ropes on the lure casting retrieval techniques.

We got smashed by only one Tiger who destroyed the lure and tied us up in the weed beds.

Day 2

We were on the water by 05h30 for our morning session and there was a stiff NE wind and it was hot, but not like the day before. The wind made positioning the boat very difficult and we set about finding the fish, after the previous hot day I thought we would find the fish deep, but this was not the case and we found the Tiger fish feeding is very shallow areas in little open pockets between the weed beds, and so my weed less style of Topwater was the only way to target these fish.

My 4 guests were quick learners and it was not very long before they had the lures swimming to perfection and we started getting hits from the Tiger Fish.

Fishing was still slow, but the guys were getting the hand of it and had lost a few fish and so learnt how to fight these freshwater game fish and get them to the boat.

I then joined in with the fishing and caught the first one and so everyone had a chance to see what they looked like up close and personal.

The fishing was still slow, and then……….. my reel screamed and a huge tiger raced off flying through the air a few times and then came loose. This off course got everyone's adrenalin pumping and they started copying my retrieval technique.

A few casts later I had a screaming reel again, and again the Tiger was leaping through the air. This Tiger was not so fortunate and I beat him at his game and got him through the weeds and onto the boat, a lovely specimen.

This was the catalyst which motivated everyone and my guests were all working their lures hard and we landed several smaller Tiger Fish for the morning.

At around 09h30 we headed back to Shayamoya for breakfast which was well deserved after all the energy expelled on casting.

We started our afternoon session at around 14h30 and it was hot and the wind had died down. We went back to the area we fished in the morning and continued fishing the weeds, it was a lot easier keeping the boat positioned and it was not long before the guys fishing on the casting platform on the bow started getting a few fish. I must say that the bow casting platform worked out perfectly on the new boat and was just as I intended for it to be. There are a lot of birds nesting along the banks and we saw a lot of species, we were also treated to a feeding display by a rather large Crocodile in the water about 50m away from us. The Hippo's did not like us fishing in one area and so we had to relocate.

I just love it there so much, Fish Eagles crying, Birds chirping, Hippo's grunting, buck feeding and cautiously drinking on the waters edge, no city noise just you, and nature and the best part is that you are fishing at the same time whilst all this is going on.

We had to cut our session short and stop fishing just after 17h00 with a lighting storm coming closer quickly and we had caught some Tiger Fish and so left satisfied to have a nice shower in the unique outdoor showers at Shayamoya and a fantastic dinner.

Day 3

We launched the boat at 05h00 to make the long trip down to the Gorge area, it was cold and overcast, but there was virtually no wind and the water temperature was up by 1 deg. C. The gorge is stunning and completely different to the river section with rip raps, cliffs, steep drop-offs and abundant bird life. The vegetation is also different. After a cruise through the Gorge and up one of the inlets we commenced fishing.

Unfortunately we found no fish in the Gorge, not even a chase and so decided to go back to the River section and fish the weed beds and so too the 20km trip back.

The fishing was tough and the water was like a sheet of glass but we did manage to land a few smaller Tigers and the one guest got a lovely specimen.

I did not fish much on this day as I spent time helping the guys work on their retrieval methods now that they had got into it. At 10h00 we headed back for a late breakfast.

We got down to the boat again just before 14h30 and fished till dark, the guests were now well versed and I upgraded them to a more advanced lure and technique and it was fun to watch them getting themselves going and catching fish. This was a good afternoon and another decent size fish was landed. These fish give a good account for themselves on the light 10lb tackle we were using.

Day 4

This was the final session with my guests and by 05h30 we were already fishing and the first fish was landed. We were also treated to a herd of 36 Elephants on the bank near us, and a little later saw some Rhino near the waters edge.

My guests got going and we had a really good session with another decent size Tiger landed.

We also cast a fly rod for a while which proved productive for the smaller Tigers.

To my surprise we hooked into a Barbel on one of the Topwater lures, and I must say this is the first time I have had a Barbel take Topwater bait on my boat.

We called it at 10h00 and headed back to Shayamoya, were we had a super breakfast and the guys checked out.

I had invited two friends to join me for an afternoon and morning session of Tiger Fishing, when I got back with my guests Carlos was already waiting for me and Rolfe was on his way. After breakfast I went down with Carlos who was a quick learner and was up to speed with the fishing technique in no time and he landed his first Tiger, and I got 2. Rolfe then arrived and we picked him up and went back to the business of catching Tiger fish. This was the best session of all and we landed 14 Tiger fish between us for that afternoon.

Carlos's water broke when he hooked into a monster which went flying out of the water at high speed and then smashed him up. At least he got to see the fish which will now haunt him for years to come.

I also hooked into a monster which sped off at the speed of a Wahoo pulling my line so fast through the water that it parted like the Red Sea. This fish will haunt me and he broke me up in the weeds.

We also were treated to a flying Kurper display when a very large Tiger was hunting them and they were escaping and there was literally 100's of Kurper in the air

Rolfe also got some fish and were all sparring at each other making for some good laughs and an entertaining afternoon.

Day 5

We got down early at 05h00 and Brett the new Guide from Shayamoya joined us to learn a few tricks. This had to be the worst morning and we really struggled to get fish with only 3 fish landed.

There was one lone Elephant on the banks and we headed off for breakfast at around 10h00.

Carlos then left for Richards bay, and Rolfe, Brett and I headed back and fished until 15h00 where we caught another 4 fish between us with the largest around 1.5Kg.

In conclusion the fishing was relatively difficult and we landed 56 Tiger fish and 1 Barbel on Topwater in total for the 5 days. Carlos and Brett are now hooked on fishing Tigers my style.

Next trip coming soon; and I cannot wait, this is just such an interactive way to fish and enjoy nature at the same time, and it is good for the family, young and old.

Fish Species: Tiger Fish
Bait Used: Topwater Z-Man Plastics
Tackle Used: Penn 10lb spinning tackle
Method Used: Topwater lures
Water Depth: 0.5-3m
Water Temperature: 21.5 deg.C
Wind Direction: NE & SE
Wind Speed: Low to Moderate
Large Tiger Fish
Large Tiger Fish

Tiger Fish
Tiger Fish

Mike Laubscher

About The Author: Mike Laubscher

Company: Blue Water Charters - Durban

Area Reporting: Durban. KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Bio: Have been fishing since the age of 7 with more than 30 years experience. Fish in both Saltwater & Freshwater Disciplines. Fly Fishing Specialist, Artificial Lure Specialist, Light Tackle Specialist. Love Fishing, completely addicted to fishing.

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