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First big fish 2006 in the bag!!
Angler : Bramson Chihota
Captain of Shayamanzi Houseboat
Caught using a spinner
Size: 5.2 kg
Date: 11 September 2006, Midday
10 OCTOBER 2006
Water Temp : Approx 23 deg Celsius
Dam Level : Appox 75% full (after the water release which took place at the end of Sep.)
Water Clarity : The water is very nice and clean at the moment. The dam is unusually clean in certain areas, especially some of the deeper rocky spots. I have found however that the Tigers can be a bit shy when the water is clean and calm - especially when fishing with lures.
September and early October provided some very good fishing. Early to Mid September proved better than later in the month. Several fish came out ranging from 4 - 5kg and of course the one of 7,1kg that was caught one week before the competition.
This years Tiger Fishing Bonanza (22 & 23 September) proved a bit disappointing as poor weather conditions resulted in colder water and relatively few fish weighed in. The winning fish was a beauty of 3,8kgs. Second place went to a fish weighing 3,5kg and I am glad to report that the Third placed fish went of a Catch & Release - 3,08kg.
The final day of the competition only turned up 17 fish at the weigh in - not much considering that 299 boats and approximately 1000 anglers were involved.
Bait has been remarkably ineffective of late. Most of the big fish will still fall victim to bait but relatively few fish are caught considering the amount of time spent. The best catching spots are near drop offs and submerged trees.
This is still the most reliable method to consistently catch fish. We managed to land some nice ones of between 2 & 3kg's trawling with rattle traps. After the competition the fish have been rather shy and a bit on the small size. The last few days have shown evidence of bigger fish again. The best colours at the moment are red & white, fire tiger, bright pink and orange & gold.
Fly Fishing & Spinning :
These are probably the most enjoyable ways to fish as you always feel pro-active. The usual method is to cast as close to structures such as rocks, trees, grass and weeds. Casting into open water does not bring as many results, but can account for the bigger fish especially later on in the afternoon. It is best to try this where the shallow water drops off into deeper areas nearby. I have had success with silver spinners, copper spoons, jerkbaits and especially the rattle traps. The best resulting flies at the moment are red, orange, black and yellow. Clousers, Tiger Flies and bait fish patterns tend to be producing results. Great fun has also been had with Poppers and Buzzbaits fished quickly over submerged weeds.
Since the water release which has now exposed a lot of bare and muddy areas the Game have also returned to the waters edge. The habitat is especially attractive to Rhino and Elephant. The birdlife at the moment is incredible. The mud and shallow water attracts huge numbers of water birds. So when the fish aren't biting there is plenty to see.
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