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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  :

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.

Trawling  :

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.


Ryan Tippett

034 - 435 1110