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Pongola Game Reserve Fishing Report
|Temp (River):||22 - 26°|
|Water Clarity:||60% River Stretch * Main Dam – 100 %|
|Fishing Area:||River Stretch and entrance to main dam|
|Average Size:||800 g- 2 kg|
|Avg. / half day:||Difficult as fishing sporadic|
|Artificial Lure:||Spinners – all colors plus crank baits|
|Bait:||Live bait, sardine and tiger fillet, chicken breasts|
|Fly Fishing:||5 kg – clouser minnow – Captain Chris (Yeah)|
|Biggest Fish:||4, 2 kg tiger fish – Marcovich Group - sardine|
|Skipper of the month:||Dumisani (most big fish caught – biggest 3, 8 kg)|
GPS Co ordinates:
Mvubu: 27 22’ 09.26” S by 31 50’ 42.16 E
Mpalane: 27 23’17.89” S by 31 53’ 20.21 E
Nkwazi: 27 22’ 46.58” S by 31 53’54.92 E
The fishing has been great as expected, especially with a couple of 35 degree days plus, again. The small fish are all over the place, and one is finding it difficult to find a spot where they are not!
Obviously means great fishing and lots of ‘small action” but after a while when trying to target bigger fish is almost impossible. Nkwazi Lodge has been so busy with return clients and corporate team building groups that we are almost out everyday. I think if all the fishing trips this month, close to a 1000 fish have been caught.
The bigger fish have come out here and there, with a couple over 4 kg , a lot in the 3 kg and a everyday 2 kg plus coming out. As mentioned earlier I sure a lot more bigger ones would be coming out, but after a half hour in a spot the “tiggers” are there. I think its last year’s fish that have come out of hiding and are moving around in big shoals. I have tried increasing bait size, fishing deeper waters, fishing new spots, you name it, and you just can’t seem to get away from them. So what I’m trying to say bring lots of BAIT.
We have had a lot of our bigger fish action in the really shallow water, almost banking the boat and fishing the shallows with either cork or throw and retrieve method, bumping through the grass. This mainly applies early morning and late evening, although you sure to get fish this way most of the day. A lot of the smaller tigers caught using the above method have fresh bite marks or scars, proving they are coming in to the shallows targeting the slightly smaller tigers and bream.
On the bait side of things anything and everything is working at moment. Chicken strips have worked extremely well this month especially when they stop feeding on sardine. This can either be fished on the bottom, but the cast and retrieve method seems to be the best method. It has great movement in the water and the color stands out well. Live bait to me will always be tops, anytime and any place. I have been supplying to guests were possible, even if it means only 10 per boat a day. Unfortunately it is time consuming so unfortunately I don’t always have the time or stock. I will investigate and find out if there is anyone else supplying and will give you their contact details next month.
On the artificial side, guys are catching with most lures, spinners and spoons. So don’t be scared to work these for a while instead of just sticking to bait. I had some great success on a popper the other evening off our jetty, working it in both shallow and deep water. Guys the fish are hungry!
A lot of good barbell has come as well this month, with Dave Morkel catching a whopper 15 kg barbell. A good fight with some serious runs. I have seen a lot of bigger groups of barbell shoaling, and not sure if its version of a “barbell run” or them spawning again.
Finally the highlight of my year was last week was when I invited my uncle and friend Tim down for a couple of days fly-fishing. I know the guide is not supposed to catch the big fish, but ….. I have not had the chance to do some serious fly fishing for a while. Anyway just getting dark , fishing a red and black minnow on a floating lone on a beautiful drop off – and BANG – four consecutive jumps, a lot of screaming and a 8 minute fight and finally , my first tiger over 5 kg’s on fly. Wow, what a fight – especially having family and friends around to enjoy it with. My other friend Jacques (previous guide at Nkwazi) was there too, so three witnesses – ecstatic. That was not the last of it. The following day I landed a 3 kg and the rest of us a lot of fish up to 1, 8 kg. Tim was snapped up at least 5 times and my uncle finally got a 2, 5 kg on his last morning.
We mainly fished intermediate lines as we were targeting the shallows. Cliff Rochester, supplied us with some fantastic flies, and every version and color worked. The preference seemed to be black in the early morning and evening and natural colors once the sun was really up. These flies could take the punch and I think after the 3 days we had 11 of the 30 flies which still had their action.
On the launching fees side of things, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support. Obviously we are investing in our own future of tiger fishing on Jozini. Well done guys.
This month I am going to introduce to Heike Zitzer, our local elephant field researcher who is involved with black rhino and elephant monitoring on Pongola Game Reserve.
1. Quick history and background on your research.
Studying the post vasectomy behavior of the bulls which have been
Vasectomised in August 2008.
Black Rhino Range Expansion Project:
Increasing the rhino population
Elephant monitoring: Walt Disney
3. Anyway guests can assist with the programme?
Please contact the Nkwazi, Mvubu field staff or me if you have any
sightings of black rhino:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nkwazi field staff all have identification kits which
make an immediate positive identification a lot easier when just sighted.
If you experience any unusual behavior or/and injuries when viewing
elephant or black rhino, please also contact me directly: 073 941 6524.
Your help is always very much appreciated.
4. Long term visions/goals.
Creating a safe haven for them and increasing the population.
Population reduction without interfering with social dynamics and the natural
behavior of the elephants.
5. Any pointers when viewing black rhino and elephant from the boat.
When sighting a black rhino or elephant from a distance please advance
Toward them slowly and then switch off your boats’ engine. In this way you will
Be able to enjoy a great sighting without upsetting the animal/s.
Please do not advance any closer to the individual/s than 200m when
standing or lying at the shore.
When elephants are swimming in the water you should also not advance any
closer than 200m. Thank you!
6. Have you caught a tiger fish yet?
I would love to but wish I had the time to do any fishing…
am waiting for my invite…J.
Thanks Heike, will have to make a plan soon.