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Instructions

Month

River Conditions

Species

Technique

October

The main catchment area for the Zambezi River is to be found in western Zambia, and every year their big rains begin at the end of October. The Zambezi River begins to rise very slowly as more and more volume is fed into the source but there is very little discernible change to the waters around Impalila Island with fishing good in the low, warm clear water.  Fly-fishing is particularly effective in the rapids found opposite Ichingo Chobe River Lodge.

Tigerfish, Catfish,

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Fly-fishing

November

Local rains begin and slowly the colour of the water begins to take on a more reddish tinge. The fishing conditions also improve around now as more oxygen is being fed into the system making baitfish easier to find and allowing us to start using drift-baiting with “Bulldogs “to catch Tiger.  Fly-fishing is still good in the rapids.

Tigerfish, Catfish,

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Drift-baiting

December

The rainy season has begun in earnest and most afternoon sees large thunderstorms across the whole region. Towards the end of the month the  river begins to rise and cover the lower lying  floodplains, causing the fish to leave the main river channels and move into these flooded areas. These newly submerged areas provide a safe haven for feeding and breeding for the smaller species as the Tigerfish can’t hunt in these areas due to the shallowness of the waters. However the stronger currents in the main channels provides excellent Tigerfishing at this time of the year but only with drift-baiting as the water is too cloudy for spinners or lures.

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Drift-baiting

January

The rains continue and the rivers become even faster and murkier in appearance with all of the resultant debris. The floodplains begin to cover over even more, providing even greater feeding and breeding areas for all of the fish species. Towards the end of the month the water becomes fairly dirty,  but great sport can be had using spinners for smaller Tiger in cleaner areas where the reed beds have filtered the water. Bream are also found in these reeds and fishing with weighted jigs and spinner-baits can be rewarding

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Drift-baiting, Trolling

February

There is a marked increase in the water levels as the local rain water mixes with the floodwaters coming down from Zambia. Channels such as the Kasai become deeper and faster (even changing direction of flow !) providing some excellent fishing opportunities.

Tigerfish, Catfish,

Drift-baiting, Trolling


March

Local rains begin to ease off but the water levels are still increasing rapidly due to the huge flow of water generated in the Zambian highlands. These higher waters allow us to use our tender boats in those sections that are usually too rocky to navigate and therefore new areas are opened up for fisherman in very scenic and fast-flowing parts of the system. The flow of the water in the main streams is nice and fast but with many back eddies, structures etc for interesting fishing, mainly with Bulldogs.

Tigerfish, Catfish,

Drift-baiting, Trolling

April

This month marks the beginning of Autumn for us and the temperatures begin to drop.  There are fewer showers but the river still rises further, covering even more of the floodplain areas. Fishing in the main channels proves to be a little less successful but there is still great fishing to be had in the smaller channels and in the rapids sections. The first Nembwe are about and can be found in the deeper sections of the floodplain.

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Drift-baiting, Trolling Spinning

May

Officially the end of the rainy season, May also marks the turning point when the river ceases to rise and begins to slowly recede again. Towards the end of the month the smaller fish species begin to leave the relative safety of the floodplains and move into the main river channels.  This provided an excellent hunting ground for the Tigerfish who take advantage of the depth and speed of the water to feast on all of the livebait coming back into the system.  Fishing techniques also change in this month allowing anglers to start using artificial lures and even fly-rods again, although drift-baiting is still very much a viable option.

Tigerfish, Catfish

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Spinning, Driftbaiting, Fly-fishing

June

Winter has arrived and the rains have ended. Probably considered the best month for fishing as the midday temperatures are still warm and very comfortable allowing you stay out on the river even longer. The baitfish are now leaving the floodplains with the receding warm water in huge numbers providing a veritable feast for the Tigerfish to prey on. They concentrate in huge numbers around these areas, making big catches almost a certainty. This unique eco-system means that the waters around Impalila Island and on the edges of the floodplains, are one of the only places where you get excellent Tigerfishing in Winter! Spinning, lures, and trolling are all great ways to fish in this month, and the area provides a fly-fishing destination that is comparable to anywhere else in the world.

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Spinning, Fly-fishing


July

Although the river is starting to recede and new areas of the floodplain can be seen every day, the water is still very deep and strong and the awesome fishing conditions continue as the warm , highly nutritious floodplain water continue to ebb into the main streams.

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Spinning, Fly-fishing

August

The water levels can now noticeably be seen to be dropping and the floodplains are getting drier every day. The most unusual aspect of this time of year is that the floodplain to the west of Impalila Island begins to dry up, forcing the last of the hatchlings and livebait into the Kasai Channel and stirring up a ‘Barbel Run’ through these waters. Thousands of barbel (Catfish) move up and down this channel searching out the vast food resources now suddenly available to them making for an unforgettable fishing phenomenon. Tigerfishing is also very good at this time as the scavenging barbel force even more of the baitfish into the main channels providing a glut of food for the ever present Tigers.

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Spinning, Fly-fishing

September

The rivers have receded rapidly and the water levels are now very clear and down to their lowest levels. The newly cleaned out river system means the water is clear and warm leading to a rather sluggish response by Tigerfish and fishermen have to work hard for a good catch. This time of the year mostly sees anglers trying spinning and trolling with fly-fishing still being a productive technique in the rapids. 

Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream

Artificial Lures, Trolling, Spinning, Fly-fishing

 
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