Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 7

by david on April 1, 2015

Tiger Fishing 101 & Outnumbered 11 to 1 

For the afternoon excursion, tiger fishing was on my radar. All of my favorite authors of African lore have fished for tiger fish. The stories they tell of bent rods, chewed up lures, broken lines, and spit hooks have always had me salivating for the chance to experience tiger fishing for myself. The Australian couple wanted to give it a try, as well, so away we went. The fishing spot was located at the top of a run of faster water that wove its way through a maze of small rocky islands and boulders. It was a 30-minute ride away, so I let my fishing companions have the seats and I stretched out in the bow of the boat and had myself a nap. We fished by trolling some large, multiple-hooked lures behind the boat. It was entertaining enough as the boat wound its way in and out of the rocky outcroppings, but the action was slow by any measure of the definition. On the very last troll of the day I managed to hook my first tiger. I then proceeded to commit the cardinal sin of tiger fishing. I raised my rod tip to keep more tension on the line. Raising the rod tip is S.O.P. for fishing in the US, but it is a no-no in tiger fishing in Africa. It took my quarry a half a second longer to spit the lure than it took me to type this one line. Lesson learned, and it was back to the boat for dinner.

I do not know if it was coincidence or fate that we had fish for dinner that night, but I took it as the fate’s personal affront to my abilities as a fisherman and vowed vengeance at the first opportunity. Last night, at dinner, the seating arrangement was very random in that we were not really seated as couples or families. The conversation was very good and we learned a lot about each other. Over sundowners we had all agreed to sit beside someone new tonight in hopes of equally tantalizing conversation. I found out earlier that I was the only hunter and only one with a politically conservative point of view. If you count the other guests, my wife, the captain, and mate (his wife) I was out numbered 11 to 1. It was great. Unlike my wife, who has heard it all before and refuses all further comment, I was able to have some really good discussions. I won’t go into specifics, but I love a good debate with someone who can talk facts and numbers rather than emotion and propaganda. Since Janice and I were the only Americans, it was very interesting to find out what other parts of the world thought about the US and our goings on. It was a nice finish to a fantastic day, and once again I had little trouble falling asleep.


Friday: The morning launch at our pace.


My elusive quarry of the day.  My elusive quarry of the day.
Picture via


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