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Published: March 15th 2015
March 15, 2015 (Lusip Dam Reservoir) Today we got up with the sunrise, had an early breakfast and left for the Lusip Dam Reservoir to go fish for tigers - actually tiger fish
. These fish are particularly prized as game fish and are found in many rivers and lakes on the continent and are fierce predators with distinctive, proportionally large teeth. In the western gamefishing world, the tigerfish is considered Africa's equivalent of the South American piranha: they have interlocking, razor-sharp teeth, along with streamlined, muscular bodies, and are extremely aggressive and capable predators who often hunt in groups. The African tigerfish is the first freshwater fish recorded and confirmed to attack and catch birds in flight.
We piled into the diesel 2003 Toyota LandCruiser with a snorkel (a large air intake system so you can drive through water) and I drove on the left side of the road on rough Swazi roads to get the team to the water. We met our guide about half way and after registering, we came upon Mickey's lakefront property to meet our hosts for the day. Mickey Forbes runs a security service monitoring for poachers in lots of parks in Swaziland. He's a tough
guy with a tender and generous heart, and incredibly knowledgeable about life in the wilderness of Swaziland. He and two professional bass fishermen (Kevin and Johan) brought a couple of Ranger bass boats with a 250 hp Evinrude outboard. Equipped with three guides we set off in three separate groups to see who'd catch the first, most, largest... Dr. Pons caught up to us casting on the dam trying hard to get a fish in the boat. While we had a few bites, we couldn't get the tiger fish into the boat. A bit dejected we returned to the campsite for dinner and compare notes with the other boats. Kevin, Derick and Suess were together and Bitner caught 3 fish. Johan, Mark and Brian caught 2 fish in the morning session. Let the fish stories begin...
Food was next - we had plenty of it, and lots of meat. Cooked on the open fire in cast iron pots we had pap (a corn meal with the consistency of grits) and braai relish, sausages, salads and some huge steaks. The morning was overcast, and by the afternoon the sun was getting pretty warm. Irritated by the shutout on the elders'
Kevin's Ranger Bass Boat
...clocked at 107 km/hr!
boat, we decided to go out for another shot at catching a few tigers...and with wild success: we scored five tiger fish and about ten other hits. The adrenaline was flowing as fish hit our lures hard, frequently jumped 5 feet out of the water and worked their way off the lures. Nonetheless, we boated/netted/landed five tiger fish and came back to a shutout on Kevin's boat and a deuce on Johan's team - with one 2.8 kg (around 6 lbs) big mouth bass. Exhausted after a long day in the sun on the water, we headed back to Mabuda Farms for the sunset and a restful dinner with the Pons.
Tot: 2.516s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 8; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0504s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb