December 2014 . Uganda . Nile
The nileperch was pulling line from the nearly closed brake of the reel. We were aware that we had to fight every fish at this difficult reachable spot from the bank by hook or by crook. Would a fish of the pool direct in front of us reach the fast whitewater, we would have no chance without the boat to stop or follow him. Claudias fingers were stopping the spool, in the foaming water a big head was shaking for short time, then a hook of the treble broke and the nileperch was lost. Some cast later the spectacle started again. This time it was not possible to get my opponent to the surface. He was simply blasting my 100lb main line! After a day casting in the sweaty heat with heavy lure tackle, things like this were very disillusioning. But gladly these were our only material failures at our tour, and for all other spots we had the perfect working tackle and strategy for playing the fish.
What could be more exciting as to outwit at the cold season in Germany in the warm and sunny Uganda nileperches with the spinning rod? This time Claudia was joining me. After all the pictures of the ongoing trips she wanted to collect own impressions of this paradisiacal wilderness. Among the nileperch challenge we were surrounded by the variety of life again and fished in the middle of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, baboons, warthogs, buffalos, different species of antelopes, a colored world of birds and many more. At a safari with the jeep in the savanna we could observe next to the animals from the Nile bank also giraffes and a leopard!
Luckily we still were nearly the only ones, who fished in Uganda with the spinning rod. Again we had most of all spots for us alone and the pressure of fishing was very low. However we faced bad conditions especially at the beginning of our tour – the rain season this year was longer and the water was still brown like coffee. Furthermore big machines had cut underwater vegetation in the Lake Kyoga upstream the Nile. Now the Nile was mixed with many big and small parts of weed, which were floating in all water depth. At the beginning it was nearly impossible to let the rubber lure sink down more than two meters in the river. Until the end we had to remove weed from our lures after every cast. The conditions were completely different from the two years before, and we were forced to find new strategies.
The rubber lure was splashing at the surface. After some turns of the reel Claudia felt the impact in her rod. In the strong current it was not possible to stop the fish from the bank at this spot. So she had to open the drag quickly and completely, climb over some cliffs, stop the perch with closed drag and play it in the calmer pool downstream. Short time later we could land the fish. Some casts later another nileperch inhaled my lure in the whitewater and the fight started again. Was the reason the murky water or spawning prey fish, that the perches at this tour were swimming so shallow? However, we had found a good tactic to have success under difficult conditions – by casting only at the active, hunting perches at the surface. So we faced for the first time also attacks on sight and could often cast direct to the nilperches swimming between prey fish. So we had to estimate where and when the bigger nilperches were going on the hunt. When we found them, we often hooked one after another. This way we could outflank in seven fishing days 53 nileperches, the two biggest ones were 1,27m long. Sadly Claudia lost one fish by getting off the hook, which was surely a perch far beyond 1,50m. Though, at the end we could be very satisfied with many exiting fights.
We fished all the time with our well proven rubber lure rig: Our Trophy Shads, combined with a spiral jig head and one treble on the back. Most successful on this tour was the size 18cm in the bright decors „Dark Water Sun“ and „Camargue Papagei“.
Of course we had again some interesting by catches. Claudia caught a turtle of around 40kg, which attacked the lure, bit it in two pieces and then was hooked in the foreleg. Of course we didn´t want to release the poor animal with the hook. So Claudia was detracting successfully the ferocious looking reptile with very heavy bit with a branch and I could remove the treble hook. I had also a quarrel with a reptile and could fight for some minutes against a 4m long crocodile, which had savaged my rubber lure on sight. We were highly impressed as the predatory animal was rolling next to our boat near under the surface. Short time later the hook bended of and the spook was over.
Among all the fascinating moments by fishing in pristine nature we had again many fun with all the local people. Many thanks to Echi, Ray and the boys and girls of the bar for a time under friends!
Angler: Claudia, Martin
Nileperch more than 1m: 14
Statistic in days (length in m):
1.00 – 0.93 – 0.83 – 0.80 – 0.76 – 0.70 – 0.70 – 0.68 – 0.66 – 0.64 – 0.62 – 0.61
0.95 – 0.91 – 0.83 – 0.77 – 0.76 – 0.65 – 0.64
1.27 – 0.97 – 0.95 – 0.92 – 0.89 – 0.88 – 0.86 – 0.74 – 0.70 – 0.68 - o.64
4.Day: No fishing – Jeep Safari
1.20 – 1.13 – 1.09 – 0.87 – 0.73
1.19 – 1.19 – 1.13 – 0.87 – 0.68 – 0.65
1.08 – 1.00 – 0.75
1.27 – 1.07 – 1.03 – 1.01 – 0.96 – 0.93 – 0.89 – 0.83 – 0.80