The Tiger Fish is renowned as one of the best game fish that can be caught anywhere in the world in fresh water. The Zambezi River is home to some of the best Tiger fishing in Africa and the combination of this and the fact that there are so many world class camps and lodges along the river make for a fisherman’s paradise.
Good fishing outfitters are moving more and more towards sustainable fishing methods. Using the catch and release methods that are being practiced by some of the more professional outfitters has had a positive effect on fish populations along the river.
The Lower Zambezi Catch and Release Initiative was founded by Sven Vrdoljak of Wild Tracks Lodge in Zambia?.
According to Sven’s site Wild Tracks Zambia the successful and careful use of the catch and release methods included in his presentation could reduce the mortality of fish caught to just 16%. He adds that there will always be some deaths due to the stress and potential injury in the process.
His presentation teaches the following basic principles (please go to his web site for further information)
How to minimize injury to fish
How to insure the fish is released as quickly and as efficiently as possible
How to get the best memento picture
Never play a fish to exhaustion
Keep fish in the water if possible
Avoid handling the fish excessively
Select your gear and tackle to minimize injury to the fish
Consider the welfare of every fish you catch
The importance of catch and release.
According to a Local fishing outfitter – Tiger fish being caught on the Zambezi in the area around Chirundu have increased in size on average and large fish such as 7 to 9kg fish are being caught regularly. According to “Tiger Safaris” a fishing outfitter with boats and fishing guides based 2km from Chirundu on the Zimbabwe side, “the larger fish being caught are directly as a result of the catch and release methods being used by more fishing outfits on the lower Zambezi”
Vf24 Editor 5