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Georgie monster tigerfish

Georgie B. and Monster Tigerfish

Kariba April 2012


For many years now my friend Georgie, has undertaken an annual Tiger-fishing trip to the Zambezi and LakeKariba. He always looks forward to fishing there with great anticipation and more so this time as he would be testing a new range of spinners made by Tigerlures in South Africa, primarily designed to catch Tiger and other game fish. These lures are made from solid brass and stainless-steel wire, brass spinning blades and a single 6/0 Kendal round hook, available in 7 colours. Thus, with well stocked tackle boxes, they set forth ….

The sun was not yet up when Georgie and friend Chase arrived at Anchorage harbour, Kariba, to prepare their boat for the day’s fishing.   It had been raining on a few successive afternoons and conditions on this Easter Saturday were overcast and cool.

They made their way to Antelope Island and started spinning along the tree lines.  Georgie is a firm believer in spinning, which is the most exhilarating and sporting way of catching a Tiger fish.   Tiger fish will often take a swimming bait side on or from the front and, unlike other species, they do not stop and within a heartbeat will peel many metres of line off your reel.  That initial strike can be so ferocious that anglers have had rods snatched right out of their hands.

They had been fishing for an hour or so around the Western side of Antelope on a tree line where there are some rocky outcrops.  Casting towards a large stump, Georgie got the strike of his life.  He initially thought that he had snagged the stump but when the stump took off like a jumbo jet, he knew he was into a big one!  The fish stayed close to the boat, speeding off in short, unstoppable runs and going down deep.  On one of the runs, the reel drag jammed and Georgie had to lift the bail arm to release line.   Then, in a silver flash of wild fury, the hooked Tiger jumped high out of the water in its efforts to dislodge the sharp 6/0 Kendal round hook but the hook was well set.   By then, Georgie was shaking with excitement:  this fish was huge!  Then pandemonium broke out in the boat with Georgie screaming to Chase “get ready with the landing net – make sure you net it head first!”.

After the second spectacular jump and a fight of about 12 minutes, Georgie managed to bring the fish alongside the boat.   Chase attempted to net the Tiger but it was so large that the net bent and the fish slipped out.  Georgie thought he had lost it but fortunately the Tiger was still on.   With its head down, it swam away into the depths.   Georgie let it go, lifting the bail arm to allow the line to run out – always trying to keep a tight line.  There were tree stumps all around, fortunately the fish swam away from the trouble.

More shouting from Georgie:  “Get the net ready – hold it on the sides not by the handle”.  Slowly working the now spent fish towards the boat, Chase got down as instructed, holding the net by its sides and, handle under his arm, slipped it under the Tiger.  With the head and tail hanging over the frame and the Tigerlures spinner hook well set in its incisors, he lifted this monster out of the water and into the boat.

 Cries of jubilation and high fives all round!  A truly magnificent Tiger weighing in at 11.6kg.  This fish, at only 1.1kg under the Kariba tournament record, was truly a catch to be proud of.

Well done Georgie!

Some history:  Georgie has been Tiger fishing in Kariba since 1960.   His previous best, caught last year, weighed 8.2kg and, prior to that, a 6.9 fish caught about 10 years ago.

Kariba Records:  The current record Tiger fish was caught by Jeni Daynes weighing in at 16.1kg on 9 December 2001 (outside of a tournament).  The biggest fish to come from a Kariba tournament was caught in 2009 by Martinhus van Rensberg weighing in at 12.735kg.

Some more information about Tigerlures:

These lures are fine-tuned and spin beautifully. We found that the chartreuse and the Zambezi sun spinner worked well in the early mornings and the BlackSparkle was very successful around half an hour before sunset. During the day it was red and Silver.

Georgie’s Favourite Spinner: Tigerlures Silver

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