Fishing Tackle and Techniques
See below for our recommended fishing times, tackle & techniques
I would recommend 2 rods if you don’t want to use the camp’s equipment. A sturdy and stiff rod (not much longer than about 6½ feet at the most) with a strong Penn reel like the Shimano Calcutta that has a good drag system will be useful for trolling and drift baiting. Too much flex in a trolling rod will see you miss a number of hits. The Shimano BeastMaster is the rod I use for this.
I would recommend 2 rods if you don’t want to use the camp’s equipment. A sturdy and stiff rod (not much longer than about 6½ feet at the most) with a strong Penn reel like the Shimano Calcutta that has a good drag system will be useful for trolling and drift baiting. Too much flex in a trolling rod will see you miss a number of hits. The Shimano BeastMaster is the rod I use for this.[/fruitful_tab]Spinning for tigers and nembwe can be done with a large bass or small estuary rod. Again, I would lean more towards stiffer rods as the mouths of the tigers and even the bream are hard and the current is strong. I would go for a 7ft rod with a stiff action to throw lures into the wind – a rod like the Shimano Nexave 70 works well. A quality large arbour coffee grinder reel is ideal for spinning with an easy to access drag system. Something like the Shimano Stella would be good to look at in the coffee grinder range.
You need to make a personal choice on this one – nylon or braid. Each has as many ‘ups’ as the other has ‘downs.’ Personally, I use braid for the following reasons – it has better ‘feel’; it is more direct meaning better hook up rates further away from the rod; when the knots are done correctly, it is exceptionally strong; I can use a heavy braid and still have a lot of line on the reel and the thinner diameter line means lures swim deeper.The disadvantages are: requires a lot of maintenance; it has no stretch so you need to be careful with your drag; very difficult when the line gets a knot and if your braid is old and brittle, then it will snap at the most inopportune moments. I would recommend a weight of 40lb for those wishing to use braid and I would go for natural colours like beige or khaki – not bright yellow or pink. When it comes to nylon, those who prefer nylon do so because of the stretch, which allows a bit of grace on the hard hitting tigerfish, easier to maintain and handle from a knot perspective. The disadvantages of nylon include potential to store memory, lower breaking strains, thicker diameter line meaning there is less line on the reel and the lures don’t dive as deep. I would use 25lb nylon for bait drifting or trolling and 15lb nylon for spinning.
Please contact us about which venue you are fishing and what time of the lure you will be fishing as the lures we recommend will change depending on these factors.[/fruitful_tab]Trace wire is highly recommended. Piano wire is my choice and have this attached to small power swivel’s by a haywire twist knot. I would avoid ready-made nylon coated traces (the type with the snap swivel) as they tend to pick up too much weed and definitely have lower hit rates. Most lodges will supply the boga grip and pliers. Hooks for drift baiting or live bait should be large chemically sharpened short shank hooks (like Gamakatsu hooks) or those used for vertical jigging. The longer the hook, the more likely the tigerfish will bend this open or throw the lure.
Fly-fisherman should bring along an 8/9 weight rod and a reel with the correctly weighted fast sinking line. This line should have a sink rate of at least 6/7 inches per second. A 20lb nylon leader attached to a small power swivel, this linked to piano wire and a fly which will sink quickly. Flies with too much body will not get deep enough in the water column. A line basket is useful to use on a boat as the run of the tiger can be ferocious and therefore you don’t need to be standing on your line when it comes!
Seasonal Calendar for Mutemwa Lodge:
Mutemwa Lodge is closed due to heavy rains and high, dirty water.
A beautiful time of the year at Mutemwa – everything is green and clean, temperatures are warm and the river is full. An excellent time of the year to fish primarily with bait (drifting tiger fillets) and also a very worthwhile time to fish the flooded riverbanks, grassy patches and reeds with ‘noisy’ flies and spinners for fish lurking up against the flooded structure. Bream unlikely at this time. Birding is excellent with many migrant species still around.
Mutemwa closes while we head up to fish the Lungwebungu River on the Barotse Floodplains – an incredible fly in fishing safari targeting trophy tigerfish and bream on a unique and very remote floodplain river in Barotseland primarily with lures and fly in a relatively untouched fishery.
We return from Lungwebungu for the last 2 weeks of June and first week of July. Mutemwa fishing can be very productive with lures now but is also prone to ‘flat patches’ as pressure changes from frontal systems down south tend to put the fish down and make thing very cold.
Mutemwa closes for the last 3 weeks of July as we leave to fish the Kwamashi Floodplain. Another extremely remote and untouched fishery in Barotseland offering fly and art lure anglers the chance to target large numbers of tigerfish and bream in a floodplain system.
Mutemwa re-opens and the water is starting to warm and accordingly, some excellent lure and fly fishing is enjoyed after the river has been rested for sometime and this is again, one of our best times. Bream now start appearing in Mutemwa waters and trophy tigers are often take on lures through trolling and spinning. Upper Zambezi yellowfish can be targeted below and around the rapids.
Often a month with 2 faces – the very hot conditions remain good for trophy tigers and bream but extended periods of hot, flat conditions can make the fishing a bit more challenging. Deep diving lures and even some live bait can now start being used and a good month to catch a real bus of a fish. Fishing near the rapids can be very productive.
Arguably one of the most beautiful months at Mutemwa. The first few showers turn the land green and the migrant birds start returning. Temperatures are warm without being too hot and thunderstorms flash and rumble at night. The isolated storms in the catchment release flushes of oxygenated water and fishing can be excellent with big fish being caught trolling, spinning, on fly, surface lures and live bait. Provided no extended rains fall, a very good time.
Up until Christmas, November conditions continue although the potential for extended rains increases. Even if heavier rains do fall, the fishing remains good up until water conditions start to rise and discolour. However, from Christmas, the rain gets more consistent and the river will normally rise and discolour until the lodge closes.