Some of Africa's best game fishing is to be found in the Selous Game Reserve

Selous fishing Fact Sheet

Fishing Seasons in Selous

Suggested equipment if you want to bring your own

Selous Impala boat safari  Fishing

Fishing on the Rufiji river

The fishing is excellent here. We have at our disposal a river and lakes which are virtually untouched, be it by commercial or sport fishing, so the waters are full of fish. The sort we are after are the tiger fish and the cat fish. The tiger is a fish that is famous for being a fighter with heart, and having the tools to back it up. They are powerful swimmers, often leaping several feet into the air whilst being fought. David and catfish I have seen tigers bite through 30 pound wire trace with their impressive set of dentures. This particular species is plentiful in the waters around Impala camp and grows to a size of 15 kilos, 5-10 being the average caught.

The second species is the cat fish. These can grow to be monsters and more than once I have been left at the side of the river staring at my spooled reel in shock, while the fish that I had hooked calmly surfaced just for a moment as if to give me a look at what I had foolishly tried to take on, and, I swear it, to smile at me.  They can grow to be fifty kilos and are the most commonly hooked and landed fish. The average catch size of one of these is 6 to 15 kilos.

The gear I like to use here is number 3 hooks with a wire trace and a running ledger, accompanied by Shimano rods and spinning reels.

Micol with elephantThe bait we use is spot tail, a small silver fish, cut into pieces, or live bait. Clients have told me they enjoyed the fishing simply for an alternative way of seeing the Reserve. While on the activity I will move between three or four spots with the clients, travelling by boat, but inevitably spend large amounts of time in one location. It’s a good way of just watching the bush. Occasionally an elephant will wander down and cross the river in front of us, or a hippo will, in their usual lazy way bob out of the water to have a look at us. There is always interesting bird activity to watch as they carry on with their busy daily routines, or if you are lucky a fish eagle will swoop down and show you how it is done.

No matter how many times I go out with clients, if I have a little time to myself I’ll always use it to go and sit by the beautiful river and quietly wait for the big one.

written by David Liebst

Fishing FishingFishingFishing

Fishing for catfish Lake Manze 

Lake Manze

Fishing at Lake Manze

Fishing at Lake Manze

Fishing seasons

The best season starts June until the end of October. Once it starts raining the fish will move to shallow flood plain areas to spawn. When the river is full it is actually the worst time to go fishing, the water is dirty, and it is hard to find good spots as the fish have moved.
It comes good again mid December right up to the end of February. This second period is when the river will get to its lowest point. This is nice because you can find sand banks that extend right out into the river. I once found a spot where
a sand bank was about 2 cm below the water line and it cut about half way into the river, so we popped some chairs and umbrellas out on it and sat the guests with their feet in the river while they fished.
March is not good for fishing and the camps are closed in April and May.


Selous Impala and Lake Manze camps provides basic fishing gear, but if people want to bring their own equipment, they should bring:
Spinning reels capable of holding about 150-200 metres or more of 20 pound line.
Tracer (this is the wire that stops the fish cutting the line, you can't catch a respectable tiger without it. I like the sort that you prepare and clamp yourself because you can adjust the length, but you can buy pre-made tracer wire.)
Hooks (They should be about 2 inches long and if you can imagine that a hook makes a U shape, that U should be about 3/4 inch wide. Also its important that they are
as thin as possible, but strong.)

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