|Home of the aquatic tiger|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:00|
Isdore Guvamombe Features Editor
white coves hem in the azure waters, overshadowed by a chain of wild jungle-draped peaks towering above. Where the water meets the thick vegetation, wild animals gather for their meals.
Lions silently scramble outside mopane tree shades and swiftly melt into the bush so fast that only a few motorists are able to catch a glimpse of their frosty-brown faces or blurs of tail.
A spitting distance away in Nyamhunga Township, a herd of zebras, confident of their human camouflage, pose like ball dancers, heads aligned and stripes merging in flowing motion.
Within the vicinity, elephants form a protective huddle around their young, beneath a bulbous baobab tree while the hippo moo and wander along the lush green lakeshore vegetation, often straying into the suburbs in the stealth of the night.
Behind this touristee face is the real life of the people of Kariba and companies whose boats, rigs and fishing rods trawling for fish from every corner, for, fishing is the mainstay of Kariba, obviously watched over by in the spiritual realm by Nyaminyami, the Tonga river god.
Every night, fishing rigs frolic every allowed corner of the dam, casting various sizes of nets in search of fish, but mainly kapenta. One glance into the lake at night treats your eyes to a multifarious array of twinkling lights, winking and deeming as they juxtapose themselves against the dark night waters — all in search of fish.
The tiger fish have flourishes in the rich waters of the lake and it is considered by many to be one of the finest game fish around. The tiger fish is a worthy opponent for the skillful angler because of its speed, courage and strength. Fishing safaris are offered on Lake Kariba and these are usually done on a houseboat.
This also offers the eager angler the opportunity not only of tiger fishing but bream as well or just game viewing from the deck of the houseboat.
Finally, after about 10 minutes of fighting, the tiger fish is pulled, belly-up, to the side of the boat, where it tries to make one or two last breaks to freedom — like a man trying to break from chains — but is gaffed and brought onto the boat.
The very tackle many fishermen use for tiger is in itself a telling tribute to the fighting qualities of Africa’s most elusive, ferocious and speedy game fish.
It possesses a ferocious set of razor-sharp teeth enclosed in a bony head.
For any discerning fisherman, catching the tiger is the greatest experience as the fish bravely darts from one place to another, leaping upwards, downwards and sideways for several minutes before eventually succumbing to the angler.
Every year October, there is the world renowned “Kariba Invitation Tiger Fishing Tournament” that is held on the lake. The tiger fish is responsible for this and fishermen from all over the world come down to Lake Kariba.
Kariba is amazing African wilderness on an extra large scale and therefore it is not just the fishing that’s great but also the many islands that all harbour big game.