The Formidable Africa Tigerfish - Zambezi Queen Collection

Gliding beneath the serene river surface of the Chobe is the legendary African tigerfish. This ferocious species is one of the most sought-after game fish in Africa and proves a formidable foe for adventurous fishing enthusiasts. While the magnificent Chobe River is celebrated for the abundance of wildlife that frequent its lush banks – there are some fascinating discoveries to be made below the waterline as well.

What is the African tigerfish?

Often thought of as Africa’s equivalent to the South American piranha, the African tigerfish is a fierce species sporting razor-sharp teeth, muscular bodies and distinctive ‘tiger’ stripes for which they are named. These predators often hunt in packs, and are known to put up a fight when it comes down to the fishing line.

How big do they get?

Tigerfish range in size from 2kg to an impressive 12kg. In the fast-flowing waters of the Upper Zambezi, they are known to reach around 10kg in weight.

When is the best time of year to go fishing?

African tigerfish are most active during the warmer months. Fishing is generally best from September to February with peak season being around October and November. However, winter fishing is also an option, with June and July being a good time to cast your line.

Where’s the best place to catch the African tigerfish?

While African tigerfish can be found in fresh-water rivers and lakes across Africa, they are particularly abundant in the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

What’s their favourite bait?

These powerful predators aren’t picky when it comes to feeding time. They will attack any moving object smaller than themselves. So whether it’s live bait or a tempting lure, the African tigerfish is likely to bite.

What fishing techniques are best?

There’s no fool proof way to snag a tigerfish. Their feeding patterns are quite erratic and various types of techniques such as fly fishing and spinning have been known to work. The general rule is that all equipment, from your rods, reels and fly-lines to colourful lures and flies all need to be fast action and extra sturdy to stand up to the challenge.

Biggest recorded size?

While reports vary, the largest tigerfish ever caught was the goliath tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) said to have weighed an incredible 70kg.

Fascinating facts

The African tigerfish is known as the fastest fresh-water fish in Africa and is the first to be recorded attacking and catching birds in flight. While African tigerfish don’t generally attack humans, they do have a nasty bite so it’s best to use a landing net and keep fingers away from snapping jaws.

Add a touch adventure to your luxurious safari with a world-class tiger fishing experience. Sit back, relax and soak up the luxurious surrounds, while our experienced guides pack your gear, stock the cooler box and show you the best spots to land the big one.

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