Fishing In Tanzania

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Fishing In Tanzania

Fresh Water Fishing Tanzania

The Kilombero Game Controlled Area to the west of the Selous is the haunt of two renowned East African freshwater fish, the tiger and the vundu.

Hydrocyon, the tiger fish’s Latin name, means water dog and it really is the Doberman of the deep. Fast, ferocious and aggresive with a mouthful of blade-like teeth this is a voracious predator. Many fishermen consider this larger southern species to be the finest freshwater fighting fish.

The vundu, Heterobranchus longifilis, is a catfish and makes up for its gentler nature by growing to enormous proportions. It regularly exceeds forty-five kilos (100 pounds) and is a representative of the claria family, a set of fish that can breathe air using a type of lung called the branchial organ. The most common of the clarias Claria gariepinus, utilizes this physiological feature when it migrates from one land locked pool to another by dragging itself short distances on its pectoral fins. Other catfish silurids give electric shocks or have barbed needle spines in their fins which are coated with an irritant mucus. When freshly caught the stiletto can be stabbed into the flesh of an unwary angler, an unpleasant experienc  particu larly when it is extracted

Lake Victoria was artificially and controversially stocked in the 1950s with tilapia and Nile Perch species; this has had detrimental environmental effects but has increased prosperity in this area of Tanzania. Nile Perch is a perfect fish for sport fishing. Nile perch can grow to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and 200 kg (440 lb)

Deep Sea Fishing Tanzania

 Tanzania is the top destination for fishing lovers. Plenty of sunny islands, clear and hot water and different fish species – one can find all this at the same piece of the Earth.

There are loads of places on the Eastern coast of Africa that offer you the fishing of your dreams. When the Kaskazi – north east monsoon – starts to blow, the fish arrive in incredible number. Although the fishing is just a secondary attraction, there are a lot of tours organizing fishing adventures that you can book any time.

Among the lesser Game Fish there are Kingfish, Bonito, Rainbow Runners, Dorado and Barracuda, and all of them can be caught close to the shore. However, the areas of Kilwa, Pangani, Dar es Salaam, Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and the Pemba Channel are the best one for deep sea fishing. If you are staying in Dar es Salaam, there are trips arranged from Msasani Bay which takes you on a daily basis to incredible deep sea fishing adventures.

Local Dhow Fishing – A Guest Report From Dekeza Dhow in Dar Es Salaam

Gazing over the Grand Indian Ocean , it will not take a very long time to spot a range of different vessels sailing the turquoise tropical waters. Fishermen busy sailing their boats for the days’ fishing. Merchants moving their cargo to and from distant places.

The way it has been done for many centuries.

A type of vessel used is a Dhow (or Mashua). Dhows are hand made, constructed by skillful craftsmen by means of basic hand tools using water-resistant timbers. These skills originating from ancient Persia and have been passed on for thousands of years. Various influences from different historic civilizations like Arab, Indo-Malayan, Indian and Portuguese have been adapted into the Swahili culture. This blend gives the dhows their present time character and appearance.

The clear offshore waters are home to a vast array of colourful starfish, tropical fish and coral reefs providing excellent snorkelling. Pods of dolphins often accompany the dhow on its voyage to the islands.

Each dhow is equipped with good snorkelling equipment, life jackets, a back up 15hp outboard motor in case the wind dies down and are staffed by a professional 3 man crew.

 We did a full days fishing excursion in the famous Zanzibar Channel. We fish by trolling a combination of lures or baits behind our traditional 8 meter wooden dhow. The Zanzibar Channel is home to a variety of fish, Tuna, Dorado, Barracuda, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, King Mackerel to name a few species. The fishing equipment is good quality (Shimano), and the boats are equipped with the necessary safety equipment. 

On the return we motored around the ancient Mbwamaji harbour. We visited one of the nearby islands – we felt like castaways and spent time to explore, we then had  a sun downer drink on the beach before cruising back to Dar at around 6pm. 


Our Insider Guide For Fishing In Tanzania

Here are some species of fish which you can expect to catch:

  • BILLFISH – There are more than six species of billfish in the Pemba Channel such as Black, Striped and Blue Marlin, Broadbill Swordfish, Sailfish, and Shortbill Spearfish.
  • STRIPED MARLIN – Their season begins in November and finishes in March. Striped Marlin is the most frequent of the marlins. This fish is known for its high speed and the ability to spend more time in the air than in the water.
  • BLUE MARLIN AND YELLOW TUNA – Blue and Black Marlin usually follow Yellow Tuna, so you can find them from August to October. The Blue Marlin is the largest of its family.
  • BROADBILL – it is possible to find it all year, but in October, November and March is preferable, as the sea is calmer than the usual. This fish is also known as the “Gladiator of the Sea”, since it is more violent than others.
  • SAILFISH – most prolific during December – January, though it can be found all-year round. This is one of the most beautiful fishes, thanks to its strikingly colorful body, blue dorsal with white dots.
  • SHORTBILL SPEARFISH – the best months are from November to March. Though this fish is quite rare, it does exist in the waters of the Pemba.
  • TUNA AND BLACK MARLIN – the best time to find them is from August to October being the most frequent tuna species are yellowfin, bonito and dog-toothed tuna.


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