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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it aint quite offshore, but these fish will pull harder than many ocean fish.

Part 1

Many years ago I watched a video by Charles Norman on fishing for Nile perch on Lake Victoria and little did I know at the time I would spend 6 years in Uganda having some of the best fishing experiences that you can imagine. Nile perch fishing is not only exhilarating, but it also takes you to some of the wildest fishing locations you can imagine.





I have fished in both Lake Victoria and in the Nile River and this article is mainly about fishing on the Nile River at Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Murchison is roughly a 4 hour drive from Kampala and in the wet season you will need a 4WD to get there.



The best time to fish for Perch is when the river levels are low, as there is less hyacinth coming down the river and the fish are more concentrated in the pools. River levels are lowest around March and peak around August, high water levels also leave you with less bank space from which to fish so low water levels are preferred.









There are 4 accommodation options (some may or may not still be operating), Nile Safari Camp, Para Lodge (up market), the Red Chili camp at the ferry crossing and you can also camp right at the top of the falls which is wild as there are hyena and lion in the area.







http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC00083.jpg

You will need a daily fishing license which is $50 per day and you can either hire a guide to take you fishing from the bank $30 per day or you can hire the park boat for about $250 per day (may have increased by now) and there are other guide options such as Wild Frontiers and some others. You will also have to pay a daily park fee which is $20 per day if I remember correctly.

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC00084.jpg

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC00088.jpg

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_0825.jpg

Fishing from a boat will guarantee you more options at bigger fish, but I still enjoy fishing from the bank; those big perch take so much line in the fast water near the falls and it is certainly more challenging as they have every opportunity to clean you up.

A couple of hazards at the falls include tsetse flies, massive Nile crocodiles, lion, falling in and being swept down the river, climbing down and back up the bank (about a 700m climb), heat, Malaria, snakes, hippo's, lord's resistance army rebels, etc. so you have to be careful and be prepared.

Bank fishing obviously requires longer rods and I use a Trinidad 30 loaded with 30lb mono and a 120lb leader on my Graph-cast 3 nine foot rod. I do not like fishing with braid near the falls, as the water is fast moving and the eddies tend to wrap the braid around the underwater obstructions.

The fishing area at the bottom of the falls taken from Bakers rock..

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_0837.jpg

We fished mainly with big Alestes live baits which are so much fun to catch that you sometimes forget about the perch. Lure fishing is also very productive and there many different species of fish other than the perch that you can catch on soft plastics and crank baits.

Alestes - live bait..

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC00070.jpg

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_1117.jpg

A light 10 lb spinning rod is a must and I have caught some large size perch on my Stella 3000 and light G-Loomis rod. My favorite live bait is Yellow fish and have caught and lost some monster perch on them; take your 5wt fly rod with and some bead heads and nymphs - sometimes it is the only way you will catch a live bait. Vibrax spinners in lumo yellow and orange are deadly on the Alestes.

Lucky Craft Pointer DD in blue is deadly...

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_1128.jpg

My Old Man with a nice little perch on a vibrax...

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_1126.jpg

Pristine condition fish...

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_1129.jpg

More to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part 2

Boat fishing is far more comfortable and recommended for those who are not 100% fit to make the climb at the falls and it is also way more accommodating to the cooler full of Bell Lager or Nile special.

I didn't even see that croc until I checked the photo...


My brother with a 20kg fish..




Another brawler that is commonly caught on live bait is the Bagrus catfish which gives just as much of a fight and 20-30kg fish are common.

Bagrus catfish..









The largest fish that I caught at Murchison was 84kgs with 1/4 of its body still in the water; 4 of us could not lift it out to weigh it and we did not want to put too much stress on the fish as all fish have to be returned in the park. I caught that fish in the annual IGFA competition that is held at Murchison at the end of March so if you are going be sure not to go during this time as you will not be fishing on your own and will most likely be kicked off the good spots by one of the local competitors. Other than the annual competition there is very seldom anyone fishing at Murchison which is an absolute pleasure.

84kg plus...


Terminal tackle used with live bait includes, balloons, 11/0 hooks, 3 oz egg sinkers, grapnel sinkers, swivels, crimps etc. There is a lot of hippo sh!t in the water which accumulates on your line and will jamb into your rod tip where you have a knot in your line so keep and leaders relatively short and forget bait sliders as you will lose many fish from the clip hanging up on your line.

56kg perch, this fish emptied my reel and we just got the boat turned around in time as I had about 2m of line left on my Trinidad 16...




http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC01245.jpg

I sometimes tie a balloon about 3m up the line and let the bait float in the bigger eddies covering more ground when the fishing goes quiet. It is an unreal experience seeing your balloon take off underwater and it is best to let it run a short while before tightening up on the drag. When fishing on the bank it is important to try and keep the fish upstream as you will not stop a big fish if he gets below you in the fast water.

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC01229.jpg

If anyone ever tells you that Nile Perch do not put up a good fight then they have never caught a fish in the river and do not know what they are talking about; these fish will tear off line and will seriously challenge your tackle and your fishing ability.

Turbo charged fish, was about as wide as it was round..
http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/IMG_1123.jpg

http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad281/blaasoppie/Nile%20Perch%20Uganda/DSC01253.jpg

More to follow..
 

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Awesome report !!! A nile perch / tiger fish trip is on my list of to do's before I die. Please do post other future outings you have in Africa, Thanks !!!
 

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That is such an awesome report. Thank you for sharing. I'd be afraid to put my hands anywhere near the water with those nile crocs running around:D
 

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Great pix! Those N Perch sure ressembles the Barramudi. I wonder if related species? Them perch any good to eat?
 

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Randy Bassinga
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blaasoppie
Thanks for sharing your pics. Do you also have the other perch species like our sootys and bass? Do the nile perch migrate to and from salt to fresh water?

papio
They are indeed a related species, some of our fish shops have been guilty of selling nile perch fillets marked as barra
 

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Very cool report. What an adventure- the stakes sure are a lot higher when you're worried about crocs, lions, hippos, and the like...it puts the "sport" back in sport fishing. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Fantastic fishing, I'd love to experience that.
Is the fishing just as good closer to the Kenyan side of the lake? I had intended on fishing there in March but unfortunately had to cancell out at the last minute.
 

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Saga,

Thanks for da info. Years ago back in 1985 I was at Darwin fo a month and had a Barramundi catching trip planned with a local blok, but unfortunately our Air Force jets broke down and my time off after that were very scarce - missed opportunity there.

Do the Barras get as big as da N Perch?
 

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Randy Bassinga
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Saga,

Thanks for da info. Years ago back in 1985 I was at Darwin fo a month and had a Barramundi catching trip planned with a local blok, but unfortunately our Air Force jets broke down and my time off after that were very scarce - missed opportunity there.

Do the Barras get as big as da N Perch?

No mate, a metre fish is a very good fish and anything close to 1.3m is exceptional
 

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Great pix! Those N Perch sure ressembles the Barramudi. I wonder if related species? Them perch any good to eat?

PAPIO, The nile perrch, Barramundi, the Snook found in the americas/carribean, and the suzuki or seabass in japan are all in the same family and they look almost the same, they have a lot of common characteristics.....
 

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"A couple of hazards at the falls include tsetse flies, massive Nile crocodiles, lion, falling in and being swept down the river, climbing down and back up the bank (about a 700m climb), heat, Malaria, snakes, hippo's, lord's resistance army rebels, etc. so you have to be careful and be prepared".

I Love that:) I wouldn't even know how to prepare for a trip like that...."rod, reel, lures, anti venom, ar15, bug spray, pfd...." LOL
 
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