Hippos and Tigers

Busting guts and bursting blood vessels.

Whoever says you don’t get tigers in Africa is lying. We do, they’re just not big cats, they’re big fish. Tourette Angling have been making a habit of getting their clients into some BIG Tigerfish. The Tanzanian Tigerfish (Hydrocynus tanzaniae, or the blue tigerfish) grows bigger than its southern cousin, Hydrocynus Vittatus, which we get in the Zambezi and has a more southern distribution. It has become a sought after trophy species and is regurlarly caught upwards of 15lb. That’s a lot of teeth!

Hydrocynus Tanzaniae, mean toothed guys those...
Hydrocynus Tanzaniae, mean toothed guys those…

But it wasn’t the big tigers or vundu (catfish) that made me laugh when reading Mark Murray’s recent beachmau5 blog entry.

Recently, one of his clients hooked into a what was at first thought to be a massive Vundu. These fish are notoriously strong and tend hug the bottom while the fisherman bursts blood vessels trying to lift him to the surface. Tackle testers of note. So when Fergus Kelly’s – Mark was his guide – line at first appeared to be hung up under a tree, started moving off with intent, all aboard presumed that he was into a trophy Mr Whiskers.

Busting guts and bursting blood vessels.
Busting guts and bursting blood vessels.

Much pulling and panting seemed to bring to the mighty fish up the surface. However, according to Mark, when the fish “started pushing a bow wave that rendered the entire boat in silence!” things heated up quickly.

Can you imagine, fishing an area you know well – you understand the size of the fish and what a trophy fish should look like – and something happens that leaves the senses stunning and you witnessing the impossible.

The impossible was soon explained as an angry hippopotamus broke the surface of the water and made it very clear that he took umbrage to the fly that was neatly hooked behind his ear. Consider as well that Hippo owns the notorious title of the most dangerous mammal in Africa. Yip, they outdo Lions and Elephant and all the rest…

Thats a hippo making large holes in the river!
Thats a hippo making large holes in the river!

So one can imagine the bedlam caused by the bellowing pachyderm. Fly lines were cut and boats throttles were opened when it turns towards the boat. I’m sure the collective heart beats of the boat took their time to slow down to anything normal.

Africa is awesome, untamed and not for sissies!

fly fishing website for south african and international fly fishing
Another shitty day in Africa
fly fishing website for south african and international fly fishing
Mr Whiskers, the original suspect!

All photos and permssions to share from Mark at beachmaus

One thought on “Hippos and Tigers”

  1. Pig says:

    Very big.

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