Africa, Latin America

The lure of fishing


© Shutterstock - Vitec

Whether you enjoy fly fishing in slow-moving rivers, wading up to your chest in a tranquil lake or want to experience the thrill of the chase with deep-sea fishing, there’s no need to forego your favourite pastime while on holiday.

From searching for barracuda in the Indian Ocean or marlin or sailfish off the coast of Costa Rica to tiger fishing in Zambia and fly fishing for trout and salmon in the crisp, crystal-clear waters of Chilean Patagonia, there are plenty of opportunities for catch-and-release fishing in some truly amazing locations.

If freshwater fishing’s your thing, Lake Arenal in Costa Rica is the perfect place to fish for rainbow bass a you enjoy glorious views of Arenal volcano, while a fishing trip on the Rio Frio in Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge gives you a fantastic opportunity to spot some of the 300+ species of birds that live here, along with sloths, monkeys and turtles.

Costa Rica is also a superb destination for deep-sea sportfishing off its Caribbean or Pacific coasts. Blue marlin is the species this country is most famous for, but tuna, roosterfish and sailfish are also found here, with the port of Queopos renowned worldwide as a sportfishing destination. There is a strong emphasis on catch-and-release in Costa Rica, to preserve the fish populations.

Image © Shutterstock – Wolf Avni

“From still lakes to raging white-water torrents, there are some absolutely stunning fishing locations in Chilean Patagonia…”

There are also some fabulous fishing opportunities in Peru. Freshwater fish such as rainbow trout and the feisty butterfly peacock bass abound – if you’re up to the peacock bass challenge, head to Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon.  The waters off Peru’s northern coast offer brilliant deep-sea fishing – a world record-breaking black marlin was caught off Punta Sal for example.

From still lakes to raging white-water torrents, there are some absolutely stunning fishing locations in Chilean Patagonia, most notably Coyhaique, which is renowned for fly fishing. The remoteness of this entire region, combined with its pristine waters, mean that there are vast fish stocks, many of whom have never encountered a hook or lure. The fish here can be vast in more ways than one; 40lb salmon are not entirely uncommon! The rivers of the beautiful Torres del Paine National Park are home to Pacific salmon, huge brown and rainbow trout and Patagonian tooth fish.

Tuna fishing in the waters off Cape Town can be spectacular, and Kwazulu Natal has great freshwater fishing, while the East African coast also offers some wonderful sea fishing, with big game fish such as swordfish, sailfish, tuna and marlin inhabiting the waters of the Indian Ocean, along with barracuda, kingfish, dorados, red snapper and grouper.

Kenya has long been famed for its deep-sea fishing, but Tanzania is now attracting those with a love of the sport, with the benefit that it is still much less fished than Kenya. Deep-sea fishing is a popular activity around Msasani Bay near Dar es Salaam, while the waters around Zanzibar, Pemba, Fanjove and Mafia islands are another rich source of big game fish.

Fishing is prohibited in Tanzania’s national parks, but lake fishing and fly fishing can be arranged in gorgeous locations outside the parks; a wonderfully peaceful way to experience rural Tanzania, casting in a Rift Valley lake or a sparkling mountain stream. Or how about fishing amidst the incredible natural beauty of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where your rivals will be fish eagles?

  • Left image © Karen Coe
  • Right image © Shutterstock – Janelle Lugge
  • Bottom image © Shutterstock – Sergey Uryadikov
© Shutterstock – Sean Nel

“Fishing, perhaps with an elephant audience…”

The tiger fish of the Zambezi river is a real challenge – this speedy, striped predator doesn’t give up without an energetic fight and can weigh as much as 30lb, though 12-18lb is more common. The best time to go tiger fishing in the Upper Zambezi is June to August, when large shoals of baitfish draw them to the region. The prime period in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is June to September.

You’ll also find tiger fish in Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba – where a stay on the Lady Jacqueline houseboat offers fantastic opportunities for keen fishermen (perhaps with an elephant audience!) – and in the Chobe river in Namibia.

And don’t forget, that in some locations fishing tuition is available, so even if you’ve never picked up a rod or tied a lure before, you could learn to do so in a remarkable location, giving you another wonderful holiday memory. And perhaps a new interest forever!

Speak to our consultants about the freshwater and ocean fishing opportunities in the destination you are travelling to.

© the Lady Jaqueline Houseboat