. Zambezi River Fish Species | Pictures and Fishing Tips

Zambezi Fish Species Tips & Pictures- page 1

Zambezi River has many species of fish capable of challenging even the most ardent angler, with none more famous than the razor toothed, battling tiger fish for witch Lake Kariba is famous

tiger fish

Tiger Fish

Game fishing in never complete until you have fished the beautiful waters of Lake Kariba. People from all over the world come to these waters to fish for one fish alone, the ferocious tiger fish.Good fishing occurs throughout the year, however during the rainy season between October and February, it is extremely hot and humid, and not for the faint hearted.
Tiger Fish True game fish, they head for the open, believing that sheer strength, speed and somersaults will grant them freedom. And they're right, most of the time

Although not unique to Zimbabwe, it is certainly more prolific than elsewhere in Africa.

The tigerfish is extremely streamlined and have a fine set of razor sharp, pointed, interlocking teeth- it does not attack humans.

There are many fish caught these days in the 3 to 6 kgs bracket with some still tipping the scales in the region of 8-10kgs

Read on

Sharptooth Catfish-Barbel (Clarias gariepinus)

This catfish has been known to leap out of the water at birds perched on low overhanging branches.

These can be found throughout the lake in the shallow waters and using its ancillary breathing organs, it can survive in almost any type of water. They eat anything including frogs, insects, and fish
Feeding mainly at night, when hooked, the angler will feel a constant steady pull. The fish will not hesitate to attempt to free itself by swimming into obstacles. The Sharptooth is fished extensively for commercial purposes and although the average catch weight is 3kg, they can reach about 6kg.


Electric Catfish (Malapterurus electricus)

It also puts on a good fight but only grows to about 5kg. Feeding almost exclusively on other fish, they stun their prey with a high voltage shock at close range.

If you touch it you will more likely then not, be put off fishing for life with a jolt of up to 450 volts

electric catfish kariba


The largest fish in the Zambezi system, only found below Victoria Falls, is the vundu (Heterobranchis longifilis), a giant catfish which attains well over 60 kg (the very similar barbel, up to 20 kg, is found both above and below the Falls.) A bottom-feeding river species usually taken on fillet bait, Strangely, cheap strong smelling soap is an excellent bait.

The vundu is becoming rare in Kariba and should always be released; there's no point in killing it.


Brown Squeaker (Synodontis zambezensis)

alternative name Chokachok

This is a member of the catfish family and is quite common to the lake . It can be identified by the three spines, one dorsal and two lateral.
The name Brown Squeaker comes from the fact that when these fish are caught, they move their two lateral spines rapidly in their sockets which emits a squeaking sound. These spines are capable of inflicting a painful wound that is very likely to turn septic if not treated at once.
Some anglers are known to remove these spines with a knife or side cutters before handling the fish. You will not be the only one trying to catch this fish as the Squeaker is preyed upon by crocodiles and Tigerfish, and the spines can often cause fatal injuries to the predator
Bait - They eat anything, insects, mud, algae and fish, and are mostly caught at night. They are disliked by anglers who are fishing with worm on the bottom, as once they get a bite from this fish they rarely catch anything else.
The Brown Squeaker is surprisingly tasty but plays no significant role in the commercial catches on the lake. The fish seldom exceeds 0.5kg in weight

kariba fish squeaker

Tiger Fishing Competition - Join The Event

So popular is tigerfishing among the locals that the National Anglers union organizes the annual Kariba International Tiger fishing tournament. This event normally takes place at the beginning of October at Lake Kariba. It is a three-day event and the majority of facilities in the form of a well-appointed holiday camps and hotels are situated off the shores of lake Kariba for those who would like to try their hand at tigerfish and other game fish


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