As of the end of the June 2018 the Zambezi river at Matoya was still at a higher than normal water level. It is an absolutely amazing site to see so much water and to try and understand the immensity of it, not to forget the rate at which the river flows. This is completely mind blowing and must be experienced!
Since the beginning of our season in May the water has dropped approximately 2 meters. We expect the water levels to reduce rapidly over the next 2 months. The water temperature of the river has also dropped to about 18 degreed Celsius so we find that that fish is a lot deeper in the water, thus one needs to fish near the bottom (be careful of the structure and be ready to lose some tackle). We forecast that all the bait fish will enter the main river by end July as the water level reduces. The formation of the main river banks has started to form and the bird activity around the river has increased.
Our fishing strategy at Matoya has changed a bit over the last month as we have experienced different water flow (due to higher water level) and fishing spots have changed due to changes in structure on the river. We also found that the wind unexpectedly has increased for this time of the year, especially in the morning. What does this mean? Fly fishers had there fishing baskets out to keep their line at bay. Heavier fly heads were used to get the flies down to the bottom quicker. Live bait fishing was done with balloons to ensure that one’s line did not get tangled and to ensure the bait is in the correct drift to ensure maximum results. With regards to art lure fishing we used rapalas with a depth of around 7 – 10 feet. The biggest fish for the month was a 16lbs Tiger Fish caught on a Rapala (trawling with a fire tiger) and one on live bait. The guides definitely had their work cut out for them in June.
We still find a lot of tigers most under 10 pounds, thus indicating a healthy eco system and we had a good offseason for the fish to breed. All the fish were caught and released back into the mighty Zambezi to fight another day.
We are looking forward to the remainder of the season and we believe were going to smash all our fishing records! Looking forward to experience the Barotse Express with you all.
Till next time, tight lines and screaming reels.