Pongolapoort Dam (Jozini Dam) is home to the southern most population of Tigerfish in Africa. This is your chance to tame Africa’s striped water dog. No passports no international flights. Lekka, local fun.
Although not reaching the size of their cousins in the Zambezi double figure fish are frequently caught here. Our personal best on a fly is a magnificent thirteen and a half pounder. Pongolapoort Dam offers anglers a chance to catch Tigerfish in still water, which requires different tactics to those employed in the Zambezi river.
Fishing is predominantly close to the bank, in both shallow water and on the dropoffs near the many cliffs circling the dam. Pongolapoort dam has a variety of different habitats along its shores. Near the dam wall, in the gorge, the banks are steep with multiple small bays. Therefor fishing is predominantly with fast sinking lines, but as of recent, also lighter rods with intermediate lines for cruisers in the shallows – very exciting…! Where the Pongola River flows into the dam there are shallow bays, with large reed beds, allowing the use of sink tip lines and sight fishing. The northernmost extent of the dam is in Swaziland and just south of the border one is fishing in a National Park, were anglers relax and watch rhino and elephant drinking on the bank.
Fly fishing for Tigerfish requires an early start to the day. Therefore we are on the water before sunrise and the surface action at this time can be explosive. Midmorning sees us return to the lodge for a hearty brunch followed by some down time and a chance to prepare and repair tackle for the afternoon session.
Fishermen return to the lodge at sundown and after a few cocktails on the deck settle down to hearty game lodge cuisine.
The Ideal Time for Tigerfish Fly Fishing on Pongola Dam
The summer months see the lake colouring up with dirty run-off, however, the water clears through the winter. As a result, this presents a fairly short window of time that is ideal for fly fishing. We love the lake when the clear water begins to warm in August and September before the first rains. in addition to the Spring our new favourite, the autumn when warm water clears after the heavy summer rains. Mavungana Flyfishing has a two custom built skiffs with state of the art electronics including a satellite-enabled saltwater trolling motor that allows us to regulate drift speed and stay with the fish.
I'm sure you realise how much we enjoyed all aspects of our time at Pongola, tigerfish were on our bucket list and, following two prior failures, we surpassed our expectations. I was impressed that you quickly assessed us and cobbled together equipment that made the best of our limited skills. Thank you (and Johann) for the photos. I've now put them in a file with our own and this will give us the opportunity to bore our dwindling numbers of friends. Finally, genuine thanks for a trip that was superb from all respects and will live fondly in our memories till death or the onset of Alzheimers.
- Douglas and Robin Wise, Cambridge UK -