Sport Fishing in Uganda
Uganda is positioned on a raised basin that is in between the eastern and western arms of the East African rift valley and about 25% of its surface is covered by water. Uganda contains the largest lake in Africa and the second largest fresh water lake in the world – Lake Victoria which is also the source of the world’s longest Nile River. Uganda also features lakes like George, Kyoga, Edward, Albert, Mburo among others presenting an ideal habitat for counts of fish. A range of 354 species of fish species are noted to exist in the water bodies of Uganda and the major and commercial common ones include the Nile Perch, Tilapia and Cat fish which are also main targets for tourists. Other species of fish include the Protopterus, Rastrinabola, lung fish among other fish.
Sport fishing is apparently carried out in the following places;
Positioned at 311km about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala, Murchison Falls National Park is crossed by the Nile River that carries with it the famous Nile Perch. Murchison Falls NP is so far the best spot for sport fishing. Sport fishing can be done all the year round though the most successful fishing months include the January to March and July to October.
Fishing area and conditions
It can be noted that apparently the sport fishing is conducted at the base of the falls where is it is better carried out on the rocks featured at the river bank or slightly lower downstream in the pools right from your boat. The fishing spots are accessed by boat from a further downstream point or by walking down the river gorge from the top of the falls. This is a relatively long and yet steep climb fair for a fit person.
The Temperatures at Murchison Falls National Park are noted to be high and at times reach 38 degrees especially at Midday requiring the anglers to carry along with them sun protection like hats and sun tan lotion. The long sleeved shirt and an insect repellant would save you from the bites of the Tsetse flies.
Methods of Fishing / Equipment
The fish that is caught on casting lures or the live bait include the Nile Perch and a range of cat fish Species. Other smaller fish can also be caught by spinning including the tiger fish. The rod of 11 feet (3m) – 8 feet (2.4m) along with a fixed spool or multiplier reel are recommended.
For the smaller species, the 7 spinning rod along with 3/5kg line is considered adequate. Regarding the reels, it can be noted that any reel fixed spool or the multiplier featuring 30 – 35lb line can work for Nile perch and Cat fish.
Fishing on Lake Victoria can be conducted all year round though the local traditions put the October to March as the best fishing months. The Nile Perch exist ranging from 10kg – 80kg in their weight. The trolling with lures is the major method used in fishing. Tilapia can also be caught using the fly fishing techniques and the tilapia stretch to 1 – 2kgin weight.
The 18 feet sea going ski boat featuring a single foam filled hull powered by the Yamaha 140HP outboard engine boat that features a maximum capacity of four (4) people or going with a canoe or a fiber glass of 24 feet in length all allow you to explore fishing encounter on Lake Victoria.
Equipment and Facilities
The boats feature a sun canopy overhead, rain suits, GPS, electronic fish finder, life jackets, mobile phones, first aid box, flares and fire extinguisher. There is also a cooler to keep the drinks cold. There is adequate supply of lures for trolling for the perch up to 4 lines for each boat. However, anglers are free to bring along with them their equipment especially the lighter equipment for Tilapia. If there is anything that is lost or broken is paid for before one disembarks from the encounter.
The Day fishing trips commence at 9am or 1pm and come back at 12:30pm or 5pm respectively with the half day encounter of 4 hours and full day being 8 hours. The fishing is conducted around the local Islands taking about 45minutes on a boat trip from Entebbe. The areas selected for fishing are determined by weather and the how the fish are biting. At given periods of the year, the lake can be that rough that the sheltered bays only are used for fishing
There are also night fishing trips though they involve spending an overnight at Ngamba Island in its Tented Camp.
Lake Mburo positioned within the boundaries of Lake Mburo National Park features six (6) fish species where Tilapia is the most common. The designated point for sport fishing is at Mazinga and the travellers interested in carrying out this activity in Lake Mburo National Park have to carry along their fishing equipment and then acquire a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Sport fishing in this region is carried out on the highest of the three water falls at Sipi which is outside Mount Elgon National Park. The encounter offers the anglers a challenge of battling with the rainbow trout along with impressive coloration and fighting ability. The gigantic can stretch to 3kg in weight. The fishing is limited to designated areas and there is no need for advance booking. The interested Uganda safari undertakers have to carry own equipment and then get a permit from the Sipi River Lodge.