I live and fish in sunny South Africa. This
story might sound strange to you but just
remember we're talking about the land of weird
creatures. Just look at giraffes and you'll get
Anyway on with the story; to start, let me put
you in the picture.
"Warm water" to us doesn't necessarily mean
panfish. Most of the fishing we do is in warm
water and includes species like Tigerfish and
Yellowfish. We do have mountain streams that
run cold enough to provide for some decent trout
fishing, as well as some still waters that are
found in climes suited to the well being of trout.
The trouble is these places are seldom within
easy day trip distance. For this reason most
of us fish the waters close to home which in
turn are invariably warm.
The most popular of the species we target in
these local impoundment's (and some rivers) has
got to be the Largemouth Bass. My personal
favourite (as evidenced by some of my replies
to the bulletin board ) is the African Sharptooth
Catfish. These are an incredible fish. I've dug
them up out of dried up "lakes" and rivers where
they've burrowed down to wait for the next big
rains. True story! They build tunnels that they
line with mucous and live there, apparently none
the worse for wear until their homes fill up with
Many of my best flyfishing memories revolve around
these amazing fish (we call them barbel).
A good one to start with is the day I got bit!
I was float tubing a clear piece of stillwater
near home and I'd caught a couple of fish already.
I was moving to a new spot when I noticed a school
of smallish Barbel (about 5 lbs) milling around.
I stopped to take a look, this lake is gin clear,
and to my combined delight and terror a Barbel
swam up to my flipper and bit it! I don't I think
I need to tell you how odd it is be the hunted
hunter. The scary part is the fact that these
fish reach HUGE sizes. The all tackle record is
somewhere around 136lbs! Imagine what a fish
that size could do to your leg!
Anyway since they found a crocodile in that lake
I don't fish it anymore! The barbel is also our
freshwater "tax man," they are not above stealing
the fish you're playing. This normally happens
in the Vaal River which is home to my next
favourite species - the Yellowfish.
By way of describing the fighting prowess of this
fish imagine a Carp that's been on an Olympic
training schedule all it's life; now imagine
hooking this supercharged Carp in really fast
water. If you're not twitching by now you
should consider another sport. In my opinion
the "Yellow" is also our most handsome fish.
Picture a sleek, golden hued fish with a powerful
My favourite story regarding Yellows happened
a few seasons ago while a friend and I were
searching fairly shallow water for an obliging
Yellow or two. First up my friend hooked and
lost a sizeable specimen, no big deal this
happens often enough. The strange part happened
about half an hour later. I hooked into a good
fish and upon landing it found that my hook had
somehow pierced the eye of another fly that was
still stuck in the fishes lip! It turned out
that the fly in the fish belonged to my friend
who was only to happy to have his favourite pattern
I have many more stories to tell and I will try
to keep them coming! ~ Cheers ~ Adam Crooks