The Zambezi River is host to some of the most spectacular fresh water sport fishing in the world with plentiful Tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus, Latin for "striped river dog") and Tilapia amongst others. Sausage Tree Camp offers both spinning and fly fishing, both strictly catch and release in accordance with the principles of the National Park.
The most sporting and certainly the most fun fish to catch is the famous Tigerfish. A relative of the infamous piranha, Tigerfish have large carnivorous teeth, can grow to 15kg / 33lb (the camp record 11.3kg) and are renowned for their strength and spectacular "leaping out of the water" fighting performance.
Fishing is succesful all year round, however the warmer months (September - December) are definitely the best time to catch Tigerfish. This is the breeding season when the fish are more active, feeding more regularly and are far more aggressive. The water level is typically lower and the visibility at its very best.
Sausage Tree Camp provides fishing tackle for spinning and lure (artificial) fishing, this includes a large assortment of spinners, rods and reels, wire leaders and swivels. However, anglers are welcome to bring their own preferred tackle and rods with them. The camp also offers basic fly fishing equipment, although most fly fishers bring their own tiger specific equipment with them.
Spinning for tigerfish requires a medium action rod, something around 7ft is recommended and if bringing your own then a 2-piece is best for traveling with. Reels can be either good quality spinning reels or a good baitcaster / multiplier type. Line should be good quality monofilament, flourocarbon or braid of at least 15lb (7kg) breaking strain. For chessa, nkupe and tilapia fishing a softer rod of 6ft to 7ft wth a spinning reel and at least 10lb (4.5kg) line is preferred. Piano wire steel trace is best when fishing for tigerfish and hooks should be sharp and strong #3 to #5 size.
For most fly fishing we recomend a #8 or #9 rod of a faster type action and a fast sinking shooting-head or sink-tip type line. Normaly a short (5ft) non-tapered tippet of 15lb or 20lb mono or flourocarbon is best. On the end a 8 inch length of piano wire trace is recommended to connect fly to tippet.
In the Lower Zambezi successful flies are generally quite heavily dressed clousers or deceiver type flies in size #1-0 to #5-0. Colour combinations that work well are white & blue, white & silver and for early and late in the day black and black & red or black & grey work well.