Zimbabwe, Zambia

Kariba & Middle Zambezi

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Spurwing Island, the perfect fishing spot

Spurwing Island, the perfect fishing spot

Fishing on Lake Kariba, Spurwing, Zimbabwe
Fishing on Lake Kariba, Spurwing, Zimbabwe




The early morning sounds break the dawn: the fish eagle’s call, coaxing everything to life. Iridescent reds and oranges paint the horizon as the sun slowly peeps over the blue hills.

By this time I have already had my tray brought to my tent and am sipping on my first cup of coffee whilst sharing biscuits with the ever-present babblers. My fishing rods were rigged the previous night as I tried to suppress the excitement. My boat is poised ready at the jetty, fuelled, kitted out with everything I might need for the day. The engine turns over and breaks the morning peace, roaring to life. The blue petrol fumes flood my nostrils, a smell I associate with all my fishing trips.

Off on the water in search of the perfect spot, the morning breeze and spray from the bow are a delight, and the first rays of light warm my cheek. Flying next to us are cormorants off for their day’s fishing too. I had my eyes set on a small tributary on the shores of Matusadona - I had caught fish here on previous trips to Spurwing and hoped for similar results this time. Angular, bare mopane trees, perfect to tie up to, and a small weed bank jutting out giving the fish some structure with a slight drop off - it was ideal.

Today I was targeting bream, not only a sporting fight, but a delicious treat served back at the island as bar snacks. By this time the sun was higher, the waves gently lapping against the boat, the water shimmering and dancing. My rod tip starts to bob ever so slightly; timing is everything when it comes to bream. I take up the slack and can feel the weight. With a flick of the wrist I am in, my line cuts through the water, darting left to right, my drag gives every time the fish takes off. After my first fish is boated it’s time for my first beer; the cooler box is overflowing with ice and bitterly cold drinks, compliments of the Spurwing bar.

The day goes on with many more fish caught, stories told and laughs shared. As the sun sinks slowly the scenery begins to change; the landscape takes on different shapes and colours. The  majestic Matusadona, which have formed the backdrop for the day, turn from a shade of green back to deep blues and are highlighted on the ridges by the setting sun. The water changes to  melted gold.

On our way back we pass the cormorants heading back to roost after what I hoped was for them a day as successful as mine. I am greeted by elephant bulls at the mouth of the Spurwing harbour and the smell of dinner wafting from the kitchen causes my mouth to water. The water dikkops wrap up the day with their waning call. After my day’s excursion in the African sun and a refreshing shower, it’s off to the Spurwing bar for a cold drink before dinner.