Chobe Tigers Part 2: Kasane – most boats per capita
After Part 1, and being absolutely humiliated by the Chobe Tigers, it was time to change tactics. The following excerpt is what inspired this next chapter…
June 2016: Sitting down on the quiet Chobe River, in Kasane, northern Botswana, late afternoon, golden hour…staring over into mysterious and moody Namibia.
Having traveled all the way from Maun off-road, the sundowners enhanced the peace and quiet for our weary group of yes, intrepid travelers.
To the west, the huge winding river straightened for a few kilometres, and we could see a few gigantic houseboats coming towards us, sedately as they do.
The Sun had had enough and slowly sunk below the Namibian horizon. Next thing what sounded like a swarm of angry bees, turned into an armada of boats. All tearing straight at us!
They were all screaming back to make the government imposed curfew of sunset. What a scene! The houseboats were now real slow compared to the rest of the armada. A tad faster were the double storey custom made Sundowner type pleasure cruisers. On the plane came the tinnies. Some were only just on the plane as their big motors strained with the sheer numbers of tourists. Then came the cowboys. The fishermen. The full tilt mob. It was like the biggest fly by since D-day.
So many boats. So many people.
It didn’t take long and the motorised wave of people completely disappeared. And we were back to the darkening African bush.
And so this time round the super cool little town of Kasane and it’s Chobe Tigers…we chartered a boat! A typical tinny (aluminium) with a 70hp or so, and seating for like 10, and a cooler.
Our Captain was congenial and friendly, and soon we were skimming down the river to the south, to some rapid waters.
He looked approvingly at my two outfits, bith rigged with Mydo SS Moby Spoons. Two sizes. One, a 15lb braid rig with a tiny 600 spoon. The other with the bigger 900, and sporting 30lb braid and fluorocarbon leader – a bit heavy but we will not fish with wire anymore. Read all about that right here.
The rapids were really inviting and soon two of us were casting like crazy. It wasn’t too long before Captain Gallop got a solid hookup. But actually it wasn’t and the fish got off without a jump.
The sun was going down and we wanted some animals, so we gave that thirty-minute session shutdown and went north. Many animals. The highlight of the show being a huge crocodile take down a huge catfish literally 20 metres from us. I was the only one who saw it as usual, but luckily the kill was verified by a passing boathouse! And I got a photo of the croc’ ripping the big barbel apart before swallowing the lumps of fresh fish.
It was a few clicks back to base, and we were allowed to throw lures on the slowboat homewards. Gallop again went tight and a really big fish peeled 5m off line, showed itself a little, and threw the hook.
A few minutes further on and swirls and splashes indicated action. Frantically I put on a few casts and then it happened.
A proper fish grabbed my spoon, held tight and screamed blue murder for a good few seconds – but without a jump either. These were big fish but I fell to the same fate as Gallop and the fish just unceremoniously just let go. Again!
Statistics are now…
14-5-0. In marlin speak that is 14 strikes, 5 hookups, and not one fish!
Part 3 is hopefully going to a little more exciting!
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