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Cahora Bassa Feb 2017  Rate Topic 
 Posted: Tue Mar 6th, 2018 12:36 pm
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1st Post

Joined: Tue Sep 30th, 2008
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Posts: 1
Equipment: Nada
Best Catch: Trout 2.8kg
Favorite Fishing Spot: Belfast
Boat: none
Club: none
I struggled with information from the sites regarding the fishing, lodging etc prior to our trip, so i will try to write a proper review to include as much info as possible for future use.

To start off with, I am quite the novice when it comes to fishing compared to the guys on this forum but i really enjoy fishing. I have not caught anything memorable to write a post on, but this changed for me after our trip to Cahora in Feb 2018

Here goes....

*Lesson 1: Stay the hell away from LAM and rather pay a little more on SA Airlink.

We booked our flight tickets on LAM from ORTIA to Chingozi (Tete) on a direct flight in November 2017. The flight was supposed to leave at 10h30 and arrive in Tete at 13h10. After booking the flight it was however cancelled by LAM and we were booked on a flight that would only depart at 16h20 and arrive in Tete at 18h30. (Given the fact that Casa da Pesca is another 3.5 hrs drive from Tete, it would have meant that we had to sleep in Tete before being picked up the next morning.) We wanted to cancel and book on SA AIRLINK but the LAM told us they can only refund us in 3 months time. So we sticked with LAM but did the stopover flight via Maputo. Had a 2 hour stopover at Maputo, enough to consume a few 2M's. Both the flights were actually on time but i did see some other LAM flights delayed by 2 hrs+.. spare yourself the hassle and fly Airlink!!!!

You can also do the self drive thing. Emil said that the quickest he has done the journey was 18hrs straight! Apparently you go through Zim but I'm not sure of the condition of the roads and roadblocks etc. speak to him


Emil Sada and Shepard was on hand at Tete to pick us up for the trip to the lodge in a Prado and minibus. Coolers with ice cold refreshments (2M, sodas) were on hand and very welcome for the 3.5 hr drive.

The lodge does not sell itself as a 5 star romantic breakaway venue and its not. But for a bunch of okes chasing monster tigers it was excellent. The rooms were comfortable with double and/or single beds, each bed had a small fan and the bathrooms were practical. Sandton aunties who are used to 5* Dubai Holidays might become a bit difficult at Casa Da Pesca but for us, the digs were great.

The bar/living area is awesome and we had enough mixers and ice to keep us occupied. Bar prices were fair, but be careful of Emil's doubles, they hurt you physically the next day. The lodge has a swimming pool that was frequented before and after our fishing sessions...taking in mind the temp were 32-36C which was palatable but the real killer was humidity. Again, with enough cold refreshments we managed to survive.

The food was adequate over our period there. We had rusks/cereal/coffee early in the mornings before the morning session and brunch/lunch when we got back. We had a siesta/bar time after brunch/lunch and then a good evening supper be it a braai, or cooked food. It was always enough


We booked 4 boats (150hp to 90hp) between 8 guys. We discussed this as Emil said that it works out cheaper for fuel etc if 3 guys plus the skipper is on 1 boat, but in the end we decided on the 4 boats (2 anglers and 1 skipper). This arrangement worked very well and not once did anyone need a medic to remove a 9/0 tiger whacka from a buddys body)

We sourced our own tackle from SA but the lodge has all the tackle you need for hire (think its about R140 per day). We had quite a few rod casualties and eventually hired some rods from Emil at a nominal price. The tiger whacka lures was in fact cheaper at Emil than what we could buy it for in Pta.

*Lesson 2: don't toss around with any other lures than Tiger Whackas at Cahora.

Lesson 3*: load the reels with 30 to 50lb 8 strand braid.

We had a array of different manufactured lures and yes, all of them caught fish..but the difference was that you can catch ample fish with one tiger whacka and had to replace the other makes almost after every fish caught cause they were Fckd up by the beasts.

We mainly fished the river areas with the furthest river being about 40km away from the lodge. The upside of fishing with Emil and his guys is that they know all the spots very well and had us on the fish most of the time

***BE WARNED***We caught 80 tigers between 8 guys over 4 full fishing days (2 sessions per day) with, what felt like, each angler probably making in excess of 300 casts per session. I, for one, was under the impression it is on, cast for cast, prior to the trip but its damn hard work!. Some spots produced and some did not. On Day 1, 3 guys blanked, Day 2 2 don't be like me and create unrealistic expectations.

The lake is heavily netted with the assistance of our friends from the east who supplies the gill seems that theres nets everywhere and im very concerned as to what the impact on the lake will be in the long run. The lake level is also low, probably 10m below it normal mark, which also assists the makoro guys in laying effective nets across the river inlets. the fish they catch gets sold to a chinese buyer who supplies the mines.

As mentioned above we caught 80 tigers over the 4 day period. The biggest one was 9 kg with a 7kg coming in second. we caught a busload of 6kg, 5.5 and 4kg interspersed with smaller ones of 3kg!!and below. (Highest bag for the trip was 23 fish, lowest number i must add i landed a 4kg, 5kg, 5.5kg and 9kg)
Emil even caught a small croc on a plug. We also lost a lot of fish on the take and during the fight.

The fishing itself reminded me a lot of bass fishing (targeting structure, drop offs, pinnacles etc) except that its much faster and you crap yourself when a beast grabs your lure on braid.

The weather was unpredictable and and we had quite a few heavy thunder storms while we were there. its amazing how flat water can become a churning ocean in a matter of a few minutes.

*Lesson 4: Take a proper rain coat.
*Lesson 5: The skippers are very experienced in boat handling and the ways of Cahora. If he tells you its time to go, pack up and go.. we had some serious bruised bodies from not listening the first day. Fleeing a storm in 2m+waves was only fun for the first 10min. But the guys are serious boatsman with the least experienced skipper having 70,000Hr+ on Cahora.

Other Things to remember

Its malaria area so take precautions. some of our guys took pills others didn't. we all used mosquito bands and tons of peaceful sleep/tabbard spray

You can legally take 1L of spirits and 2 L of wine into Moz. Due to ignorance, we each bought 2 bottles of hard tac at duty free in ORTIA and did not have an issue with customs in moz but maybe we were just lucky.

Remember Hats, suntan lotion etc.. the sun is brutal and the sessions on the water long. Take necessary sun care.

Drink lots of beer and enjoy the fishing.


Some guys of our party has been to Kariba and Sekhoma etc etc and has caught the magical 20lbs fish. Their comments basically only centred around the difference in quality of accommodation from those luxurious camps as the cost was almost similar (except that the missus goes along to Sekhoma which doubles the cost)

As the novice in the party, i can honestly say that i enjoyed the whole trip from start to finish. The accommodation, transport, fishing, skippers, food and drink etc was, in my book, good value for money. All in all, weekly tackle purchases excluded, the trip cost me around R18k. Best R18k i have ever spent but thats just me..

It was a really special trip for me cause i caught my first ever Tiger and I shared it with my buds and my old man.

Hope this post assists. I will try to post a pic or 2 when i figure out how to do it.

Attachment: IMG_5800.JPG (Downloaded 85 times)

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 Posted: Wed Mar 7th, 2018 11:38 am
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2nd Post
Dr halibut hoffman

Joined: Wed Sep 16th, 2009
Location: Cape, South Africa
Posts: 1822
Equipment: Shimano, daiwa, a finnor and an elbe.. The rest died.
Best Catch: 145cm FL Leervis released (Shore), 80 something kg yellowfin (Boat). ... ...
Favorite Fishing Spot: Capes, kranse en die diepsee!
Boat: 15' Skicraft cat and crew on a Buttcat.
Club: Prefer Ike jime to club
My Gallery: 
Brilliant post, thanks for the guidance...pic also upside down, fat fish though!

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 Posted: Thu Mar 8th, 2018 09:29 am
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3rd Post

Joined: Thu Jun 25th, 2009
Location: Nelspruit, South Africa
Posts: 148
Equipment: never enough
Best Catch: 4.05kg bass, 6.3kg tier, 38 kg Kabeljou, 5.1kg Grunter
Favorite Fishing Spot:  The Lowveld & Southern Cape
Boat:  challenger bass/tier boot
Club: no
Great post. Very helpful info. Thanks RR!

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