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Sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park is the best leisure activity done in the park. The extra-ordinary activity involves the catching of fish and releasing it back into the water when it is still alive. The activity is mostly done as a hobby for fun.
It is eco-friendly and conserves nature as fish is not killed for food or commercial benefits.
Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best places to go sport fishing in Uganda as it is rich in fish species. The fish species caught during sport fishing are Tilapia, Nile Perch, Tiger fish, Mudfish, Catfish, and many more.
Sport fishing along the Victoria Nile is extremely fun with the large Nile Perch and Tiger fish offering the main challenge.
Kevin Nicholson in 2013 established the record for rod and line in Murchison Falls National park. His mammoth catch weighed 114kg; just eclipsing Tim Smith’s 113kg catch in 2009.
However, far heavier than the previous official record of 73kg, set by C D Mardach in 1959. Local fishermen claim to have netted specimens weighing up to 160kg.
For those interested in sport fishing during your Murchison falls safari, they need to carry their fishing equipment.
However, keep in mind that all fish caught is not to be killed, it should be laid back in the water alive.
What Are The Methods Of Fishing Used During Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park?
There are various methods of fishing used when sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park on a safari in Uganda.
The methods used depend on the type of fish you are interested in catching. Some methods may be weak to handle big fish.
The commonly used methods for sport fishing in Murchison Falls Park area;
- Bait fishing
- Casting lures
- Spinning method
Bait Fishing: Bait fishing also known as bottom fishing is the most used activity during sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park.
In this method, a bait is pined on a hook by the angler raising the tip of the rod when the fish swallows it. The common baits used are worms, small fish, pieces of vegetables, cheese, and many others.
This method requires patience as the angler lays the bait in the water and waits. He/she can adjust the bait by extending it deeper into water areas where fish can notice it.
When the fish is caught, it shakes the rod, signaling the angler, and he spools out the hook with the fish.
Fish caught using this method include tilapia, catfish, and small Nile perch.
Casting lures: Casting lures involves the angler casting the line and retrieving lures immediately once the fish is hooked. The cast and retrieval motions are continuous, so you need to be patient.
This method requires wide space both behind and in front of you where you can cast from without any inconveniences.
The depth of the lure that it goes depends on the speed at which you reel. But most importantly the angle at which you hold the rod and also the design of the lure.
For successful fishing, always ensure that the lure falls to your desired depth.
Spinning method: The spinning method is another popularly used method when sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park.
Anglers use spinning rods and reels to cast lures and then reel them back.
The movement of the lure attracts fish as it has spinnerbaits that have blades that rotate and produce vibrations. The blades keep fluttering and flashing attracting fish that want to bite the attractive lure.
The spinning method is good as it doesn’t require a lot of fishing equipment gear.
In that case, all anglers are advised to have rods that are between 8 feet and 11 feet with a multiplier reel.
While catching smaller species; a 7 feet spinning rod is recommended.
Where To Go Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park?
Visitors can do sport fishing in two main areas of the park. The areas are; along the Victoria Nile nearing the bottom of the falls (Devil’s Cauldron) and below the Karuma falls near Chobe Safari Lodge.
The most rewarding with more experience is sport fishing at the base of the falls. You hear the thunderous roar of the falls as you look at hippos in water leaning on each other. What an experience!!
One can fish while in the boat down the stream or can stand on the rocks off the river bank. The fishing spot is accessible by boat from Paraa jetty. The other way is walking down from the top of the falls, this takes about 45 minutes.
When To Go Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park?
Sport fishing in Murchison falls National Park is done at any time of the day. However, anglers say that the best catches are in the early morning and late in the day.
This is so because fish generally like the early morning and evening sun as it is cool.
Middays are not suitable for fishing as fish moves deeper when the surface temperatures of water rise.
Fees -Cost Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park
|Visitor category||Fees(per person)|
|Foreign non-resident||US$ 50|
|Foreign resident||US$ 50|
|East African citizen||US$ 50|
One can pay $150 for 4 days of sport fishing in the park
All fishing fees exclude park entrance fees.
What Is The Best Time Of The Year-Season To Go Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park?
Sport Fishing in Murchison park is done at any time of the year and the large catfish and Nile perch is caught all through.
Though, the best results for fish are when the water level is low since the water is clearer.
That is in the dry months of the year or dry season.
Dry months are from December to February and from June to August. However, Uganda’s weather is unpredictable as seasons can change at any time, be aware of that.
Tips To Know When Going Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park
There are some tips one’s needs to know before going sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park. Below is some advice you should take if you want to enjoy your fishing safaris in the park.
- Always be mindful of dangerous animals like crocodiles, Hippos, Lizards, and Snakes as you are in their boundary.
- For the best fishing safari, always have a company of a ranger and a skilled fishing guide.
- Avoid making noise when sport fishing, this may be a call for dangerous animals.
- Do not go fishing on your own, it is very dangerous as you may be attacked by animals with no solution of outrunning them.
- When you get a catch, do not kill fish. Killing fish results in paying fines.
- Always carry your fishing gear.
- Always listen to your fishing guide.
- Be patient always, and do not expect to be successful every time.
What To Pack When Going Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls Park?
You can do sport fishing during your leisure time as a hobby. However, there are essential items that you need to pack if you are to enjoy the experience.
Here is what to pack for sport fishing in Murchison Falls Park
It is advised to carry your fishing equipment when going sport fishing in Murchison Falls Park. In case you lack any, then you can rent from the site.
If you are going to sport fish using the live bait method, please come with bait that you will use. Bait can be worms, cheese, or small pieces of vegetables.
First aid kit
Accidents are unexpected to happen, in that case, carry a first aid kit that will help you get quick medical assistance.
If you have any illness and you have been taking the medication regularly, please carry it with you to avoid misfortunes.
A camera will help you capture that moment when you have caught your big catch. These pictures are for future remembrance.
Murchison Falls National Park is full of insects and bugs and you don’t want to be inconvenienced by any of these. The insect repellent will keep them away for you to enjoy your fishing safari.
Since you will be in the open air under the sun, you don’t want to be overexposed to direct sunlight. Always apply sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
Snacks and drinks
Always carry snacks to eat when getting hungry if fishing has taken long hours and water will help you stay hydrated.
Clothing to pack
Long-sleeved trousers and shirt
Long-sleeved trousers and shirts will protect your body from sunburns and from biting insects and bugs.
They can as well keep you warm during cold hours of the day, especially in the morning.
Shoes will keep your feet protected from sharp objects that can damage your feet. They as well keep you stable so that you don’t slip off during sport fishing.
Windbreaker and poncho or rain jacket
A windbreaker keeps you warm during cold hours of the day. A poncho or rain jacket will prevent you from getting wet in case it rains.
A hat will provide shade to your head from direct sunlight which may cause sunstroke.
Murchison Falls National Park may become bright on some days and that’s why you need sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Hand towel and sanitizer
You can use a hand towel for drying your hands after cleaning them when you have touched dirt. A sanitizer will remove away the smell of fish from your hands if you are going to eat your packed lunch.
What Is Unique About Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park?
- A fishing safari in Murchison park can be combined with other wildlife safari activities giving you more experiences.
- The activity is done near the bottom of the world’s strongest waterfalls “Murchison Falls”. When doing the activity, you hear the thunderous roar from the falls, and eye sighting them is no dought.
- The Victoria Nile in the park has phenomenal fish species that are not common elsewhere in Uganda like the Tiger fish.
- Fishing is done in the sight of animals like Hippos in the water. Other animals are seen as well that come on the other side of the river to bathe and refresh.
Where Else Is Sport Fishing Done In Uganda?
While on your sport fishing safari in Uganda, you can as well enjoy the activity in other tourist destinations.
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Sipi Falls
- Lake Victoria
- Source of the Nile
Sport fishing in Murchison Falls National is one of the park’s top highlights when on a Uganda tour in the park.
The activity is done at Victoria Nile near the bottom of the falls. One can do the activity while on the boat or can stand on the rocky river banks.
A fishing safari can be combined with a boat cruise, birdwatching, and wildlife safaris giving a full set of experiences.
Let us be your ambassador and arrange your fishing safari in Murchison Falls Park which will give you unforgettable memories.
Kindly send us an email for bookings