Jozini Tiger Fishing

Jozini Tiger Fishing

There are few places in Africa where you have the chance of fishing for the mighty Tiger Fish while Rhino'S graze along the banks of the Jozini Dam

Tucked away between the Obombo and Lebombo mountain ranges in South Africa, Kwazulu Natal, is the wild and enigmatic Pongola port dam(Lake Jozini), where Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, and Hippo share the SAME waterway with the ferocious Tiger Fish. The dam was built in 1972 and very fast become a popular angling destination. Today not only is the dam a safe haven for the CITIES listed protected Tiger Fish species but also many other land mammals and a huge array of birdlife.

Tiger Fish have been described as one of the strongest and most difficult freshwater fish species to catch. There are few places in Africa where they can be caught and in South Africa, there are even less. Pongola Port dam (also known as Lake Jozini) is one of the largest dams in South Africa and it is surrounded by wildlife parks making it a true jewel. In recent years the Tigerfish has been listed as an extremely protected species of fish in South Africa (Coelacanth, Great White Shark and Tiger Fish are the top) and all anglers pride themselves in releasing their catches to fight another day.

golden sunset over the jozini dam

Jozini Dam

Tucked away between the Obombo and Lebombo mountain ranges in South Africa, Kwazulu Natal, is the wild and enigmatic Pongola Port Dam(Jozini Dam) and its miraculous wildlife.

father and son tiger fishing

Closer to home than you think

Tiger Hunter Tours and Safaris invite you to experience this true unspoilt South African wilderness. A small family run Safari Company with years of experience in fishing and wildlife safaris.

Jozini Tiger Fishing, Where & When

Tigerfish swim in schools and depending on the watercolor depth and temperature may feed all at once. Things can get fun on the boat with multiple rods running at once. Tiger Hunter supplies all top class tackle and rods to be sure to get the fish to the boat.

The current boat record is 7.5kg and this record is waiting to be broken. In many places in Africa tiger fishing is seasonal however in Jozini Pongola dam we fish year-round. During the hot summer months, we tend to catch large numbers of fish ranging between 1kg-4kgs, and in the cooler winter month, we catch fewer but much larger fish between 2kg-6kg. depending on the weather and watercolor we move the boats to the perfect spots on the dam to optimize the days fishing.

Fishing days are often split into two fishing sessions, morning and afternoon. The fish have been known during the summer to completely go off the bite between noon and 3 pm, during this time we encourage the anglers to take a lunch break and explore the Pongola game reserves and the astounding wildlife.

couple fishing on jozini dam

What we Offer

Full-Day Jozini Tiger Fishing Trips

Whether you choose to stay at our comfortable self-catering accommodation or prefer the more luxury accommodation everything is within a few minutes’ drive to the waterfront where our fishing trip departs from. We can provide transport to and from the dam if needed.

07h00 - meet at the Pongola Game reserve jetty where we will head off to the best spot for the morning

11h30-12h00 – Return back to the jetty for a break. During this time you can go have some lunch or an afternoon snooze so that you are ready and strong for the afternoon fishing

15h00-sunset – head out for the afternoon fishing session until sunset

Full-day fishing is split into two sessions to optimize your chances of catching fishing. We have noticed that during the lunch period when temperatures are at the hottest the fish don’t feed.

Price R4500.00 (Price may vary with groups larger than 5)

Overnight Jozini Tiger Fishing Packages

Tiger Hunter Tours and Safari's most popular package is right here for you to grab. With Covid19 restricting much movement this will be perfect for adventure anglers. Why leave the country when we have everything you are looking for right here.

3 Nights accommodation and 2 days Tiger Fishing on Jozini

The Tiger Fishing Day Trip Package will Include:

  • BOAT
  • FUEL
  • BAIT

The accommodation is in very comfortable En Suite, fully equipped self-catering units, each with its own kitchen and private Lapa/Stoep braai area, all units are air-conditioned and there is also a swimming pool to relax or cool down in, all this just a stone throw away from the Pongola Nature Reserve and Lake Jozini. Our boat was custom designed for tiger fishing, it is a very spacious 21ft center console Boston wailer equipped with two 85hpw Yamaha motors as well as a 21ft Yeld Cat center console with two 85hpw Yamaha motors, these boats were built specifically with Bait and Fly fishing in mind, it is very comfortable and Has been certified to accommodate up to 7 Anglers. For groups up to 15, we have larger boats. This package is for a minimum of two people

Price is Based On 2pax Sharing, The Price for FULL PACKAGE per person will be R3350.00p.p the price is for the full package

Our Skills & Expertise

Philip and Stacey will tailor-make your fishing adventure to ensure you experience the best there is to offer in the area.

Tiger Hunter Tours and Safaris offer a variety of packages that suit every family or group's needs. Self-catering, camping, or 5-star lodges whichever you would prefer. The Tiger fishing boats are designed to allow everyone to comfortably sit back and relax while the fish take the bait. If you are a fly fisherman looking to hook a tiger on a fly, then we will be able to assist you on our spacious boats.

With years of experience on the Pongola Port dam Philip van Wyk has perfected the techniques used to catch these monsters. Live bait is the most popular technique used for the Pongola Tigerfish, Tilapia being the fish of choice.

Jozini Tiger Fishing

Tiger Fishing Gear and Tips

Every angler knows that there is no good chance of catching a fish without the right gear and knowledge of the species and area. This is no different with this freshwater monster, the tiger fish.

Tigerfish, from the family hydrocynus vittatus, is a species of fish found only in Africa. Pongola Port dam also known as lake Jozini is the southernmost point where tiger fish are found. This species of fish have become world renown as one of the most ferocious freshwater fish to catch. Leaping out of the water when hooked, at times, little can tame these notarise muscle wrenching fish.

Tips to tame the beast

Good tackle and gear are essential when taking on the tiger fish. We recommend a medium-heavy rod with a reel with a quick retrieve. Tiger Hunter Tours and Safaris use 7ft medium heavy Sensation power plus Tiger edition, any rods similar will do just fine. For the reels, we use Penn Battle II 4000 and Penn Sargus 4000

Nylon is used for the tigerfish as there is more stretch. Braid can be used but the Tigerfish takes off with such speed that the braid has been known to snap, nylon has more stretch when the tiger takes the bait. We recommend 22Lb Berkley big game mono.

Setting the hook is always the most important when ensuring to land these beasts. We use an 8/0 Mustad big gun hook with a 40Lb Black carbon-coated steel cable. You can not catch tiger fish without steel trace, their teeth are razor sharp and will slice through a line without steal trace.

When we fish for Tigerfish in Pongola port dam we fish with an open spool, free running. The reason for this is that the tiger fish is very sensitive to tension on the line. As soon as the fish feels the drag it will drop the bait, therefore free spooling is the most preferred way but you must keep your eyes on the reel.

Live bait is always the best option when trying for tiger fish in Pongola. Tilapia are naturally found in the dam and is the main food source for the Tigerfish. Hooking one of these at the right place in the dam will certainly get you some action.

Sardines, chicken heart,s, and livers are used as well, however, we have noticed that this attracts smaller fish. At certain times of the year when live bait is hard to come by these other baits, options are used.

Where to Catch Tiger Fish in South Africa

The Komati River, is also home to the Tiger Fish these two areas the Komati (Mpumalanga) and Pongo dam (KwaZulu Natal) are without the only areas within South Africa where you can fish for the strongest freshwater fish.

Distances to the two areas are as follows:

Johannesberg to Komati travel time 6hr 43 min via the N4

Johannesberg to Pongola Dam travel time 6hr 29 min via the N2

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Top Attraction is the Hippo Boat Cruises at R300 pp