Size matters but sometimes teeth and a bad temper matter more!
The infamous Goliath tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) is huge, toothy and hot headed, making this river monster the ultimate challenge for anglers. Unfortunately, you need to travel to the Congo River Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo if you are to catch the legendary tiger.
Extreme aggression and impressive size
The Goliath tigerfish is an impressively large predatory freshwater fish with a reputation for extreme aggression and amazing strength. It has achieved what can only be described as mythical status. These intimidating creatures grow to 1.5m in length and over 70kg in weight, although most specimens that have been caught were much smaller.
The fish have a reputation for grabbing birds in flight and will happily attack humans. Landing one can mean engaging in an all-day battle but imagine the amazing sense of achievement when you reel in your special catch!
Possessed by Evil Spirits
Those who live near the Congo believe that the evil spirit mbenga enters the fish and then causes it to attack people. There’s nothing funny about encountering a fish which is five times the size of a piranha and even more ferocious. Their eyesight is poor and so they think anything moving in the water might be a meal and tend to react to any sudden movement. Boasting 32 teeth longer than those of a great white shark, this awesome fish is not something you want to encounter by accident.
Goliath tigerfish charters
If you fancy catching a Goliath yourself, you will need a local guide and the Congo River Basin isn’t the most accessible destination. But it is possible to organise a trip if the lure of the tiger is too great. In 2010, extreme angler Jeremy Wade travelled to the Congo in search of the Goliath tigerfish and it took him eight days to land one. He managed to catch a 45kg specimen which was five feet long. He used catfish for bait and 91kg rod and line.
The Goliath Tigerfish will take any bait, natural or artificial. It will jump out of the water repeatedly when hooked and will thrash its head trying to throw the hook. There’s a serious battle ahead if you hook one! Wire leaders are a must due to the sharp teeth. Even Wade was nervous of handling the fish he had caught and stood well back until it was safely snared in his landing net. He did manage to pose for photos with it, though!
The demise of the tiger
Unfortunately, the fish was injured in the struggle to reel it in and so Wade gave it to local people knowing that it would not survive if he returned it to the river. The landing of the Goliath created one of the most memorable episodes of the River Monsters TV series. Check it out if you get the chance and let us know if you ever make it to the Congo River Basin.
Those who enjoy sea fishing will have experienced a disappointing success rate compared to just a few decades ago. It wouldn’t take Einstein to work out that poor catches are the result of over fishing. Fish stocks have been seriously depleted and it would appear that the situation is likely to get worse.
A memorial service was held recently at Norwich Cathedral for John Wilson. Named by the Angling Times as the greatest angler of all time in 2004, Wilson was known by many for his television programmes which covered diverse subjects from coarse fishing to sea angling.
You will have seen many disturbing news stories and documentaries highlighting the issue of plastic in our oceans. It’s hard to get the terrible images out of your mind. Whales with stomachs packed full of plastic debris and seabirds dying with their intestines blocked by the waste we cast aside. But what about lakes and rivers? Is plastic impacting fresh water too?
A brand new angling facility on the river Moy in County Mayo, Ireland, looks set to change the lives of disabled anglers. Local enthusiasts are delighted but the facility could attract anglers from across the country and also the UK.
Fishing can be a relaxing distraction when you need to chill out. On those lazy days, it doesn’t really matter what you catch. But if you are targeting a dream catch and want to improve your chances, there’s an app for that!
The coarse fishing close season in England runs from 15 March to 15 June each year and covers the spawning times for most coarse fish in the majority of rivers. The season dates back to 1878 but was removed from still waters in 1995.
The Environment Agency has been considering ending the close season for some time and has conducted several surveys on Angler’s opinions. Predictably, opinions are divided! However, as time passes, more and more anglers are stating that they are looking for change. The number of anglers in favour of ending the close season is growing but many would like to see evidence that there would be no negative impact on the environment.
If the opportunity arises to take a fishing trip, it can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have the right bait to hand. When the shops are closed and it is too late to order online, what do you do? If you are heading out to sea, you could go the beach and dig up the lugworms you need. But even a digging session can go wrong and we don’t mean because there are no worms.
Many British anglers believe that the sport is at risk of dying out in this country or at least becoming less relevant. Their concerns surround an ageing population of enthusiasts with less youngsters taking up the sport. Now, Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust, is launching a new campaign aimed at encouraging more young people to get involved in fishing.
When James Penwright was given a plastic magnetic fishing rod as a toddler, it inspired a fascination with water and fishing. He would take the rod to water and try to fish with it and his interest soon progressed as did his ambition. At the age of five, the youngster tried fly fishing for the first time and has now been selected for the England Youth Fly Fishing Team.