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John Bosman Talks Tigers

I have been obsessed with tiger fishing and have spent the last 10 years trying to figure them out...

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What a place! I mean, where else in the world does an angler have access to five different rivers, right in the middle of one of Africa's last great frontiers, teeming with wildlife, fish, and no time constraints other than daylight hours?

My passion for fishing started when I was still a child on the ranch in Zimbabwe, fishing for bream and barbel in the early 80s, thanks to my late father who encouraged me all the way. He even stocked all the animal drinking troughs with bream, so I didn't have to go far to catch a fish! I have come a long way since then and have been fortunate enough to fish in many different places, targeting a wide variety of species in both fresh and saltwater using various techniques.

John standing proud with a Tiger Fish

In 2014, I was invited by my close friend and business partner, Keven Stander, to go on a tiger fishing trip on the Kilombero River in Tanzania. Well, this changed my species preference forever! I have never experienced so much joy and disappointment in one day while angling on the water due to the sheer strength, speed, and acrobatics of the Tanzanian Blue Tiger Fish (Hydrocynus tanzaniae) and their ability to evade capture more than 90% of the time. Since then, I have been obsessed with tiger fishing and have spent the last 10 years trying to figure them out while spending time in the wildest environments you can imagine.

In 2021, Majestic Rivers Fishing Safaris was born, and the fun began, figuring out how to unlock the waters and access the monsters that dwell below the surface. I had to quickly change my approach to the river as it is structurally very different from what I had been used to. Instead of having a structure such as a large overhanging or fallen trees or reeded banks along a single flowing river, I now had a river split up by many islands, full of different formations of rocks and ridges to figure out, with numerous small streams joining the main river on both sides of the bank. I started off by casting at all the usual spots one might try, with a little success, but nothing in comparison to the effort that was being put in. I then decided to only target areas that I believed held a lot of baitfish, as this was where the tiger fish would be feeding, and started working out at what angles to fish these areas to increase my chances of enticing a strike. What a difference this has made to my success rate! So far, I have managed to land three Tiger Fish weighing 20 pounds each and lost a few well over that record mark.

I have not even fished a fraction of what there is on offer in our area and can’t wait for the rainy season to be over to get back out there and carry on unlocking the secrets that lie below the surface of these rivers in the Selous.

If a fishing trip of a lifetime, in the most remote and wild area of Africa, is what you are planning, then this is not to be missed. Karibu to Majestic Rivers Fishing Safaris Tanzania!

John's 14 Pound Tiger Fish!



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