Fishing the 'Barbel Run' in the Botswana Panhandle region

 
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Grumblebum and the Dragon



Joined: 22 Jul 2007
Posts: 605
Location: On the road
State:: Qld/NSW
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject: Fishing the 'Barbel Run' in the Botswana Panhandle region Reply with quote

For serious fisho's, this a definite 'bucket list' event. The Panhandle in a small region surrounding a section of the Okavango River in the far north-west above the Okavango Delta. Each year if the conditions are right with low water levels forcing the baitfish into the main channels. Here they are harassed by massing Barbel who push them up-stream against the current to tire them out.

They then encircle them and commence 'bubbling' - creating a ring of bubbles that helps herd the baitfish into the tangled reeds beds on the edge of each bank. With their mobility significantly reduced the baitfish are easy prey to the 'smash and gulp' tactics of the barbel.

Who wants to catch smelly old catfish you may well ask? Our real target is the furiously fighting Tiger fish that follow in close order to the 'bubble runs' they patrol in large squadrons along the edges of the reed beds to smash anything that escapes from the bubble run. Fishing 'catch & release' just with lures we were boating 50+ fish a day each in the 7 - 14lb class. In a word - just awesome! The are truly one of the worlds best fighting fish and top of the class for aerobatics! Not much to eat - taste good but full of tiny bones.

This herding and bubbling behaviour is only known elsewhere amongst some whale species. It does not occur anywhere else along the river system or in adjacent rivers.

If you plan a trip, I can highly recommend Greg Thompson with his houseboat and his fishing dories from his houseboat The Kubu Queen.


[img] Another one bites the dusthttp://www.bushtrackerforum.com/forum/userpix/77_Fishing_Guide_and_Skipper_Greg_Thompson_1.jpg[/img] Greg Tompson
Part of the tackle rack



Friend Justine enjoys brekky on the Kubu Queen
[img]


Greg Thompson - owner operator and great fish guide


Jean with a nice fish


Mate Gavin Blackbeard with more Tiger
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