Egypt and Sudan - Unexplored Fishing Territory
May 2012 By Tim Baily
Lake Nasser is shared by two countries Egypt and the Sudan, with two thirds of the lake in Egyptian territory and the remaining third in the remote Northern Sudan. The border between Egypt and Sudan is about 50km south of Abu Simbel; an area which has never been fished by rod and line as the authorities did not allow tourists to travel south of Abu Simbel due to concerns that their boats might mistakenly cross the border into Sudan.
Nabil, my Egyptian partner, has excellent contacts with the military hierarchy who control the border area, and after a bit of persuasion they agreed to give us permission to explore the area south of Abu Simbel. We set up a six day safari in late May 2012 to fish this unexplored territory. We were excited about the opportunity to explore an area of the lake which was virgin territory for sports fishermen – we had no idea what to expect!
John Wilson MBE (UK’s best known angling personality) and five other anglers joined us on this expedition. On the first day we decided to spend half of the day cruising south to get close to the border before we started fishing. The weather was appalling very overcast, hot muggy brooding weather which is the harbinger of sand storms – not good for fishing! However, we had an encouraging start; James Alexander caught the first fish of the safari a 98lb Nile perch within ½ an hour of starting to troll and other boats were reporting big fish strikes and short hook up runs ending in the fish throwing the hooks.
On the second day we fished close to the border with Sudan and before lunch Phil Nadin, who has been on many safaris with us, landed the best fish of the safari a 128lb Nile perch in beautiful condition. In the afternoon Phil’s wife Lynne landed a nice 62 pounder and James had his second big Nile perch of 55 pounds despite the weather.
Then everything when quiet; a few half hearted hits and foul hook ups which is always the sign that the perch are not feeding properly; just butting at the lure out of instinct. I can only think that the feeding switched off because of the weather; take a look at the top picture (James’s 98 pounder) and you will see what I mean, sand yellow murky haze with no sun showing and it remained the same for the rest of the safari due to massive sand storms in the central Sahara.
Despite the weather this new fishing area has interesting potential and we are looking forward to planning more safaris to really explore the potential. The Nile perch caught on this safari included four very good fish from 128lb to 65lb which is OK for five anglers. The problem with fishing close to the Sudan border is its remoteness – well over 300km from Aswan.
Immediately following the Sudan border safari, during the first week of July, the boat safari unit with five anglers in 3 fishing boats fished north from Abu Simbel to Aswan. The sand haze weather lasted for two more days then a strong North wind came and cleared everything up and gave the safari four days of brilliant weather and some reasonably good fishing
Five anglers caught a total of 48 Nile perch and the best two were caught by Nicholas James 78lb and Warwick Allan 56lb. At least seven big fish were reported lost, estimated at top end double figure Nile perch. Barney had one, well over 100lbs lost on the gaff; it broke free and took the braid line under the boat parting the line on the keel of the boat. Almost all these lunkers were lost using 80lb braid line which brings into question the use of braid as opposed to monofilament?
We did not keep a record of Tiger fish caught on this safari most boats had about 2/3 per day and those who had the energy to go shore fishing during the lunch break caught a lot more. Tiger fish are prolific on the lake and are excellent sport on light tackle.
Special Safari Abu Simbel South
Based on a Lake Nasser Safari starts Monday 15/04 ends Monday 22/04/2013
The area south of Abu Simbel still remains relatively unexplored; we did not get a proper chance to investigate the fishing potential because of the weather, so we have scheduled another safari to the Sudan border which starts on 15th April 2013 for a week. If you would like to come on this safari do not delay in making a booking, a lot of anglers who know Lake Nasser will be interested in this opportunity.
For details about this safari please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time tight lines
Edited by AfricanAngler - 15/Aug/2012 at 8:11pm