Ever since I seriously got involved in fishing for exotic species in foreign lands, Africa was always on the top of my dream list targeting tigerfish! I dreamed of fishing along side giant man-eating crocs, boat flipping hippos, dangerous elephants, lions, cape buffalo, plus other man eaters!!!
In 2010 my dream came true when I had the opportunity to fish the Mnyera and Ruhuji Rivers in Tanzania. The Tigerfish found here grown to impressive sizes and are considered to be a cross between the Tigerfish and Goliath Tigerfish. Our group landed a few over 20lbs. Many of our Tigers bite through the landing nets with their massive teeth and our guides had numerous bite marks on their arms and legs.
Tigerfish are known for their set of massive teeth. They are among the best known and most important game fishes in Africa. The tigerfishes belong to the Chjaracidae family which contains species such as piranhas and payaras.
The tigerfish has a deep folked caudal fin which is red in coloration with a black edge. Black horizontal stirps run through each scale row. They grow to about 34lbs but average around 4 to 6lbs.
Goliath Tigerfish are found mostly in the dangerous Congo River. They are silver in coloration with no strips as found on the tigerfish. It has 14 or more teeth in the upper jaw.
Both the Tigerfish and Goliath Tigerfish readily take lures. Both species jump repeatedly when hooked. Due to the sharp teeth and hard boney mouths they are difficult to drive a hook into. A wire leader is essential for both species due to the sharp teeth.
The current World Record Goliath Tigerfish according to the IGFA was landed by Raymond Houtmans on July 9, 1988 which weighed a massive 97lbs. Dr. Henry Gillet writes in his "Game Fish of the World" that he landed a Goliath weighing 87 1/2lbs but lost one that weighed at least twice that weight.
The current World Record Tigerfish according to the IGFA was landed by Jennifer Daynes on September 12 2001 weighing in at 35lbs 7oz.
Hopefully some day the Congo will become politically safe and I can hook up to a Goliath and again return to Tanzania to battle again with these teethy critters!!