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Fishing in Malawi is carried out in the different parts of the country in the various towns and water bodies that are located in Malawi. The country has various types of bird species and the Lake Malawi is known to have the highest number of fish species in the whole world and one of the top fishing destinations in Malawi. The best season for one to go for fishing in Malawi is during the months of September and April which marks the rainy season and this is because during the rainy season, there is an increase in the fish species in the different water bodies and that is why it is the best time for you to go

fishing in Malawi


Fishing equipment is always available at the different fishing grounds in Malawi and these can go for a small fee either from the local fishermen or the accommodation facilities or from your tour operator.

Fishing at the Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi has about over 500 fish species that habitate within its waters and some of the most commonly caught fish in the Lake Malawi include the catfish, the Lake salmon fish locally known as the Sanjika, the Perch fish locally known as the Sungwa, the lake Tiger locally known as the Ncheni and the Kampango. Lake Malawi is extremely way too big and has various fishing points around it and all these can be visited so that you can get to know where the best fish is caught. A few days back, there has been a ban on fishing from the Lake Malawi and this is because of the locals have been using wrong methods and fishing out even the young fish and in a bid to save the fish species within the Lake, the ban has been put in place but some of the fishing spots that are located at the Lake Malawi include the following:

  • Fishing at Nkhata Bay

The Nkhata bay is located at the shores of the Lake Malawi and it is a small fishing village which can be visited at any time of the year. Some locals refer to Nkhata Bay as a gold mine when it comes to fishing and some of the most popular fish species that are caught in Nkhata include the Chambo fish, the Usipa fish species, the bombe fish species and the Batala fish species. Due to the over fishing, the locals put up a conservation project that has helped reduce on the over fishing on Nkhata Bay.

You will find very many canoes that belong to the locals spread across the Lake as they go about fishing and then after fishing you can join the locals in purchasing the fish at a considerably low cost.

  • Fishing at the Likoma Island

The Likoma Island is also located on Lake Malawi and it is one of the fishing spots at in the country. Some of the fish species caught on the Likoma Island include the pearl of Likoma, catfish and many more other species. The locals use rudimentary methods when it comes to fishing and these have greatly reduced the number of fish in the water and that is why at the moment it is a bit hard to go for fishing on the Likoma Island.

There are also other Islands along Lake Malawi where you can go for fishing which means that Lake Malawi has the largest number of fishing spots in the whole country and therefore the best fishing experience can be got from the largest lake in the country.

Lake Malawi, smaller lakes, reservoirs and rivers offer diverse fishing chances. Light equipment will deal with most situations yet still some equipment is offered for hire at the various resorts, although it’s best if you carry your own.
Most of the 400 and more species found in Lake Malawi are actually tiny tropical aquarium species of fish; mbuna. nonetheless, vundu – the catfish, sungwa or the perch, kampango or the catfish, ngumbo the lake yellow-fish, ncheni  or the lake tiger, mpasa or lake salmon, as well as the sanjika the smaller relation to the lake salmon, offer exciting possibilities. Fishing is done all year round although best from September to April.
The finest river to go fishing is generally off banks of the reeds and deep weed beds. River Bua, runs through Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, is best for salmon as well as the North Rukuru, Luweya, and Lufira. Within the Lower River Shire, beneath the Kapichira Falls along the southern border of Majete Wildlife Reserve, there is plenty of the tiger fish, connected further downhill by vundu as well as barbel as the river widens. Heavier equipment plus a boat are desired here. Fishing in the Dry season is between May up to November, and it is probable in the Lower parts of River Shire requiring no license.
The dams plus the streams of Zomba Plateau, Nyika Plateau plus Mount Mulanje are well filled with rainbow trout. And none more than fly fishing is allowed, with flies tied on sole hooks. The best season is between September and April.


Other Fishing Destinations in Malawi

Fishing at Lake Chilwa

Lake Chilwa is located in the Zomba city and it is the second largest Lake in Malawi after the Lake Malawi. They have a fishing authority body which helps with the regulation of fishing by the locals and this has helped with the preservation of the fish species in the Lake. The most common fish species that are caught in the Chilwa Lake include Usipa, Mlamba, Chambo fish, the Kampango fish, the Mbaba fish, the Tilapia fish and many more other fish species.


Fishing at the Lake Malombe

The Lake Malombe is found in the southern part of Malawi in the Shire Valley and locals normally go for fishing because it is like the main activity for all those who live around the Lake and that is why when you take a tour down to the Chilwa lake, you will find a lot of canoes along the lake as locals put up their nets for fishing. Some of the fish species that can be fished in the Chilwa Lake include the catfish, Usipa fish, the Tilapiines and many more other fish species and when you visit, you will be provided with the equipment used for fishing and you can join the locals as they go about their fishing expeditions.

Fishing at the Shire River

The Shire River is the largest River in Malawi and was known to be a good spot for all the fishing activities in Malawi but of recent the number of fish species has greatly reduced due to the excessive fishing that was being done at the River by the locals. Although the fish has reduced in the River and with the infestation of the crocodiles almost throughout the whole River, locals still row their boats out looking for better fishing spots along the River and the species here include the Kampango, the sardine, the tana Labeo and many more other species.

Fishing at the William’s waterfall

The William’s waterfall is located in Zomba city and it is one of the top destination for tourists. Most tourists who visit the William’s waterfall go for the trekking and exploration of the waterfall but there are some fish species that can be found there and tourists can go out and do some spot fishing and the most common fish species that is caught from the still Lakes and the Williams waterfalls is the rainbow fish but after fishing, you are supposed to put the fish back.


Fishing on the Mulanje Massif

The Mulanje Massif is the highest Mountain in Malawi and is well known for having the best hiking routes in the country. But as you trek up the Mountain you will find a stream that flows downwards the Mountain and most hikers stop here in order to freshen up and some do some spot fishing at the stream. The most common fish species that is caught in the stream is the rainbow fish and the fish is also supposed to be put back in the stream.

The fishing industry in Malawi has taken a downhill turn after the locals within the country have been using poor fishing methods that have led to the drastic reduction of the fish species in the different fishing grounds across the country and that is why there has been a ban on fishing in the country. The only fishing activities that are allowed in the country is the catch and let go kind that is when you catch the fish, you are supposed to put it back into the water so that the fish keeps on increasing as time goes on.

Access to the various fishing rounds in the country is not that hard as you only need to have permission to go spot fishing and a tour guide to take you around the fishing grounds that allow visitors and avoid the ones that have been prohibited by the government of Malawi.


Fishing at the Bua River

The Bua River is one of the top destinations in Malawi for all those that want to go fishing. The most commonly fish in the Bua River is the salmon fish locally known as the Mpasa fish. Fly fishing is the most commonly used method at the Bua River and equipment that is used for fishing is provided to the tourists at a small fee and you can also join in with the locals as they go about fishing.

The fishing expeditions are extremely short as you are required to take a short walk to the canoe which will then take you to your fishing tour around the Bua River. The fish that is caught in the Bua River is always returned to the River as a way of conserving the environment and the rare fish species that habitate within the Bua River. When it comes to the fishing methods that are commonly used in the Bua River these include the fly fishing methods and the hook and bait method.

The best time for one to go fishing at the Bua River are between the months of April and October although if it is the Mpasa fish, then it is best caught in the months of May to June. Some of the fish species that are caught in the Bua River include the Redeye Labeo, the spotted catfish, the Chambo fish, the Mpasa fish also known as the Lake salmon, the catfish and the paper mouth fish.

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