This is off the scale !!! This huge 170lb tarpon was caught last week in Angola, west Africa, by FlyCastaway client Rob Lewis, seen here cradling this awesome fish with guide Arno Matthee. Thanks to Gerhard Laubscher of FlyCastaway for letting me know and also for providing the photograph. I have been saying for ages now just how good these South Africans are, and a fish like this is proof to the world of two main things in my mind - firstly, that Africa and the Indian Ocean has some of the best fly fishing on this earth, and secondly, that FlyCastaway are THE people to guide you. I have worked with enough people around the world and also fished, filmed and photographed enough in Africa and the Indian Ocean to know that what I say is true and is without exaggeration.
Gerhard has asked me to keep the exact location of this tarpon fishing a secret for the moment. Anybody who knows anything about tarpon fishing will know that the tropical west coast of Africa has always held the largest tarpon in the world - countries such as Angola, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone have monster fish, but generally they have always been caught using baits and lures (with some documented exceptions of course). Plus, of course, there have been various "security issues" over the years that I don't need to go into here. The FlyCastaway guys were convinced from their previous visits to Angola that the really big tarpon could in fact be taken by sight fishing to them with fly fishing gear. I have been to where these fish were caught in Angola, some years ago now, and the fishing is outrageous. I remember seeing the tarpon rolling and simply watching open-mouthed at the size of them. I think you could say that the FlyCastaway guys have proved once and for all that these big fish can be taken on flies !! Angola is perfectly safe to go to as a fishing destination and I would not hesitate in going back there.
Gerhard tells me that this measured fish of Rob's was the largest one landed, with a few others touching 140lbs also caught, and Gerhard himself lost a fish estimated at over 200lbs when his 130lb leader was chewed through. That is some fish to even hook in the first place, but I know Gerhard and I know how hard he will have smashed that fish. If the leader holds next time, you'll hear of bigger fish being landed. Get yourself booked up with the guys if you fancy a go at these fish - as you can imagine, their exploits have generated massive interest all over the world, so move fast. You can contact FlyCastaway direct by clicking here, or you can book through Aardvark McLeod.