Gambia Fishing Trip Report

Richard Sheard went Gambia fishing with the purpose of cataloguing the sport fish available in the fresh water reaches of the McCarthy island area and he was accompanied by the expert Gambia Sport Fishing team.

Crocodile showing teeth

Bird Safari Camp is situated approximately 200 miles inland close to the River Gambia National Park. You can choose between round thatched cottages, safari tents or the camp grounds to accommodate you for your fishing extravaganza. The camp also has one of the only swimming pools in the area to cool off in.

After hiring a skipper from the local fish market they set out in a rickety old boat to a spot above a shallow sandbar where they dropped bait all around and within two minutes both left and right hand rods were hit hard - Tigerfish.

Moving on to a different spot close to the bank soon had the rods dancing to what turned out to be Vundu catfish which have been known to grow to 100 lbs plus in other African rivers.

Fishing from the jetty proved to be equally successful with an elephant fish (when you see this fish you will know why they call it that) taking the bait and then a 20 lbs catfish which caused hysteria amongst the locals because it was one of the biggest fish they have ever seen.

Richard thinks that there are a lot of large fish of various species in the river but the locals just don't have the equipment to catch them. All the nets he saw were ragged and filled with holes and the skippers couldn't afford an anchor line longer than 6 feet which meant that 80% of the river was unfishable by them.

The fish species available at the small fish market were Talapia, the three catfish they had caught the previous evening, elephant fish, freshwater sole, a bream-like fish with an elongated body, a pike-like fish with huge teeth, scaled eel, Captain fish {with the clear nose}, Joto, and Ninebones.

If you are interested in reading the full Gambia fishing trip report, contact me.

Gambia Fishing Tips & Recommendations:

  • The state of the roads here away from the coastline are not very good with potholes being the order of the day and the donkey/ox/horse carts can make a driving experience pretty stressful. It is relatively cheap to hire a taxi to get where you are going especially if you can share the fare between a group.

  • The currency here is called Dalasis and it is weak compared to all the major currencies which makes most things pretty affordable but you will pay a little more around the hotels. You can use sterling in shops and restaurants but don't expect a good rate.

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