Trolling Rods & Reels
Trolling rods are generally boat or up-tide rods of 20 - 30lb class and between 7' and 9'. These should be teamed with medium sized multipliers capable of holding 200 yards plus of 30lb line. Abu 7000s and 10,000s, Shimano TLD 15s and Penn GLS 25s are top of our list.
Shore Fishing Rods & Reels
To land a big fish from the shore, you need to fish heavy. Rods should be 10' - 12' with a test curve of 3.5lb - 4lb. Reels should be big enough to hold at least 200 yards of 20 - 30lb monofiliment.
For Tiger fish and smaller Nile perch, you can use lighter tackle. A carp or spinning rod of 9' - 12' with a test curve of between 1.5lb and 2lb with a good medium fixed spool is ample. Line class should be 15 - 20lb b.s.
Do not underestimate the strength of Nile perch, and equally the terrain they inhabit. A minimum of 30/40lb b.s. monofiliment for trolling and 20lb b.s. for heavy shore work. For Tigers and smaller perch 12lb to 15lb b.s. monofiliment is fine.
Braided lines have not proved to be sufficiently reliable to take on Nile perch. They do have a lot of advantages, but take note of the negative side:-
Braided line has no stretch and when you are fighting a big fish which drags you over the rocks, braid brakes much more easily than monofiliment. Mono filament line has the advantage of being able to 'bounce' off the rocks because it can stretch. When a braided line becomes frayed it is very difficult to see where the damage is and you end up fishing with 50lb b.s. line with a damage area that reduces it to 10/20lb b.s. On the other hand, with monofiliment you can see and feel the damage and immediately scrap it. Whatever line you prefer, please bring enough - at least 200m. A 30/40lb Nile perch crash diving through rocks can easily trash 50 yards of line.
You have a choice of three materials for your trace: nylon coated wire, standard multi strand wire or heavy monofiliment.
If you select wire, for trolling and heavy shore fishing 60lb - 80lb b.s. wire is ideal, and for Tigers and small perch use 30lb b.s. multi strand.
People's preference for trolling is 80 to 100lb b.s. monofiliment. Mono lacks finesse and is difficult to knot, but is strong and reliable. Again, monofiliment's ability to 'bounce' over rocks gives it an advantage.
For shore fishing wire has the advantage because it is thinner and tends to be more flexible.
Trolling traces should not be shorter than the length of your rod and should be used in conjunction with a double main line leader secured with a Bimini twist or similar knot.
Swivels & Links
Standard sea fishing swivels are not strong enough. Berkeley, Rosco or Sampo in 100lb + b.s. for heavy work, and 70lb plus for lighter shore fishing. Even the best snap links are sometimes ripped open by big perch. It is recommend that links are dispensed with. Simply attach the trace direct to the lure using a suitable loop knot (Rapala knot) a 'Fast link' clip or a strong split ring.
Hooks and Split Rings
Most lures are supplied with split rings and hooks that are totally inadequate for big perch. The only reliable trebles available are Gamakatsu, Mustad 5Xs and the VMCs used on Rapala lures. Bring size 1 up to 3/0.
Rapala, and Wolverine split rings are trustworthy in the bigger sizes. Bring spares, as even the best hooks and rings get damaged regularly.
Most lures are not strong enough for Nile perch who take great pleasure in destroying them. Of those lures which are sufficiently gutsy, most require replacement hooks and split rings. Lures are expensive so select carefully. It is better to stick to a few reliable patterns and bring several of each rather than lots of different types. There are many lures that work well on Lake Nasser, some better than others.
Following are some recommend lures. Lures marked with an asterisk * are considered as essential. Bring at least three of each.
Rapala Super Shad Rap*
All colors especially Red Head, Shad, Perch Crawdad, Fire Tiger and the new metallic finishes. This is the most popular lure on Lake Nasser but not necessarily the best so don't use them to the exclusion of everything else. Great for shallow trolling and shore fishing, runs at 7' - 10'.
Rapala Magnum Countdown CD 14 & CD11 *
Red Head, Orange & Fire Tiger. The CD 14 is superb for shore fishing, especially in deeper water - it sinks. Also, good for trolling, runs at 10' to 12'. The smaller CD11 is a great light shore fishing lure. Interestingly this lure has produced quite a few Vundu.
Rapala Magnum Countdown CD 18
Colors as for CD 14. A deep water "winter" trolling lure, running at 12' plus.
Rapala Fat Rap Deep Runner
Gold/Orange & Perch. Small, deep running "Big S" type plugs. These need re-hooking and stronger split rings.
Rapala Minnow Spoon (Weed less) 70mm
Chrome & Blue/ Silver. Good as a "jigging" lure for small perch and as a casting lure for Tiger fish.
Sea Mepps #2, 3, & 4
Silver. Difficult to obtain in the UK. Good for Tigers.
Mepps Aglia #0 - #5
Silver. The # 0 size is a killer for small Tiger fish and Tilapia. Sizes # 3 - # 5 are great for larger Tiger fish but you'll hook up better with singles rather than trebles.
Nilsmaster Invincible 25cm
Red Head & Silver Shad. A huge trolling lure that runs deeper than you would think (about 14') and is extremely tough, but you must replace split rings and hooks.
Nilsmaster Invincible 12cm Minnow
Orange Perch. Productive and strong. Great for small/ medium perch but has also landed quite a few monsters!
Buchertail Depth Raider*, Straight & Jointed:
Silver Bait fish, Natural Perch & Red Head. An outstanding lure for deeper trolling. Very strong except for the hooks and split rings - change them. Runs to 14'+. The sinking version produces numerous big fish from the shore but needs a powerful rod to cast it.
Russelure* 6.5 inch or 5 inch.
A relatively new discovery. This lure performed exceptionally well during the months of October through to January. Gold and silver seem to be the best colors. Tough and reliable, runs to 14'+
Big Nile perch: 9' Tarpon type AFTM 10 or 11.
Tiger and small perch a standard reservoir type 9' 6'' AFTM 7 or 8.
Big perch: It is recommended a Sage 5401 or Leeda Magnum 140 or 200d or a Tarpon reel for 10 or 11 weight line and lots of backing. The reel has to have a well engineered disk drag - the better the reel the better the chance of landing big fish.
Cortland Sea Dacron 20/30lb b.s. for the big perch and 20lb. b.s for the smaller fish.
W.F. 10/11 Fast and ultra fast sink as well as W.F. 7/8 medium sink. The line you will use most for Nile Perch is an ultra fast sink. Also bring lighter fast sink or medium fast sink line for Tiger fish. You will need plenty of spare line as big fish will take you through the rocks abrading your line and thus reducing its strength considerably.
Nile perch: Pop lips and white & orange Tarpon patterns on 3/0 & 4/0 hooks which must be very sharp. Recommend Tiemco Hooks. Flies should be big with a heavy side profile. Fast sink flies are a must they therefore should be heavily leaded.
Tiger Fish: Crazy Charlie's, Small Deceivers and various reservoir lures but on heavy sharp hooks. Best colors, hot orange, red, white and silver.
There are 18 species of Catfish in the lake, of which two are of interest - Vundu and Bagrus. Most Catfish so far have been caught by accident whilst trolling, but we are getting a few at night on dead baits. They are definitely worth targeting - if you do hook a big Vundu it will give you an unforgettable fight.
Tackle for Catfish should be heavy. Your trolling gear will double up admirably, but the line should be at least 40lb b.s. to cope with abrasion on bushes and rocks A heavy shore outfit will also cope, as long as the line is strong.
Fishing from the boats you don't need any form of rod rest, and can use the ratchet of your reel for indication. From the shore you need optonics or a bait runner, and some form of pod or tripod. Hook links can be heavy (60 - 80lb) monofiliment, wire or 45lb Quicksilver; a Bimini twist works well above it to double the abrasion resistance.
The lead weight should be attached to the hook link swivel with light monofiliment; this snaps easily in a snag. Hooks should be strong and sharp - size is up to 4/0s.
It is recommended to use small dead baits or fillets, live baits get taken by small perch and puffer fish. People have caught cats on "artificial" baits. Berkeley catfish bait and luncheon meat are worth bringing.