MUDFISH




SIZE: Up to 4kg plus
SPECIES: Indigenous
DISTRIBUTION: Vaal-Orange River System
DIET: Omnivorous (Including aquatic invertebrates found in their local waters, vegetation, algae, terrestrials).
TACKLE REQUIREMENTS: RODS: 5wt to 6wt, at least 9 foot in length. Some anglers also prefer a 10 foot rod.
REELS: 5/6wt Reels, with a good drag system especially in stillwaters where the fish can run you into your backing.
BACKING: Reels must be able to take at least 100m of 20lbs backing.
FLY LINE: 90% of your fishing will be done with a floating line, either 5wt or 6wt.
In some deep pools in rivers, and in stillwaters, an intermediate (5wt or 6wt) line can be used if the fish are deep.
LEADERS: At least a 9 foot leader, tapering down to 1X. For short line nymphing, a straight, 9 foot, 5.5kg section of mono may be used as you will not be casting long distances.
TIPPETS: 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X.
FLIES: DRY FLIES: These fish are not often caught on dry...they are usually not surface feeders.
NYMPHS: (All #10 to #18) - Kaufmann's Pheasant Tail Nymph, Flashback Nymph, Beadhead Nymph, Green Rockworm and Ginger Caddis flies (with or without beadheads), Caddis Control flies (weighted to take flies down to river bed), Brassies, San Juan Worms, Beadhead CDC Mayfly Nymphs, Sparkle Pupa, Gold Rib Hares Ear (Natural colour and Olives, with and without beads), Hotspot Nymph, ZAK, etc.
STREAMERS: (#10 and smaller) - Wooly Buggers (in Olive, Black and Brown), MSP, Zonker, Crystal Buggers, Dragon and Damselfly nymphs.
METHODS: RIVERS: Upstream Dead-Drift (New Zealand Style nymphing with a yarn indicator), Czech Nymphing, etc
STILLWATERS: Dry-and-Dropper, Nymphing with streamer patterns.
TIPS: Mudfish are usually not targeted by fly fishermen. They are mostly caught while fishing for smallmouth yellowfish. Foul-hooking these fish are not uncommon, as the takes can be very subtle and by the time you strike they have spat out the fly.
Always de-barb your flies. It's easier to remove them from the fish's mouth and your skin. (in case of a miss-timed cast!)
Try not to handle the fish too much, and do not keep them out of the water for longer than 5 seconds.
Use a soft mesh net, with no knots.
Always wet your hands before handling a fish...your hands can remove their protective mucous on their skins.
Never under-gun your tackle...don't use 6X tippets when 4kg plus fish are around!
Land and release the fish as quickly as possible...to minimise the stress on the fish.
Stay away from spawning fish, and avoid wading in shallow riffles where mudfish spawn.