More about David Burger:
I am 12 years old and me and my family live about two and a half hours drive from the nearest town. I am doing Homeschooling and this is why we can schedule our program in such a way so that we can travel together as a family when my father has to go on fishing surveys etc. Me and my sister, who is 15, like to participate in the surveys and have gained a lot of experience by doing so..
How did your interest in fishing begin?
We lived in the far northwest of Namibia close to the Kunene River when I was about 2 years old. We used to go camping and fishing on weekends where my Father loved to catch Tilapia and other species with spoons.
It was on one of these camping trips when my Father let me caught my first small fish. I was apparently very excited about my catch and refused to let the fish back in the water so I played with the fish by reeling it in and letting it back in the water….
Eventually we had to pack up and go home, but my fish was in my hand, by now long dead, ready to travel with me.. That evening I refused to let it go and so it “slept” next to me on my pillow…My mother came in later in the night and took the fish and put it in the freezer.. when I woke up the next morning, my mother gave me the frozen fish, which eventually defrosted during the day and same story happened the following night. This carried on for about a week. by this time the fish had no eyes left…
My first memory however, was when I was about four years old and my Father took me fishing at the Von Bach Dam close to Windhoek. We were fishing for Bass. This is probably one of the reasons why it is still one of my favourite freshwater fish to catch.
Can you tell us about the area where you live?
My family and I now live near the Okavango River in the far northeast of Namibia at a Fisheries Institute. The Institute also borders a game park. On weekends the program usually includes fishing, a game drive and bird viewing…The Institute is nearly two and a half hours drive from the nearest town, so you can imagine how quiet and tranquil life is out here. The Okavango River is a short walking distance from our house and in the evening we can hear the hippos, elephants and lions.
What species do you fish for?
We see who catches the most fish of a certain species which is usually Three Spot Tilapia, which we catch on spinner baits. The Humpback Largemouth and Thinface Largemouth I catch with dropshot. Other fish which is a lot of fun to catch includes Redbreast Tilapia (Tilapia rendalli), Nembwe, Sharptooth Catfish, African Pike and of course the Tigerfish. The best times for fishing in the year is May, March, August, September, October and November.
What is a typical days fishing like out there?
We prepare everything the previous day. We leave early in the morning as it tends to get very hot during the day… and then we fish all day long. Between me and my father we always see who can catch the biggest fish or the most species…I like fishing because you don’t have to kill the fish when you catch it. We just take pictures or use the GoPro to capture the footage and then we release the fish back in the water.
Some of our videos are available at the following links:
Fishing videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/smallboatbigfish
Fishing Blog: http://sportfishingnamibia.blogspot.com/
Can you tell us about Tigerfish?
To me a Tigerfish is an aggressive fish which fights for its food. I like to catch it with belly hoo..Tigerfish can sometimes injure you. I was bitten at least five times when trying to take out the hook. When the flood plains are full, the Tigerfish move in to breed and then our whole family go to catch small tigerfish with small hooks and bait, which is a lot of fun. It gives me great pleasure to catch them and be able to release them again back in the water.
Are there any dangers while fishing?
To get to the fishing waters, can be a little tricky. There are hippos lying in the water and the noise of the engines always seem to upset them quite easily, so we have to manoeuvre the boat slowly around them to get where we want to be. Sometimes there are lone, grumpy bulls lying and waiting for the boat. You can even see them go under the water and coming for the boat. We are always alert when we go fishing because you never know when you accidentally move into their territory.
We must also be careful not to slip and fall off the boat. The crocodiles also grow big around here and when fishing on the riverbank, I stand a few feet away from the water……just to be safe.
What has been your favourite catch so far?
My favourite catch so far has definitely been the Amberjack which I caught in December 2012 while on holiday in Angola with my family. Some friends of my father were very kind to take us on a fishing trip one day and took us to a nice spot to fish for Amberjack. I was exhausted when I finally landed it on the boat.
What would be your dream fish?
I would love to catch a Rooster Fish one day, but I would also be happy to catch a GT.
Where else in the world would you like to fish?
There are a lot of places where I would still like to fish. I would very much like to go to the Seychelles, Australia, Florida and Ascension Island some day.
What are your fishing plans for the rest of 2014?
We plan to go to Angola again in December 2014 for another fishing adventure..this time it is going to be a lot of fun because I am taking my nephew along…
David thanks so much for talking to us and hope to see you in Namibia someday…
Thanks and talk soon