The Nembwe is Africa's answer to the American bass. It uses structure from which to launch an ambush, or hunt down its prey of fish like the Mbuna and sand-dwelling invertebrates. Larger specimens prefer deep main channels and permanent lagoons, whereas smaller fishes occur mainly in lagoons and secondary channels. Nembwe breed in the summer, nesting along vegetated fringes of mainstreams.
The body of the Nembwe is heavy and robust; the mouth large with large well spaced conical teeth. The pectoral fins are relatively short, 19-23% of the standard length. The coloration is olive to bright green, with a deep olive band along midbody. Fins are olive with yellow orange margins, anal fin of males with orange egg-spots.
Although Nembwe are often caught when fishing for tiger fish, particularly when attentions are focused close on river bank structures, the most rewarding method is to specifically target these species. By having an intimate knowledge of the fisheries you will be fishing, and decades of combined time on these waters, Tourette Fishing guides will advise you on the most current and productive methods to connect to a Nembwe on fly.
Fishing very tight to, and in structure, with flies tied with robust weed guards is the name of the game. Bulky flies, with lots of inherent movement, that can be fished slower than what you would for tigerfish are most productive. Zonker bait fish patterns, tied with heavy cone heads display super action when fished slowly in and up-and-down motion along structure. Ed Truter “Swamp Donkey” is a great Nembwe fly. Fire tiger and copper clousers are also productive. Fly sizes range from 1 – 1/0. Most of the time full length DI-7 lines are used, but when fishing back waters and side channels intermediate and even floating line with long leaders have their application.
A fast action 9ft 7wht rods, matched with a suitable large arbor reel would make the perfect Nembwe set up. Due to luggage (read tackle) constraint on most international flights, your standard 8/9 weight tiger fishing outfit will suffice. By changing leader set up and fly selection, this outfit will perform just fine.
This species is found in Southern Africa’s lake Malawi and the Shire River, but has also been introduced to other waters including the upper Ruo River in Malawi and Swaziland and Natal.