Yellowfish (Labeobarbus)

Yellowfish

Yellowfish

  • Size 5–8 lb
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats River
“Yellowfish” is an umbrella term that covers a group of closely-related species, with the most popular being the Largemouth and Smallmouth varieties. There’s one main trait that definitely runs in this family – they’re ferocious fighters, which makes them plenty of fun to find at the end of your line! 

How Big

This all depends on which member of the Yellowfish family you’ll be targeting. Smallmouth varieties usually measure up to 20 inches, with a maximum weight of around 15 kilograms. Largemouth have an average weight of 5–8 pounds, but monster 30 lb varieties have been hooked!

Where and When

Yellowfish can be found in the waters of eastern and southern Africa, as well as parts of Ethiopia. They can’t be caught anywhere else, which means that any angler visiting these waters usually puts them straight at the top of their bucket list.
 
This species prefers riverine habitats, and can be found in many rivers and streams around Africa – it’s known as Africa’s most popular freshwater game fish. A location that’s really made a name for itself when it comes to Yellowfish fishing is South Africa’s Vaal River. Many fly fishermen flock here to test their skills against this feisty fella!
 
 
Yellowfish season starts in spring, and generally runs September through April. The most productive months are October–February, when waters tend to reach the Yellowfish’s desired temperature of 19 degrees celsius.

How to Fish

These fish are not for the faint of heart – they put up a serious fight! They’re aggressive bait takers, and provide plenty of runs once they’re hooked. Fly fishing is the most popular way to target them, and they’re attracted to a range of flies. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, try casting your line under the moonlight when the waters are quieter. That’ll give you the whole run of your chosen river!

Good to Eat?

Although Yellowfish can be eaten, there are strict regulations surrounding some varieties in order to prevent overfishing. It’s recommended that you release your catch so that other anglers can enjoy fighting this fish for years to come. A Yellowfish battle is worth its weight in gold!
 

Top Yellowfish Fishing Charters