Fly Fishing For Redbreast Kurper (Redbreast Tilapia) In South Africa
How To Catch Redbreast Kurper On Fly?
Redbreast Kurper (Tilapia rendalli) is more commonly known around Southern Africa as the Redbreast Tilapia or Redbreasted Tilapia/Kurper. They are one of the larger species of Kurper that occur naturally in South Africa, after the Blue Kurper (Mozambique Tilapia). They can attain lengths of 45 centimeters or so, and weigh in at well over 2 kilograms. They can live for over 7 years and occur naturally in the northern lowveld reaches in South Africa. they can be found in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal. They prefer areas with warmer climates, but they can tolerate water temperatures of between 10 and 40 degrees celsius.
The Redbreast Tilapia is a beautiful freshwater fish species that is characterised by it’s red under belly, that can cover the entire underbelly in breeding and spawning season, which is in Summer.
More Information On The Redbreast Tilapia
The Redbreast Kurper can adapt and survive in a variety of different habitats. They do prefer quieter waters in rivers, where they hold in deeper slow moving pools, and then of course dams, swamps, marshlands and floodplains. The Redbreast Kurper feeds mainly on plants and plant matter such as algae, but is also predatory and eats insects, crabs, worms and smaller fish. They are used as a fish to control weed in many dams, and they thrive in environments with a lot of aquatic vegetation.
The Redbreasted Tilapia breeds in pairs, where they make a nest by clearing the aquatic vegetation, often a meter or so in diameter. They then create tunnels or burrows in the nest where the eggs and larvae stay protected.
The Redbreast Kurper is an aggressive fish all year round, but they become particularly aggressive in Summer when they breed. This makes them a great target on fly.
How To Fly Fish For Redbreast Kurper?
Due to their aggressive nature (As mentioned above), the Redbreast Tilapia is a fun species to target on fly, and should be pursued with slightly heavier fly tackle. This is because the areas where the Redbreast Kurper occurs is full of snags, nooks and crannies and all sorts of stuff where this fish can cut you off on. A 4 – 6 weight fly setup with floating or intermediate line is best used to target the Redbreast Kurper on fly. Smaller flies can be used for the juveniles, and using a large fly with a small trailing nymph a few centimeters behind it often produces good results. At least 10lb tippet should be used, especially if you find some of the bigger specimens.
The best flies you can use to target the Redbreast Kurper on can be seen listed below:
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