One may, of course, fish most anywhere along the Nile, and visitors will see Egyptians doing so even on the bridges and banks in Cairo. However, of growing popularity, as well as being unique, is Lake Nasser fishing. Here, one may find some of the largest fresh water fish in the world, and there are regular fishing expeditions. Because Lake Nasser is just south of Aswan, fishing expeditions to the area may include some classical sightseeing, though often they will not.

While somewhat rare, there are also deep sea fishing opportunities in the Red Sea, though one must look around to find them. Specifically, we know of deep-sea fishing boats in Hurghada on the Red Sea Coast and Nuweiba in the Sinai.


Map Aswan AreaLake Nasser Fishing

As the worlds largest man-made lake, Lake Nasser is approximately 310 miles in length (1550 square miles) and, in places, can reach a depth of 600 feet. The lake was created in the 1960s when the world famous High Dam was built.  Together with the old Aswan Dam (built by the British between 1898 and 1902) it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt. It is named for Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt from 1956-1970. The southern third of the lake is in Sudan and is called Lake Nubia.

The lake is 312 miles (480 meters) long and covers an area of 2026 square miles (5,248 km2).  It has a maximum depth of 426.5 ft (130 m) but its mean depth is 82.6 ft (25.2 m). The Egyptian portion is 202 miles (324 km) long and has a shoreline of 4,875 miles (7,844 km). Part of the area Lake Nasser covers today was once the site of the temples of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II around 1200 B.C. The temple was moved but other sites of historical significance was submerged. Thirty-two species of fish, as well as Nile River crocodiles, are found in the lake. 80,000 tons of fish a year are caught.

The shoreline is a variety of desert landscapes, hilly and rugged, or flat and sandy with clean freshwater beaches. The lake is remote and thinly populated by peasant fishermen, the local residents are Bedouin camel and sheep herdsmen who are occasionally seen grazing their flocks on the sparse vegetation at the edge of the lake.

There are an impressive variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. More than 100 species of birds have been recorded: Wild duck, Egyptian geese, pelicans, herons, egrets and various species of hawks, kites, falcons and eagles will be among the birds seen. In most areas there are crocodile and monitor lizards, other types of wildlife include Dorcas gazelle, jackals, desert fox, and various smaller desert mammals. Lake Nasser is a place where a small group of anglers have literally hundreds of square miles to themselves.

Lake Nasser has arguably the best freshwater fishing in the world for both Nile perch and Tiger Fish. There are also several species of catfish; the legendary giant Vundu being the biggest. Two species of Tilapia also inhabit the lake and give a good account of themselves on a fly rod. All told there are some thirty two species of fish in the lake.

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