This was literally a very dull month: one one side because of the ongoing touristic and subsequently economoc standstill and on the other the weather was simply awful. The Southeast Monsoon generally leaves rather few opportunities to fish but a nearly throughout heavy blow in the 20 knot range plus about daily and often enough heavy rainfalls really frustrated. Only early there were a few not all bad days and on the 4th the single chance for me to enjoy some more light jigging oce more just in the La Digue Channel. Went quite well and the strongest opponents were as usually in that place those Golden Trevallies. After six of them I felt well served.
In between came around 30 or so other catches with Jobfish for the kitchen dominating the mix which also featured this miniscule Dogtooth Tuna. At times small ones happen to end up here so far inside the plateau but it had not been the case for years and this tiny bugger was the smallest I ever saw.
After that as mentioned the weather deteriorated badly beyond anything I can fish on the small boat. Only some of the large vessels did a few trips while it was not too rough yet even for them. Trolling is solid as one would expect in this season with the Tuna running over the plateau and who tried like young Bertrand here on Lazio or the Mahe boats were rewarded with good numbers.
The Sailfish are also around but the quantities of this year`s run is difficult to assess with so few trips taking place.
The 25m long 9G according to the skipper was also not the usual sedan any more but I guess thanks to the GPS anchoring the chaps could even still bottom fish and jig a bit.
Instead of much hoped for improvement things actually got worse as around the 20th the large scale weather charts indicated a rather strange phenomenon. Such a twirl should not develop so far north and neither at this time of the year at all.
One should have expected that the Southeast blows such thing apart in no time but it was sturdy and slowly moved northwest past the equator. Subsequently I and my boat here had to face onshore winds of up to 25 knots and the subsequent breakers so I had to evacuate the nutshell into the protection of the Baie St. Anne lagoon. First time ever during the Southeast in those more than 10 years I live here now.
After the wind along 8 days had oscillated clockwise complelety around the compass rose it settled back in from the normal direction but had a bit of mercy at last. So when bringing the boat back home there was the chance to jig a few kitchen fish along the way for a start. Yesterday conditons were as good as one can expect during the Southeast so I headed west a couple of miles offshore. Topwater along both two hour sessions morning and afternoon was plain dead without even a stupid Shark or Jobfish seen but jigging went okay with a few quality fish in between the usual bunch.
Had been hoping for the odd Tuna out there maybe even casting but none passed. Still after the long and nagging wait it was an absolute pleasure to be out there again. Tomorrow Mahe International Airport reopens for regular flights and three airlines will be coming in twice a week. Remains to be seen to what degree this will bring tourism and subsequently the charter fleet back to life but at least the total isolation of the nation comes to an end. There is some hope for guests as the islands are CoVid free and a whole set of measures has been put in place. See the details here if interested. Hopefully the positioning as one of the few currently safe holiday destinations will convince.
The rather marginal opening of Seychelles´ borders at the beginning of the month only for private yachts and jets under various strict conditions could not trigger things into life here so the charter fleet still is idle. Naturally in all this uncertainty most people keep expenses low and with the Southeast on top offering few opportunities this report is rather overseeable again. The 4th was calm enough for me to head west but it all went bad. The jigging spot was still infested by Barracudas and Sharks. The latter grabbed every fish hooked so in an hour all I got for seven jigs lost was this.
Thus rather turned to popping but it got no better. Along all those hours only one GT showed and all seemed a solid hookup until after a few seconds it was gone. Inexplicable until the lure came out of the water. Did hundreds of casts and caught visibly many fish on that odd thing but the hooks tangling like this never occured. That it had to happen on exactly the only strike of the day made me really cheer.
After that it was always the weekend when the wind dropped a bit but not enough for me to go any further than the La Digue channel for some light jigging. Mainly kitchen fish like Groupers and Job in good frequency which were happily received by my old mentor and my landlady so not bad. Especially as in between every so often a Golden Trevally would hit.
Lost a few of those again though and am pretty sure they on average gained in size. That brings up the fighting time and thus the chance for one to find himself a coral and cut me off. This one here luckily did not manage that along a good half hour and is probably the maximum to prevail over on the PE2 in that ragged area.
Bad cabin fever and the urge for a proper casting exercise made me go west again on the 23rd in what looked on the limit conditions. Indeed at the first GT spot it became clear quickly that even the heaviest poppers would not run properly any more in that swell but still raised one Shark after the other. Luckily a stickbait solved both problems and on top even produced this average GT of 107cm fork length and roughly 23kg after only an hour.
Right after the release though the wind picked up within moments into the 20 knot range. Did not feel like going home yet but where else? Only option with a bit of protection and a small but at least realistic chance for quality fish was north of a small island. Just 3 miles away but straight upwind so it was over an hour`s very wet crossing. Only one more raise until late afternoon but the fish got stuck and turned out another GT. Bit smaller at around 18kg but still welcome of course. Was a tough but good day so well worth it all.
Fly fishing on the other side remained slow. Only the bay here at my place offers reasonable conditions but is lifeless. Tried every so often but nothing bigger than about hand size and eventually I let fish: a South African from Mahe and his son worked hard for a week but to the same result except for once getting smashed by something not to be stopped he called. Probably the occasional loner passing for which one needs to be there just then. Was lucky with that on the 24th in the shape of this not too big Brassy Trevally. First reasonable fish since Easter actually and at last seen the backing again. The fish had a strange mark on the gillplate that looked as if it had been making out with the wrong one.
Else as far as I know nothing but bits of bottom fishing done here on Praslin but some news from Mahe came in. The annual Heineken Slam tournament on the 13th seemed to have produced rather little and can not have been fun in 3m waves. But some private boats made good use of the few calmer days like the 9G Sportfishing Team. The GT by the way was caught jigging.
That looks to have worked well in general by the catches of another boat.
Rather the season for trolling now but dropping a jig to such fish is always a nice thing to do. Am not sure how that decent Yellowfin was caught though.
But they look to be out there in good sizes and the Billfish are also around.
Thus all that we are missing here these days is you anglers. Hopefully for not much longer.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.