As usually in early December tourist numbers dropped here but still along the first week a good lot of fishing took place. All started with Sandro and guests on Frenzy who right on the 1st enjoyed some decent jigging at the Drop. No monsters but frequency was good with some quality fish in the mix.
Along the following days I twice joined him and once Brandon (Island Rhythm) for trolling with different guests. Conditions were mostly unsuitable for that in hardly any wind or none at all thus a flat calm sea which all led to rather pitiful catches: only a tiny Tuna and some Kawa Kawas along those two half and one fully day while other boats did even worse. That the fish are off to this extend is rather rare here but it can happen when it is so calm and hot for a while. Still stunning though that along exactly one day in between they were full on with Wahoo, Tuna plus two Sails released by Sandro. I have no idea how to explain this as the conditions that day looked exactly the same.
On the 6th I joined him plus guests Ville and Taru from Finnland for a day`s topwater casting at an atol in the north. Along the morniing the usual suspects showed up including those Doggies. Only one of those really attacked to a successful hookup but the impact of that big fish pulled the line on the spool into the other windings so after a second all was over with a crack of a whip. Sad as this was and should remain the only chance for a special catch that day. As the bite slowed there we searched for Tuna in the deep waters to find none and the last hour spent back around the island also produced nothing more. Still it was a fun day with nice people and some not so bad fish.
The following day repeaters Lennart, his dad Thorsten and uncle Bernd ventured to the Drop. Two years ago the group along two full days trolling had hammered over 50 Wahoos and this time they wanted to try jigging and popping. Mervin was kind enough to give his boat building a break so on Lady C we went. That day brought the very first northwesterly winds up to 15 knots so one of the anglers became rather passive. But especially along the early hours before that wind picked up and in good activity the three jigging newbies did well. Around noon when that bite slowed Mervin sniffed for Tuna to cast at. Tricky in the increasingly choppy sea to race after those and position the boat for a few hasty casts. First fish turned out a Skipjack but the Yellowfin eventually also came.
Along the following three days the tides would have allowed me to go out on my boat currently moored in the protected shallows of Baie St. Anne. Sadly though the first push of bad weather with strong northerly winds peaking close to 30 knots but bringing some much needed rain from an oscillating system ruined all plans.
Did not last and after the weather turned calm and hot again. But as here at my place the undercurrent keeps bringing breakers the boat had to stay in that lagoon. To get out and especially back in there at reasonable fishing hours is currently only possible along two very short spells each month. Needs a high tide in the morning and again in the afternoon but this only occures every fortnight and on top the latter come rather shallow at this time of the year. To moore the boat further out is also not really an option. Visibly in the pic the sandy seabed turns into what is actually a foul deep mud just a few meters from shore. Trying to walk this loaded with gear and fuel cans is at best disgusting but can become a real mess if sinking in deep. Which inevitably happens.
To accept that hassle plus having to get there with all the stuff by car and eventually back home the same way with everything wet and muddy and filthy takes me a while every year. On top the next suitable tidal window coincided with Christmas when I was busy so indeed not a single trip done all month. Tried to compensate with a few occasional fly stints but to no success. Conditions were far from great due to an algae bloom killing some reef dwellers for a while but fishing did not improve after the storm mentioned had blown that away. Nothing of interest even seen and a couple from Estonia who had come here to shore fly fish ten times stated it has been their most unsuccessful visit ever. To catch any quality fish from shore those days it would need a lot of luck and ideally a baitball on top in casting distance is what I told inquiring angler Thomas along with some spot recommendations. Obviously he had the former and followed the latter. A decent Brassy Trevally here on Praslin was followed by the finding of bait on Mahe resulting in some more decent catches like this Yellowspotted and Grouper among others.
With very few tourists around nothing more than a few and rather unspectacular trolling trips happened here on the fishing side until the festive season. Only Sandro had three more Drop off trips for jigging and trolling with a guest. The former was not all that great by frequency but of course still a few presentable fish surfaced.
One of those days though that jigging was extremely slow so they headed further out to find the Tuna pulling lures along as the angler was not into casting. It worked with around 20 of usual size caught but at least a somewhat bigger one in between which so far this season have else not appeared.
Might be due to this year`s La Niña which could also be responsible for the longest year end transition I have experienced here so far. Yesterday at last we got north wind of about 15 knots and some rain but into the night it died off already. Apart from that it was nearly all along rather nice and sunny here with just a few occasional showers and subsequently flat seas. Quite ideal for Michäas and Christiane from Germany who had booked three days Drop Off fishings with Sandro. Tagged along on their first trip on the 24th and after they got a feel for speed jigging new to them some decent fish came up. Really special and `fish of the month´ from my point of view was that fantastic Coral Trout. One that size I had so far only seen in my wildest dreams.
All in all this had been a good bite`s day as also the trolling boats did well. JD on One Love II stood out with this Marlin sadly in beyond release state next to some other smaller gamefish.
But the following days it was mostly slow again not just for the boats trolling quite a lot with the meantime many festive season tourists but also for jigging. Michäas and Christiane strugggeled on Christmas Day with Sandro as his other guests did the day after. But on the 27th it was all different again for those with a good 60 of the common jigging fish and a few not really large though Amberjacks and Doggies in the mix. Also the trolling boats did a lot better that day and hoping things would have stabilized again we went with that so nice German couple. But no matter which spots Sandro tried searching a vast area nowhere any reasonable fish beyond some Groupers and Kawa Kawas would bite apart from a rather juvenile Amberjack. As the Tuna for casting also let us down completely we eventually headed a good bit inside onto the plateau shallows as to get a bit of frequency and maybe a lucky punch. That at least worked to some degree with these Yellowspotted and Bludger Trevallies among numerous more Kawas and Jobfish.
Excitement peaked briefly when a massive Doggie tore apart a hooked Kawa just a few meters under he boat but did not get stuck and never reappeared. Yesterday`s wind and rain will probably have spoiled some scheduled trips and what is happening today I will learn only later. So it is time to close the reports for this year. Many thanks to all of you for your interest. Hope you will stay tuned in 2022 and wish you the best possible New Year.
Last month we saw surprisingly many tourists on the islands with figures close to the pre pandemic levels and subsequently quite some fishing done. That latter part though was rather inconsistent while still all techniques produced quality fish every so often. Right on the 1st I headed west in search of GTs which worked half way raising two average ones. Both attacked in massive splashes but no pull on the line and of one of those I could clearly see that it had it`s mouth properly closed. So at the end of the day I had to be happy with this smaller one.
Around noon Sandro with two guests on Frenzy appeared at the spot and voiced over that they had had a much better time at other places earlier in the morning when I was still dreaming of such nice fish.
On the 3rd I tried in the south and on the spot instead of GTs found several Doggies that followed the lure at about every cast. Or rather the lures as I really offered everything from my well plenished bag but only a single one made a slight attempt. Missed of course. After 2hrs of bad jigging elsewhere I tried there again. The Doggies had disappeared but the Sharks invisible all morning were just frantic. Between dozens of those avoided at last a very good size GT in the 40kg range hit but sadly made it to the rocks to cut me off. Was done with all that for a while and as it got really windless and very hot anyways resorted to inviting the gf over for a week or so. Meanwhile Sandro kept fishing with his guests for a few more days mainly at the Drop Off but he was not too happy. Smaller Yellowfin Tuna surfaced every so often but ignored everything. On top the current was strong out there pushing onto the slope so jigging was difficult and not very productive while the Sharks were hyperactive out there too.
The trolling boats also did not have the best of times those days as around the islands the current was completley gone thus in that heat and calm the pelagics were rather uncooperative. So in sweet company I rather enjoyed looking into the crystal clear water off my veranda where bunchs of good size Brassy Trevallies roamed around lazily. Sadly those rejected not only my flies but also those of two South African and a German angler who I let have `my´ rock most of the time. Starting on the 13th fishing got livelier though as a bit of wind from changing directions came up. Also that day my two good friends Marco and Jörg arrived. So the next morning we headed out for GT topwater fishing but it started slow with just two undersize specimen raised that were on top too lackluster for a proper strike. Only around noon things picked up for about half an hour with Jörg for a start catching a small Bigeye Trevally hardly bigger than his popper. Marco had a Shark and in between I managed to get this just above average GT.
Two more trips for those along the following days went rather unlucky. We still raised about 8 more good size Geets but only two really hit to be on just to somehow dropping the hook. The usual stints of light jigging in between the casting sessions on top went all disappointing as it had been the case for weeks now. Frequency was terribly slow for my standards and the Sharks remained a constant nuisance. So these here were about the best fish caught all along.
My buddies were also very eager for some good fish on fly but those Brassies continued to ignore their efforts. So we tried elsewhere from the boat one day for a few hours catching numerous small but mostly pretty fishies.
Meanwhile arrived Stephan from Bluewater Fishing took the fly fishing on in pursuit of larger goals with Sandro. They spent a lot of time trying to raise Sailfish to the trolled teasers to pitch them a fly. But all along only a single one showed up briefly. Still as the school size Yellowfin became active on the plateau again they had some fun.
The Sails were visible here and there but mostly sunbathing lazily in the surface and totally uninterested in any offer so also the trolling boats mostly reported only sightings. Just Brandon on Island Rhythm and here Greg on Amberjack managed to release one each.
Trolling trips were plenty but it was not a stable fishery. Really bad days like for poor newbie Clemens from Germany fishing with me, Brandon catching pitiful 8 Bonitos while another boat blanked occurred every so often and especially at the Drop Off there seemed to be about no pelagics. But often enough just the next day the bite was back to normal or even crazy. A boat came in with 33 Tuna and angler Tom on Zero skippered by Benoit enjoyed a dozen of those plus a whopping 18 Wahoos.
What remained slow all along and everywhere be it on the plateau or at the Drop was the jigging. Only remarkable fish was this indeed massive Doggie that Stephan caught after long efforts.
That is obviously a dream catch so animated by it Marco and I joined him and Sandro on a trip to the Drop but again in a useless current jigging was rather slow. The smaller Doggie in the upper left corner Stephan had caught a few days before and the two fish in the bottom right came from Brandon who some days after enjoyed better frequency in a current that had at last turned.
In between all that Marco and Jörg kept fly fishing from `my´ rock in front of the house but without any catches over one kg or so. I had not much hope for that so left it to them also as not to cramm that small place even more. But one evening when they had given up I had a funny feeling and see there: on the third cast already one of those Oxeye Tarpons was on and leaped about. Really funny as we had discussed why these never had appeared again after they and several other friends of mine had caught them here two years ago when just I had got none. So my two buddies stood on the rock the next morning at first light but nothing happened. Still Jörg at low tide waded and swam a good 200m out to a coral head that had produced him a few better fish two years ago and it was worth the effort getting two more of these really cool fish.
That evening Stephan joined them on the rock as to perhaps also catch one of those and after a few minutes his backing went out whistling. To common surprise he had one of those so far all reluctant Brassies on. Nothing special about his fly and I would have loved to show you the fish here but unfortunately it came away when already held on the leader. Still Stephan was not frustrated as along his trip with Sandro that day he had released this very proper GT.
The following morning all three of us joined Stephan and Sandro once more for topwater casting but along that totally windless and thus extremely hot day even the Sharks were lazy for a change so only Jörg managed to catch a juvenile GT. The big ones must have taken a break again as the next day which was Stephan`s final one for this visit they did not bite. But this formidable Buefin Trevally did so his rather sub par week came to a pretty ending.
Same time my friends departed for Mahe for another few days of fly fishing. But no noteworthy catches reported any more and generally not much was heard from there this month. A small tournament with I believe 7 boats took place with nothing spectacular caught. But at least the well know private angler made this welcome contribution in the shape of pics of some decent Doggies and GTs. Many thanks for that.
Sunday I transferred my boat to the safety of Baie St. Anne as that southgoing undercurrent had set in and brought heavy breakers here at my place strong enough to tear one mooring rope. Still only low and rather southerly winds predicted for the moment but it is only a matter of time until it will come from north and create havoc for any boat sitting in this corner. Wouldn`t be bad if the sea soon got mixed and stirred properly though as a first large patch of algae bloom turning the water into an ugly brownish green has already been spotted. No need for that to extend.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.