The whole first week of the month the weather was perfect with a light northerly breeze and no rain at all but with very few tourists around hardly anybody made use of that. Along the only small trolling trip I was aware of, a guest caught this Wahoo and a few other fish with Greg on Amberjack.
The second week saw somewhat shifty conditions which, due to the lack of guests, was not a headache for anybody but Mervin fishing with his regular Jean-Daniel on Gamechanger. They tried this and that depending what the weather permitted but with a very slow jigging bite at the Drop Off it was tough stuff. Mervin sending just these two pics from a small handful of trips should tell all you need to know.
Around mid month things came to life a little thanks to Sandro hosting guests on Frenzy for a couple of trips. The weather remained sort of erratic so they did not always have an easy time. The trip on the 16th was rather pleasant in every way with a Marlin and a Sailfish released plus a handful of other trolling and jigging catches.
The day after Sandro managed this good size GT popping.
And the next day they released another Marlin. Nice stuff and what a really cool pic.
Early morning of the 20th I flew to Mahe to meet up with my buddy Marco. He was due to head on to Cosmoledo two days later and wanted to spend these fly fishing with a local fly guide providing his expertise and nicely set up skiff. When I joined them after some admin errands in town at around 10:30am they had seen a handful Bonefish but got no clear shot. Sadly along the following hours the clouds came heavy discharging some rain so visibility was bad and of the two more Bones still spotted by Serge we got no take.
Still it was an interesting experience for me as I had never fly fished from a skiff before and there was another day ahead. But the weather gods were not with us as the wind had come up at 15-20knots with stronger gusts and after mere minutes of sunshine the sky got dark and it started pouring. We were drifting fast enough to troll and even sharp-eyed Serge had no real chance to detect any fish any more. So we moored the skiff and used the car to find a somewhat protected spot on the other side of the island as to continue fishing by wading. Conditions there were also far from ideal, after a while the rain came extremely hard and never stopped, so we called it a day. Most disappointed was Serge who is an incredibly pleasant guy. His competence was beyond doubt anyways after he had been guiding for 20 years on the Outer Island before starting his guiding operations on Mahe. His level of attention and service was just perfect. Most impressive on top is his skill of spotting fish in conditions I would only see them if they jumped my lap.
He is definitely worth my recommendation and I look forward to fish with him again. Hopefully in much better weather of course. How bad it was might reveal that I needed 1.5hrs driving time for the just 5km to the airport through in places a foot of water on the road and having to move around stranded (or rather drowned) vehicles. Flight operations were disrupted and many flights cancelled. Among those was of course mine but was lucky to be squeezed into one that should had departed hours before. This way at least I managed to get home to Praslin after three changes of boarding passes and several hours of delays. So no lack of adventures along that short trip. Next day the weather was perfect and Mervin made good use of it with this GT for his guest.
The nice weather did not last though. Greg had an inshore trip with some fish of which this Bluefin Trevally looked best.
Sunday the 25th Mervin reported a jigging trip to the Drop and found the Amberjacks in good sizes and numbers among some other catches in halfway decent weather that started to deteriorate along the day.
Next morning I woke up and my curtains were horizontal in the bedroom despite nearly closed windows. Whole day the wind howled and the rain came down not in buckets but barrels. Learned later that both Sandro and Mervin had tried to go out but surrendered within no time. For the night a real storm was predicted and it came. Was short lived though and in the morning the wind was completely gone. Sandro went to the Drop again reportng good jigging with Doggies and stuff in the evening. Should have received a few pics from that but they never came, and the last two dys nothing further happened on the fishing side.
Along the first week of the new year the weather was a proper mess here with strong winds and heavy rains. About every morning the meteo service sent weather alerts via SMS. One could only feel pity for the poor tourists during that traditional high season though there were much fewer than usual. And also for my skipper friends as they lost out on many planned trips of course. The day the weather at last looked okay in the monring two trips took place but out of nothing a really bad storm front lasting only a few hours built up, and speaking to Andre later I learned that he and Greg had been actually scared to cross back just from La Digue to Praslin on their admittedly small boat Amberjack after catching this Sailfish earlier.
They had seen Edwin on his much bigger Barracuda further out and when I met him later he said exactly the same thing. It must have been real hell out there. This spell of bad weather also hampered Sandro`s week of fishing with a group around the northern atolls badly. He reported after return that they had had exactly one nice day at the end while before the planned jigging was limited to shallows or just impossible. Still they caught some quality fish as you can see while numerous more large Doggies came away one way or another.
The following week the weather was ideal to fish but the tourists were pretty much all gone. Would have liked to go myself but unfortunately my visiting girlfriend brought an unwellness along which I promptly caught, and while I am not sure it was probably CoVid again. Took a good week to get fully rid of that and by then the weather had turned sour once more. Just before that happened though I had picked myself up to tag long an afternoon`s half day of mixed fishing with German angler Heiner and Mervin on GameChanger. Everything done worked somewhat with a Wahoo trolling, some jigging fish, and a few good misses plus the inevitable Shark while popping for GTs at the end.
Mervin headed out to the Drop Off for another charter on the still nice morning of the 17th but was hit out there in another of these really bad storm fronts. It had passed over Praslin heading east a little while after their departure and caught up with them. They tried to fish on but eventually had to head back as it was neither fishable nor safe any more. Mervin said it took them six very umcomfortable and at times scary hours to reach Praslin. This relly pretty big Wahoo was caught just before the real mess hit them.
The next few days were sunny but the wind was blowing steadily at around 20 knots so of course no fishing again. Since about the 22nd though the weather has been nice throughout and things came to a little bit of life though it wasn`t too much. Most boats were and are sitting idle. Only Greg and Andre had a handful inshore fly fishing and light tackle half days. These all worked nicely except for exactly the one morning Swedish angler Peter fished with them on my recommendation. We had communicated extensively before his visit and it felt sad that he picked a day when the fish for whatever reason were completely off. Next day the activity was on again as Andre told me and proved by pictures. Felt really sorry for nice Peter but I guess that`s fishing.
Else it was only Mervin fishing the Drop Off a couple of times enjoying solid jigging as we like it and in perfect weather on top.
In these pleasant conditions I would have also liked to head out myself but unfortunately my vehicle head a breakdown and since is stuck at the garage. Am feeling sort of jinxed but as there is a bit of the year left I am hopeful to get to fish again some point along the way. The sooner, the better.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.