This is only a small and delayed report as I had to spend the whole of August in Germany and only returned to Seychelles yesterday. But first thing today was obviously to find out what had happened here on the fishing side during my absence.
August usually brings the peak of the Southeast and thus rough conditions. This was again true for the Southeast Monsoon Sailfish Tournament held out of Mahe on the 9th of August. The 12 competing boats had to endure their traditional bit of rock n´ roll but catches were good. The heaviest Sailfish at the scales weighed at 36.5kg giving team Kuki the win. A very laudable change to the tournament rules led to only 2 Sails taken this time while 5 were released. Three of those are to the credit of team Special K awarding them the new release trophy. With a view to the plenty bycatches of Dorados, different Tuna and Wahoos this was a very good event that I was sad to miss.
Opposed to the usual weather conditions this August provided for surprisingly many acceptable fishing days and even nearly a full week of comparably calm seas. This would have allowed for relatively many fishing trips as it was main tourist season also. Still especially out of Praslin the skippers recorded very few bookings as the tourists this year were very unwilling to spend money pretty much on anything. This is not only bad for the fishing operators but for Seychelles altogether as this tiny nations has no industry thus needs to import nearly everything to be paid for with Forex. So we all here hope very much that the core tourist markets in Europe will finally see their economies recover. Catches apart from a few days were very stable. Mixed bags of different Tunas, Wahoos and Dorados came reliably and the fish in good numbers not allowing for any boredom out there. Only the Sailfish were sluggish compared to the years before and Praslin actually reported only a single hookup. Off Mahe it was a bit better but still far below what we have been used to. Who was lucky enough to get one though had a great chance of grabbing an IGFA Offshore Grand Slam certificate (three different species out Billfish, Dorado, Tuna & Wahoo in a day) or even a Super Grand Slam (four of those species in a day). Some applications were already confirmed and quite a few more are still being processed. Good evidence for the variety and frequency of strikes Seychelles´ fishing grounds provide. But coming back to the Sailfish: They are obviously around as on some days boats see them but they are very unwilling to strike. A logical suspicion seems to be that they are completely focused on a certain kind of bait that either can not be imitated by trolling lures or nobody just figured the right stuff to offer. But it seems to be a local thing as from up north between Bird Island and Denis Island we receive catch reports. All in all this area seems most promising currently with boats catching up to more than 50 Tuna in a day. A positive aspect is the continued abundance of Marlin around the inner islands that we already encountered in July and that is quite unusual for this time of the year. In August again several hookups and some catches were reported even though the setups were not at all dedicated to these fish. Obviously now I want to get back on the water myself asap and today the seas were alluringly calm. But the boat needs a bit of maintenance and by tomorrow the wind is predicted to pick up again and to blow quite hard for the time being. I hope very much this will not last too long.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.