This last month of August offered a few windows for some fishing between the spells of too strong winds. On a few rare occasions even bits of popping and jigging were just possible but as usually around this time of the year the vast of trips done consisted of mostly half and some full days trolling. Catches were really great especially as far as Billfish are concerned and on top of all Seychelles saw a new national record for Marlin. Right on the 1st it was calm enough for me to run my boat a bit and enjoy two hours or so of light jigging on the edge of Cote d`Or bay. Of the about a dozen smaller Jobfish and Groupers caught this quite nice Blue&Yellow Grouper eventually stood out.
Same time Greg & Phil were trolling for private fun on Pipsqueak catching 18 school size Yellowfin Tuna and the day after in already much windier conditions they got another 10 missing a Marlin on top. The same thing happened to Mervin (Divinity) on the 8th after a longer spell of strong winds and unusually heavy rains. On top he had Dorado, 3 Tuna and released a Sailfish. Those were abundant on the plateau especially just a few miles east of Praslin in just stunning numbers so when going out with Mervin, Norbert & family we saw quite a few but the only one that took we lost. Thus catches that day were limited to 2 Tuna and a Dorado. Still it was a special afternoon as in those few afternoon hours we had a Marlin in the
spread and lost two more on the first jump. Not sure if those generally had a very active day or if it was just coincidence but that evening the fishing scene on Mahe got really excited with a big Blue announced to be brought in late evening hours. That fish turned out to be a Black instead but indeed it was big. The crew had been aware right away it would be a national record so it was taken after 4.5hrs of fighting time and weighed at 881lb. Congratulations team Alati!
Conditions remained half way calm for the next few days so quite a few boats went trolling out of Praslin. Sailfish continued to show up but just did not want to bite those days while the smaller Gamefish made up for that so the anglers were still happy. Sadly I could not make it for Norbert`s second half day trip with Mervin on the 11th as that day the Sails were somewhat cooperative again with 4 specimen released out of well over 20 seen.
On the 13th also Greg released two Sails of the many that had come to inspect the lures. That day was so calm that I risked venturing a bit further out on my really boatyard due nutshell. Topwater fishing late morning and towards dusk produced no action at all but the light jigging despite being a bit slow by numbers provided for a few better fish like for example two Yellowfin Tuna. An obviously quite fat Grouper I managed to lift about 10 meters from the bottom several times along some 40 minutes but each time it went down again. Finally it came up further and further but when it was about to come in sight in the still very green water the hook dropped out. That sucked a lot and even this fairly big Jobfish caught a little later was no real consolation.
After that another spell of strong winds brought boat fishing to a stop for nearly a week. Was nearly grateful for that because the urge was strong to go out trolling myself with all those Billfish around. But the spares for the boat have still not arrived so all to do was a bit of fly fishing in some small and somewhat protected pockets. This worked as it always seems to do with loads of Snappers and small Trevallies mainly but only up to about 1kg. Had a decent Bluefin Trevally of around 4kg taking the fly just in front of me but my tippet broke right away again. This incident made me check the 20lb material thoroughly and I found that the breaking strength indicated is somewhat realistic when the strain is built up slowly and progressively. But on sudden impact of maybe 2 to at max 3kg it just collapsed every time. So retired the stuff right away replacing it by a different make brought from Germany last month and the next day was able to catch my first Billfish on fly. Okay, small joke.
On the 22nd in actually a bit too rough conditions I tried jigging again. This time in that Sailfish area but it was slow with just a few small fish caught on both spots. A Halco diving plug trolled between those produced a Wahoo but despite seeing numerous Sails these left the thing alone. Was not unhappy about that though as conducting a proper Sailfish release all alone on the boat is no fun for neither angler nor fish especially in such a fairly rough sea. Rather to have a better angle for the way home I went to a popping place without much conviction as it had only held Sharks for a long time. After having saved my popper from 6 of those in just 3 casts and considering to give it up I heard a splash behind me and did a blind cast. Did not take a second until a Shark was on and that bugger of surely 2.5 meters went to jump 3 times full length like a Sailfish. Was rather a relieve when it cut the line and took my popper along as fiddling with that one for a release would have been no fun. Just a shame though that the GoPro was not running as the sight of that huge thing going mad was really spectacular. That evening I learned that Greg same day had a good mixed bag of smaller Gamefish and the same the prior day but with a Sailfish released and a small Marlin on top that had to be taken because of an unfortunate hookup.
On the 25th Mervin reported another four Sails released which were all caught in the first two hours with not a bite after that. The following day I tagged along with him and Matthias from Germany. Early hours allowed for a bit of popping in a protected area which resulted in misses of a few Jobfish and a good size GT. Then the wind picked up massively and trolling was the only thng left to do while being a bumpy and wet affair. But with 2 Sailfish released out of around 20 in the spread and well over 50 seen all around in 3 hours it was a cool trip. They were just everywhere.
Matthias was happy but still really eager for some more popping and yesterday it worked with conditions very much on the edge though. But he took it on fishing with full determination until noon and was rewarded at least to some degree. First fish was a reasonable Bluefin Trevally of about 5kg and after that a 20kg Shark gave him a good fight. On top he caught 4 GTs but sadly they were all small ones not exceeding the 10kg mark.
Until the very last spot just outside port we had seen only one normal size specimen all morning and just there on the final few casts Mervin lost a good one to the rocks. All fish came in really shallow water while from larger depths nothing at all was to be raised and I share Mervin`s opinion that the still very green water is to blame. Maximum visibility is about 2 meters and interestingly it is best on the southern sides of the islands that are fully exposed to the wind. On the totally wind protected and around this time of the year usually crystal clear northern shores one still does not see one`s feet being in the water just knees deep. That ground current moving contrarily to the wind must be really strong as the large waves running in indicate. This has been the situation for all the five weeks I am back now and really frustrates especially the local handline fishermen and of course also the tourists that had been looking forward to some cool diving here. Long faces instead.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.