Rare not to bring you a mid month report in February but the first two weeks due to strong winds allowed for next to no fishing. Greg (Bite Me) went to the Drop Off twice with insisting guests for jigging. For the conditions it was not bad with the usual suspects but after three hours in the superfast drift working heaviest jigs they had enough and scrambled home in tough upwind conditions. Meanwhile German repeater Jochen was waiting for his chance. As to fish a bit I directed him to that one protected spot that last month had produced me the decent Golden Trevally. Nice to learn there was another one for him that provided the typical long and tough fight on the fly gear.
Place produced nothing else noteworthy for him along the following days so I could calmly recover from the really bad flu that knocked me over for nearly two weeks. Because of that I also did not tag along on the 8th when Jochen eventually went with Scandinavian angler Ludvig and Mervin (Divinity) for that Drop Off day. Conditions were still pretty rough but jigging was quite good. Two Tuna were hooked popping of which one came away and a 2m Bullshark on jig killed Jochen`s back properly. No pic of that one though as it came away close to the boat.
Only by mid month the constant wind became a bit more erratic occasionally luring anglers on the boats and at sea. Often though it was windier than predicted and a trip with very nice English angler James to the Drop was impacted by that. Poor James was already unwell when we reached the destination and after a couple of fish caught had to admit he could not bear it. He felt a little better when the boat was moving and as the return trip was pretty upwind trolling home was the option. Marvin tried hard to find a Sailfish for him but as none showed two Wahoos had to make up for that somewhat.
James understandably cancelled his second trip scheduled for two days after. Weather looked good enough for a bit of fly fishing that morning though so I invited him to join me. We had a splendid morning exchanging fishng tales, laughing a lot and were on top blessed with three proper size Brassy Trevallies that made the lines sing next to a few smaller fish. Was excellent fun and I was most happy to have provided the real gentleman with a good time fishing even if it was different than planned. Spectacular on top was the Shark attacking the last Trevally several times right until the rod tip.
Another two days later Jochen did a second Drop Off jigging trip again with Mervin and this time German angler Dominik. Popping rods were at hands and we indeed saw a large school of Tuna feed in the morning but no chance to hook them as when the boat approached they just dived. Only during the jigging when engines were off along a few suspicion casts when birds hovered around the boat a couple were hooked. Jigging was solid. Bit below par in numbers but some quality fish caught as you can see.
Dominik`s Doggie in the left upper corner produced a run so crazy that we expected a much bigger specimen. Only other option was a foul hooked one and that is what it eventually was. Still the run was abolutely impressive. Posted a little video of that on the facebook site here. Just scroll down to the 20th. Definitely worth watching. Along the following week wind speeds oscillated at around 15 knots and boats went trolling every so often. Not much to earn for them at the Drop Off as the pelagic activity is still on the plateau. The Sails also are still around in good numbers. JD (One Love) had a big one, Brandon (Island Rhythm) two and Mervin even three in a half day. No pics at all sadly as it was just too rough or they ended up with the clients. Surprisingly few Marlin seen here so far as the season is on. Only Mervin lost one as the guest somehow opened the reel drag by mistake and the fish made best use of the subsequent bird`s nest. Mahe boats fared a bit better on those with a specimen of just under 500lb weighed and this one caught by local angler Darryn that was released. Nice underwater pic.
Totally wrong went an afternoon`s GT popping and light jigging on the 25th for German angler Dietmar with Mervin. Weather looked calm with just some scattered showers at sea all morning so at noon we headed south to Fregate. While jigging few spots nearby at low tide the sky turned grey from north, the rain poured down hard, the wind came up strong, and we had a long and bumpy ride back into the protection of La Digue. Jigging remained slow despite the nice rising tide and to add to misery Sharks took about every reasonable one of the rather few fish hooked. The Sharks were unfortunately also the only ones interested in the poppers cast when the tide was good and the rain never stopped along the trip. Was pretty miserable in all aspects except for Ditemar`s nevertheless happy mood and this Bluefin Trevally is the only fish somewhat worth showing from all that.
The only good part in all that was that we at last got some more precipitation as the whole rain season has been far too dry. More rain was forecast along these last few days along with the usual wind peaks brought by these cells. But while we got much lesser than predicted of both nobody wanted to go out with such perspective. On the morning of the 27th the wind was actually completely gone and the bay off my place even looked good enough for an attempt with the fly rod. Checking for activity I saw the Trevallies go crazy off my favourite rock so grabbed the gear and ran. Had about 15 seemingly clear takes of the 4 inch Clouser along the first half dozen casts but for whatever reason no hookup. Switching quickly to a much smaller pattern only half the size worked instantly though. The Brassy Trevally was followed by his buddies all along the fight until a meter from the rock but after the release they all disappeared: none more even just seen along the next two hours during which the northerly wind set back in making further fishing of the spot impossible. But yesterday morning it was calm again so added two more in a lively two hour session with several follows, missed and a few that dropped the flies. Just sad that the afternoon session planned with Andre was blown away by the north wind and now the perfect bay is the seasonally typical murky mess again.
Once more and as usually it is all about being in the right place at the right time and it is just luck to live right there as else the opportunity rare and unexpected opportunity at this time of the year would have passed. Useful learning on top that reducing fly size drastically can make all the difference. My boat meanwhile was unattended for the whole month apart from a few hours one afternoon when I had to run the engines a bit. Took a popping rod and just went to the harbour rocks. Lots of activity there with a bunch of not too large GTs in the 1m range following the popper twice pushing and shoving so none really had a chance. Raised several Doggies without a hookup a little later on the other side. Not the biggst fish at 5-15kg but had not seen any of these there for years when they loitered around the structure for a while. As soon as there is a chance I will check if they are still there. But this will have to wait until the weather that is right now a proper mess will improve.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.