The first few days since the last reports simply allowed for now fishing at all due to strong winds. Martin had two trips scheduled but even for relatively large Venture it was
just to rough blowing at around 20 knots.
Only Monday the 19th he could finally go out to the Drop Off though that day turned out somewhat slow with a Wahoo and 4 Yellowfin Tuna of up to just above 20kg. Jude (Holiday)
also fished out there receiving very few strikes and missing a Sailfish. Nearly dying to fish and also to move the boat I tried a bit of popping in the southern protection of Praslin despite
pretty much useless conditions for that. But as I recorded two GTs following my popper at the third cast and a miss briefly later I kept going for a little more than an hour. Without further
activity though. The following day the wind had picked up again but starting on the 21st we got a brief spell of calmer weather. Mervin (Divinity) had a half day that produced him a Wahoo and a
Dorado as well as a hefty strike. Buddy Carlos that day did a charter for his boss losing a Marlin early at the Drop. The rest of that day produced nothing but Bonitos. The next day Martin caught
a Sailfish out there but after that again it was only Bonitos. Seems the smaller Gamefish were either not around or sluggish. On the 25th it was finally calm enough to go for some popping
and jigging. The latter started well with a strike on only the third retrieve but I got only half of that nice Yellowspotted Trevally.
A little later a Yellowtail Trevally came up also followed by a Shark. After a small Jobfish I again hooked up with one of those large Dogtooth Tuna. Had closed the reel drag completely before and on top held on to the spool with the other hand. Or at least tried to do so as the fish did not mind the probably 20kg of resistance at all just running away. After 10 seconds the spool was so hot I had to let go. Another 5 seconds and the line got cut. It is always the same scheme: these fish run down onto that little plateau and over the sharp edge opposite side. After that I lost numerous jigs to Pickhandle Barracudas while catching a few. Popping also went far from perfect. Had a GT miss but also managed to avoid half a dozen Sharks within half hour. After a quite large one of about 2m ignored the rule not to eat a popper stopped dead but luckily dropping it after 3min or so I gave up. Was just glad I did not have to fiddle around with that thing for a release. On the 26th Carlos and guests landed a Marlin of just above 100kg. The following day Mervin released one a little larger and provided this nice pic:
In those days also a bit of news from Mahe came through. The boat Empress had a good day with 2 Sails as well as Wahoo, Dorados and a decent
Also a GT of around 40kg was reported. After that the wind picked up to 20 knots once more. With a view to this it was not so bad to learn that Martin had to cancel our
participation in the Marlin Slam Tournament held out of Mahe today due to a sustained injury. But in line with the wind dropping since yesterday and pretty ideal conditions now my frustration
rose. This even more so as the rules had been adapted to partial Marlin release which I always find worth to support. Results will only be available tomorrow so this has to wait until the next
The first week of the new year here in Seychelles provided some really bad weather: strong northerly winds and heavy rainfall created long faces not only with anglers but also
all other tourists. On the 2nd Carlos defied the conditions doing a trip for his boss on Delfino. That turned out well worth it as the group was rewarded not only with Dorados and Wahoos in good
numbers but also two Sailfish on top. Also Mike`s large Alati had some fishing out of Mahe which were extremely successful tallying a total of 5 Marlin and 4 Sailfish.
Also Max from Germany who had contacted me prior to his visit did a half day charter rather close to Mahe shores warming up for more fishing with 2 Tuna, a Dorado and some
Bonitos. On the 5th in still bad weather also Mervin (Divinity) went out but had to make do with some Dorados and Bonitos. Also they had trouble with Sharks stealing their fish and one even took
a trolling lure. The next day the weather finally calmed and even the sun showed up again. Perfect for Martin (Venture) who rather close to Praslin caught around 20 Dorados, Tuna and Wahoos that
day. On the 7th the weather was ideal so late morning I went for some popping and jigging. Arriving just on the turning tide at that jigging spot discovered in December already the third retrieve
produced a hookup of a smaller fish. That one was taken only seconds later by something substantially larger though. This resulted in quite a struggle during which the `monster´ let go the small
fish twice only to grab it once more and eventually taking a long run along that little plateau and over the edge into the depth. Felt my braided line rubbing along something down there and a few
seconds later it was all over.
The pic does not fully transport it but it was pretty spectacular and can be watched on this month`s video clip here. I quickly re-rigged and already on the next retrieve received
another hard strike. This time I tried to support the drag set at the max 15kg with my thumb but it made no difference at all. Also this fish went lost in its crazy run though by dropping the
hook this time. I had seen the fish briefly at the strike some 15m below the boat so I at least learned that I had most probably been dealing with some Dogtooth Tuna in the 30-40kg class. So that
spot seems to be working. Quite annoying though that later I lost 3 more good fish that I would estimate at 10-15kg. These also dropped the hook so I will have to change these coming with those
jigs. On the way back I did a bit of popping. Felt already a bit weak after that day in the full sun and having left my lunchbox behind. So I was not at all unhappy that the GT to deal with was
only an average specimen for Seychelles´ waters.
But at a size of about 25kg this is for sure not a fish to be ashamed of. Nice also that the GoPro caught everything from strike to landing and release perfectly. Watch it
you like. On top on the way out I had seen a tiny Sailfish of maybe 7 or 8kg jump a few times that I had first thought was a Garfish. It was really small and skinny and the smallest one I ever
saw. Also while jigging two Marlin had been jumping in that area. Or maybe it was the same one twice. Whatever, in any case it had been a very entertaining day. Later that evening I learned that
two boats had been out trolling that day but caught very little. Maybe due t the full moon? The next day I accompanied Mervin and Max the Drop Off. Again activity was rather low apart from
some two hours late morning. Mervin found an area full of dolphins. It must have been hundreds and I never saw so many in Seychelles in one place. Ever and ever again they jumped high out of the
water and the Tuna were with them as it happens so often here. Within two hours Max brought 9 to the boat and also a decent Wahoo.
After that activity had dissolved we got just one more and a couple of Bonitos in the rest of the day. Only late that afternoon and already quite close to the islands already a
Sailfish showed up briefly but did only play around a little. Same time two more boats had been fishing closer to Praslin. Again the usual areas produced pretty much nothing. But the boats were
lucky to detect two large pieces of debris close to each other so circling those produced them plenty Tuna and Dorados. In the meantime the wind had picked up again so conditions were far from
ideal for Max´ combined jigging and popping trip with Mervin on the 9th. But the GTs were active and on 7 raises Max and Mervin each had one on. I had joined to film and would have liked to show
you one but both managed to reach the rocks thus cutting the lines. These were both good specimen that had managed to run against the closed drags and if that happens there is nothing left to
win. Jigging was more than a consolation though. Twice we bumped into large shoals of Yellowtail- and Yellowspotted Trevallies accompanied by large Bonitos. This produced some cool footage. Some
of it underwater with hundreds of fish and even Sharks following hooked fish on their way up.
The anglers got a fish on at virtually every retrieve and can be watched in the video here, too. Very much at the end also a Doggie of around 15kg came up to round
off that day perfectly.
The two had jigged for only about 2 hours so with a view to this the overall catch was quite impressive.
On the 10th Martin wanted to fish the Drop but had to cancel due to really rough conditions. The day after he went in still strong winds but fishing only closer to the islands.
This produced the usual mix of smaller Gamefish as well as a Doggie of around 15kg. That same day Jude (Holiday) caught some Wahoos and Dorados and Carlos on Delfino lost a Marlin as the line
broke. Despite the weather fishing was really good those days as a boat from Mahe reported a Marlin of 120kg and lost another estimated at 80kg. Mike´s Alati hat another great trip with more than
20 Dogtooth Tuna exceeding 40kg as well as a tagged Sailfish. On top they raised 4 Marlin releasing one of 120kg or so.
This of course is just fantastic. Also here out of Praslin we saw a few more trips despite the wind. Christian (Djab Lavwal) had a couple of half days collecting the usual mixed
bag of Wahoos, Tuna and Doraods. Yesterday Martin actually went to the Drop Off returning with 5 Dorados and 3 Yellowfin Tuna weighing up to 17.5kg. Also they had two Sailfish in the spread but
those would not strike. These seem to be a bit skittish these days but it will hopefully only take a few days to get back to normal. All in all this makes a pretty good start to the year.
Especially when considering the unfavourable weather. Would be great if that wind would settle a bit to also allow for some more popping and jigging but at the moment the forecast looks not too
promising. That cyclone down in Mauritius seems to be sucking a lot of air. Last resort is always to fish from shore as a hotel guest in Grand Anse did: on light spinning gear he hooked up with a
78cm Bonito that gave him a 40min fight.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.