The weather forecast for the Inner Islands of the Seychelles predicted the Southeast to drop around the 20th of July and of course I hoped this situation to persist until my return from Germany after six long weeks without fishing on the 28th. But instead I was welcomed by nearly 20 knots of wind, grey skies and rain showers. Not the nicest conditions for the seven boats competing in the annual Sailfish Tournament held out of Mahe that day but at least the main protagonists were cooperative.
Winners turned out the 9G Sportfishing Team releasing 6 out 12 Sailfish raised with team FinS runner up with 5 releases. Altogether there were 14 Sails and one Marlin released in this competition. The Sails became active around the beginning of the month and like last year the green water I saw everywhere on the ferry crossing from Mahe to Praslin does not seem to bother them. With tourist numbers high again calm spells led to quite a lot of trips while as always around this time of the year many of those ended early after anglers had a good second look at their breakfasts enjoyed before. But who coped with the high swells was usually rewarded by some excellent fishing when going out with the right boats and crews. Especially Greg & Phil on their now totally refurbished boat (former Aquatic Dream now Bite Me) did very well. Three Sailfish within just 90 minutes on the 4th were only the start.
The following day they did even better even if that seems improbable. Six Sailfish along with Dorados and Wahoos on top is really excellent work.
These smaller Gamefish as well as the usual school size Tuna were very reliable and made up for the occasional but rare situation that the Sailfish would not show on the surface. Some Marlin also were still around at that time. Mervin (Divinity) released a Black estimated at 150kg while missing a couple more on short trips and also other boats reported hookups. After this calmer spell the wind picked up mightily and one morning even the international flights had to be diverted. No landings possible on Mahe and thus no fishing either of course. Only around the mentioned 20th the wind started to drop again. Right away the catches were great again with Greg & Phil shining with four Sails once more. Also they went to the Drop twice without guests to get some Yellowfin Tuna for restaurants that had ran out. About half a dozen Tuna each day might not sound too great but the fish were all in a 25-42kg range.
Phil got the biggest one on popper and I am sure he did not want another for a while. Sadly no pic of this great catch. Last week they also had a guest for fly fishing on the boat but the green water did not help to say the least. Great again we have so many options here and switching to a bit of popping turned out a smart move as it produced this GT leaving the angler visibly happy.
These tend to be cooperative at this time of the year when conditions permit to fish for them at all. So no big surprise that also Mervin did well with a guest. But of course five GTs in a day with three of those >30kg are a great achievement. Even more so as the strong current makes the fishing at the structures really tough while excluding many of the productive spots completely.
Having learned about all this I am of course now chewing fingernails. But going out is off the table for the moment with the wind so strong. On top Ted who looked after my boat during my absence reported a fuel line problem. This was solved quickly this morning but I found the fishfinder`s transducer dangling. The mounting broke so another headache to deal with. Too windy also for fly fishing of course but I spent two hours on the flat yesterday afternoon. Pretty mad in 17 knots of Southeast but I just had to try my new rod. Hans who was prominent in the recent reports and is a seasoned rod builder who also does the traditional ones from split bamboo made it for me tailored to my casting style. What a most generous present, many thanks again. If anyone is interested in such a fine tool let me know and I will be happy to get you in touch. No chance to spot anything but seaweed in that murky soup but the turtlegrass eventually produced a few small Snappers.
I do not expect anyone to be impressed by this tiny thing but it was the first catch with the new rod so it means a lot to me. Today the wind had dropped by about two knots and turned a bit more southerly. Unfortunately not enough to cast beyond the reef edge at Anse La Blague where bait panicked every so often. After two hours of unrewarded effort and washed ultimately clean by the countless breakers I retreated but managed to pick up a Snapper of about a pound and a smaller Trumpetfish close to shore. Again nothing for the history books but what really counts is that at last I am back to my favourite place on earth and fishing again.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.