It was a quite typical month of June here in Seychelles: few tourists thus also few fishing trips and on top the Southeast blew at between 15 nd 20 knots most of the time. But we had some spells of calmer winds that allowed the few anglers at least occasionally to go out trolling. Main target were the Sailfish which are abundant in stunning numbers these days but quite often tricky to catch. Edwin (Dan Zil) on the 3rd still got three and the next day the boat “Alati” tagged and released this fine specimen.
After that it got very windy but at the 10th the wind dropped just in time for the Heineken Slam Tournament. The goal for this tournament is to catch as many and as heavy `Slams´ of Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado as possible. Winner turned out `Alati´ beating ´Special K´ for second spot. The largest Tuna weighed at 24kg while the heaviest Wahoo had 17.5kg. The nine boats also caught numerous Sailfish but these played no role for the tournament and were tagged and released as well as a Marlin caught on `Albermarlin´ while that boat missed another. That comparatively calm Saturday had enticed me to go popping once more though conditions were quite on the edge for that. At the first spot seven consecutive casts raised a probably record breaking 17(!) Sharks so I changed area. Still a few more Sharks there but at least it was bearable. A Wahoo missed the popper in a spectacular jumping attack and the only GT of the day came late. Precisely two seconds too late actually as I had just lifted the popper out of the water next to the boat when it came up right there. Difficult to see the swirl in the pic but in the short video sequence here it is more visible.
Along the following days the wind was very strong again but on the 15th it dropped to about 11 knots. So another chance for popping but the big swell hitting the southern coastlines of two islands I tried made it tough. Very frustrating on top that a nice size GT of around 30kg missed the popper while a smaller one of about 20kg dropped the hook a minute or so into the fight. Of course the usual entertainment or rather nuisance by Sharks was provided. Two popping days without even catching a single fish (Sharks don`t count) are a disappointment but I must say such settings still make Seychelles by far the best place to catch nothing.
That same day the large private Riviera `9G´ equipped a Sailfish with a satellite tag. It will be interesting to learn in a while what that fish has been up to in the meantime. On top that trip produced a nice bag
of Tuna and Wahoo. For the following week wind of at times well above 20 knots kept boats and anglers ashore but starting on the 23rd a few days with fishable conditions were predicted. The charter Riviera `Blue Lady´ was busy at the eastern drop with a good dozen Yellowfin Tuna of up to 30kg but unfortunately missed all 4 Marlin raised that day. Meanwhile around Praslin Sandro went as mate on the boat `Eve´ and reported some 10 or so Sailfish in the spread but none could be hooked so the boat returned with 3 Wahoos and 2 Dorados. Also that day Jan from Germany fished a half day out of La Digue on `Belle Petra 2´ catching his very first Sailfish after numerous attempts in preceding years. The following day the anglers on `Eve´ hooked 4 Sails but lost 3 of them. Same time Jan went once more for another half day and I tagged along. We saw 3 Sails but none got hooked so that trip resulted in a Dorado this Wahoo while two more each stole a lure cutting the leader.
Also that day things went a lot better for Mervin (Divinity) in another area as he got 4 Sailfish. It was essential to pick the right area which held a few active and hungry specimen. On one day that seemed the case rather northerly of Praslin and on another rather in the East. The alternative was to insist in an area where they were roaming around in really high numbers hoping that some point they would start to feed or at least make a mistake. After another spell of strong winds that strategy worked out nicely for Mervin once more. With Jan as angler and mysef as cameraman in a half day we saw more than 25 Sailfish finning underneath small groups of birds and some we passed only a few meters away. Most of these fish were completely uninterested but next to a few rather half hearted knocks we were able to catch and release 3.
Watch a little sequence of one of those here if you like. As these few hours also produced 4 Dorados it was a very entertaining trip in still quite rough seas. These conditions of course along the month had made sure we saw some trips cut short by guests who had sacrificed their breakfast to the fish. A usual thing to happen at this time of the year. On the other side rather small `Delfino´ went out on one of the really rough days. The boat was not able to cuise to the intended fishing area due to too high seas so they started trolling already at the tip of Curieuse. Only a few minutes later and still close to shore they received a strike and the fish turned out a Black Marlin of about 100kg that was eventually caught. Lucky buggers. Would have liked to go trolling today as the wind had calmed further but the boys had to work. Instead I grabbed some tackle and went to the western bank. Trolling two lures to the area produced not even a knock. That area seemed just lifeless: no birds, no bait, no visible activity. Also that one jiggingspot was pretty dead with a snapper of about 2kg which is locally called Captain Blanc the only catch in nearly two hours. After a few popper casts a Jobfish came into the boat which can not really impress by size but instead by its greed. Unbelievable that such a smal fish attacks a popper that splashes so massively. It should be scared instead.
After that on this westerly part of the bank I only missed a knock while being distracted by a Frigate Bird continously attacking my popper. Really have no interest at all in dealing with such claws and beak. From the corner of my eye I think to have seen the fish was a Barracuda about a meter long but am not sure. Else that area was plain dead. Not even a single one of the usually countless Sharks turned up. Those I found later on the eastern part of that bank but no GT at all. So rather a slow day. Am pretty sure that someone must have made use of today´s really perfect trolling conditions but will get the news only tomorrow. If anything noteworthy comes up you will learn about it in the next report.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.