Spoke of slight optimism here in the last edition but that sadly crumbled along this now gone month of June. Tourist arrivals still linger around 30% of the pre pandemic levels but that is too little to live and just too much to die for most related businesses here. Especially as nearly all visitors opted for the 4 and 5 star resorts that dropped their prices a lot so the rest gets pretty much nothing. On top comes that despite prolonged or reestablished and tightened restrictions like nightly curfew, closed schools and contacts limited to none infection figures remain steady at around 1,000 per week within the polulation of not even 100,000. Probably due to the now officially acknowledged presence of the Alpha, Beta and Delta mutations. With roughly 70% of the population fully vacczined we can probably say Goodbye to the dream of achieving herd immunity. On the fishing side to start with a catch that Greg notified me of just after the last report went online. He and Andre had gone without guests to troll a few Tuna for the kitchen and jigged a bit when the bite slowed. Suddenly the water around the boat boiled from Tuna, Rainbow Runners, Sharks and all sorts of other fish ravaging a baitball. Greg cast a popper and after a long struggle to their surprise this monster of a GT surfaced.
What a beast. Think I need to give it a try there when the Southeast drops again in a few months time. Along the first half of the month it behaved quite well and even offered me two more opportunities to head out alone on the small boat. On the 8th it was all GT popping but got nothing except two lackluster follows and one on that dropped the hook below the boat. Sharks were annoying all along the day and stole my favourite stickbait. The quickly jigged dinner Jobfish fell off when I wanted to grab it and my little PE2 jigging reel gave up right after. Not my day. Four days later I repeated the trip that had produced me that Sailfish last month but this time without much luck. Again and in the same spot a Sailfish came within minutes to that same Halco Laser Pro but instead of hooking up it broke the lip of the lure. The jigging spot worked even worse than last time with just 4 small kitchen fish along as many hours. Then due to an electrical problem my fishfinder and GPS faltered so it had to be popping again at that Shark infested spot nearby. Luckily none of these buggers hooked but also nothing more caught than a stupid Garfish. Obviously not my week. In between I had been out for an afternoon`s GT popping with Sandro on Frenzy and guest Jawad from Nepal. Activity was simply great but bad luck was ith us to some degree as on top of several misses 3 good size Geets cut off in the rocks. But with these two slightly below average specimen and that Bluefin Trevally caught it was lively at least.
Meantime some of the boats that have a foot in the door of the top hotels had a few charter trips. In those for June still rather moderate 12 to 15 knots many guests called for early return though as so often during the Southeast. Greg currently fishing for and with JD on One Love went to the Drop Off on one of those two really calmer days and the guests enjoyed great action with Yellowfin Tunas of up to 45kg.
Apart from that the bits of fishing only took place around the islands. That was slower on some days but better on most with the usual assortment of smaller Tuna, Wahoos and Dorados. The Sailfish meanwhile were quite cooperative. Even the sailing cats usually trolling only one or at best two lures when cruising between the islands were successful often enough. This one though was again caught by JD and one of his guests.
Since mid of the month the Southeast has now established itself at its usual 15 to 20 knots and at times more so boat fishing activities are off. Still last week I went into the somewhat protected La Digue channel to test my electrics fix and jig a few kitchen fish. Was tough as the current exactly offset the wind so no drift at all. Thus it was motoring around to find a few small fish aggregations here or there. Had hoped to get one of those Golden Trevallies to catch at least one reasonable fish but nope. Clearly not my month. Else I`ve been watching the ongoing dying of those Mackerel in front of my place as the baitball meanwhile reduced to about 10% by net fishing, their disease and predators is still sitting here. A few Trevallies and a bunch of Bonitos or precisely Kawa Kawas had come in here to enjoy that buffet. Not interested at all in the flies I served a few times. Instead it was a Mackerel on each and every cast. Even on patterns their size tied on 8/0 hooks. Ridiculous. The locals though with their casting handlines and a whole Mackerel as bait were catching like crazy.
For a while old and young, male or female were enjoying themselves here catching whatever they could get. Sadly also one of those rare Guitar Rays that was easy 2.5m long. And also that pair of large Stingrays that I had observed for weeks fell pray to spears. Not nice to watch and that one really pretty sight in the left right corner of the pic could only partly make up for that. But not enough to lift my currently somewhat depressed mood so I am looking forward to disappear from here for a few weeks on Friday. Well, if Germany should not decide to tighten entry rules from Seychelles to indigestible until then.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.