That just ending month started pretty uncool for me as firstly my order for new propellers on the 1st coincided right with the beginning of a five day holiday period in China. Secondly I suffered a bite of a dog that had been all friendly the prior day properly in my thigh. So was out of any fishing and even just fly as that wound needed to be kept clean and dry of course. Sort of lifesaver was Matthias from Germany whom I set up with Sandro for three half days and a full day with Sandro on Frenzy. Just right for his first day out on the 6th the Southest dropped to comfortable and with some precaution I could join. This first half day trolling was lively all in all with two Wahoos caught and two more getting away as that Sailfish also managed by throwing the lure while leaping about.
Two days later we went to the Drop Off for jigging. Matthias insisted to use his Catfish vertical setup but that visibly was not perfect. On top the bite was pretty slow so most of the time he was just watching when Sandro, Anil or myself also fishing in turns brought up a somewhat better fish.
Only in the afternoon when the bite improved a little Matthias also jigged a bit faster and was rewarded with a few presentabl catches at last.
Still it was a rather slow day as also the Tuna to be cast at did not show at all. For a while Mervin with guests jigged close to us on a
friend`s boat as his new one is being built up. Relatively early we heard excitement from there and via the radio were informed about a for our standards pretty big Amberjack. Definitely a fish to show. Well, if one manages to hold it. Really a fantastic catch. The previous day the group had been after the GTs and caught an also pretty large one that was of course released.
Another two days later we went for the seond half day trolling with Matthias. Strangely and against all expectations pretty much nothing happened around the early morning high tide but towards noon and low tide it turned very active as apart from a single Wahoo all other fish came in the final two hours. Thanks to two Tuna, two Doardos and another really fat Wahoo Matthias achieved a double IGFA Offshore Grand Slam.
His final trip on the 12th was not quite as good with a single slam. All in all trolling for the really nice chap as well as for the other boats fishing at that time was rasonably solid. Just all those Sailfish sadly seemed to have gone. That evening my friend Ted called me in a bit of panic. His boss had accepted a charter and found out later that it was for GT popping which he is not into. If I …? So the next morning at 6am I stood on a very nice but for this stuff unsuitable leisure boat. Ted was sick and the replacing skipper also had no clue of what was to be done. Add pouring rain and strong wind, thus really rough murky water around those structures, no echosounder on that boat and one of the pair of anglers vomitting after 15mins and you have all ingredients to provide for a perfect day out. Must say that both anglers, Ricardo & Ricardo from Italy, had excellent tackle and fished really good. Well, when they both fished… The fit one managed to raise two GTs in 3hrs that both missed and then they decided to call it a day. I did not object. On one spot out there suddenly Mervin with his guests on Lady C approached with wonder on his face. The smart bugger had of course waited on shore until the weather had improved, fished the whole day in eventually perfect conditions and was rewarded with two GTs. Here is the bigger one.
Sandro then continued to fish with the two Ricardos another 6 days as planned. Jigging at the Drop was tough though as a hard current pushed onto the plateau but still they managed a not so bad mix of nice fish and also some Tuna casting.
The best fish of those trips I think should not be overlooked amongts the others in the album. What a fat Grouper.
A few days later my new propellers arrived and also the leg had healed. So on the 20th at last I was able to head out for some mixed fishing. An hour`s GT popping produced a miss of one among several Sharks following. Jigging was okay with about 30 fish in 4hrs and a few presentable ones in between. But another 2hrs trolling two lures between the spots went rather disappointing with a just a double strike of Tuna.
So not great but neither too bad. The next day the wind for the first time came from north and quite strong on top at times reaching about 15 knots but the morning after had dropped a fair bit again. Thus good enough conditions for Dirk and his son Neo from Germany whom I had helped with some not completely useless shore fishing information to round off their holidays by a half day jigging. So with Sandro we went, those Bludgers were cooperative again, a few Tuna casting came on top and we had loads of fun.
None of that for me though the day after in still northerly but along the hours dying wind. After 7hrs of determined casting for a GT I had raised two of which one just knocked the lure away with its mouth visibly closed and the other just turned away as the handful of Bluefin Trevallies and Jobfish also did. Even the Sharks were lethargic and thus easy to avoid except for the one caught in a bizarre way. The stickbait was motionless in the water next to the boat while I looked for the baitball when the gear was nearly ripped out of my hand. The idiot was in an as bad mood as me so I did not take him out for a pic and actually else totally blanked along that trip. Sandro that morning also tried for GTs with the two Ricardos but raised nothing until noon. So they resorted to that jigging bank getting more of the Bludgers and Tuna casting. The next day they went to the Drop where jigging was very slow but casting for Tuna produced. Biggest was this one of about 30kg.
That Tuna was attacked close to the boat by a big Marlin Sandro estimated at around 350kg. Quickly they caught a livebait and after an hour got a strike. The fish was brought close with no effort but held on the leader revealed itself as a smaller Marlin in the 200kg range and ran away. It took another 1.5hrs to bring it back alongside and release it after some fotos. Still more spectacular I think is this cool pic of the big one.
Another day later with in wind having turned back to southeast I intensely worked two spots in that direction for two hours each again to find a GT. But apart from a miss and some Sharks running after the lure nothing at all happened. These Geets must have been on a diet those days. Plan B was to head out into the open blue water to find some Tuna to cast for as they had been there in piles along the previous weeks but that also went wrong: after 4hrs of trolling and searching I had caught a single Kawa Kawa and not seen anything at all. The birds and all the activity had just gone from there. Must have been bad luck as the next day it worked there again so Sandro and his two Italians on their last day really harvested. A Sailfish on popper came away though. Along the following days Sandro kept fishing. Now with a new group and at the Drop again. Out there the rather small though Tuna were cooperative and casting they caught up to 19 in a day plus some other species close to an atol in the north.
Also another jigging trip to the east turned out very lively with Amberjacks of up to 18kg and 13 not too big Doggies among other catches. So while all in all the number of trips here especially for popping & jigging were still far below the pre-pandemic Octobers fishing as you could see was pretty good (except for me …). Will be interesting to see what happens when Mervin is back on the water which should not be too long from now as his boat is really taking shape. On my end it looks rather quiet for the first half of November until mid month my friends Marco & Jörg come to fish with me. Only for a week though this time as on the 22nd I will head on cat to the Amirantes once more. Thus the November report will possibly pop up already just before that or maybe only after my return early December. Will have to see how things go and I can handle it.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.