During September the Southeast Monsoon continued to master Seychelles. The beginning and the end of the month provided some short spells of wind around 12 to 14 knots but most of the time we had to deal with 17 to 20 knots. When fishing was possible the results were mostly pretty good and actually excellent on some occasions.
On the 3rd Christian (Djab Lavwal) had a half day with 3 Wahoos, a Dorado and some Bonitos and the day after Edwin (Dan Zil) recorded another 3 Wahoos along with 3 Yellowfin Tuna and some Bonitos. On the first weekend of September the wind dropped a bit but as we here on Praslin had a three day fiesta going nearly everyone was celebrating instead of going fishing. Part of the program was a small handline fishing competition with 5 little boats that next to the usual assortment of bottom fish produced this decent Barracuda.
Only buddy Carlos had a trip for his boss that turned out really good. After bagging plenty of Wahoos and Tuna together with a Sail the last strike of day turned out to be a Marlin of around 70kg. At the beginning of the following week Bertrand (Yam Sing) had two trips on consecutive days. Next to Tuna, Dorados and Bonitos they caught a whopping 21 Wahoos on day one and another 15 on day two. Middle of the month brought some heavy rain along with the strong wind so hardly anyone went out. Mathieu was willing to go to the Drop Off but they had to give up on that and instead fished around the islands returning with some Wahoos, Dorados and Bonitos. Also Carlos had another trip with pretty much the same result. Towards the following weekend the weather got a little better and Mahe reported a good catch on Saturday the 20th: a Sail of 32kg, some larger Tuna and on top 2 Marlin. Here on Praslin a boat caught the usual mixed bag of Dorados, Wahoos and Tuna but missed a Sail. Pity as this would have been another Super Grand Slam. The 23rd then produced a really exceptional catch. Friend Koos caught this really nice Yellowfin Tuna:
A very decent fish for sure. But to catch it from shore (at Cousine Island) and on top on fly I think is really an outstanding achievement. Congratulations! The day after Christian had another trip and reported next to the usual bycatch a Sailfish. On the 25th again Bertrand had a memorable day. At the Drop Off they had many Sailfish in the spread catching two along with a mixed bag of the smaller gamefish. Also they caught a Marlin and lost another two. Meanwhile fishing around the islands could not match this by far. Mervin (Divinity) had to content himself with a few Dorados and Bonitos. But after my boat`s hydraulic steering was finally fixed and the engines serviced neither this nor the bad weather could stop us (that is Ted, Carlos & I) from finally going out again. Unfortunately it rained cats & dogs throughout the day and the sea was really bad as the old big swell continued to come from Southeast while the wind had changed to Southwest. This created a very ugly choppy sea and it was nearly impossible to fish on the tiny boat. After 6 hours in which we had just managed to scrape together a few Bonitos and two Dorados (one more came off) we were ready to give up. One of those Dorados displayed a very impressive series of jumps though.
Just before lines out we finally got a hefty strike on a larger outrigger lure but the fish did not hook up. When Ted was clipping the line back in it was pulled out of his hand and we briefly saw a Sailfish`s bill sticking up into the air. This one would have saved the day as it seemed a larger one but circling the area for a while did not bring it back. Today Mervin was out once more fishing north of Praslin. He said there was lots of activity as the small crabs are drifting on the surface and he saw a couple of Sailfish. But as these would not eat he returned with a few decent size Tuna and a Wahoo of over 20kg. Also around Mahe there are many Sailfish close by that are much more willing to strike than in the weeks before and also plenty of Wahoos as Faizal briefly reported. Finally I had a phone chat with Henry Riggs-Miller today who owns FinS Tackle (www.fins.sc) and fishes off Denis Island regularly. His favourite style is Ballyhoo on light tackle which he is excellent at as I had once the pleasure to witness. On a first afternoon fishing on Special K he raised 8 Sails getting 7 strikes and eventually tagging 5. The next day he tagged another one. Of course there was the usual bycatch of Dorados and Tuna just missing the Wahoo so the first day produced a couple of Grand Slams (3 out of 4 of those species) and the second even a Super Grand Slam (4 out of 4). Another one was achieved last week with 11 Dorados, 13 Tuna, a Wahoo and a Sail release. The next day it was `only` a Grand Slam as again the Wahoo would not come. Last Friday he went out from Mahe to the Southern Drop on the new boat Alati. This produced a tagged Black Marlin and the in play loss of probably a Yellowfin Tuna they estimated at 50-70kg. But Henry said the best day fishing this month for him was the mere hour he spent trolling the shallows with his three year old daughter. The little girl in this short time caught a Doggie, a Green Jobfish, a Bluefin Trevally and a Yellowfin Tuna. None of these huge fish but hopefully this will mark the start of a long lasting passion and successful fishing career for the young lady.
All in all the fishing was very much okay to say the least when considering how little opportunity to fish the weather offered and how rough the conditions were. But it seems the Southeast will cease now: yesterday the wind had shifted to West for the first time and it is the same today. For the coming days the forecast predicts around 10 knots of wind from changing directions. Conditions should now gradually improve and get pretty perfect. So if this change does not kill the fishes` appetite we can look forward to some more excellent fishing to come.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.