A quite usual September has passed with southeasterly winds in excess of 16 knots most of the time that halted any offshore fishing. But there were some short calmer spells already that allowed boats to go. Somewhat strange though that even then hardly anyone went out despite catches had been simply great. No lack of tourists as visitor numbers went up another 10% compared to an already strong last year and it looks quite busy for our diminutive standards. But there were really few fishing trips recorded here on Praslin and for example the usual suspects like Martin (Venture) and Christian (Djab Lavwal) did not get a single one. Even most active Mervin (Divinity) went only once. Funny enough he was back already two hours later as his Chinese first timer warmed up with a few Bonitos and then had a small Black Marlin on. The fish was brought to the boat but after that the chap was so overexcited and spent that he did not want to continue. A bit of a shame actually as looking at the overall situation he could have made it the fishing day of his life. But it probably was that already.
After a long absence the Yellowfin Tuna are back in big numbers. And in good sizes on top. Fish of up to 25kg are nice for the plateau and at the Drop the big ones roam around. This one of nearly 60kg was caught on the small boat YamSing by young Bertrand who was by far the busiest with half a dozen trips. These next to a double digit number of Sailfish produced four Black Marlin. He is really good but as long as he does not start to release at least some Billfish I have my troubles. Hope he will get there some point. Also Greg on Pipsqueek went once with guests and another time for fun filling the boat with Tuna and Wahoos on both occasions. As like on pretty much every trip by any other boat the hooked up to Billfish. A Marlin and a Sail came off while one more was released. Other skippers like for example Edwin on DanZil reported similar activity. It seemed simply impossible not to hook up to Sailfish or even Marlin those days and the amount of smaller gamefish was just nuts. Similar situation around Mahe. Once more the 9G Sportsfishing Team demonstrated the potential. One tour produced two Marlin and three Sailfish that of course were all released.
The team applies a total Billfish tag & release policy when practicable and is one of the main thrivers for that here thus supporting the Seychelles Sport Fishing Club´s efforts and its Release League a lot.
They bag the smaller gamefish like Tuna and Wahoos etc. of course and if things are like these days the outcome can be what you see here. Of course that large +70ft vessel can fish conditions and reach areas that normal charter boats can not so one should not expect similar results from those. Even more so as the team tends to fish longer hours on many occasions like this particular one. Still such a catch impressively demonstrates what is possible here these days on one side and the team`s skills on the other. That all this is not due to luck they proved again a few days later returning with lesser but bigger Tuna and four Sailfish release flags up.
In that vast of fish caught between the different boats along those days some noteworthy specimen stood out. The boat Scorpio from Praslin came home with a mighty 39kg Wahoo and SpecialK fishing the Denis Island area reported a Dorado of 19kg. As those rarely even just reach double digits in Seychelles this is a quite remarkable catch. And my fishing? Lots of other stuff to do and every time the wind would have allowed for a trolling trip on the small boat either I was busy or the boys had to work. Tried the microjigging gear and homemade hairjigs twice for a couple of hours in the protection of Praslin catching a bunch of Groupers, Jobfish and Snappers but all small. No better fish there those days. One day it was calm enough to try further out but to the same result. Just one better fish that must have been a nice size Trevally dropped the hook after a good run and another was stolen along with my jig by a Shark. Better that way actually as the bugger revealed himself as more than 3 meters long. Could not identify the species but clearly this was not something I would have liked to approach with my little pliers. Had more Shark troubles later eventually forfeiting a popper after avoiding several ones successfully and on the next cast releasing a 1.6m specimen among the usual trouble and mutual moroseness. On the other relatively calm day after catching this small GT on a trolled Halco when approaching the popping spot everything went bad.
Had a miss of an average low twenties GT and a little later another about same size dropped the hook. That combination of any stiff rod and the barbless single hooks just does not work for me. Adding to misery my Dogfight started to give trouble. Worked without any problems for three years but I felt it deserves a treat so gave her away for service. Bad mistake. No accusations though as mistakes just happen but now I am without and feel somewhat naked. Had to abandon fishing for that day and as to ridicule me encountered half a dozen Sailfish just outside Anse Lazio on the way home. One produced consecutive 32 jumps (I counted). Never seen this before. Good news is that the Southeast shows first signs of weakening and turning more to the east at times. Thus I hope that next month will allow for a lot more fishing and ideally a mid month report again. Last but not least I spent some work on the website. No all new design or so but added information here and there as well as a load of new pics. Also there is an all new section on fishing from charter sailing catamarans as there have been numerous inquiries for information on this topic and the fly fishing section underwent a complete revamp with lots of new information and pictures. Hope you are going to enjoy it.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.