Another month of Southeast has passed but all in all in was a somewhat untypical September with 10 to 12 calmer days of windspeeds around 10 knots or so. Also average wind speed as well as peaks were lower than usually. The charter boats could not really benefit from that though as most of the tourists have disappeared. But a lot of locals made use of the opportunities to go trolling for leisure and the results were pretty great. Nearly every trip produced Sailfish, often more than one, and some of really good size. This one was caught by Scottish angler Alan on Tranquility and must have weighed between 40 and 50kg.
Bit sad that skipper Jacques boated the fish but he never caught one that size before and the second of the day remained in the water. Things went quite alike on most trips done. Whether it was Christian (Djab Lavwal), Mervin (Divinity) or whoever: it seemed relatively difficult not to catch a Sailfish. On top the other species were very active, too. A private boat one day found an aggregation of Wahoos and after 30 or so had enough of it. A few days later the guys reported a Black Marlin, also did Bertrand (Yam Sing) and Mervin had a Stripey at the Drop Off. Out there along several days he also got double digit numbers of Yellowfin Tuna in good sizes up to 55kg. Should have received some pics of all that but sadly they never came. Also Andre and Greg fished a lot on Pipsqueek and their new larger boat catching loads of fish. A large floating debris was a nice thing to find and produced 7 Dorados and 18 Wahoos in a day while multiple Sailfish were a common catch.
For months these are now staying in the dirtiest areas of the still all green sea which we all find very unusual. Would have liked to have a go but with my boat still due for the boatyard there was no chance. Tried twice to fix the steering but can not get the hydraulic leak fixed. So can only steer via the two throttles and was thus limited to a few drifts in the La Digue Channel for some light jigging. That was nice though with numerous fish and a few good ones like a Bluefin Trevally and some Jobfish of around 5kg that were fun on the light gear while this fat Jobfish of about 10kg stood out and kept me busy for nearly half an hour. Quite a special one, have not seen really bigger ones here yet.
The situation on Mahe was pretty much the same with catches coming steadily and like here on Praslin loads of Sailfish and Tuna.
Among the latter was one of 110kg that should have smashed the National Record and on top was caught on the shallow plateau. Unfortunately it was not weighed officially and neither there seems to exist a foto that I would of course have liked to show you here. But this pic by Faizal of a day´s catch unveils the stunning number of fish that could be caught here these days. Also Dave skippering BlingBling on the west side of Mahe who I got to know recently sent some catch reports and pictures. Good to see the competence he unveiled in our conversations extends into practice. As the Dorados usually do not get too big here this is a series of really decent specimen for our standards.
That lee side of Mahe also must have allowed for some bottom fishing as these good size Emperor Snappers prove. Nice to see a few red fish in the report again for a change. The lad seems to know his spots which means he is an option for jigging also. Good news with a look to the shortage of recommendable boats for this cool way of fishing.
Apart from some Sailfish there was unusually little to hear from the 9G Sportsfishing Team but last weekend they shone again. This is the very first Broadbill caught in Seychelles on rod & reel during daylight hours which allowed for this cool and probably quite rare underwater pic.
With a view to the time of day and the light that one for a change was not caught trolling but instead while drifting and deep dropping. So this also works here. In line with the team`s continuous conservation efforts the fish was of course released. Looking closely one can even see the tag in its back.
Also they were involved in the recapture of a Sailfish they had tagged only five days before it was caught again by another boat. Seems such incident has no real impact on their appetite. To round things off for this month a short abstract of the little fly fishing I try to conduct 2-3 times a week weather permitting. Catches continue to come regularly, most of the time the usual suspects of up to 1kg or so presented to you along recent months. But still something so far unseen pops up every so often like this one which must be another kind of Barracuda.
Good size fish appear occasionally but then usually too far away or upwind. Virtually no way of stalking them to get in a good casting position with the visibility so poor. How difficult the fly fishing is in these conditions for anyone also Scottish angler Alan mentioned earlier confirmed. Despite decades of general and even from earlier visits some local experience he was facing the same issues. We both fished a lot while he was here and exchanged information but the joint conclusion was that during this time of the year it takes lots of persistance, blind casts and luck to get on a good fish. Some point it then just happens like last week in the bay off my place. Suddenly there were four or five dark torpedos about a meter in size behind my fly and before I could wonder what or how hell broke loose. A good 70 meters of line went in seconds, managed to retrieve 30 or so in the next few minutes as the fish had bolted away in a part circle but on the next run the leader popped. Think this must have been GTs that with a view to their length I estimate at 15-20kg. So even beginners have a realistic opportunity of hooking really great fish any time and in any conditions. But for something like that one needs to have the right gear in use of course and with my little #7 outfit I probably stood no chance against that caliber anyways. Nice though was one noon`s fishing a small protected corner with a bit clearer water. Managed to twice spot a school of 1.5-2kg fish and even sneak into a casting position. Services came well enough so managed to catch two of these Bastard Mullets.
This was finally then a bit of `real´ fly fishing with proper spotting and all while those admittedly are beginner friendly fish which are not so spooky and fussy. Still it felt good and on top I was lucky that a friendly Dutch fly angler had just come by and took a few really nice pics.
Also had a chance for a Bonefish one of those days but only saw it when the pattern was very close already. It made two interested moves on the two careful strips I had left but then looked at me knowingly and swam away with an arrogant grin. Still these small incidents keep my optimism up that some point I will manage to catch something proper that way. Maybe even soon when the Southeast has gone to sleep which should allow for more sightings and better approaches. For now I am totally out of business though as last Sunday one of those many Stingrays got me. Had been told that the effects are nasty and can fully confirm. Not recommendable and double annoying as I had to call of the next day´s long awaited appointment at the boatyard on top of all. At the beginning of last week a large scale weather map showed sort of a cyclone just 100 miles or so east of us.
It is absolutely the wrong season for such and next to that these are not supposed to appear that far north and close to the equator. Since we are watching things carefully as the different forecasts are contradicting with some predicting it will move west far enough south of us and falter while others insist we will be partially hit tomorrow and the days after by massive rainfalls and winds of up to 35 knots suddenly changing from south to north. Not so nice for us boat owners as nobody really knows at this stage where the boats will be safe. Like every year hopes will raise gradually along the month to come for the Southeast to falter which will then finally allow for jigging and popping again. If it goes well I might even be able to return to usual fequency of biweekly reports. Let`s wait and see.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.