big game trolling

This moment relaxed with a cool drink, at the next instant filled with adrenalin as a reel drag screams or the distinctive dorsal fin of a Billfish appears in the spread of lures - this makes the fascination of Big Game Trolling. The perspective to fight the fastest, largest and fiercest predators of the oceans, the chance for a catch bigger than the angler elevates this style of fishing for most to the ultimate angling challenge. Probably all that have ever felt the violent strength of a Sailfish or even a Marlin performing its spectacular tail dance on the sea`s surface will agree without confinement.

Seychelles fishing Marlin jump

Especially for Sailfish Seychelles is one of the best and most reliable fishing grounds on the planet. Abundant all year round particularly the second half of the year offers a good chance to tally one or with a bit of luck even a few of these fascinating and occasionally tricky fish. Sometimes striking without constraint they on others just come window shopping and eventually reject any offer. A spread composed of lures of different sizes and running schemes substantially increases the probability of a strike, while a stripbait is often another key to success. And as last resort there is still the option of offering a small dead or alive baitfish - if you have one at hands.

Seychelles fishing Sailfish

To catch a Sailfish in Seychelles you often do not need to venture far out. Some of the best spots are right on the plateau and often quite close to the islands. 

Seychelles fishing Marlin close

Same goes for Black Marlin which also like the shallow water of the plateau and have their peak season between September and March. Aiming at Blue and Striped Marlin you instead need to fish the Drop Off and areas beyond as these species prefer to stay over deep water. So do the worldwide rather rare Spearfish, which in 2012 were recorded in conspicuous numbers. Seychelles waters also hold Broadbill Swordfish as the longliners prove ever so often. Since 2015 a few sport sportsfishing boats caught some during nighttime trolling for those over deep water.

Subsequently with the exception of White Marlin only living in the Atlantic all other Billfish species are abundant in these waters. So if you are targeting a Billfish Slam - this means to catch three different species in a day - you should keep your eyes and mind on Seychelles. Next to ever present and countless Skipjack Tuna, Little Tunny and Bonitos also Dorados and Wahoos roam the plateau all year round in very good numbers, providing excellent light tackle sport. The `small slam´ of all three species is not uncommon. Toothy Barracudas and delicious Rainbow Runners add to the variety. And circling the structures for a while might well produce strikes of large Jobfish, Bluefin- or even Giant Trevally. Also Dogtooth Tuna are found in these places, the closer to the Drop Off the bigger. Their average size is between 25 and 40kg but significantly larger specimen can strike any time.

Seychelles fishing Dogtooth

Not to forget the Yellowfin Tuna of course. The seas surrounding Seychelles belong to the most productive on the planet for this species which unfortunately also attracts the purse seiners. But as these can not operate on the comparably shallow waters of the plateau catches of fish up to 25kg are common around the Inner Islands. The larger ones of up to 100kg prefer to stay in deeper waters along and outside the Drop Off. If you happen to sight a larger school of dolphins out there most of the time those big Tuna are with them.

With a view to multiple personal experiences worldwide and especially in the western Indian Ocean the author`s upshot is that comparably productive fishing grounds for especially Sailfish and Black Marlin are hard to find. For some species like Blue and Striped Marlin more promising destinations exist, though. Also very large specimen of certain kinds as for example Dorados exceeding 10kg are somewhat rare. Generally spoken Big Game Trolling in Seychelles´ waters stands out by variety and a very impressive frequency of strikes.

Seychelles fishing mixed trolling catch

Hint: It is no mistake to bring a handful of diving plugs as not all boats have them available. From personal experience these are the most productive lures here. This is even more true for difficult days with flat seas when fish are hesitant to hunt on the surface. Recommendable are Halco Laser Pro 190 and Rapala Magnum Countdown with metal lip. The latter is a bit less handy though as after hard strikes it often requires laborious adjustment of the eye to make it run straight again. Important are not too bulky swivels at the end of main or double lines respectively, wire trace of about 40kg and small crimps. Rigged this way these plugs run at the common trolling speeds of 5 to 9 knots without trouble. Good colours are natural blue-silver and the classic RedHead. On certain days pink beats anything, though.


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