This is the locals´ traditional and favourite way to fish, be it professionally or for leisure. The gear simply consists of a strong handline that from an anglers point of view could nearly represent a rope, a set of mostly 3 to 6 hooks baited with chunks of fish and a heavy sinker at the end. The tradition is so deeply embedded in Seychelles´ culture that even most local fishing tournaments classify this fishing method equally to trolling.
Bottom fishing allows for catching about any species abundant. Locally most sought after is without doubt the delicious Emperor Snapper which can be found every now and then with European fishmongers most times falsely declared as Red Snapper.
Also many exotics make their involuntary way to the surface as Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and even the highly toxic Fugu which are only prepared by
specialised Japanese cooks after many years of education. Other common catches are other Emperors, `real´ Snappers of many kinds and a virtually countless different Groupers in occasionally
So if you are following the ever more popular trend of catching as many different species of fish as possible in your angling career doing some
bottom fishing is simply a must.
It is not just the variety of species but also the sheer quantity of fish that impresses. To get an idea check the video taken at the 2012 annual Rotary Tournament weigh-in. Please do not be shocked: the whole catch is for charity and not
a single scale is wasted.
Pretty much all boats provide handlines for their guests. If you prefer to fish with rod & reel
you should check beforehand on the availability unless you bring your own. For fishing on the plateau a rod of 100-150g casting weight, a sturdy reel with 30lb braid, trace material of about
0.90mm and hooks sized 2/0 to 6/0 make a reasonable setup. Anyone intending to fish at the Drop Off for large Amberjacks and Dogtooth Tuna should assemble the gear one or two classes stronger.
Usual depths are between 50 and 70m, on the Drop Off occasionally deeper. Availability of sinkers can become a bit of an issue. The ones supplied by the boats are often for the handlines, thus
too heavy for rods and comparatively thin braided lines. Either check before booking or bring a handful with you. For bait flesh of the ever present Bonito is preferred and usually provided by
the boat. Many species can also be caught on soft plastics like shads etc. Sometimes such offers are completely ignored though, or just grabbed by the tail. Then a stinger hook can make the
difference. Basically scented lures are the better choice but nothing beats a chunk of fish.