The days after the most recent report continued to provide perfect weather but sadly the number of trips went down sharply. Martin had a half day on Makaira with a Wahoo and the usual assortment of bottom fish. The following day buddy Carlos had a trip for his boss with a couple of Dorados and Wahoos. On top they first lost a Sail and later even a Marlin that both had seemed safely on. As at lines out another Sail hooked up and stayed on the client eventually got his Billfish and was very happy. My Swiss friend Fritz spent the last few days of his time in Seychelles up north on Denis Island and sent me this pic of a nice day`s catch he made there:
A Sail that came off would have made the day perfect. Besides all that only Greg had some Fly guiding which also produced a few nice fish and thus a lot of fun.
On the 21st we encountered really strong northerly winds so it took a few days until the sea calmed and some boats went out again. First was Lazio on the 23rd with a mixed catch, among that some nice Wahoos. The next day Martin went to the Drop and returned with 3 more Wahoos and 2 normal size Yellowfin Tuna. Fishing for a while beyond the Drop in deep water he twice saw really big ones jumping but these would not strike. Same time JD and Julian skippering and guiding private boat Eve had a memorable trip. A very good day with Dorados, Tunas and a Sail produced a Marlin strike on top. But after some 50min fighting time the fish was ripped apart by a Shark. The pic tells the story better than I can.
The Marlin was at the boat 3 times but always ran off again and some point the shark was hungry ... JD also told me that a friend of his on Mahe in the last couple of weeks had 8 Marlin on catching two of them eventually. On the 25th I went for a bit of popping into the La Digue Channel. A few too small Jobfish and Bluefin Trevallies followed the popper but the only reasonable specimen would not strike. A little later I saw something large and silvery following the lure but again no strike and two fish of about 10kg attacked but missed. Could not see if these were Jobfish or GTs though. After that the weather became somewhat unstable with heavy rain showers bringing up the wind for the time they lasted. On the 28th Edwin (Dan Zil) had 6 Wahoos and later two big Bludger Kingfish while jigging. The next day I went popping once more but after one good miss and only an hour´s fishing I had to give up due to the wind picking up badly. Meanwhile Christian was out with a group for some bottom fishing and reported that the Bonitos they caught for bait would only accept the smallest lures or even naked hooks. The bottom fishing produced a god number of fish with a big Emperor Snapper but was also hindered by the wind. That evening I met Mervin who had had two half days with mixed bags pf Tuna, Dorados and Wahoos. Another half day on the 30th produced a few Dorados and s small Sailfsh. That evening I fished Cote d`Or bay with a spinning rod and a little Ice Cream lure for a while. Two Garfish got rid of the hook close to the boat which I find very cooperative. A little later I released two small Barracudas (app. 45 & 60cm). Already drifted close to my mooring I received a couple of little attacks on one cast which repeated on the next two. One cast later a fish was finally on and I would have bet it is another Gar, but it turned our too be the smallest GT I have ever seen.
As the next casts produced not a single more attack I presume the little bugger was all on his own and very hungry. Hope he eventually found a proper supper and we will meet again - in 10 years or so. This morning Mervin had another half day with 2 Wahoos and also the Bonitos seem to be back to their normal habits of going for anything. Really a pity that there were so few trips (and I had no time myself) as there are still so many Marlin in the area. Had mentioned that a commercial fisherman caught one on his handline at the beginning of the month and in the last two weeks three more were hooked that way but some managed to come free. It fits the picture that Faizal yesterday on a trip from Mahe tagged and released a Blue while raising three more. This fish all came far beyond the drop in very deep water though. Like here around Praslin there are already many Sailfish around Mahe which are probably feeding on the countless small Bonitos. Faizal tried some as livebaits but the Wahoos were always quicker cleverly cutting them off right behind the hook. To round it all up for this month Martin just returned from a good day at the Drop on Venture: Wahoo, Barracuda, Sail and plenty bottom fish.
The first half of this month from a fishing point of view went pretty perfect. The weather was mostly stable and the wind except for a few short peaks rather calm. So ideal conditions for all types of fishing and as there were also comparably many trips quite a few things to report came together.
Sunday, the 2nd I accompanied my Swiss friend Fritz on a day`s trolling at the Drop Off on Christian`s Djab Lavwal. It was one of those days nearly without wind and very calm seas so I did not expect much but it became a quite entertaining day. In the area many Dorados were active which also were bigger than the usual size here.
Altogether Fritz caught four up to 11kg and a couple more went lost. Many times we saw them jumping up to 5m in the air. On top during the day we had three Sails in the spread. But all of these just gave one lure a knock and were not to be seduced afterwards by freespooling or any other trick. In the afternoon another Sail appeared swimming right under the surface, its sail unfolded and sticking into the air. The fish stayed with us for about 20min, dropped back into the spread several times but would not bite. Still this was a very special experience that you might want to share by watching the video clip here.
At the end of the day we thus did not record a Sailfish catch but on top of the Dorados mentioned we returned with two decent Rainbow Runners.
That evening I met Mervin`s boat boy Sandro who told me that Mervin that day had hooked a Marlin jigging that after a long run into the depth came off. On the 4th a half day of bottom fishing with Christian was somewhat spoiled around 10:00am by the wind suddenly picking up strongly. By then a good mix of fish had filled the box already. Among these were also some mid size Emperor Snappers. With some 30 to 40 fish altogether the guests were happy even as no trophy fish had been caught.
On the 6th Mervin went popping with the same guest who last year had caught a Sailfish on popper (watch the video here). This time they got the targeted fish releasing two GTs of 22-25kg. The following day Mervin went popping once more all by himself. He told me he caught and released a flat silvery fish of about 1m that fought like mad. According to the local name it must be some sort of Trevally but as there is no picture I can not specify. Same day Edwin on Dan Zil had a very good trolling day with 5 Yellowfin Tuna and a Doggie of up to 15kg, Dorado, Wahoo and a Sail. Also Greg fished with some friends for Bludger Kingfish pretty much filling the boat. The following day Martin went to the Drop recording a Wahoo and a Sail. Christian also was out there and had an excellent day first tagging and releasing a Sail and later taking another that was in a bad state as well as a Tuna. The day was close to becoming perfect but a well hooked Marlin after some playing time came off by receiving unexpected assistance: a Barracuda attacked the bird in front of the lure and cut everything off - too bad. On the 9th he had another half day tagging a Sail early and later catching some really nice Emperors while bottom fishing.
On the 10th it was bottom fishing again with Christian, Fritz and his wife Maya. This turned out a literally colourful day as next to rather unwanted Fugu and Remora many different Groupers, Longmouth Snappers and some of the really beautiful Yellowtail Snappers came up to the surface.
Also a very decent Green Job was caught but the fish of the day was without doubt an Emperor Snapper of nearly 11kg.
At the end of the day it must have been around a hundred colourful fish of all sizes. A few of those can be seen in the video here.
While we were out there Mervin trolled by on Divinity. Later on the phone he told me that they had a Yellowfin Tuna of about 18kg on when it was followed by a small Black Marlin. He quickly rigged and served the Tuna to the Marlin that was in the meantime playing with the teaser. Instead of that Marlin another small one came for the Tuna but was unable to eat it as it was too big so it kept trying and throwing it around for a while - quite bizarre. So they missed out on the Marlins but on the way home released a Sailfish.
On the 13th Christian trolled the Drop once more and had sort of a Deja vu´: again Marlin on, again in the 130-150kg class, again the fish went lost. That fish was smart enough to manage this alone, though. Some point it came racing on the surface to the boat shaking its head wildly and thus getting rid of the lure and hook. The big Barracuda they caught next to some Tuna and Dorados provided little solace.
On the 14th I went trolling with Ted and my visiting German friend Daniel who never fished before. Early we caught a quite big Bonito and lost a tiny Dorado right after. Lots of drifting seaweed made us travel a few miles north which was not bad at all. Soon we hooked a Sailfish and were able to tag and release it. To first play the fish and then tag it myself was quite an experience, especially as the fish was still very active when it came to the boat.
My friend Daniel did a great job filming this (see here) and was rewarded a little later by catching his first ever fish, a Dorado. Soon afterwards we had another Sail on but it came off on the first jump. While Ted was still swearing at the loss the other outrigger popped. I grabbed the rod but at the drop back there was nothing. After a bit of teasing the line came tight and went but only for a few seconds. We did not see the fish at all but the probability is quite high this was another Sailfish. The next two hours produced only one hefty strike and fast run on a Halco but that fish also came off. A little later we had another Sail on that jumped a couple of times while running and seemed safely on but after 3min or so the line went slack. It was not Ted`s lucky day and when he had reeled the lure back to the boat he felt quite fooled as there was a piece of orange rope on the hook. Only late we caught a Bonito of useable size for a stripbait. That one received a hard only minutes later but the fish did not hook up and on top the strip was completely gone. It felt somewhat disappointing at first that we lost so many fish that day but happiness for the nice and smooth Sailfish release prevailed eventually.
Friday Martin on his smaller boat Makaira fished the Drop. A little bit of trolling produced a Dorado but the focus was on jigging. With a Doggie, some Amberjacks and half a dozen Groupers this turned out to be successful. Also that day a small commercial boat caught a Black Marlin on handline. Yesterday Greg had 4h of trolling and reported a Wahoo and a Sailfish lost after short play. Giving my German friends a Mahe tour on their departure day we ended up at Eden Island for a drink. There we watched a boat coming back from jigging and bottom fishing and unloading about 150kg of different Snappers and Groupers, among those a beautiful all black one of maybe 20kg.
So all in all the fishing could hardly have been better those days. Perfect weather, all styles of fishing were possible and productive. Also the little trolling slow as of February seems history: still plenty of Marlin around and the Sails not only already abundant in good numbers but also increasingly cooperative. No complaints if things stay as they are I would say.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.