As every year in May the number of tourists in Seychelles decreased successively and on top the Southeast set in relatively early this time. The combination of these two factors led to ever lesser fishing trips along the course of the month but especially in the beginning a few nice things happened. Faizal reported that one of the large private boats raised 6 Blue Marlin of which two were tagged and released. That trip also produced this Broadbill caught by Faizal himself and making him the first Seychellois angler having caught one of these in Seychelles´ waters. The fish was tagged and released which is also a first of its kind as the handful of others caught before were all taken.
This was of course a fantastic feat so the boat went out again the following day to raise 4 more Blue Marlin. Would say that fishing can hardly be better. Many thanks for the brilliant pics and congratulations to Faizal.
Here on Praslin we saw a small handful of charter trips along that first week of May but results were rather mixed with especially the Sailfish providing headaches. They were around in good numbers showing up in the spread every so often but would just not take. Only Damien (Lone Wulf) caught one at the FAD behind Marianne along with a few Dorados. A couple of those also Christian (Djab Lavwal) got plus this Wahoo instead of the Sail they were after.
In those days we encountered the first substantial showing of the Southeast. On the 8th I wanted to pop and jig a bit in the west of Praslin but when getting out of the Curieuse Channel it became evident this was no option. To at least fish a bit I instead did a few small drifts jigging just outside Cote d`Or bay. After getting a small Grouper and a Bonito welcome for the kitchen something substantially larger hit the jig. As the fish started to show under the boat I suspected a GT by color and shape but the further it came up the more visible became the tiger stripes on it. Eventually it turned out to be one of the rather rare Golden Trevallies. Had been wishing to catch one of those for a while already so I was quite happy with my enforced diversion from the initial plan.
On the 11th it was calm enough to pop on that bank in the west but it became a frustrating experience. The Barracudas were extremely aggressive even jumping for the popper when I lifted it out of the water next to the boat. On top there were plenty of Sharks so it was inevitable hooking one eventually despite all efforts of avoiding them and the release was pretty messi. Was considering to quit already when finally a GT hit. A really big one showing itself nicely on the strike. Am not sure if it had been my biggest one in Seychelles but it was for sure the strongest. As the boat was drifting right towards the fish I was on top of it after maybe 10 seconds and only a short pull of line from my reel with the drag set at the usual 14kg so I was all optimistic to get it. But then the beast started to run taking well over 30 meters of line until it cut off somewhere down there between the rocks. This had not happened to me for a long time and it felt really bad. Even more so as this one felt a different league compared to all those I had on before. Two days later the weather just allowed for a little jigging north of the Sisters though it was pretty rough already. Amidst a series of small Coral Snappers two decent Yellowtail Trevallies and this nice Yellowspotted Trevally provided great fights.
An hour of late afternoon popping in the protection of the island raised nothing but Sharks. One got hooked but luckily the release was easy this time. Was quite happy it had not been the one I avoided at the previous cast as that one had been of about 2.30 meters and I am not keen at all to perform dental surgery on a thing like that. The following days were windy again and all I could do was to check just outside the bay for another Golden Trevally. There was none but two of these pretty and tasty Blue & Yellow Groupers made a nice compensation.
For the 19th the Southeast was forecast to set in full strength and last but for the day before only 3 knots east were predicted. This made buddy Stephan and myself take the 20 miles trip to Fregate in order to find him his very first GT. A few casts done at a rock a mile or so still north of the island produced a hefty strike but the fish missed the hook and in the still dim light we could not figure if it had been a GT or just a Shark. Moving through a torrential rain shower we reached the southern reefs about half an hour later but had to learn that behind the rain the wind unexpectedly and against plan kept picking up from southwest. Within minutes it got really choppy and after about half an hour we had to accept that we could not fish there. But it still looked okay for some jigging at a spot about 1.5 miles further south and we found some action. Nothing too special but frequency and variety were good. Stephan was able to catch an Emperor Snapper, two small Doggies, a Goatfish, a Yellowspotted Trevally, Baracudas and many Green Jobfish. Strangely for quite a while I could only get numerous of those but nothing else until eventually a small Red Seabass, a Bonito and a decent Moontail Grouper added some color to my catch, too.
It was a nice bit of fishing but unfortunately after som 30 or so fish in about 4 hours we had to leave as the wind meanwhile had picked up to about 17 knots and those 20 miles back home were to cover. Had planned to do some afternoon popping in a really promising tide on some structures along that way home but in those conditions there was no thinking of that. Too bad doing such a long and far trip just to be let down by the forecast so massively. Nice though that this handful of smaller activities provided just enough video footage for a small clip under the theme `it does not always have to be the Drop Off for jigging´. Watch this here if you like. Ever since that 18th the wind has been on and blowing at between 15 and 25 knots pretty much bringing all fishing to a stop. Only Carlos on the 20th for his boss went to the Drop Off or rather even a bit further out on the large boat Sailfish. Was a very rough trip but it paid off as they got a Sail as well as some Tuna, Dorados and a big Barracuda. Last Sunday it was a bit calmer also allowing Edwin (Dan Zil) to troll a bit at one of the common spots north of Praslin and hook up to two Sailfish of which one came off and the other was caught. It seems those have rediscovered their appetite which is good news of course. So it would be most welcome for the wind to drop at least a bit but I doubt it will do us the favour anytime soon.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.