Had initially planned a mid month report as until then a few thing had happened on the fishing side. But around the 10th already the Southeast set in and it was pretty clear there would be little more to come. That is the way things eventually went but let me keep order:
First thing is a little flashback into the last days of April which Christian (Djab Lavwal) had spent at Bird Island to take a guest jigging. That did not turn out as totally brilliant as most of the times up there but still pretty good as catches like this Doggie clearly prove.
Really nice also was a catch by UK angler Alan made here on Praslin right on the 1st of May. The obviously sophisticated fly angler managed to outsmart this very decent Bonefish just off his hotel`s beach. Great achievement especially when considering that he managed it all on his own without any support. Of course we have them but as hardly anyone gives it a try one does not hear of such a catch too often. This one keeps me highly motivated since.
On the 3rd I tagged along with Alan, his future son-in-law James and skipper Christian to the Drop. First time jigging for the two anglers and despite not so ideal sea conditions they did well. During the morning spent on this activity some Amberjacks, Jobfish, Grouper and also this Snapper locally called Bek-Bek surfaced.
The highlights for the two were still to come though as a few hours of afternoon trolling produced three Sailfish hookups. Two were tagged and released in good state but the third came off on the leader unfortunately leaving an eyeball behind.
Such thing is sad but of course both were really excited about the catches and their first Billfish ever. Was most grateful too about a nice day in great company, some good video footage and the very generous present of about three dozen beautiful flies tied by Alan himself. Along the following days the Southeast picked up successively and the few trolling boats still fishing around the islands often had troubles getting some better fish. One obstacle was the vast amount of drifting seaweed and also the invasion of Bonitos going for just anything was close to annoying. Totally unclear meanwhile if those had somehow pushed the other smaller gamefish away or were just faster to grab the lures. But still buddy Richard got a Sailfish on a private trip and also Greg (Pipsqueek) was able to tag and release two.
The 17th then offered somewhat calmer conditions so Richard and I went popping. Already on the first few casts I got a standard size GT on but it dropped the hook after a few seconds and just when the lure surfaced a tiny one of maybe 3kg grabbed it. Bad deal. Along the following two hours we raised many Bluefin Trevallies of which some were really good size but these all just wanted to take a good look at our lures no matter what we offered. Then the surface activity collapsed completely but some light jigging kept us entertained with some Jobfish, Groupers, Snappers and smaller Trevallies. Had planned to fish topwater again with the afternoon high tide but meanwhile the wind had picked up to around 15 knots again spoiling that. Still Richard within the few casts we made managed to pick up this small GT.
Two days later another drop of wind was predicted and it actually stayed calm all day but activity was low at the place I had picked. Used to be my best topwater spot by GT size and numbers but for the last two years now it just does not want to produce any more and a Jobfish on stickbait for Richard remained the only catch despite several hours of hard effort. Light jigging there on the opposite worked well with a colorful mix of different species and a small Doggie among those. All in all Richard clearly outfished me on these but it was his day anyways. On our way to the Channel Rocks between Praslin and La Digue just a few hundred meters off La Passe port he suddenly announced a potentially better fish on a funny squid kind lure trolled on his light PE3 spinning outfit. Looked back and saw a bill sticking out of the water so he was right. Luckily that Sailfish was quite cooperative so we were able to tag and release it within just 15mins. Just impossible to film with all hands busy then but there is at least this a bit blurred as quite far away pic of the fish leaping.
After all that we worked the rocks with topwater lures for a while and Richard managed to hook a decent Bluefin Trevally that was surely kg double digit on top of all. Bit of a pity that the fish came away at the boat but that could not really spoil his joy. On the 24th we tried again in already pretty useless morning conditions and only an hour later a front of bad weather chased us away. At least a somewhat protected corner close to shore provided for a chance to fish on and again the light jigging saved the day with some 30 or so fish of about a dozen species and 8 different Groupers among those. Never got so many different ones in a day though they all were rather small as to be expected just 200m from shore. The only clearly bigger fish once more came away and I am pretty sure not to buy these dropshots again.
Ever since conditions are pretty useless for smaller boats but the 9G Sportfishing Team on their huge Riviera of I believe 77ft still seems to cope well and continues to spearhead local conservation efforts. On an overnight trip they released another Broadbill equipping it with a satellite tag which is the very first for one of those in Seychelles. Not to be forgotten that they also bagged this feasty 75kg Yellowfin Tuna on that trip.
Same day news surfaced that are a bit off the sports fishing topic but nevertheless spectacular I think as they show what kinds of stuff is living in these waters. A local handline fishing boat reported this massive Giant Squid.
Think it really dserves that name. See this pic offering a size relation to a human body. Incredible.
Apart from that not much else to report from the seas since. Plenty Sailfish around Praslin we hear but these are enjoying very much untroubled times these days. Too often the wind blows at around 20 knots and if the odd boat dares to go out on one of the somewhat calmer days it commonly returns early due to the guests having had an unwanted second look at their breakfast. Trying to survive fly fishing in the meantime going for 2-3hrs about every other day or so. Also this nice activity is limited by the wind as there is only one protected corner outside the Marine Park for it. Catches remain small but are good in numbers and the variety is stunning. One bigger candidate raced deep into the backing a few days ago but then was off unfortunately. My neighbor watching the scene from an a bit elevated position dryly commented `Trevally´ and was probably right. On the 28th I briefly thought happily to have caught my very first Bonefish but on a closer look something was not quite right about it.
The second dorsal fin did not make sense for one of those and our local fly guide and `walking encyclopedia´ Andre elucidated this is a Silver Sillago. Also called Poor Man`s Boenfish which makes some sense with a view to my still at best half-baked attempts. But the first few small Permit that were properly spotted, then cast at and actually caught give faith of being on the right track.
For the preceeding reports check the archive.