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GT Not only for the Fanatics

GT Not only for the Fanatics

We are now at the end of March and it seems like the season only just got underway but, in reality, it’s almost gone with just over a month of fishing left. We at GFA have been a most busy crew with back-to-back groups coming in from all corners of the world. We had Darren and Mark, old friends from the UK, on the Tropical Star, and Faisal, Ismail, Murtadha, and Abdullah on Reef Raider – manned by Capt. Rama – which also happens to be their third trip GT fishing with him in the Andaman Islands. Darren and Mark had arrived two days early to give themselves ample time to adjust to the tropical heat. We had also just fished with an Ukrainian group led by Oleksandr and had a group of first timers from Pune – led by Munir – who wanted to experience what GT popping was about. Darren and Mark were on their first Andaman trip and wanted to take in the full experience and every aspect of fishing GT’s in the Andamans. Their very first day was a teaser, with them getting decent-sized GT’s and several reef species, with constant casting. They got to know what it’s like to meet your match when they were popping at one of the drop off’s and Mark’s popper – our very own Kokari 130gm – was engulfed by a monster which took off and left a screaming reel to draw attention. Luckily it ran into deep waters and after a doggedly brutal fight, he landed a feisty 35 kg GT, all smiles and sweat. Darren missed out...
Rendezvous with the Andaman GT

Rendezvous with the Andaman GT

We anglers have been captivated with the sea and catching fish from the time we were introduced to this activity. The sport has, in many ways, evolved hugely and yet in many aspects has stayed exactly the same. It is unique compared to others. Anglers find it can be anything from relaxing to a very intense experience, and every time the outcome is different, in the sense that no two days will be the same. That is what motivates us – that there is always an element of surprise in it. This time around we had the renowned Kamiyashiki San (Mangrove Studio) and group from Japan, Loic – a regular with us – joined by 2 friends from UAE, Adham and Loay, and the Popes, a father-son duo from USA, all vying for a piece of GT action in the Andamans. Kamiyashiki San, a famous GT fishing angler, was one we could take tips from on how to set up tackle. He had brought an array of new lures to test and to try out. On day one Kamiyashiki San trumped over the others with his 25 kg Geet that took the lure feet from the rod tip. His Black Hercules 837LMG rod paired with a Stella 18000 reel made short work of reeling it in. Nevertheless, he had his fair share of heartburn when he lost a big one to the hook not being set properly, and another on light jigging which pulled line with ease before the line finally burst. We hooked what looked like a very large grouper that was unstoppable as it made its way...
It’s Getting Hot in the Andamans

It’s Getting Hot in the Andamans

We are right in the middle of the GT season and things are heating up on more than one front. This week we had Jefry and group from Singapore returning for a second round and Bader’s gang from Kuwait itching to get into the GT’s with us. Jefry was here last season and had topped out with a 35 kilo which he hoped to exceed this time around while our friends from Kuwait have an Oman trip planned for April and were hoping to get in a warm up session, but more on this later. A lot of what actually makes a trip happen in terms of its successfulness is the level of comfort and communication between anglers and the skipper. The skipper’s ability to read the anglers’ capabilities and the clients confidence in the skipper is of utmost importance to have a productive outcome. On the weather front we had light winds coming from the north-east giving us a little respite from the blazing mid-summer sun and raking up slight ripples. In all, the conditions were perfect for fishing in the Andamans this time of the year and the guys couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting. Ali, Saad & Abdulaziz, having fished for GT’s in Oman, were well versed with the nuances of tackling big GT’s and got down to casting as soon as they reached the first spot. They were alternating between poppers and stickbait – as is the norm these days – to check which was more effective at that time and to then go with it. The first few spots we hit were...
High Octane GT Action in the Andamans

High Octane GT Action in the Andamans

Suresh had fished with us beginning of this season and had sampled what the Andamans had to offer. He and the group couldn’t stay away and had come back for another round with the GT. For the Aussie GT anglers – Salvatore and his friends Ross, Matt and Giacomo – it was their first GT fishing experience in the Andaman archipelago, and they were eagerly awaiting their encounter with it. For this trip the itinerary we had planned was for more intense action and a stopover on one of the remote southern islands for a few days of fishing. Weather wise we had rippled seas and fair winds coming from the northeast, which are best suited for GT fishing in the Andamans. From day 1 the action was intense, and the guys landed several GT’s in the 15-20 kilo mark and also caught an array of different species. Salvatore had spent just a couple of minutes GT Popping when his FCL Lobo got monstered. It was his third cast of the day; three rips of the popper and all we saw was a giant gray shadow come out of the water, totally engulfing the popper. The fight was on, as the fish struck at the end of a very long cast. Drag screaming, the captain immediately manoeuvred the boat away from the reefs as he did battle. We have caught plenty of big fish, but none that compares with the brute strength of a GT. Unbelievably, the drag of his Stella 18,000 was locked all the way and the fish was still able to take line with ease. After...
Chasing the elusive GT records

Chasing the elusive GT records

Here we are in the prime of our GT season and not a day goes by when we don’t hear tales of epic battles being fought in the Andamans, by our guests who focus only on one thing and we mean one thing only – GT fishing. This week we had Joakim & friends return from Sweden, alongside Jong Woo Jung & friends, another returning group, this time from South Korea. We also had first timers Jinil Kim and crew, who had heard about GT skirmishes of biblical proportions and had come to partake some of it in the Andamans. Joakim, being an old hand, did not waste time but took the advice of Captain Rama and was instantly rewarded when a 37 kg plus GT (his biggest in the Andamans) smacked his stick bait as soon as it hit the water. A combination of a Westin W6 with a Stella 14000 did an easy job of reeling it in for a quick photo and release. Lucas, the muscle in the group, with active service in the military, paid complete attention to the tide and wind conditions. His training was evident, and he had even brought his own navigation device. He landed several GT’s and was quite satisfied with his haul, for he knew from his experience of GT fishing off the east coast of Africa how unpredictable it could be. Jessica, who was new to GT fishing on this trip, could not have asked for a better start to the trip. Fishing from the top front of the boat she had a bite from a fish that at...
An Unexpected Monster

An Unexpected Monster

This ongoing season we had some of our regular guys come back to fish, bringing with them some newbies who had heard of these fabled fishing grounds but had not had the opportunity to fish as the window is narrow, and slots get filled up fast (about a year ahead). The weather, as predicted, was slightly windy with lightly rippled seas, conditions that are best for GT fishing. We had 3 groups fishing simultaneously, each vying for the biggest catch and the highest tally of fish landed, so you can imagine how the discussions at the dining table went each evening. We had Hout from the States, leading the brothers David and Chris, who had planned a mammoth 8-day fishing trip with us. This was the second trip that the guys were doing with us and it was great to see how far they had come since their first trip with us, back in 2016. This time around, they had done ample research on the best lures to carry for the trip. With the best gear on hand the guys were all set and ready to go and we had planned the trip so as to fish in different areas. The trip started slowly, with a few GT’s up to the 25-kilo mark being landed, and the usual few missed. The highlight was Hout getting in on the action with his light casting setup and landing a 30-kilo Geet on a PE6, after a great fight. On the fourth day we made a trip down to one of the southern islands and were immediately rewarded with top water strikes....