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So close…yet, so far

So close…yet, so far

We had Vincent, Georges, Herve and Jean-Micheal from France book a trip with us in the Andaman Islands. The guys were relatively new to popping and Jean was on his first popping / jigging trip. We are starting to see a lot of anglers carrying travel popping rods and a lot of it has to with the fact that airlines are charging large sums for carrying rod tubes as part of checked-in luggage. Again, this is why we are offering quality popping rods from the Saltywater Tackle Selection for rent, to our clientele. The southerly winds of the previous week had dirtied the water in a number of areas, as we were to find out when we started fishing with the group, making the fish move into different areas with clear water. The guys had arrived two days early to acclimatize and get over the jet lag. We were all taking about BBC’s fantastic Blue Planet video and discussing how big GT’s would probably engulf anything when in the mood. Jean-Micheal had a problem with his Sakura travel rod and we had to get the wax off the ferrules first and then lubricate the sections with graphite before we could get the rod properly joined together. At least we were all sorted out and ready to go before the first fishing day. When we got out on day one we were greeted with murky green water caused by the south winds pushing against the currents. This did not look very good and it translated to almost non-existent activity – either in the popping or jigging spots in the area....
A Tale of Many Species. And a Lost Fish.

A Tale of Many Species. And a Lost Fish.

When you see our boats heading out looking like a porcupine you know it has to be a group from Singapore. Zip, Derek, Thomas and Marcus were back for another try at some of our cracking Andaman GT’s. The excitement of the group was scuttled a bit when they had their arrival flight into Port Blair delayed due to an operational problem with the airline. They lost a full day and a half due to flight cancellations and we were relieved to finally see them at our doorstep. They all looked rather tired after their ordeal, but in no time their never-ending journey was soon forgotten and the balcony was lined with an array of monster landing tackle. Of special interest was a new Zenaq rod on test. Thomas’s niece Claire was our first lady angler for the season and this was her first time in the Andamans and her second offshore trip. This was Zip’s seventh trip here to fish with us and almost as many times for Derek and Thomas. For Marcus it was his second. With an immediate 180-degree change in the winds from Southwest to Northeast, the weather gods were not smiling on us. It seemed like it was going to be a bumpy, windy trip and the forecast wasn’t looking like it was going to improve soon. With strong winds and rain blowing in from the NE it was a bit of a dampener, but the show had to go on. The trip started out to be one for species, with the big GT’s not playing ball. Zip was the man setting the pace...
Zeynul and Friends In the Andamans

Zeynul and Friends In the Andamans

Zeyn, an avid angler who has been bitten by the GT fishing bug, was instrumental in putting the trip together for this group of friends from South Africa and his nephew Mohammad had been roped in as well. Riaz came in a day earlier from Dubai and while chatting with him he explained his lineage from Gujarat, India three generations earlier. Work had got the better of him over the previous couple of years and hence he’d shifted to Dubai and wasn’t able to fish as often as he wanted to. “Captain” Zeyn on the other hand made up for the rest of them while Rashaad confessed he was happy with his limited fishing. We were glad to see they had equipped themselves with exactly what the doctor had prescribed for these brute Geets in the Andamans. After an early breakfast and a short walk down to the boats, a new fishing chapter in their lives was unfolding. With south-westerly winds and rain expected for the first 4 days, we knew we would need to fish a bit differently this trip. The guys took the conditions well. They were not put off with a bit of wind and rain and this showed in their catches at the end of the trip. Apart from the fishing, the sheer beauty of these islands never ceases to amaze every angler who visits the Andaman Islands. Popping was going to be the main focus and with many hours gained with the experience in Oman where they had all fished before, these men knew the drill. Zeyn was referred to as “Captain” by his...
Our First Single Angler Trip for the Season

Our First Single Angler Trip for the Season

Our guest from France came in to take over from where our first group for the season left off. A passionate fisherman and a true gentleman, Bertrand arrived a day earlier than his initial schedule so that he could get in an extra day fishing for GT. He turned out to be a good friend of Eric LeGuyader of Orion Lures, a world-famous fisherman whom we have fished with twice before. His first evening in Port Blair was spent exchanging notes with our other guests and setting up his Shimano Caranx Travel rods. He intended on targeting big GT and chose to fish mainly with stickbaits, his lure of choice the Orion Plug Tropic. His first day saw him decide in the morning to go out for a half day fishing. We got his permit by late morning and headed out north. The GT weren’t too interested in his stickbaits and the fishing was a bit slow. He wasn’t too disappointed though and was eager to see what awaited him the next day. Darran was on board and the duo had a better second day fishing, with a decent 28 kilo GT among the fish landed and a 20 kilo GT that had survived a shark attack with a chunk taken out of its back. The good news is that it was almost healed and we released the survivor to fight again another day. We also managed to get a nice pic of Bertrand with a Spanish Mackerel that believed it could fly! After bringing two travel rods with him, it didn’t take our Andaman GT too long to...
Season 2017-18 underway with a 50 kilo “Big Mama”

Season 2017-18 underway with a 50 kilo “Big Mama”

Robert had made his booking with us last September and had his regular mates from down under fishing with him. The team comprised of Robert Sader, Frank Reaiche and Richard Terzian, of whom only Richard had done some GT popping in Fiji. The guys were eager to get out but had done the wise thing and kept a day on either side of the fishing days to recuperate after the flight in. With the new fishing rules in place ,we were the first operator to get the permits and we are happy to say that the new permit system is a lot easier. We spent their first day setting up their tackle and sharing knowledge on the best knots as well as giving the guys some advice on their setups and lure selections. We planned for a 6:30 am start on day one with the plan being to get the guys used to the boat and the conditions and hopefully get in some action as well, which is just what the guys managed to do with a number of smaller GT’s, Dogtooth and the usual misses that normally happen on day 1. The guys also tried out some light jigging with Gomoku rods and had some fun with smaller fish; of course, there were the usual larger fish that jumped on and annihilated the small jigs. Day two and we moved to different area. The southwest monsoon has not fully ended yet so we have to fish completely differently from normal. The guys had a quiet morning session with the few odd bites off and on. Post lunch and...
First tropical adventure for Raymond, Philippe and Elie

First tropical adventure for Raymond, Philippe and Elie

Philippe had booked this trip for the end of April 2017, way back in 2016. This was a family trip with father Raymond accompanying sons Philippe and Elie on their first tropical adventure, specifically going after the infamous Caranx Ignoblis or Giant Trevally that the Andaman Islands are well known for. The guys had been reading our Facebook posts and website regularly and were really excited to get out and give GT fishing a shot. Their target was a conservative one – to land a 30 kilo GT for the trip. The guys had some good tackle with them and the awesome Fisherman GT Travel rod was one of the rods in the selection. On checking their tackle we saw that some of the setups had only 80 lb braided lines on them. 80 lb braided line is not good enough for many of our spots, as you not only risk losing the lure but also of hurting the fish. We discussed this and decided that they could give it a try on day one but if there were any bust-offs we would need to upgrade to 100 lb line at the minimum. We had a long discussion with the guys over tactics and common mistakes when fishing for GT and how the whole game is about getting the lures into the water for as much time as possible. Our experience with most French anglers we have fished with is that they want to have more action when fishing, in terms of strikes and quantity, as compared to quality fish. It took a bit of convincing to get the...