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Koh samples the Andaman Islands

Koh samples the Andaman Islands

Koh from Singapore was joined by Cephus, James and Ben on the Rampage for a pure top-water experience, while his friends Tony, Kevin, Mugilan and Freddie, opting for a more combined trip that would have both popping and jigging, were on the Reef Raider. Talk about being kitted up! These guys had the best, with an array of heavy duty top-water rods from Carpenter, Hammer Head and Ripple Fisher. With an accompanying lure selection to call up monsters from the depths, they were good to go. In fishing, your tackle and lure selection play a big part. However, there is the element of luck and if you don’t have it on your side, boy, are you in for a rough week. From our last week’s report, we saw that there were instances of feeding frenzies with small rat GT’s climbing all over the lures. This week it reached a point of pure frustration as they would literally snatch lures away from big GT’s and we actually had instances of a huge GT trying to get the popper out of the mouth of a hooked small one. The smaller GT’s being faster and more agile meant they got the lures first and big GT’s missed out, much to our and the team’s frustration. These were not the only instances of things not going our way. Ben, the silent assassin fishing from the back of the boat, had his E-Cup nailed in shallow water to a beast that could not be stopped as it rushed back to the safety of the reef, though Ben in his quiet way did make amends...
Zeyn is Back for a Second Round

Zeyn is Back for a Second Round

Zeyn had fished with us back in October and vowed to do another trip after he had a taste of fishing for the Andaman GTs. This time, he had put together a group of South Africans who were all fishing addicts. However, apart from Zeyn, all of them were on their first GT trip. They had only heard and read what GT fishing was all about and wanted to get a first-hand experience. Zeyn had made sure they were fully kitted out for their trip, with a selection of Ripple Fisher popping rods and an array of Shimano Stella reels. For jigging they were equipped with Yamaga Blanks Galahad rods and Shimano Talica reels. The thing is, as almost always happens, these newbie groups get so taken up with the topwater action that our Andaman GTs provide that we hardly do any jigging for the full trip. We could not have asked for a better start to the trip for the group, as we quickly ran into a GT feeding frenzy. Almost every cast was being followed or hit and at one point we had all the clients on fish more than once. If you wanted to quickly get used to what GT fishing strikes can be like, then this was a perfect opportunity. Moving from one spot to another, the action continued, albeit not with the same intensity of a feeding frenzy. Coming up to one spot, as we started the drift, Ahmed who was fishing from the back of the boat had a take from a fish that at best looked in the 20-kilo range. Knowing that...
Raislin’s Monster Andaman GT

Raislin’s Monster Andaman GT

Merv, along with friends Raislin and Bernard, was joined on this trip by Wee Lee from the Lure Connection in Singapore. Last time around the guys had missed out and were back this time to try and make up for it. The weather forecast looked ok for the first few days of the trip but looked like it could turn on us the last few days. Changing weather at this time of the year is expected as the summer heat builds up in the tropics. We have had flat, calm seas for the last week or so. Rain and a bit of wind could be a double-edged sword that could temporarily put the fish off feeding, but the benefit could be that they would turn on again once the weather abated. We started off with some jigging action and were immediately into fish – plenty of small dogtooth and GT’s. We were all using lighter jigging gear and it was great fun to hook up on the PE 3-4 and have some blistering runs. There were a few substantial fish that we had to follow but they all managed to bust off, one even after we managed to follow it for over a quarter of a mile. We moved over to a popping spot for the last fishing hour of the day and had three hits that were converted, with Bernard getting his PB on day one. Following the weather closely, we tried to get out to our best spots so that we would could get in as much action as possible. This was a good call as Raislin...
Andaman first-timers score this week

Andaman first-timers score this week

Clarence, Russel, Ray, Rainer, Daniel, Tim, Brian, Thomas, Wong Guo, Ibrahim, Xiang…our group for this week. This was a trip much anticipated after last year’s awesome big fish trip. We broke the group up into two groups – the over 40 years age group and the below 40 age group. There was much ribbing as to which boat would take top honours; brawn versus brain apparently was to be the tactics to get the most and largest fish on board. As has become the expected norm, the action was great in periods of high intensity and slow when the current was not moving. The big GT’s made the show they were called unto to provide, but there were just too many misses. Missed opportunities mean that a big GT is not going to give you another chance and you will need to wait till another one takes a fancy to your lure on a particular day. We had some highlight moments as well,  with Rainer hooking up two fish on one lure – a grouper and a GT; what a great double-header. Ray, who had recently discovered the delights of micro jigging, managed a very creditable dogtooth tuna of 15 kilos on PE 0.6. Ray was also not to be outdone on topwater, when his GT Harrier was inhaled by a 35 kilo GT, which he put on board in short time. Just before the trip began I had a chat with Brian and told him that a big GT would make a terrific picture if it sat on his lap; he did just that for us with a his PB...
The Sarawak Team is back

The Sarawak Team is back

We had Alwyn Tan back to fish with us this season, with his team from Sarawak that included Don, Alvin, Wayne and Brian. Don had turned heads last season when he took the biggest fish of the season and wanted to see if he could better his PB. The guys were geared up, ready to go and could not wait to have another go at the Andaman fish. Here is the report from Alwyn Tan: Day 1 – Good weather, slow wind. First two spots were on the slow side, with a few being landed. By third spot, approximately 9am, we hit a GT frenzy, not big but we had continuous hook-ups and landed 6 GTs. Not big but aggressive hits, with Alvin landing the largest of the pack – a 10kg fish – and the action was mostly on poppers. After the frenzy things went silent. We drifted from spot to spot, mixing poppers, stick-baits & diving lures, but no takers. After lunch, when I was working my Gamma Diablo 140g, just before I was about to reel it in, on the boat side a huge GT came right up from below, without a splash, and inhaled the lure. Since water was so clear, Alvin & I saw it come after the lure and just stripped line off my reel for a good few seconds. The fish took line from the left of the boat, to the right, and one big run to the back causing me to stumble my way aft. After one final round, and numb arms, the fish was finally landed: an awesome 134 cm...
A Mixed Week’s Fishing

A Mixed Week’s Fishing

For this fishing week we had returning old friends Pat, Chris and Alan, joined by Steve, on the Reef Raider and Mikko, Henri and Sami, a group from Finland, on the Tropical Star. Mikko and Henri had fished in Oman before and Sami was on his first popping trip. It was a contrast in fishing styles between the two boats, with Pat and company wanting to have fun fishing with light tackle and enjoy as a group of friends fishing together, while for Mikko and group it was about fishing with us for big GT, as had been recommended to them by Hesh from KBE,who had also given them tackle advice and lures to carry on their trip out with us. It really did not take long for us to get into the fish with Mikko and on day one in shallow water his Hero Cubera was smashed by a big GT that pulled hard against the almost full drag set by Mikko. Deft boat handling by Dilip got the GT pulled into deeper water where the fight was more in our control and after a few minutes we had a 141 cm GT – a 48 kilo fish – boated and an elated Mikko with his personal best GT. He did not mind the fact that he was quite bruised from not having a fighting belt on through the fight, but this is really not advisable to most anglers. Meanwhile, Chris was dominating the front of the Reef Raider, casting with a 140 mm floating stick-bait and we were purposely fishing the shallows in search of fun-sized fish....