These guys from Ireland had luck on their side although it might not have seemed so initially when, barely after arriving at our guest house and while setting up their tackle, Steve sent a treble hook deep into his calf and to make matters worse they weren’t barbless! We had to play doctor and get those hooks out and, to ensure the wound did not get infected, a visit to the local hospital for an anti-tetanus shot was our welcome gift to him. The anglers were soon back on track setting up their tackle and discussing techniques for fishing for GT. Sean was the only one who had fished for GT before; he was not too lucky at it, but it was a collective decision to come down to the Andaman Islands and experience an adventure with us here at GFA. Padraic has fished tournaments for the past twenty years, the last eight on which he had represented his country i.e. Ireland. This was to be his first leisure fishing trip in a long time; leisure until he had big GT almost yanking him overboard! Steve and Neil had been fishing together over twenty years and Padraic had joined them on their trips over the last decade. They were all very eager to know proper popping techniques and popper sizes and just about every aspect of GT fishing and waited impatiently to get onto the water. We soon realized this lot of clients were actually fish magnets. For a first-time GT fishing group to get twenty fish on deck, and fifteen GT out of that, on day one is pretty good. Steve had almost forgotten about his wounded leg amidst all the action while Padraic, Neil and Sean were having a blast with the powerful GT. Big lures for big fish were going to be the call for this trip and Steve had brought the biggest Cubera poppers he could get hold of. Our season’s tally of big and monster class GT was about to change.
Early the next morning we wished the lads as they headed to the boats after breakfast, unaware that when we spoke next they were going to be narrating the best fishing experience of their lives to us. We will try to note down some of the scenarios that ensured they were treated to some of the best surface action they had ever encountered. Neil set the trend as he hooked up and landed two absolute bruisers including an awesome 50-kilo heavy specimen and a 35-kilo black GT. Steve’s popper got blasted five feet off the surface by a monstrous GT and when it landed back in the water it got hammered again but the fish was not hooked and now the popper had tangled with the leader and wouldn’t pop so the fish wasn’t interested in it anymore. But the sight of a huge popper being tossed high into the air like that was a sight to behold. From the bow Neil cast a long way out into a bait school and on the third pop his lure was taken by a huge GT that exploded on the surface, and kept him jammed against the casting cage while ripping out drag. The fight lasted for close to five minutes before the fish managed to come clear of the hooks, with Neil swearing and reeling in really quick, in an attempt to get another cast out there when BANG, another monster grabbed his popper just next to the boat. This fight was a grueling one with the fish running under the boat and giving the angler a lot of work to do to keep the line clear of the props. Using every bit of angling skill in him Neil did well to have this 40-kilo plus geet boated and photographed before being let back into the water again. Shortly after that he cast out and noticed a fish follow the popper but it didn’t seem interested enough to take a swipe at it. That fish was the biggest that they had set their eyes upon, estimating it to be close to sixty kilos, with the previous 40 kilo fish as a reference. There have been more anglers in the past who have seen some really huge Giant Trevally and maybe soon we will have one to write about in our report with nice pics as well.
Sean too hooked into a feisty GT very close to the boat and although it was just twenty-five kilos it fought really hard and gave him a lot of work to do to keep his line clear of the propellers. The guys also got to see a huge grouper try to swallow a small geet that was coming in on popper. A couple of weeks ago we had one of our German clients land a huge grouper in exactly the same way.
There were multiple hook-ups and an occasion to photograph all four anglers with fish on deck and this too was a first for our friends. The snapper were giving the GT competition in some spots and trying to grab poppers out of their mouths. Insane fishing is the only way to describe what was happening. The number of fish whacking poppers right next to the boat was particularly high with these anglers and that’s why we decided to call them fish magnets. Padraic was using a Cubera red and white popper when a GT came out from right under the boat and grabbed the lure. This happened when he was right in front on the bow and the fish dragged him all around and he finally managed to land the 42-kilo monster on the port side of the boat. He had no idea this fish was as big as it was till he saw captain Kantha reach over with the net and signal for the deckhand to bring out the tape measure. Just when he thought he could take a break from all the heavy fishing, Padraic had a big dogtooth take a jig on a lighter set up and after a very long fight the frayed leader finally gave way. This was accompanied by the usual hook-ups with large doggies, which invariably ends with the fish getting away leaving behind some frustrated anglers.
At one of the last spots we fished on the last day, just when we thought the trip could not get any better, Neil hooked up and landed a really thick brutal 50-kilo GT and Sean, the only one missing out on a 40 kegger, got one the very next cast. Both landed, measured, pictured and released.
We know our customers are having a great trip when, at the end of the day, they tell you they did not take pictures of the 20 and 25-kilo fish they landed and ask you how on earth you manage to land dogtooth tuna when they smoke you most of the time. This was one of those weeks where the big fish just kept coming onboard and we were more than happy to take what Lady Luck offered and photograph them for all to see.
These gents managed to put seven monsters between 40 and 50-kilos on deck and not land a couple more. Our monster season is keeping us busy and it’s up to you guys who fish with us to work those poppers and stick-baits hard. Padraic, Neil and Steve fished for geets for the first time in their lives and had amazing results. Along with the Giant Trevally were other species such as Dogtooth Tuna and Bohar snapper that kept them busy, but the toughest fish to land was one named Steve that got hooked on the first day but was landed only four days later. Let the pics do all the talking!
Tight lines guys, until u hear from us again.
Rods: Racepoint 150 and 200, Shimano Jig Wrex, Outer banks Jigging Rods
Reels: Shimano Stella, Shimano Saragosa
Lures: Cubera, Kokari 130 and 160, FCL Labo, Orion
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Bohar Snapper, Green Jobfish