Way back in June 2013, we received an email enquiry regarding a possible fishing trip in the Andaman Islands. After about a week of communication the trail went cold. A year and half later Genady was back with a definite plan and it just so happened that we had the space to accommodate him and his mates.
We often get many questions from anglers before they come out fishing with us. We couldn’t help chuckle when Genady asked us if they would ‘100% catch a GT on their trip’. Things we take for granted could be a concern for clients who don’t know what they’re getting into. They were reassured GT would be the least of their worries, as as GT were 100% guaranteed
The other concern they had were popping rods as they were travelling to various destinations before and after fishing with us and did not want to carry a rod tube. Luckily for them we now have a whole range of Saltywater Tackle Race Point popping rods for hire and sale in the Andaman Islands. These rods are up for the job and are pretty much indestructible. So it was decided they would carry their popping reels, lures and terminal tackle and hire the rods off us that made their holiday a whole lot easier.
The team comprising of Genady, Alex and Boris arrived in the Andaman Islands well before their fishing trip with us. They spent the first part of their vacation relaxing in Havelock. When we did pick them up from the ferry, they were pretty eager to get out on the boat with us and catch some real fish. We checked them in to our guesthouse, inspected their tackle and set them up for their next three days of fishing with us.
As is with most groups, we headed east on the first day that was to be a popping day especially focusing on catching GT. It wasn’t long before they were hooked into some big fish. Genady soon realized what it felt like to have a proper GT on the other end.
Genady soon landed his first proper Andaman GT and it was a proud moment for us all.
Alex was up next with a small but perfect specimen that clamped down onto his popper. A few quick photographs later he sent the fish on its way and carried on with our fishing.
Genady was on a roll and after a bit of a struggle had this fish in the boat. Genady is an angler with a lot of experience having travelled to various fishing destinations across the world. This trip, albeit a short one, was his first serious GT popping trip. He mentioned to us that most of his fishing involved bait or sub- surface lures where one is unable to see the strike. He found popper fishing fascinating and his big adrenaline rush was when the GT came up and inhaled the popper. This is something he had hardly experienced before.
Later that evening, while we sitting on our balcony discussing the days fishing we shared a few tips when it came to fishing with high drag for big fish. Armed with all the information the team head out the next day to put it into practice.
Boris was up next with this well fed GT that went for his popper. Genady was quite fascinated with the fact that GT did not thrash around in the boat after being landed, but posed for the picture calmly almost knowing they were to be released. The other fascination was with the sound the GT made while being held . . . .‘kok’, ‘kork’, ‘kok’, ‘kok’. It is because of this sound the GT made that they are locally known as ‘Kokari’ (One that makes a ‘kok’ sound).
Boris with another big GT caught off the same reef as his last fish. On this particular day, there was a ripping current across a couple of deep submerged reefs that hold a healthy amount of baitfish. Our typical drifts were quite short in time as we covered a large area and had two or three strikes per drift.
Dilip releasing a GT from the back of our catamaran Halcyon III.
Out of the blue and definitely lost.
While discussing the fishing possibilities with the limited time on hand, we had suggested they spend a day trying to catch Yellow Fin Tuna on popper if they met their GT popping goals. While on a shallow reef about 20mts deep, popping for GT, Alex had a strike but wasn’t very sure what he’d hooked into. A couple of minutes later we were all quite surprised when a yellow bar of gold swam up to the boat. Alex had just and landed his first Yellowfin Tuna on popper not quite the way we planned it!
The next few hours are probably going to remain in our memories for a long time to come. The fishing on popper was pretty insane. Genady now had mastered the art of getting a popper to POP and was raising some really big fish. This big GT was landed and released in record time as there were more fish to be caught.
Alex with the GT that made his trip. This immense beast gave him a proper work out and they boys were aghast with the size of the fish as it slowly rose out of the depths.
The group posing with Alex’s fish as everyone wanted to be a part of that moment. They very happily released it back to the reef.
Genady with a GT in prime condition. Fish of this size, though not big, put up quite a scrap and people get bumped around as the fish are not big enough yet to pull out a lot of line.
Alex posing with a dark GT that he was hoping would turn black. People often would like to land a ‘Black GT’ as they supposedly fight harder and make for great photographs.
Once their set goal had been accomplished, we set off back to port, but not before they had a swim over a pristine reef to cool off. Now that there was no pressure to catch GT we decided to look for the Tuna. On previous days, we’d seen pods of dolphin but hadn’t bothered investigating as we had a different task at hand.
On this day, we headed straight for the drop off and into some deep inky black water. It wasn’t long before we saw the signs that led us straight to the fish. As is with the Yellow Fin Tuna bite here, any lure works. The fish were in a frenzy chasing after small baitfish and were repeatedly crashing through the surface.
Another first for Genady with this Yellow Fin Tuna caught on popper.
Alex had a whale of a time catching Tuna where they were meant to be. These fish are a pleasure to catch if ones tackle is perfectly matched to do the job – in this case it was.
Genady with a YFT caught on popper.
Boris was not left out either. He joined the race with a spectacularly colored Yellowfin Tuna.
Genady had one last request. None of them had ever seen a Dog Tooth Tuna. Though the focus of the trip was to catch GT on popper, we decided to try a little bit of jigging on the way back home. Genadys’ last wish was granted as well by this Dog Tooth that grabbed a 200gm jig in about 60mts of water. Though this fish is still a juvenile, they at least got to a chance to catch one. Had they had another couple of days dedicated to jigging, we would have put them right on top of some mean doggies.
Genady and group were great company on and off the boat and we hope to fish with them again in the future.