This is turning out to be a season of firsts. We were visited by our first group of popper and jig fishermen from Istanbul, Turkey. The group were experienced anglers who had previously been to numerous destinations in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere.
Vedat and his friends arrived in Port Blair on a sunny afternoon. Once the check in process had been completed, their large supply of cheese and olive oil stowed, we set about dismantling their rod tubes and rigging them up for a week of intense fishing.
We started off the trip focusing on the jigging and we were soon into many fish. Our first day took us to an Island with immense jigging potential. We primarily jigged small seamounts and deep submerged reefs. Our main targets were GT and other reef species.
Above are images of the nonstop action we had on our day jigging.
This particular spot is known for large numbers of GT and it is a location that provides good fishing regardless of tide or time of day. It is also is an ideal place to start a trip while anglers are still getting warmed up.
Vedat was also lucky enough to land a good-sized Doggie on jig. It was one of his target species. We now are becoming an established destination to target Dog Tooth Tuna either on jig or on popper. A lot of clients come to us having already caught GT elsewhere in the world, but still wanting to fulfill their dream of landing a Dogtooth Tuna.
We came across schools of Blue Fin Trevally that didn’t shy away from poppers. Above is an underwater shot of a Blue Fin Trevally hooked on Orion Lures – ConoCono150.
Jigging proved to be the mainstay of the trip. We had several multiple hookups and it was the method of choice by our crew to keep the clients constantly busy.
We moved on to fish deeper marks where the bigger Dogtooth Tuna are typically found. Signs of Rosy and Rusty Job Fish are always welcome as the Dog Tooth feed on them and are often not far away. We did not hook a DTT on this particular day but Vedat hooked into a fish that was taken by a larger fish. Unfortunately the larger fish was not hooked and Vedat reeled up this Rusty Job Fish with fresh bite marks on it. Going by the bite, we made out it was a very large Dogtooth Tuna. This is a story about the one that got away but we know we will be back to jig another day and the odds will be in our favor.
Beno hooked into this fantastic looking Yellow Fin Grouper. We land a few of this species every season and most clients are awe struck by the beauty of this fish.
On large shallow reefs, we often hook into species other than Trevally. The magnificent looking Long Nose Emperor is always welcome. Apart from looking quite spectacular, they put up a decent scrap on light tackle.
Vedat with another Andaman GT before he released it.
The next bait school we came across provided us with a double header. We normally get multiple strikes from GT but this time we were pleasantly surprised by a Dog Tooth that took a popper as well.
Beno hooked into this beautifully colored Coral Trout.
The team from Istanbul in their specially designed T-shirts for the trip pose with a GT caught on popper.
Vedat with a nice sized GT caught on popper. He was very happy with his final outcome for the trip. Typically these darker colored specimens are caught from deeper locations that abound with rocks.
The group with another GT before it was released.
On one particular day while we were jigging, we came across huge schools of GT teeming with sharks as well. We were hooking GT’s on almost every drop. What was amazing about this day was that we did not lose a single GT to a shark; neither did we hook a shark. The sharks did follow hooked GT all the way to the boat but seemed more inquisitive than hungry.
This group fished with us in November 2014, early in the season and got some great results. October to December is a great time in the Andamans with cooler weather and well rested fishing areas.