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Jefry Ali and Seto San try the Andamans while Loic is back for revenge…

Jefry Ali and Seto San try the Andamans while Loic is back for revenge…

For the first week of February we started off with Loic – a returning customer from last season, along with his friends Adham and Loay – and two-time Kirinda veteran Jefry Bin Ali who joined us with his team of Stephen, Firdaus and Rudy. All the guys had come fully kitted up, as we had had prior discussions on what tackle to carry and a bit of experience from having fished here before also helped. Jefry’s group was in a different league though; it’s been a long while since we have had a good look at a great collection of lures including the likes of Craft Bait, Hammer Head, numerous Carpenter Gammas and Bluefish, along with the new Amegaris. We were on full moon on arrival day and all the conditions seemed to be right as we started with a blue blood moon and a lunar eclipse – the perfect recipe for big currents and hopefully for monster fish to come out and play ball.

The first day proved to be just this ripping current and breezy conditions. Deciding to make the most of the conditions, we pushed to start farther out and had a bit of a wait for the tide to change before the action started happening. The choppy conditions were making it difficult to see bait. Hwever, we did see some and immediately started to get some strikes from good-sized fish, which were all dropped due to slack line. Jefry, on his third attempt, came tight with a nice fish that took him around the boat before we got it on a deck – a great GT estimated by its 125-cm length to be around 35 kilos. Shortly after that Firdaus had a chance with a huge dogtooth on topwater but a missed hook-up saw the fish get away. Rudy was up next with a decent 25-kilo GT that went for his Craft Bait. Meanwhile, the other boat decided to brave the big currents and fish deeper. They got 12 fish boated but all were small. Later that day, on the tide change, that all changed for Loic when his Temple Reef Ballista was smashed. After a great fight in shallow water he put a 45-kilo GT on deck. The fish had a 135-cm fork length – the first 40+ kilo fish landed on Tropical Star. More hits followed and after putting a few more fish on deck we called the day.

The next few days saw the winds pick up a bit – most probably brought on by the strong current and big tides. We landed lots of GT along with the usual few Bohar Snappers and Jobfish. However, the bigger fish seemed to be only looking at the lures and the few that we did see had a look and took off. The GTs that we landed however had full stomachs – a sure sign that they we were feeding in the later evening tides which we cannot fish due to the regulations in place. In between casting Loay and Adham tried a bit of micro jigging and caught a lot of fish – a multitude of species amidst non-stop action. It’s great when you have more than one option in case you get tired or one type of fishing is not working; mixing it up and trying something else that works is the great part about fishing the Andaman Islands where there are so many different options.

Apart from the winds picking up, we also had rain showers and generally colder-than-normal climate, cloudy overcast conditions, rain squalls and lower water temperatures that put the fish off the feed and that was how it was to be till the end of the week. With tentative stabs at the lures, we had many hits which did not convert into any hook-ups. Firdaus had the last decent fish of the trip, which probably out of sheer greed smacked the Hammer Head popper. We however were not complaining.

We had our chances this trip as well, which, if converted, would have made this report completely different. Some days you can do everything right, but if luck is not on your side and the fish don’t play ball, too bad! Nevertheless, rest assured we will come back fighting again next week with another report.

A couple of days into Loic’s and Jefry’s trip, we were joined on the third boat by some of our Japanese friends. With a short trip comprising just three days fishing off Rampage, Seto San’s group from Japan, comprising six anglers, had their task pretty much cut out for them. With an average speed of twelve knot winds coming in from the NE and overcast conditions, those poppers and stick-baits were going to have to be worked extra hard, which these clients from the far east are anyway good at. Apart from the usual few big GT that didn’t stay hooked for too long, ten fish did make it to the deck on day one. Half of those were GT, with the rest being a mix of Bluefin Ttrevally and Bohar Snapper. Our weather forecast showed similar conditions over the next two days but the fishing was good on day two and we had a nice GT nearing the 25 kilo mark on light tackle and an even bigger dogtooth, with proud anglers picking them up to capture some great pics. A few misses showed again that big Giant Trevally were around and were rising to the lures. We couldn’t really complain under these conditions and yet again managed more than ten fish on deck. With a final day of fishing left for this group, we decided to try a spot that was left alone for a while and it proved the right decision to give our clients a burst of action late in the morning at change of tide. They had a few chances at big fish but had to settle for the smaller ones that provided constant action, to end their final day of the trip with fifteen fish on deck.

As I write this report we just got news of some exciting monster catches with our guests from the UK. Stay tuned for that report coming soon and enjoy this next lot of pics till then. Tight lines from us all at GFA.

Tackle Used

Jefry Ali’s Group
Popping Rods: Carpenter, Ripple fisher
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella, Daiwa Salitga
Lures: Carpenter, Craft Bait, Amegari, Hammer Head, Cubera, FCL Ebipop, FCL CSP

Jigging Rods: MC Works, Ripple Fisher
Jigging Reels: Shimano Stella
Jigs: Jigging Master, Fisherman, Shout, Seven Seas

Loic’s Group
Popping Rods: KOZ Expedition, Ripple Fisher
Popping Reels: Daiwa Saltiga, Shimano Stella, Shimano Saragosa
Lures: Temple Reef, Fish Trippers, Frosty, Carpenter, Orion, Alles Lures, Hammer Head

Seto Ryuta’s Group
Popping Rods: Carpenter, Ripple fisher
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella, Daiwa Salitga
Lures: Carpenter, Yo-Zuri

Species Caught: Giant Trevally, Dogtooth, Green Jobfish, Bohar Snapper, Bluefin trevally, Maori Perch, Tomato Grouper


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