We started off our 2016-17 season with a Single Angler group that comprised 4 anglers – Andrew and Edmond from Dubai, Gary from Abu Dhabi and Alexandre, a French angler who has fished with us before in Trincomalee and had come in from Shanghai. All the guys had fished GTs before and were aware of their chances of landing the prize fish.
I met the guys the evening of their arrival, at their hotel in Kirinda, and they peppered me with questions about the fishing, the sea and the weather conditions. They listened patiently while I discussed the strategies we would need to employ considering all conditions that might prevail. I mentioned to them that when conditions are choppy GT’s are more active and the chances for raising large GT’s are greater.
On the first day, we reached our fishing spot in less than 45 minutes. On the first drift, I spotted a nice bait ball on the reef drop off; Edmond cast his popper near to the ball and we had the first strike of the trip. On the next drift, around the same bait ball, we had a double hook up and Edmond and Gary were off to a great start. From then on the fish were more and more active and all the anglers were casting for the big one. With the action getting hotter, Gary had a serious bite on his stickbait; the fish took lots of line and fought hard, the Yamaga rod taking a nice curve. We waited while Gary battled it out, eager to see this fish; finally, it was a black GT, average in size. It’s a fact that these black GT’s put up a good fight. A quick picture and the GT was released. We finished the day with more GT’s. A good start to the trip.
A new day and new conditions. On the second day, the GT’s seems a bit cautious. We decided to look at some other fishing spots on the third day. On the way, we spotted lots of birds and big schools of sardine. October is the sardine run in Southern Lanka and rings the bell for the Spanish Mackerel season. We started our day on the reefs for GT’s. These reefs are close to the continental shelf and can offer the opportunity to see pelagic fish like tuna. The sea was calm and clear with an unobstructed view. Suddenly, my deckhand Achala spotted some whales breathing and a few minutes later we saw a big splash and birds around. We got the guys to stop casting and approached the site of activity. When we were close enough we discovered a frenzy of activity with Spanish Mackerel busting a huge school of sardine, the mackerel leaping about 15 to 20 feet into the air. The guys cast and their lures were attacked immediately. Edmond and Alexandre were on at the same time. Gary missed the bite but cast again and he was also on. They landed some decent Spanish Mackerel in every cast. The guys landed a total of 20 Spanish Mackerel that day, with almost an equal number getting away. The frenzy continued for more than 4 hours. It was just insane to see all the Spanish Mackerel busting these big schools and leaping with sardines in their mouths, even following some in mid-air. For sure, this is something the guys will never forget. We finished the day at some GT’s spots on the way back and caught some.
Over the next three days of the trip we concentrated our effort on deep water GT spots to target the BIG one. Sea conditions were typical for Kirinda – choppy, but perfect to target a large GT with a big chugger popper like the Hammer Head G-Cup. Edmond had a brand new one and I advised him to use it, which resulted in the first serious strike of the trip. We saw a very large GT on the top of the wave coming to smash his popper, but sadly the fish missed the lure. Alexandre was luckier with his Cubera 180 and landed a nice GT. On the last day Edmond was feeling too tired to cast his G-Cup, so Alexandre took the opportunity to ask him if he could try the popper. After a couple of cast, Alexandre was on with a really big GT, who came out of nowhere and totally swallowed the G-Cup. The fish took a lot of line despite the serious drag setting of Alexandre’s Dogfight. I started the engines and tried to help Alexandre as best I could, but the fish reached the reef very fast and broke the 200 lb Fisherman leader. Alexandre was in shock trying to comprehend what had happened in those few seconds. I told him, “This is what can happen when you meet a monster GT; it’s part of the game.”
Later Edmond, who was fishing with a Pe4 rod and a ASWB sinking stickbait, fought a pretty strong GT. He later changed to a PE10 rod. Alexandre caught the last fish of the trip, a healthy 25 kg range GT.
This season was off to a good start, with the guys discovering how fishing conditions could be in Kirinda. The fishing conditions were varied over the trip duration, but still resulted in some pretty good catch. The trip was successful enough that the group planned on returning soon.
This single angler group has again proven to us the success of such trips to meet new friends, share fishing tips and techniques and enjoy the fishing at our destination.
Hoping to see you again soon guys.
Rods: Yamaga Blank, Smith, Race Point 200, Zenaq
Reels: Stella 18000sw & 14000sw, Saltiga Dogfight and Expedition.
Lures: Hammer Head G-Cup, Cubera 180, GT Ice Cream, ASWB stickbaits, Tackle House BKS
Species Caught: Giant Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Grouper