Well before GFA was started, we spent many unforgettable weeks camping and fishing for Mahseer on the river Cauvery and those memories were rekindled when Paul arrived at our destination. It all started when I asked him if this was his first trip to India. My eyes lit up the moment he mentioned that he had last come down to angle for the almighty king of freshwater fish, of our river Cauvery. Rob had fished with Paul on two occasions before this and listened patiently as we talked about our experiences with these large freshwater gamefish. He expressed his desire to see a King Cobra in the wild and since we had a day free in Port Blair before the remaining two anglers of their group arrived we decided to visit the habitat of the elusive King. We knew our chances of sighting a snake were slim, but the area was worth a visit, with stunning old trees towering above a dense rainforest. The trek was going to be a short one and at the end of it we would be treated to a spectacular view of the sea from the peninsula. The elusive King cobra remained just that, but we did manage to see a host of nice avian life such as Imperial Pigeons, Golden Orioles, Raquet-tail Drongos, Emerald Doves and Swifts. A day well spent in the Andaman jungles and we were treated to the sweetest tender coconut water at the end of it all. Iain and Jai joined us the next day and soon plans were being made on where to fish over the following six days.
It was decided that day one would be spent fishing close to base, before travelling farther away to the monster hangouts. Paul had the most opportunities fishing for GT in the past and along with Rob had fished for them in Sri Lanka as well. For Jai and Iain this was to be a somewhat new experience and they were keen to get out there and begin casting. Weather conditions were not ideal, but safe enough to get out there and make the most of it. Peak fishing activity was at around 2.30 pm and the anglers were treated with some good GT action that included explosive strikes and powerful runs when fish were hooked. With every fish that got away, even after pumping hard and striking several times, lessons were being learnt. Jai,who had watched most of our GFA videos and read all our trip reports, was putting to use what he learned from it while Iain was thoroughly enjoying his first GT fishing experience. He found the explosive take of a GT very exciting and exclaimed that he was wasn’t prepared for it even after all that he had read and seen on the internet. The count for day one ended with fifteen fish on deck – 10 GT, 2 Bluefin Trevally, 2 Golden Trevally and 1 Dogtooth Tuna.
Rampage headed out under cloudy skies early on day two and the GT needed a little more persuasion before attacking the poppers and stick-baits. The anglers knew they were going to be working a lot harder than yesterday and their enthusiasm was rewarded with a mixed catch of GT, dogtooth tuna and a couple of bonito by the end of the fishing day. With a slight change in weather on day three, the fish responded differently and they seemed hungry for the Cuberas, Patriots and Halcos chugging along on the surface. The action was insane and none of the anglers were given a long enough break to recover or rest like during the previous days. This was the kind of fishing that had brought all of them to the Andamans from halfway across the globe. There were multiple hook-ups, with all anglers connected to GT and snapper at both ends of the boat and Iain provided added entertainment with his animated cursing every time he lost a fish. The boys kept taking digs at Rob who seemed to have a constant problem with wind knots and while this action went on through the day our crew was kept busy taking pictures and releasing fish back into the turquoise waters. Amidst all the action, none of the anglers failed to notice the setting around them and to cherish this experience of fishing a remote destination even more. With everyone’s personal best being exceeded and more than 40 fish landed on a single day, with some monsters among the catch, team GFA was as happy as the anglers on Rampage.
The weather was back to its sulking self the next two days, slowing down the fishing and was taken as a breather from the previous action-packed day. We still managed to get more than thirty fish onto the boat and over twenty of them were GT in addition to a nice grouper in Rob’s lap. Excitement came in the form of a big shark that tested the angler in Jai and after an enduring fight was alongside the boat and estimated to be a little over 100 kilos. The jig that he was using had traveled all over the world with him and he was determined that this piece of lead that he had become so attached to doesn’t remain attached to this toothy monster of the deep. Well sometimes we have to do crazy stuff to keep our customers happy and captain Kantha saw no problem unhooking the jig from its dorsal fin. That jig should have gone back into the travel bag that night and got hung on the wall back at Jai’s house, but alas it was on Rampage the next day on the way to its burial ground. I leave you all to imagine what happened to the jig. I can picture a quiet man smiling at this report and when we meet again I hope you guys manage to make the same team. It was a pleasure meeting you all and tight lines wherever you all fish.
Popping Rods: Ripple Fisher, Daiwa Saltiga Travel, Hematchi, Yamaga Blank Blue Reef, Blue Sniper, Assassin Spin Master and Shimano Ocea Big Game.
Jigging Rods: OTI Fathom Blade, Shimano Blue Rose and G Stone Sailing.
Reels: Shimano Stella 20k, 18k, Sirocco 10k, Daiwa Saltiga, Daiwa Dogfight, Accurate BX2 500 and 400
Lures: Nomad Chug Norris, Mad Scad, Smith, Hammerhead, Halco Rooster, Heru Cubera, FCL Labo and Patriot Design.
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Golden Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Grouper, Red Bass, Green Job Fish, Bonito, Barracuda and Grey Reef Shark, Coral Trout.