Gamefishing Asia would like to thank Sami Ghandour for his great report.
In Sami’s own words:
It is going to be very hard to sum up this trip and put it into its right perspective as I would have not thought for a second that GT could exist in such good numbers and sizes in Sri Lanka!
In about 2 years ago Darran approached me and invited me to come and fish for GT’s in Sri Lanka and as usual my schedule was tight and I could not make it last year. But, when we met up in the Andaman we set up the dates for November 2014. The excitement was on my face and I was looking forward to wet a line in a new destination. It is always a challenge to fish a new destination as it keeps you on your feet and alert at all times.
I meet Farid in Dubai and we both took the flight to Colombo to meet up with Colin and his wife Georgina at the airport. Darran was also waiting for us to greet us.
We took the 5 hours ride to Kirinda in a very comfortable van that Farid and I literally passed out for 3 hours straight, the jet lag was taking its toll on us. Upon our arrival to the beach resort we were greeted with a fresh squeezed orange juice that made the long journey at ease, we set up our equipment waiting for tomorrow to start.
At night our skipper Nicolas and his first mate Anthony met us at dinner to brief and update us with the weather. The weather condition did not look good for the next 4 days but the guys were keen to get out and get the best out of it.
At 8:00AM we got picked up and dropped off at the marina to start our first day. We got greeted with waves and heavy sea but we still made it out and got a couple of takers that put up smiles on all of our faces. It was a bit of a rough day as the sea was really high with white caps but the boat took it quiet well. At night we gathered at the dinner table chatting and rewinding the day in general.
On our second day I could not hear the wave pounding on the beach like the first day so we ran outside to check it out. It was looking really good with a bit of sun that did not last for too long and so were the sea conditions. We took off under great condition but in no time the sea start to roll with a great topwater bite.
I had seen and been on board with many skippers but not like Nicolas. The guy is sharp and knows his water and the terrain very well. It was a pleasure fishing on board with him, the atmosphere on board was filled with laugh and joy, especially with Colin’s black sense of humor.
Many GT’s been caught on that day but nothing big.
Farid was suffering from the seas condition and was thinking to take the day off but he could not resist being on board to wet his line and he really took a lot of abuse but at the end it was worth every penny. All of a sudden and while Farid’s lure was 40 feet away from the boat a huge GT attacked his Hammerhead I CUP and the game was on, with a peeling line and screaming reel –it was all what I remember and off course with a lot of encouragement from the whole crew. A beautiful 136 cm by 108cm hit the deck with cheers and joy. This was Farid’s biggest GT ever and you can see that pride on his face. It was really a pleasure to see and encounter such a moment like that and be part of it. We took few pictures and released it to fight another day and we called the day off as the ocean started to get nasty.
The following day did not look good as well in terms of sea condition. It was really rough but we made it out and within 2 hours the ocean laid down flat and we finally had a good opportunity to present our lures properly. Colin had nice GT that missed his lures but in no time I had a great take on the shell Shaping Chu Bar that I am currently testing. I finally broke the ice and had a nice 135cm by 110cm on the deck, took a quick shot and released it. The fusilier (bait) were all over the place and the GT ‘s were harassing them from the outside skirt, the stickbait worked very well for me with slow retrieve as per Nicolas suggestion.
Farid’s casting performance has improved a lot and he was more accurate while casting and when using the rod properly, he finally got the hang to load the rod properly and use it to his advantage, big achievement in 4 days fishing and so happy to see it.
On the last days we asked Nicolas to hit the jigging spot as the ocean laid down to our favor. We landed couple of fish but the clarity of the water was not what we wished for. The water was green and murky but it was worth to give it a try. All of a sudden Farid hooked a small bonito so we asked him to send it down just to see the potential and what was out there. In no time he got slammed and he lost his entire rig as the fish shaved the leader.
I have to say that we all had our shot’s but most important that we all enjoyed our time. The fishery and the hospitality in Sri Lanka are something to admire as it is a world class GT destination!
That night we called the trip off after 5 days of fishing with joy. The body took a great deal of beating however I still had 1 more day to fish with Darran and Nicolas.
At night we sat at the dinner table and Colin and Farid were feasting on lobsters, if I recall correctly Both Colin and Farid had at least 3 lobsters each. I had enjoyed fishing with Colin and Farid a lot and I hope I can join them in the future, definitely the kind of guys to be with on an overseas trip. We sat at night and summarized the last 5 days with joy, happiness and good memories that for sure will last for a life time.
On my 6 days Darran joined to fish with me and we headed a bit earlier and straight to the jigging ground. I got greeted by a nice GT on the jig and the guys were getting different species such as the yellow dot trevally. The water was still greenish which was a surprise for this time of the year. After couple of attempts at different spots it was time to head for the GT spot. Within a couple of casts Darran got a nice taker on the Craft Bait GT3 and he struggled to get the job done giving us the idea and the feeling of a hefty fish at the end of the line, Darran landed a nice 40kg plus!
Took a few shot and released it quickly.
Fusilier were all over the place with GT’s harassing them constantly which made the drift more as a side casting rather than blind casting. The day was filled with small to medium size GT’s till we had enough and we called the trip off.
I have to thank Darran from Game Fishing India for his hospitality and his services; they sure ran a first class operation in this part of the world. The fishing in Sri Lanka was way better than what I expected. I highly recommend GT anglers to give a fare shot and fish Sri Lanka, I assure you – you will not to be disappointed from the moment you step into the airport in Colombo to the day you depart!
For our skipper Nicolas Jamin, I thank you for your guidance and I am so happy to fish on board with you, we will fish together again for sure, Thank you!
Rod: Race Point 300, 200,150,100
Reels: Shimano Stella 18000, 14000, Maxel
Line: Power Pro Holow 130lb & 80lb, Jerry Brown Hollow 100
Leader: Saltywater Tackle Twisted Leader
Lures: Shell Shaping, Hammerhead, Craft Bait, Tango, Carpenter, ASWB
Tight lines Sami