Clive and his two sons Brendan and Justin travelled all the way from South Africa for their annual trip to tangle with the Andaman GTs in particular and top-water Dogtooth Tuna. They were all super fit and ready to go for long periods with the heavy tackle required to catch the special fish they were after.
The trip started with us getting to know their fishing styles and refining their techniques to work better in our conditions. By mid-afternoon the fish were on the feed. We had big GT and dogtooth following right up to the boat but not taking the lures. Finally a nice GT crashed Justin’s popper and the fight was on. Justin handled the fish well to land a nice 30kg Andaman GT setting the tempo for the rest of the trip.
The next day we tried a few spots that had been working very well early in the season. Although the fish were around they were not really active on either the popping and jigging spots and all the bites appeared to be tentative only. The guys gave it their best putting in the hard work but the fish did not respond this day and we called the day off to get an early start the next day in a different area.
An early start off to a favourite spot saw us get into the fish. As we reached there was continuous action, Brendan had a huge GT crash his popper in the clear water. Everything was so clearly visible: the enormous fish nailed it and took off only for the hooks to pull after its first run. Brendan was gutted and there was more disappointment to follow. The continuous action kept the guys going and it was not long before Brendan had another huge strike, he set the hooks only for his Shimano Kaibutsu to break in two from the handle, he tried his best to fight the fish on only the handle and reel with help from the deckie and got the fish close but the huge GT was not done and in the shallow water it ran again this time to bust off the leader on the razor sharp coral bommies. With the weather picking up and some big waves coming through we decided to move back to camp. The guys were unwilling conceded defeat to the fish for the day so we set off to another area that is known to hold big fish. As we got to the area, the action started with fish coming up in all the areas we fished, this was Clive’s day and he landed some quality fish with 4 fish over the 25kg mark and two on them at 30kg, Clive also got a super Malabar grouper of 20kg plus on top-water. Brendan raised and hooked a huge dogtooth but the fish was not playing ball and bust him off at the leader after a long run. Some of the drifts were amazing with multiple hook-ups and 6 fish landed on a single drift. With so much action and good fish landed the guys decided to call it a day early and head back from the exhaustion of having to fight so many big fish, Arjun asked Brendan to have a last cast before the day was called and he had another huge strike, he set the hook on the fish this time using the Racepoint 200 rod and the fish peeled line off, after a few stops and goes, typical of big GT, the leader parted – another big disappointment for Brendan.
We headed out early on the last day as the guys were tiring from the hard work involved with throwing heavy poppers all day long. The focus was on the top-water fishing. Again as we got to the spot we got into the action with some Twin-Spot snapper and a double hook up with GTs, Justin’s turned into a nice 22kg fish and after that it turned into Brendan’s day where he landed GTs on successive drifts of 20kg, 25kg and 30kg.
All in all a great trip with quality fish and fishing and great company to have on board,
Species caught: GT, Barracuda, Grouper, Green Jobfish, Twin-spot Snapper, Bluefin trevally, Golden trevally
Rods: Fisherman Monster 80 GT, Racepoint 200, Black Hole jigging rods
Reels: Shimano Stella, Saragosa
Poppers: Cubera, Hammerhead