Team GFA welcomes 2018 and wishes you all the best this new year has to offer.
As we prepared ourselves to welcome our first group of anglers for the new year, we were really excited, as this would be the first fishing charter trip to be run on our new 37 ft Reef Raider. Our guests had a strange arrival experience when their flight had to abort landing due to bad visibility and head back to Chennai. They did manage to get a peek at the islands before the aircraft had to turn around and head back. Fortunately, they managed to get tickets on an early morning flight and were back in Port Blair the next morning. With no more than a couple of fishing hours lost, Reef Raider was planing out into the blue on her first adventure for 2018.
Aidan was the good doctor on board and his friends Dave and Ian were going to need his assistance soon, with the aches and pains that you normally experience whilst popping for GT. They had all fished for GT before and were addicted to it. Although it was a short day out at sea they managed to put six fish on deck and had close encounters with an equal number. Among the species landed were a Bluefin Trevally and a Bohar Snapper.
Our plan was to take our guests to an area where we had ended our previous year on a high note, and the first day’s fishing was a mere warm-up for things to come. The trio had already fallen in love with the Andaman Islands and now it was time for them to get busy and give us something to write about. With the weather in our favour on day two, Reef Raider and her passengers were soon onto the first spot of the day. Aidan was onto a big GT in no time, a 30-kilo brute that came up to inhale the popper but missed on the first attempt and then grabbed the lure right next to the boat. The fish dragged him all round the boat and a hapless angler was left fighting a big GT using a fine selection of expletives, while the rest were having a good laugh at the doctor. The fish were hungry for anything that hit the surface and Dave decided to go with his hammerhead G cup, which another 30-kilo geet found irresistible. With two triple hook-ups and three double hook-ups the boys were enjoying this prolific sport and to top it all the backdrop of the islands was making this angling vacation a truly memorable one. With lots of surface action and big ones that got away, the boys were happy to see juvenile GTs in large numbers and know that a healthy stock of fish were present in these waters.
Aidan, Dave and Ian were in for a better treat over the next three days. They started fishing over a shallow reef in the morning and were hammered by shoals of snapper and GT fighting over the poppers. Ian was doing well with three fish on three casts into the frenzy of GT and Snapper feeding on the surface and after landing a decent 25-kilo fighter he was eventually broken off by a monster that pulled a good amount of drag. There was a brilliant session where the three anglers pulled in eighteen fish in under an hour. Five fish that were landed by the day’s end weighed more than twenty kilos. Aidan also had a huge Bohar Snapper put on a tremendous fight and eventually manage to get under a big rock on the reef. Captain Rama had to throw the boat into reverse and Ian opened the bail arm and gave the fish some slack line. It worked and soon the snapper darted out from cover and fell for the plot. This fish was over the average size than what we normally encounter and we had another lovely specimen on board. With a personal best grouper as well, he was a happy man. Dave was extremely accurate with his casts and on the final day put on a wonderful display for us, with poppers and stick-baits landing bang on target – nearer to the rocks, where we expected big GT to be lurking. He had broken his personal best record for GT on this trip and is sure to do so again when he comes back next and casts the way he does. Aidan was having a bit of a problem with dropped GT’s after hook-up, with fish getting off the hook, and we associated his bad luck to a new a pair of keyboard design flip flops that he had bought himself, a picture of which we were very tempted to include in our gallery!
The action was insane and with multiple hook ups to keep our crew on their toes, team GFA delivered the first Andaman experience for the new year. With seventy-five fish on board and an equal number of fish missed on this trip, we will have a lot more excitement to share in the coming weeks with lots of back-to-back fishing trips and great weather to look forward to. Tight lines from the entire team at GFA.
Popping Rods: Fisherman 80 travel rod, Westin Stickbait Rod, Fisherman Monster travel rod PE 10, Carpenter Blue Lagoon, Hots XH
Jigging Rods: Maxel Sealine XH, Hots One Pitch Slider.
Reels: Shimano Stella 8k, 14k and 18k, Maxel Ocean Max
Lures: Heru Bobara, Hammerhead, Shell Shaping, Siren Deep Seductress, Fisherman Big Mouth, Amegari, Kokari 130 and 160.
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Big-eye Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Bohar Snapper, Malabar Grouper.