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October 2017 Newsletter
Destination Updates
The Andamans The Andamans Cont...

It is with immense pleasure that I write the first destination update for the 2017-18 season. First and most importantly, a big thank you to the Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their help and assistance and to the Andaman and Nicobar administration for formulating and implementing the new fishing rules in time for our season opening trips. The great news is that we can now avoid the delays, with the new streamlined system of obtaining permits extending to Sundays and public holidays. Based on the new Sportfishing rules, we have had to update our policies in order to comply. In summary, there will be an additional permit fee per person per day, permits will be valid 5 am to 5 pm each day with no permission for night fishing, and as long as we can get your permit application in before 4 pm on a working day, we are good to go. As usual, we will coordinate the dates and times with each of our customers personally to ensure we get the permits in time, every time
Additionally, we would request all our readers, customers and friends to go through the relevant sections of our website with regard to our updated Terms and Conditions by clicking on the link which will take you the relevant section of our website.
Enough said about the rules. We are back to fishing and the break has done a world of good, with the area well rested and our skippers more than eager to get out again. As usual, we did our pre-season service and maintenance to have the boats ready to go as soon as we got the green signal.
We have also got our Kokari Andaman guest house website up and

running, and the guest house is now functioning with a range of new menus to add to the experience we already offer. We have for this season added a whole list of goodies from lures to T-shirts and souvenirs that will be on offer so all of you need to stay tuned to our pages for updates. 
Saving the best for last, we will have two additional brand spanking new boats for the 2017-18 season. The boats are in Port Blair and we are in the process of carrying out the survey and registration to get them up and running as soon as possible. We will give you a sneak preview of both the new boats i.e. with a 32 ft Centre Console with twin 200 hp 4 stroke Yamaha engines and a 37 ft Rampage Class Centre Console with the latest 2017 model twin Yamaha 250 hp 4 stroke engines, coupled with the latest Garmin electronics, an insane number of rod holders and bow casting cages we are proud to announce that we will have the latest and newest fleet for our Andaman Islands charters.
The season kicked off with some excellent action and catches, so stay tuned for the new reports and pictures. For anglers interested in short notice trips we will be running a few trips single anglers in November and January so be sure to check out the latest offers on our social media pages and our website, which has been updated with latest pictures. We are more than optimistic that a lot of you will get your pictures featured on our pages this coming season.

Tight lines.

Trip Reports
Andamans Andamans
Robert Sader's group lands the first Big Mama of the season - Read more Bertrand Touseau's first Andamans experience...the first Single Angler Trip of the Season - Read more
South African group led by "Captain" Zeynul achieve personal bests - Read more  
Team GFA's client briefing, points to help you land more GTs

Mainline choice and heavy leader to mainline connections for GT casting re-visited

Lines and Leaders

Having headed up fishing charters in different countries for more than 10 years, I personally, and the team at GFA, have seen well over a few thousand anglers from across the globe, who have used a multitude of different brands and types of braided mainline along with various techniques to join mainline and leader, for GT casting. A prime reason we all love fishing so much is that you don’t always win and you keep learning as you go along. The angler who does not adapt his equipment and techniques will not progress as much as one who does and is prepared to innovate. While we all agree that the mainline has to be braided for GT fishing there is a debate as to whether to use hollow over non-spliceable braided mainline and, more importantly, a greater debate on which knot or method is best to connect the mainline to the heavy leader we need to use if there is going to be any hope of landing a good-sized GT.
Back in the late 1990’s I personally lost my fish (Mahseer) of a lifetime because I let someone else tie a knot for me. Since then have taken it upon myself to learn my knots and improve them for the best results possible.

Hollow braid - Is it better?

Having used both hollow (or spliceable) and non-spliceable braids from various manufacturers, let us look at whether the extra cost of splice-able hollow braid is actually justified.
Given that braided lines have almost zero stretch, the amount of shock load coming into the whole system is very large at the high drag settings demanded by GT anglers. In this respect, the normally higher number of fibers woven together into the tubular structure of hollow braid is more likely to survive the shock load if it is slightly damaged or has a weak spot as compared to non spliceable braided line. (Damage or weak spots can occur during manufacture or from abrasion by various means such as from your gloved casting finger contacting the same point of the line and damage during fishing from rubbing structure or from fish teeth (e.g. Long toms) or tail flukes (e.g Giant Trevally) from the fish coming into contact with the line).
Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also damage braided lines and once this happens it will part randomly and at the least expected moments, such as on the strike, leaving the angler in most cases bewildered as to what is going on and / or assuming a huge fish lost!!. In most cases the sun damage is only to the exposed part of the line or your casting length i.e. 50-70 meters. In the case of sliceable braided line, you can cut off the offending end and splice in a new one leaving your line with a seamless 100% connection; with non-spliceable line you have to trash the lot and get a new spool of line.
Many claim that non- spliceable lines cast further and is of smaller diameter which allows for better and more line being spooled onto the reel. While this may be true the difference in my opinion is negligible and nothing that cannot be compensated with more elbow grease in your casts or at the time of line spooling.
Having used both extensively, there is no doubt in my mind that for top water GT fishing hollow spliceable braid comes out tops over woven non spliceable braid. This is simply because it does not burst on impact under high loads and of course it’s very nice to be able to just splice in a bit of new line to replace a damaged section without replacing the line with a brand new 300-yard spool. This, in my opinion, does more that justify the few extra dollars you pay at purchase.

Factors that determine usability and selection of the leader knot
We have put down what we think is important to consider in your choice of connection for leader to mainline below:

#1 - Ease of Tying
How easy is the knot to tie on a moving boat? (In the excitement of knowing the bite is on and you need to get your lure back in the water asap).Do you need any special tools to tie your knot? Nothing beats a healthy amount of practice, so please make sure you are completely familiar with how to use tools (if required) and make a perfect knot, knowing that it will stand up to whatever stress you

can load it with. You fish better knowing you have full confidence in your equipment.
#2 - Wind knots / ring wraps when casting
It’s a simple concept that the leader, because of its larger diameter, travels slower through the air than the smaller diameter braided mainline, which a lot of anglers don’t fully understand. So, the longer your leader length inside the rod guides the more chance for the braided mainline to travel faster and over take the leader before it exits the tip guide of the rod. This is the main cause for wind knots and line wrap around the rod guides. Couple this with the fact that you have just launched a lure weighing over 100 grams, a thick heavy weight at high speed, it’s very easy for this to result in damaged line or worse still broken rod guides.
#3 - Recommended length of leader
A large GT is upwards of 1.20 meters and we have landed them up to 1.65 meters long. While we are mainly concerned with the frontal end of the Geet, which is formidable by any standards, there are razor sharp flukes just forward of the tail on either side. These, in contact with your leader or mainline, can damage or even cut through either. There is also less stretch, the shorter the leader (see point 5 for more information). To be safe, (you are never completely safe till the fish is boated!!) in case you get some abrasion damage, we would recommend a leader between 2 to 2.5 meters long. Your leader length outside the rod tip also has to be correct to enable both snap casting and distance casts when required. In this case as well, the 2 to 2.5-meter leader length holds good.
#4 - Casting Distance
Being able to get your lure into the most likely looking spot accurately and quickly is of paramount importance. Distance does matter and the heavier your setup, the greater the effort required by you to cast further. A thicker leader and knot is less aerodynamic and will not cast as far, but not by much and we would go as far as to say by 5% less, tops. A competent angler can make up for this with better casting technique and by using lures that are less wind resistant. Having said the above, a bulkier leader to mainline connection will cast shorter than a streamlined one; however, a personal opinion would be to go for the heaviest combination of strength and functionality.
#5 - Suitability on GT over 30 kg
Giant Trevally is a brutal fish and it has not earned its reputation by leading a peaceful existence. When they get to and over 30 kilos in weight is when the fun starts. There is the tremendous force by which they normally crash a big lure with every intention to kill it instantly and the powerful runs and intense head shakes that make up the initial fight. This is followed by the Geet getting sideways in the latter part of the fight to maximize the water resistance to enable it to stay deep. Considering the above with heavy mainline (i.e.PE 8 & above) and that there is leader i.e. 200 lb., there is very little stretch or shock absorption in the system, this creates a load capable of bursting the mainline or opening the strongest and largest of hooks, so any leader line connection has to have both strength and the ability to act as a shock absorber.
#6 - Appearance & Looks
This one is for those select anglers who insist on the neatest possible connection. Perfectly tied knots are great to look at and involve skill at tying consistently, especially on a moving boat. Fishing is a sport for pleasure and we would like any angler to enjoy their experience, being comfortable with and enjoying using your equipment is an important factor on any fishing trip.

Useful Tips to Cast Better and Land More Fish

• Inspect your line, leader and knot frequently, check your lure and terminals too. If you have any doubt, cut and re-tie or change your setup. • Look for small wind knots, especially if you have to cast into the wind • Do not overfill your reel spool
• If you take a few casts into the wind cast downwind and reel in fast to repack your line on the spool before casting upwind again.

Read the full article, along with our evauation of the most commonly seen knots, here.

A Sneak Peek of Our New Boat - REEF RAIDER

The 37ft ‘Reef Raider’ is a purpose built Popping and Jigging platform, powered by a pair of 250 hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard engines that gives a very comfortable 20 + knot cruise. This boat has been chosen as a fast game-fishing vessel to cope with the distances involved with fishing the remote areas off Ritchie’s Archipelago and the South Andaman Islands, as well as for longer day trips. Reef Raider is in survey to carry 6 anglers plus a crew of 2 (ideal for 4 anglers popping and jigging). The spacious and user-friendly layout, along with state of the art Garmin electronics and Airmar transducers, makes this boat one of the fastest and most capable popping, jigging and game-fishing platforms currently available in the Andaman Islands. And of course, its unique hull provides the smoothest ride of any boat in its class. As safety is of paramount importance to us, we take pride in maintaining our boats and equipment. All our boats are fitted with VHF Radio sets, GPS Positioning Systems, Distress Alert Transponders, extra life jackets and first aid kits.

A Sneak Peek of Our New Boat - TROPICAL STAR

The 32ft ‘Tropical Star’ is a purpose built Popping and Jigging platform, powered by a pair of 200 hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard engines, giving a very comfortable 20 + knot cruise. This boat has been chosen as a fast game-fishing vessel to cope with the distances involved with fishing the remote areas off Ritchie’s Archipelago and the South Andaman Islands as well as for longer day trips. Tropical Star is in survey to carry 5 anglers plus a crew of 2 (ideal for 3-4 anglers popping and jigging). As with all our boats, the Tropica Star is fully equipped and outfitted.

Offers & Promotions
Single Angler Trips
For the 2017/2018 season we've got a few Single Angler Trip slots left between October and April. The dates set aside are the best in terms of fishing, tides & weather conditions. If you're fishing on your own and you would like to do a 6 day trip in the Andamans get in touch with us by emailing Details of the trips including dates, cost & target species and tackle are on the website.
Single Angler Andamans
Single Angler Trips in The Andamans
Gallery - Monster Season 2017-18
Yellowfin Tuna Andaman
Richard Long-nose Emperor Fish,  Andaman Popping
Spanish Mackerel Topwater Andaman
Frank  Bohar Snapper Andaman
Bertrand Barracuda Andamans
Riaz Grouper Andaman
Richard Dogtooth Jigging
Richard Grouper Andamans
Riaz Bluefin Trevally Andamans
For enquiries email


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