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A Busy Week at GFA

A busy week at GFA… A Monsta to end it!

Fishing Dates: 10-17 Jan 2020

A few days gap and we were into our next groups, leading to busy times at Team GFA. To start off we welcomed Kenzaburo Fukui San and his team from Japan. Fukui San is the famous Japanese skipper of the boat called the “Big Dipper” that fishes in Amami and Tokara, and he brought his group of anglers for the first time to fish with us in the Andaman Islands. In his room, on our famous sea view balcony there was a vast collection of fishing rods including Carpenter’s and Ripple fishers – some brands we were looking at for the first time. The Shimano Stella reels of all sizes for GT popping that would have been enough to stock a tackle shop.

The fishing conditions were still windy with the wind coming more from the NNE direction and was creating choppy conditions on the spring tides. To say the least, it was a trip of many opportunities for the anglers. We had one amazing day of 50 bites on one boat but only landed 13 GT’s – for some reason they just did not stay hooked. The fish liked the poppers more this trip and anglers who persevered with the Hammerheads did well.

We had two lady anglers on this trip – Minako San and Nanako San. It was great to see how they managed casting off the bow of the boat even in choppy conditions. Both landed good- sized GT’s with Nanako San getting a 25 kg and Minako San landing one of around 22 Kg. Minako San had a huge GT strike but it took off leaving her hanging on, but unfortunately, it pulled the hooks and got away.

Tatsuo San was most unlucky when he lost a monster after having fought the fish for 10 minutes. He also lost 4 big fish in one day with two of them busting the mainline and he broke a popping rod on a fish. Both Koike San and Iwamoto San managed to land 30 kilo fish.

We did notice during that trip, most of the time we had wind against tide conditions that made getting the drifts right much more difficult. There were also instances of the GT’s head butting and slapping the lures that left them hooked outside the mouth.

On the last evening of the trip we had prepared our famous Kokari Guesthouse mud crab curry for the group which they admitted was delicious, small tips and advice that we received from Fukui San was much appreciated as we discussed GT fishing and had a general good time over dinner. This evening there were 17 anglers in the Guesthouse as we had our single angler group, as well as the next Japanese Group from Gancraft (Tackle Island Group) in and fishing with us.

Also fishing with us this week, were Phil Gray who had fished with us earlier in Sri Lanka and Arunas and Andrius from Norway on a single angler trip. This group had been troubled with flight delays as they transited Dubai enroute to the Andaman Islands due to heavy rain. Phil made it across but Arunas and Andrius lost a whole day and did not arrive till the next day. Even worse was that the rod tube of Andrius went missing, and only came in two days later. It was not a problem as we kitted him out with the Racepoint Rods we have on hand.

Even though this group of fishermen were on their first popping, jigging trip (Arunas and Andrius) and a second for Phil, they did very well learning how to use the big poppers such as the Hammer Head. Phil had asked us about lures and we recommended that he use the 150 Cono Cono, which he did, and the Andaman GT’s liked them so much that he lost 4 of them. Phil got a nice barracuda and a 12 kilo GT on a really light Pike setup which was a highlight for him. They were a bit unlucky as they had two sailfish on stick-baits but lost them when the fish shook the hooks out. Arunas turned out to be a natural and got the most fish in this group, including a 30 kilo GT on his first day
out. On one of the jigging marks Arunas hooked a dogtooth tuna, but as it came up a huge 200 kilo shark grabbed it and made off, nearly taking him over the side of the boat. However, with a little aid he held on to the shark, only for the line to part, which in a way was a relief. The guys were great company and easy to fish with as they cooperated with us in conditions that were choppy to say the least. They really enjoyed the fishing areas and the spectacular scenery that the Andaman Islands has on offer.

Our real heroes for the week turned out to be the trio from Tackle Island Group, Sato San, Kake San and Miyata San. These guys were the quiet assassins and from day one they were onto the fish with Sato San showing the way, and they were also using self-made stick baits. On the second day of their trip we had an incredible morning session of topwater action with Sato San landing 4 fish in his first five casts of the day. This day Sato San landed a huge GT using a Carpenter Discovery Journey 83ML rod which we saw after a long while on a Skagit Design popper, the fish measured length 135 cm x 117cm girth to weigh 49 kg. They had an incredible popping day with 30 fish landed for 3 anglers.

On the last drift of the trip for this group, Kake San using his own hand made stick bait had the lure inhaled by a big GT that took off. Holding on and expertly putting the pressure on when it counted, he brought the fish in and we had another super GT on board. Measurement followed to give us length 136cm x girth 107cm and a weight 43 kg. Happy angler and what a way to end the trip! What if we had landed all those big fish we hooked this week? This report would have been insane! But this is fishing, you have a story to tell about the one that got away, right?

Till our next trip report enjoy the pictures

Tight Lines!

Rods Popping

Carpenter Rods:
Blue Chaser 80/35, The Blue Lagoon 80/30, Endless
Passion 90/37, Carpenter PJ 80/36 Ulua, Endless Passion 80/42, Sea
Leopard 80/33, Blue Chaser 84/26, Blue Chaser 84/22 R Power1, Endless
Passion 85/36, Daiwa Saltiga GT86, Monster Hunter 80H, Discovery
Journey 83ML, Endless Passion 88/35

Ripple Fisher Rods:
Aquila 83-6, Nano 83M, F-Stick GT80, F-Stick
GT711, Ocean Ridge LC82 Nano, Final Spirit GT 80 Nano, Blue Reef
GT710/10, Ultimo 79M

Yamaga Blanks Blue Reef 80/8, Yamaga Blanks Blue Sniper 80/5, Yamaga
Blanks Blue Sniper 81/10

Susanou OROSHI 80, Ameterau Deep Blue Ocean 83XXH, Moutoukenmaru
Special 80 PE10, Shimano Ocea Plugger / Plugger BG, Truth Ocean
Sprinter 8110 & 838,

Jigging Rods: Saltywater OBX 400, Ripple fisher Ocean Arrow 5015, Shimano Game Type J, Daiwa Saltist 562

Shimano Stella 10k, 12k,14k, 18k, Daiwa Saltiga Z6500, Daiwa Saltiga
Expedition Z6500, Shimano Saragosa SW10k

Lures Poppers:
Hammerhead E-Cup, Hammerhead Shakure, Carpenter Gamma, Fish Trippers, Bobs Art, Carpenter Bluefish, Skagit Design Pump King, Shimano Ocea, Shimano Head Dip, Orion Cono Cono, Skagit Design Pump king, FCL TBO 180, Amegari, Black Ledge

Lures Jigs:
7 Seas, Fisherman Andaman, Williamson Benthos, Abyss

Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Bohar Snapper, Big Eye trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Grey Reef Shark, Bluefin Trevally, Grouper, Coral Trout, Yellowfin tuna, Green Jobfish, Rusty Jobfish

SAT & Angler’s Nest - Gallery