Here we are in the prime of our GT season and not a day goes by when we don’t hear tales of epic battles being fought in the Andamans, by our guests who focus only on one thing and we mean one thing only – GT fishing. This week we had Joakim & friends return from Sweden, alongside Jong Woo Jung & friends, another returning group, this time from South Korea. We also had first timers Jinil Kim and crew, who had heard about GT skirmishes of biblical proportions and had come to partake some of it in the Andamans.
Joakim, being an old hand, did not waste time but took the advice of Captain Rama and was instantly rewarded when a 37 kg plus GT (his biggest in the Andamans) smacked his stick bait as soon as it hit the water. A combination of a Westin W6 with a Stella 14000 did an easy job of reeling it in for a quick photo and release. Lucas, the muscle in the group, with active service in the military, paid complete attention to the tide and wind conditions. His training was evident, and he had even brought his own navigation device. He landed several GT’s and was quite satisfied with his haul, for he knew from his experience of GT fishing off the east coast of Africa how unpredictable it could be. Jessica, who was new to GT fishing on this trip, could not have asked for a better start to the trip. Fishing from the top front of the boat she had a bite from a fish that at best looked in the juvenile class, as initially she did not work up a sweat reeling it in. Knowing that GT’s are feisty, we were not surprised when she said the fish was pulling more than what she had experienced before and took off with far too much power, for the reel was giving a fine tune for an 8-10-kilo fish and after a proper battle we put on deck a GT of 20 kilos. An achievement for a FRESHER, as she put it in her own words. Her weapon of choice was a Smith GT popping rod paired with a Stella 10000. All this came not without heartburn as there were ample missed strikes where the hook did not set, much to the dismay of the group and crew, for the monsters slid back into the abyss signalling a need to change tactics.
The Koreans, especially Jinil Kim & crew, had all heard of the flat-out bullies of the coral reef systems of the Andamans, where GTs range in size from 5 kgs to well over 50 kgs. These anglers were targeting them, casting poppers and stickbaits into the barrier reef breakers, hoping to break their own as well as world records of GT fishing and for that they had come well prepared. They were making mental notes of every activity, just in case they achieved the feat. What can be best summarised, in their own words, was that they had periods of intense action followed by change in tide and current pattern allowing them a break and again fast-paced activity with wide variety of catches, as evident from the pics. The Captains had taken it upon themselves to give these guys the best of what the Andamans can offer and the end results were astounding. Moving between spots, the action continued, albeit not with the same intensity. Coming up to one spot, as we started the drift, a Giant Trevally chased down and smashed a surface lure of Kim and then charged off straight towards their favourite coral pinnacle to try to bust it off. Giant Trevally fight hard and never quit. If you survive the first minute, you are in with a chance to bag one. This was exactly what these guys learned, and Jun was the one smiling in the end, posing with a 40kg GT for the record.
At the end of a splendid fishing week they all felt they had just experienced a small sample of what the Andamans had to offer. Judging by the fact that they were already discussing and inquiring about available dates we hope to see all the groups back in the Andamans shortly.
Enjoy the pictures and keep tuning in for more action in the Andamans at gamefishingasia.com
Popping Rods: NS Blackhole S83, S86 BOCA, Yamaga Blanks Blue Reef, DPY 80,83,86, Carpenter 85/36, Westin W6, Racepoint 200, Daiwa Saltiga APC 85 XX, 6500H, Penn Slammer, Smith 77-AMAI-3
Popping Reels: Daiwa Expedition 8000H, Dogfight 10000H Shimano Stella 14000XG, SW 14000, 18000, 8000, 20000
Lures: Haru poppers, DPY poppers, Kokari, Temple Reef, ASWB, Allure Stikbait, Sea Costume
Jigging Rods: Westin W6, Patriot Design Black Diamond 77, Fladen Shadow, Assassin Artemis
Jigging Reels: DAM-Quick Royal 790, Black-Thunder-Omoto, Shimano Stella 8000, Daiwa Saltiga 6500
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Blue Fin Trevally, Grouper, Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Red Snapper, Coral Trout, Shark, Bonito, Jobfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Big Eye Trevally