Fishing dates: 22-27 October (6 days)
For our second fishing week of the season we had a single angler group consisting of Emad (on his third trip with us), Ric Serna who was trying GT fishing for the first time and Giacomo, also giving GT popping and jigging a go for the first time. These guys were fishing on the Reef Raider with Rama, while on the Tropical Star and the Rampage we had a group led by Preetham Philip, with Dilip and Kantha skippering the boats.
Emad being the senior-most angler on the boat had the best equipment and experience to land a good GT this trip. Rick made a joke of it and said the fish would laugh at him and he would cast into its open mouth and hook it, come what may, and we dare say he did just that by landing the biggest fish of the trip.
The trip looked like it was going to be a good one, with a fish on the first cast. However, it dropped and this for some “superstitious” anglers is not a good sign of things to come.
Preetham, Rehaan, George, Rafiq, Junaid, Gautam and Armaan were out to try and get in both a variety of species as well as try to land the “big one”, so we had the boats kitted out to pop, jig, troll and, if the opportunity presented itself, to live bait as well. With only two days of fishing for this group they were looking for action and they succeeded on most fronts here, with loads of species landed, including dinner. They also had wahoo that seem to be everywhere at the moment. During the briefing they asked us if we get sharks here in the Andaman Islands. To answer their question, they caught large sharks on both popper and jig over their fishing days. Both Rehaan and Armaan (Preetham and Junaid’s sons respectively) were given the opportunity to go after GT’s on popper and of them gave it their full effort. Rehaan landed a GT in the 20-kilo range and Armaan was really unlucky when an estimated 30+ kilo GT he had hooked and fought was lost close to the boat. With competition between the boats for the most fish and biggest fish landed, there was loads of banter and fun, both on the boat and, at the end of the day, back at Kokari Guesthouse, which always makes the trip even better.
Meanwhile, Capt. Rama on the Reef Raider had Emad miss out twice on the first day when the main line snapped on the strike, probably from the tail flukes of a good-sized GT and the second was when the lure was nailed by a huge GT which when straight down into deeper water, which is characteristic of large GT in deeper water. Our bad luck continued with the lure coming loose, even though Emad had set the hook very well, and on inspection we found that the BKK hook had completely broken, which is why the big GT managed to win its freedom. Meanwhile, Rick managed to land his first GT ever which was the to-do mission for us and shortly after that he got a grouper and a GT on one lure when the greedy Grouper tried to eat the popper lure out of a hooked GT’s mouth and hooked itself. So, lucky Rick had two fish on one lure; this happens once in a way but certainly not with the frequency it happened at on this trip.
As happens on a fishing trip, the action is not red-hot all through the day and one day the action started on the tide change after lunch. Emad had a huge dogtooth follow all the way to the boat but not take the lure in shallow water and they landed a number of fish this session with nothing very large showing up. The jigging was good too, with lots of species being landed and lots of bites. As we said the Wahoo were about in numbers, nipping off the jigs at the leader, leaving the anglers seeing red with the pretty piece of jig lead lying on the seafloor, never to be used again. Emad this time was lucky and landed one from the razor gang, a nice Wahoo estimated at 15 kilo. Giacomo hooked a huge wahoo that screamed off line; however, it came off just next to the boat.
The next day the fish decided to feed in the morning, which again shows just how variable fishing is from day to day. Again, Emad working his big lures raised the big fish and hooked them, but his line bust on one and the hooks pulled on another. However, Emad did get a double on one lure this time, again a grouper and a GT. The jigging was also fun with lots landed. Rick by now was getting used to working the poppers correctly and on the last day he landed 3 fish from 4 casts, with the biggest being 25 kilos. This turned out to be the largest GT we landed this week; a pity because we had the opportunity to have some much bigger fish on board. Emad got another double hook-up of two fish on one lure; this time the grouper got off and only the GT was landed. Giacomo landed lots of smaller GT’s and enjoyed the jigging a lot. For both Rick and Giacomo, out on their first trip, it was both an experience as well as a learning curve. It was awesome to hear them say they would be back for another round to better their personal bests.
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Till then, enjoy the pictures and keep casting!
Popping Rods: HART (Bloody Popping), Fuji GT Tamper Series (Indian Pacific), FC Labo Extreme H, Salty Water Tackle Race Point 150, KOZ Expedition EX-S76BTH, Salty Water Tackle Race Point 150, 200
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella SW 8000, Daiwa Saltiga 8000H Dogfight, Penn Battle II 6000, Penn Slammer III 8500HS, Saragosa SW25000
Jigging Rods: Extreme Jig Pro – II TGS 58236, Shimano (Jig Wrex) Salt Water Jigging, Shimano Trevala Jig Rod, Major Craft Jig Rod CRXJ-S58/3,
Jigging Reels: Penn Battle II 6500, Daiwa LT6000D, Daiwa Saltiga 6500H, Daiwa LT6000D, Saragosa SW6000, PENN Sargus 8000, Saragosa SW6000, Saragosa SW8000
Lures Used: Amagari, Nomad Chug Norris 120g, Kokari Popper 160g, Noeby 130g, Major Craft Jigpara Jig 80g, Major Craft Jigpara Jig 100g, Major Craft Jigpara Jig 120g, Kokari Popper130g
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Grouper, Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Red Snapper, Green Jobfish, Rusty Jobfish, Bluefin Trevally, Bonito, Coral trout, Yellow Fin Tuna, Grey Reef Shark, Coronation Trout