After the great catch report we had for the first trip of the season, we had a group of Indian anglers – Samrat, Prateek and Pradeep – and joining them for a few days was our own Suprio Mukherjee. Samrat and Prateek had planned on fishing the Andaman Islands a number of times before but it just had not worked out for one reason or another, so the guys were super excited when they did finally touch down. We had Captain Rama guiding them on the Reef Raider and had made up a plan for them that included a variety of fishing options, with the focus being on popping and jigging which is what the guys were most eager to do. We had perfect weather for this trip; in fact, it was almost too good to be true, as we would find out in a few days’ time. We however made the most of it with this group. It does take a while to get the hang of setting the hooks with GT angling. The guys were quick learners and soon got into the thick of the action. A day earlier Suprio had said the only fish missing from his wall was a Grouper and, on his day out on the boat, guess what he got? It was a 20-kilo topwater-caught one as well. Prateek missed a few hooks set on the first few days but then more than made up for it by catching the most GTs, including a couple of 20-kilo specimens. Samrat did increasingly well and now has to return after his GT’s kept getting bigger on successive days and ending with a 30 plus kilo fish on the KBE Special Hanta Rod. Pradeep discovered his addiction to jigging when he hooked up to something large on light jigging in about 60 meters of water. The reel screamed and he went down to the backing twice as the boat chased the fish which ran from deep to shallow water. Capt. Rama was hoping to do a repeat of a similar GT landed last season on light tackle when the fish came out of the shallows and seemed to head out over a sandy area. But the leader gave way in the end, leaving a very disappointed Pradeep to hope for a next time and have a tale of the one that got away. Pradeep did have his change in fortune on the last day when he landed a very nice GT over the 25-kilo mark. We hope to see this set of anglers back to fish with us very soon.
We then had the legendary Smith Rod Tester and expert GT angler Kozo Okubo San come in to fish with us. He brought two of his clients – the Miyagawa father and son duo – on this trip. Soon after they arrived the heavens opened up in a proper deluge. We did manage to get out on the first day of fishing and had a good morning session with 8 fish landed including one of 26 kilos for Miyagawa San. The threatening skies only worsened, and we had more and more rain squalls approaching. This was the tail end of what in effect turned out to be cyclone Titli making its way along the Andhra and Orissa coasts of India. The southerly winds caused by this low pressure were the worst as they were opposite to the stream direction and made the water green, and in most places unfishable. This was basically the end of this trip as the high winds and waves made conditions totally unsafe to even try to venture out. I did manage to have a long chat with Okubo San on GT fishing techniques and he was more than willing to share his experience and I ended up with a few valuable tips that we will try out over the next few weeks.
Being a busy season opening we had a Single Angler Matthias join us, as well as a group from Singapore, which comprised of James, Jayson, John and Hong Mei, arrive for the next week’s fishing. The after effects of the cyclone still left high winds and discoloured water in most of the fishing spots. Tropical climates have become so unpredictable that we can never say when the weather will go off and it always surprises most people how quickly a depression can develop into large storm. With all the guys eager to get out and get fishing it was hard to tell them that we could not get out, but safety is of paramount importance to us and we had to call off the day’s fishing. Matthias had extra days to stay so he took our advice and went visiting Havelock Island till the weather got better and the water conditions improved. Meanwhile the weather did clear enough to permit us to get out with the Singapore group, but it was tough fishing conditions and the fish were not as active, which was to be expected. We, on our part, had to do our best to find the best water conditions and motivate the guys to fish hard, which they did. We sent the boats out in different directions to cover as much area as we could and managed to get in a few decent fishing sessions. James got a nice dogtooth and a GT over the 30-kilo mark and the guys managed to get a big reef shark for a boat side release. Matthias meanwhile was lucky to find fish and had an excellent jigging session where he landed dogtooth and Bludger Trevally in numbers. Being his first GT trip, he was hoping to get a twenty kilo GT for a result but ended up with a super 35-kilo GT that took our very own Kokari Popper, as well as a few twenty plus kilo fish.
We also managed to get some super footage of an insane 3 minutes of action where Matthias hooked into an estimated 30-kilo GT and plays it, only for the hooks to pull. On the next cast he had a monster GT crash the Kokari popper boat-side and bust off immediately. He then took the spare rod and hooked a 20-plus kilo fish on the very next cast, so stay tuned for this footage.
As you can see, it has been a busy few weeks for us – lots of fishing, a storm and more guests arriving. For now, that’s it!
Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for more updates.
Till next time,
Popping Rods: Ripple Fisher Final Spirit GT 79, Ripple Fisher F-Stick GT82 LC Nano, Zenaq Tobizo 200, Tobizo 150, Temple Reef, Hammer Head Faube 77H, Carpenter Coral Viper, Carpenter EP, Smith Tokara, Smith Rocket 77HIIB, KOZ Expedition Prototypes, Daiwa Saltiga Travel
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella, Diawa Saltiga Dogfight, Diana Saltiga Expedition
Lures: Amegari Dzanga, Shimano Wild Response, Shimano Head Deep, Shimano Ocean Hiramasa, Monster Drive, GT Republic, Kokari 130, Kokari 160, Hammer Head E-Cup, G-Cup, FCL CSP 220 & 260, El Toro 150, Fish Tornado, Carpenter GT Gamma
Jigging Rods: Smith WGJ, KOZ Expedition Prototypes, Temple reef X12
Jigging Reels: Shimano Stella, Twinpower and Vanquish
Jigs: Smith, Blue Junkie 200gm
Species Caught: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Bludger Trevally, Coronation Trout, Twin Spot Snapper, Dogtooth Tuna, Green Jobfish, Grouper, Yellowfin Tuna, Rainbow Runner, Grey Reef Shark, Spanish Mackerel