We are now at the end of March and it seems like the season only just got underway but, in reality, it’s almost gone with just over a month of fishing left. We at GFA have been a most busy crew with back-to-back groups coming in from all corners of the world. We had Darren and Mark, old friends from the UK, on the Tropical Star, and Faisal, Ismail, Murtadha, and Abdullah on Reef Raider – manned by Capt. Rama – which also happens to be their third trip GT fishing with him in the Andaman Islands. Darren and Mark had arrived two days early to give themselves ample time to adjust to the tropical heat. We had also just fished with an Ukrainian group led by Oleksandr and had a group of first timers from Pune – led by Munir – who wanted to experience what GT popping was about.
Darren and Mark were on their first Andaman trip and wanted to take in the full experience and every aspect of fishing GT’s in the Andamans. Their very first day was a teaser, with them getting decent-sized GT’s and several reef species, with constant casting. They got to know what it’s like to meet your match when they were popping at one of the drop off’s and Mark’s popper – our very own Kokari 130gm – was engulfed by a monster which took off and left a screaming reel to draw attention. Luckily it ran into deep waters and after a doggedly brutal fight, he landed a feisty 35 kg GT, all smiles and sweat. Darren missed out on some really good fish with the hooks pulling and a line burst, but he did manage a first for himself with a 20 kg Dogtooth Tuna, jigging at one of the deep spots which from time to time throws up some surprises and a 20kg GT as a consolation. However, the duo did enjoy their trip and want to do another round next season.
Faisal and group made a last-minute plan to come and fish GT’s in the Andamans. They had booked a trip in Southern Oman but with bad weather looming exactly around their trip dates, rather than lose all their fishing, they gave us a call and took the last available slot we had in March. Being regulars at GT fishing in the Oman and having fished here twice before, they knew how intense the Andaman action gets and were really happy that we could accommodate them on such short notice. Well, their whirlwind trip was accompanied by some great action as well as they ran into multiple groups of marauding GT schools that left them with double, triple and quadruple hook-ups in what was some real top-water mayhem. The big Geet were not far behind and we had two absolute stonkers nail the lures in shallow water. Unfortunately, we missed both as the hooks pulled on one and the other straightened the treble. Onwards to the next spot and the same scenario played out where all cast were being followed and lures hammered. A few minutes later we had the entire group with GT’s landed on the boat and smiling for a group shot. The next day the weather Gods did not play ball; we had thundershowers, with a bit of lightning thrown in for attention, and what this group lacked in finesse they sure made up for in passion for this sport as this did not deter them from going out and casting. As the saying goes, never give up in GT fishing. On the last day and at the last spot before heading back home, Mohamed had cast his CB One stickbait and no sooner was the first twitch made than a big GT smashed the lure. After some cheering and putting the Smith WRC80 to its maximum test, the fish was landed. It topped the scales at 35kg and turned out to be the biggest of this adventure.
Munir’s group of first-timers had the good fortune of beginners’ luck when they landed a super 40 kilo GT specimen on a two-day trip, and the Ukrainian group had a big 45 kilo GT to top the week, along with a few schoolie-sized yellowfin tunas. We are hopeful of getting into a school of much larger yellowfin soon.
Enjoy the pictures and keep casting,
Popping Rods: OTI Tuna Sniper, Daiwa GT86, Smith WRC-80, Ripple Fisher GT-80, Ultimo 79-MH, Black Hole Cape Cod-76, El Maestro, Salty Water Monster Ledge 250
Popping Reels: Shimano Saragosa 14000, Spheros 10000, Shimano Stella 10000, 14000
Poppers: Nomad, Orion, Bigfoot, Kokari 130, Amegari Dzanga, Amegari Kaxu 260
Jigging Rods: Fox Travel, Daiwa Saltist, Yamaga Galahad, Ocean Devil, Black Hole PE2-5
Jigging Reels: Daiwa Saltiga 6500, Jigging Master PE5N,
Jigs: CB One, Hots Drift Tune
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Amberjack, Job Fish, Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Red Snapper, Coral Trout, Bonito, Yellowfin Tuna