Suresh had fished with us beginning of this season and had sampled what the Andamans had to offer. He and the group couldn’t stay away and had come back for another round with the GT. For the Aussie GT anglers – Salvatore and his friends Ross, Matt and Giacomo – it was their first GT fishing experience in the Andaman archipelago, and they were eagerly awaiting their encounter with it. For this trip the itinerary we had planned was for more intense action and a stopover on one of the remote southern islands for a few days of fishing.
Weather wise we had rippled seas and fair winds coming from the northeast, which are best suited for GT fishing in the Andamans. From day 1 the action was intense, and the guys landed several GT’s in the 15-20 kilo mark and also caught an array of different species.
Salvatore had spent just a couple of minutes GT Popping when his FCL Lobo got monstered. It was his third cast of the day; three rips of the popper and all we saw was a giant gray shadow come out of the water, totally engulfing the popper. The fight was on, as the fish struck at the end of a very long cast. Drag screaming, the captain immediately manoeuvred the boat away from the reefs as he did battle. We have caught plenty of big fish, but none that compares with the brute strength of a GT. Unbelievably, the drag of his Stella 18,000 was locked all the way and the fish was still able to take line with ease. After an intense 15 minutes’ fight, the fish was finally landed – a 40 kilo dark golden hued GT. The all-important picture taken, the fish – after being properly revived – was released to fight another day.
Ross and Matt had it easy due to their well-built physique and they were able to reel in the big ones with comparative ease. They had a good time too but had not expected to have such a great haul as they had gone GT fishing in several destinations and hadn’t experienced anything like what they did in the Andamans. Ross had cast his popper in a school of fusilier shimmering nervously on the surface, hoping to strike gold, and was instantly rewarded by the all too common head shake pull of the GT. What ensued was fight-or-flight mode kicking in, and 10 minutes later resulted in a magnificent beast of 40kgs being landed, which was quickly sent its way after a few pictures.
Giacomo had caught several GT’s during his entire trip and was hoping to add a Dogtooth tuna to his list; so when his reel screamed in a characteristic way while jigging, we were sure of it being a Dogtooth. After a lot of reeling and swearing what turned up was a Spanish Mackerel and a sizeable one at that.
Suresh was looking to better his previous trip record and had informed the Capt. to take them to multiple fishing spots as to multiply his chances of bagging one. Post lunch, after several casts, he gave a delighted scream of ecstasy as his Amegari popper was hit by a good-sized fish. The Shimano Kaibutsu rod taking the full brunt of the drag, the fight lasted a good 12 minutes which completely exhausted him, but at the end of it the grin across his face expressed his satisfaction. Paul, on the other hand, had to rue the missed opportunity to bag his first ever Dogtooth tuna, that too via a mackerel which had originally taken bait. The opportunistic predator homed in on the struggling fish with such precision and speed that for a second we were mesmerized just watching the spectacle unfolding at close quarters. Paul’s frugal setup was a long shot at reeling the Dogtooth in, but witnessing the whole incident was an experience in itself. Finally what we landed – after a good 5 minutes – was a badly mangled fish, on seeing which we had a good laugh. Ravi, on the other hand, was quite impressed with the pics and videos recorded on his Procam, of his epic battles in the Andaman.
By the end of the trip we had happy anglers ready to regale their tales of adventure at sea fishing the mighty GT and often landing different species which gave an equally good fight and earned the respect of these anglers.
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Enjoy the pictures and reel on,
Popping Rods: ATC Vector, Pioneer GT Terror, Shimano Orca lugger, Race Point 150 & 200 by Salty Water, Ocean Tackle International, Tuna Sniper, Shimano Kaibutsu, HOT’S Gipang, Daiwa Saltist, Monster Ledge, Custom Calstar, Temple Reef Big Berty 803, Temple Reef Reefer
Popping Reels: Shimano SW8000 Twin Power, Saragosa SW20000, Stella SW 18000/20000, Saragosa 20000, 10000
Lures: Amegari Dzanga, Kokari, FCL, Ballyhoo, Halco, FCL Lobo
Jigging Rods: Crostage by Cross Force CRXS-S58/3, Major Craft, Shimano Speed Master BX, Surecatch Cougar, OBX400, Jigging Master
Jigging Reels: Shimano Stradic 4000M, OCEA Jigger 3000HG, Saragosa SW8000, 10000, Penn Battle II 6000, Daiwa Saltiga 4500H, Dogfight 6500
Jigs: CB One, Smith
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Job Fish, Bluefin Trevally, Bludger Trevally, Red Snapper, Grouper, Trigger Fish, Baracuda, Wahoo, Dogtooth Tuna, Spanish Mackerel