After the insane action filled week we had with Hamad and his group from Kuwait last season, the news spread quickly and this year we had a complete week booked by anglers from the Middle East. Hesh from the tackle shop KBE Anglers Hub (KnotBigEnuff.com @kbe anglers hub and @kbe expeditions) in Dubai had also booked a boat for the week, so we had a full house – Moe Mourad and Mohammed Kahawati on the Reef Raider, our Kuwaiti friends Nadji, Aziz, Sultan, Naser and Abdul Rehman on Rampage and Hesh, Hamad and Moamen on the Tropical Star. With three full boats and all the guys eager to get out and sample what the Andaman Islands had in store for them, we were going to have to work our schedule so that everyone would get a chance to have opportunities with some of the big boys that we knew so well were waiting for us. To simplify this report, we will go over the highlights from all three boats and the stories we overheard back at the guesthouse. That we had some insane action was part of it. Did we land the biggest fish we hooked?… No; this year we pretty much got annihilated.
Most of the guys on this trip have hooked and landed big fish, so when Moe was smoked on PE10 with his Amegari Dzanga by a dogtooth that everyone on board estimated over 70 kilo, in a blistering run that took off over 100 meters of PE 10 at GT locked down drag before the mainline burst, it was lesson in humility that some fish are just unstoppable.
Moamen hooked a really big GT, a proper beast. On setting the hook, his El Toro rod exploded from the handle, the fish was lost but the floating popper was smacked again by another smaller GT which was hooked. We had to have two men on the job to land this fish with one reeling and the other using the balance rod to pump the fish to the boat.
With big fish around and everyone getting chances, we lost a few thumpers. We also broke a few reels including a Stella 18k and a Saltiga Special Edition, all part of the extreme fishing we experience.
The dogtooth were unusually active and most of the guys got at least one. There were some huge ones that followed all the way to the boat but did not take the lures. Also, the lures that we were catching fish on last year did not work as well and we had to make some changes. Those who adapted quickly, and Hamad in particular, landed some very good fish including a 35 kilo and 40 kilo plus GT. Hesh had always wanted to get a dogtooth on popper and by day 3 his wish came true. He later told us that he has never seen doggies in these sizes and numbers on topwater. Aziz got a great fish that tipped out very close to the 50 kilo mark and Abdul Rehman could not top his last year’s record but he got a very nice silver GT that weighed in at 42 Kilos.
As is usual with fishing, we had some periods of great activity and some long periods of almost frustrating inactivity, but this is GT fishing and when you get an opportunity you need to make the most of it. We were lucky as the first two days of the trip the weather seemed a bit off with some squalls and north-easterlies that made the conditions a bit difficult. Luck was on our side for the balance four days of the trip and we had some really nice fishing conditions.
Till the next report, enjoy the pictures.
Jigging Rods: Ripple Fisher
Jigging Reels: Shimano Stella, Daiwa Saltiga
Jigs: Seven Seas
Saltiga Expedition 5500, Hammerhead Faube 77H, PE10
Stella 14k, Hanta Predator 82XH, PE8
Saltiga 5000H, CB One Enfinity EN12, PE6
Stella 18K, Monster Hunter 79XH, PE10
Stella 18K, MC Works Barbaro 838CI, PE10
Stella 18K, Coral Viper 79/40, PE8
Stella 18K, El Torro 150, PE8 (broken/exploded)
Stella 18K, Ripple Fisher Final Spirit 79H, PE10
Stella 18K, Ripple Fisher Ultimo 79MH, PE8
Stella 10K XG, Blue Chaser 70/20, PE6
Lures – Poppers:
Marvel Frosty 150g, Nomad Design Chug Norris 180, Borboleta Ballyhoo GT 160g, Borboleta Ballyhoo GT 130g, TP Kustom Jaime 150g, FEED PIN150, Hammerhead G-cup, Craftbait GT3 170
Amagari DZanga 230/50 Cup, Heru Cubera, Orion Cono-Cono
Lures – Stickbaits:
Bertox – 140mm , Fish Trippers Village Tango 210, Fish Trippers Village Tango 240, ASWB Bungarra F130, CB One Ryan 200, Souls Seelaman 150g, Orion
Species Landed: GT, Dogtooth, Grouper, Bluefin Trevally, Barracuda, Bohar Snapper, Green Jobfish, Coronation Trout, Maori Perch, Yellow Fin Grouper