Fishing in the scenic Andaman seas has over the years added another dimension to saltwater fishing locations. While GT’s remain the primary target for all anglers coming to these famed waters to fish, other species have also caught their attention. GT’s are apex predators with a bruising reputation and we know well of their strength that destroys tackle and dashes dreams in equal measure, a force to be reckoned with.
This week we had the Malaysians, led by Jonathan King, on the Reef Raider and the Singaporeans, led by Jason Tan, on the Rampage and Tropical Star. Well, to summarize it, it was a trip of high octane action and longer periods where light jigging would have been a star distraction, as temperatures ran high and so did the expectations. The weather conditions were almost flat calm as is expected of a trip in April.
Jason and the boys had, from the first day onwards, their share of chances with serious fish, with popping sessions lasting longer than usual as the guys had come prepared for the extreme endurance that six days of casting takes out of you. Jason Tan was onto a decent GT in no time, a 30 kg fish that came up to inhale the popper but missed on the first attempt and then grabbed the lure a second time and made a straight dive for the rocks to bust it off. But Jason was having none of it and with expert tackling landed the fish. Jason and the boys knew that to raise some big ones they had to work a lot harder and their enthusiasm was rewarded with a mixed catch of GT’s, dogtooth tuna, and reef species. Nick was really unlucky when, after he set the hooks on a proper beast and really fought it hard, the fish came boat side and was just out of leader range when the hooks pulled; so close and yet so far. Nicholas too missed out twice on big fish when the hooks dropped out after the first searing run. This was a trip where Jason and co. ran into three GT feeding frenzies. It was a time of havoc on the boat – to put it lightly – with all anglers onto fish. There were big fish, small fish, dropped fish, landed fish…all happening so quickly for a period of about twenty minutes that in one count we tallied 16 GT’s on the boat.
In all our years of GT fishing we have never had a fish pull an angler off the boat, although we have come pretty close on many occasions. On this trip it happened, and not with a big fish or in choppy waters but with a rat GT on a calm day, to make it worse. With everyone on the boat in splits of laughter, angler, rod and fish were all recovered and a picture taken for posterity. With lots of action from Day 1 and some big ones that got away from the hooks pulling, the boys were happy to see GT’s in fairly large numbers, knowing very well that a healthy stock of fish were present and would compete against them for the lures in the near future. Wan GuoWei turned out to be the top angler of the trip, landing the biggest GT on our very own Kokari popper. Again, a fish that really put him to the test and pulled the scales to 32 kilos.
For the Malaysians the trip started off slowly and ended on a high with the fish numbers racking up on the last two days of the trip. Jonathan had just given the first twitch to his lure when a monster GT smashed his Hammerhead G cup from below and did a searing run. To his bad luck the reel handle came loose, resulting in slack line and the fish being lost. They had decent action with jigging & light jigging, landing a mixed bag of GT’s and Dogtooth and many reef species on the light jigs. Sam manged to raise the biggest Dogtooth Tuna we have seen all season on surface; it followed his Carpenter Gamma stickbait all the way to the boat and lost interest at the last minute. It probably could not have been landed as we estimate it at between 80-100 kilos. Lam managed a double hook-up of two GT’s on a single lure and he managed to land both, driving home the fact that fishing is all about technique and luck at the same time. Sam had put out another cast and on two chugs of his Hammerhead G Cup popper he felt the all-too-familiar pull of a monster and line being peeled off his Shimano Stella 18000 with ease, even with drag set on high. What ensued was a battle of determination & stamina with neither one giving in. Sam did manage to bring it close to the boat when the hook dislodged and he lost another big one. On closer examination we noticed the treble hook was straightened out. The action on topwater really heated up for them the last two days and they had multiple hook ups, constant bashing of the lures that were being cast out and fish being landed throughout the day, keeping our crew busy taking pictures and releasing fish back into the sea. Jonathan thought he had got the fish of his dreams when he hooked a big fish that took off and fought very powerfully. When it came close to the boat we realized it was a reef shark but we landed it for him anyway and got him a picture as well.
This is the kind of fishing that brings anglers to the Andamans, from all across the globe. By the end of the trip we had a very tired but contented group of anglers who had exceeded their own expectations and had memories and pics to cherish their great Andaman fishing expedition.
We are still going strong so stay tuned for more action in the Andamans at gamefishingasia.com
Enjoy the pictures and keep casting,
Popping Rods: Carpenter Endless Passion 85/36, Monster Hunter 79XH, 710H, Hammerhead Faube 77M, EL Toro 150, Race Point 200,250, Black Hole Cape Cod, Ripple Fisher pe8, Carpenter TBL 80/40, Yamaga Blanks Blue Reef
Popping Reels: Biomaster 10000, Saltiga 6500, Shimano Twin Power 14000, Stella 18000, 14000
Lure: Dzanga B Cup, Carpenter GT Gamma, Carpenter Bluefish, GT Harrier, Craft Bait GT2 & GT3, Amegari, Kokari 130, HammerHead D, E, G Cup, Fish Trippers
Jigging Rods: Major Craft NP Jack, Giant Killing, Poseidon Spin Jerker 410, MC Works
Jigging Reels: Shimano TP 3000, Shimano Conquest, Shimano Stella 8000, Jigging Master
Jigs Used: Fisherman Andaman, Shout, Seven Seas, Jigging Master
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Green Job Fish, Rusty Job Fish, Coronation Trout, Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Bohar Snapper, Maori Sea Perch, Rosy Jobfish, Grey Reef Shark