It is such a pleasure for us when we know that guys from different spectra of life have come together to do that one activity that few know about and even fewer understand why is so addictive – the world of GT fishing. January is the start of the season for GT fishing in the Andamans and the groups we had in Jan were a mix of first-timers and regulars who had fished with us in Sri Lanka. David had fished with us in both the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka and is a regular in the Oman GT circles. He knew exactly what to expect and so had briefed Paul and Mark, who had joined him and were first-timers. David had encountered big GT’s in Oman and now he wanted his brother Paul to experience the nuances of tackling a big geet in the Andamans. Simon Harper and group, on their first trip to the Andamans to fish for GT’s, were open to all possibilities and the third boat had the dynamic pair of Alex – who had done his fishing miles with us in Sri Lanka – and Robert, who was on his maiden trip with us in the Andaman Islands. Alex and Robert were particular that they were here only for GT action. What was common among all was their sense of humour, especially when Simon joked at the dinner table about how friendly the members of the Sentinelese Tribe were and how it would be a privilege if one could meet them in person!
The first few days looked choppy, weather-wise, but the BOYS didn’t mind it, as long as they could get back to good food and cool refreshment, while our skippers ensured they got decent action with the fishing for the day. We had periods of intense action and periods when their patience and stamina were tested.
When fishing choppy conditions, the trick to raising a decent size fish lies in persistence and correctly working the lures. With the weather Gods playing truant, the Captains would need to be on their toes trying different spots & techniques as a lot of factors come into play, including the tide and currents.
The trip started out with a nice 35 kg GT – on the warm-up half-day David and group were out fishing – on our Kokari popper. Lots of mid-sized GT’s responded well, as usual, and so did a Great Barracuda which David hooked using his Fisherman GT 75 rod, with a Stella 18000 reel, but he was adamant that the trick lay in using the Kokari popper that was specifically advised by the skipper. The guys experienced it all; as David put it, everything out there either eats or gets eaten, which was the case when he hooked a GT and a shark took a bite out of it. A feisty Red Snapper had the audacity to trail the remains hoping to get something out of it! On the last day Paul landed a 38 kg GT & Mark bagged a Dogtooth Tuna – their first – on the advice from David, both using our very own Kokari Popper which is gaining more and more fame. But this feat came not without heartburn as the group missed some big fish with the hook-ups missed and a line burst on the strike from a proper monster Geet.
Simon, James & Nicholas were completely kitted out by us and we had given them our preferred combination of tackle and lures; the combination of Race Point rods with Shimano Saragosa reels was a sure-fire way of ensuring these guys got what they had come looking for – GT action. Whilst going towards a fishing spot they saw feeding Dolphins and chasing Yellow Fin Tuna. On casting, they were able to hook 3 Yellowfin and land them all. On the second cast Nick hooked what was estimated to be an 80 kg shark, as per the Capt., and fought it for nearly half an hour with the First Mate holding him from behind for good measure, (well the Capt was unsure who the bait was) before, as normally happens, the tax man got away. Nick did somewhat of a victory lap on the boat when he finally landed a 40kg GT on a day with tough conditions; his lure was inhaled by a beast from a school of yellow fusilier – his biggest and best so far. His mates were not that far behind either, with all of them also getting their personal bests.
Alex and Robert had some sort of a wager going as to who would catch the biggest of the lot. Well, it all came down to proper technique, luck, and being in the right spot at the right time. Robert was able to hook his first & biggest GT over 35 kg with the Trevally Doozer Expert Graphite combined with Shimano Twin Power SW14000 reel and Komodo popper whereas Alex relied on a combination of Ripple Fisher Ocean Ridge LC GT82Nano with Shimano Stella SW18000 to bag the biggest GT of the trip, weighing in at 42 kilos.
It was a lifetime experience for the brothers (David & Paul) bonding over GT fishing and a learning curve for Mark who had to adapt quickly – and did so with complete dedication – as he realized on the first day itself when he lost a good-sized GT. The Harper group was very pleased with themselves and proceeded towards Havelock Island for a few days’ rest to wash out the adrenaline they got from the GT fix. Alex and Robert on the other hand exchanged notes and contact details to be in touch.
One thing was certain – that at the end of a splendid week of fishing hard they all felt they had just scratched the surface and are at the beginning of a long and eventful journey of GT fishing in the Indian Ocean region. The highlight was the beauty of fishing these scenic islands knowing we have monsters lurking beneath the surface, ready to unleash their wrath on the lures and tackle the angler to test his resolve to the maximum.
Enjoy the pictures and keep tuning in for more action in the Andamans at gamefishingasia.com
Until next time, keep casting!
Popping Rods: Carpenter Monster Hunter 80H, Fisherman GTT-75 &77, Westin 3776, Shimano Grappler S603, Trevally Doozer Expert Graphite, Black Stone GT-772MM Expert Graphite, Pelagic Series PSR 78-16C SU, Ripple Fisher Ocean Ridge LC GT82Nano, Race-Point 150,200 by Salty water, Yamaga Blanks Blue Reef 710/10 Chugger.
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella 18000, 14000, 10000, Shimano Twin Power SW14000, SW10000, Shimano Saragosa SW10000
Lures: Kokari 130, Bertox, Jackfin Kronos 220, Amegari Dzanga 230, SHELL Shaping Trumpet 200, Halco 160, Saltwater X-Rap, Komodo Big Game 140g
Jigging Rods: KOZ Expedition S69LH, Shimano Grappler S603
Jigging Reels: Shimano Saragosa SW6000, Daiwa Catalina 4000H, Daiwa Saltiga 7000H Dogfight, Shimano Saragosa 8000, Shimano SW8000 Spheros
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Blue Fin Trevally, Grouper, Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Red Snapper, Coral Trout, Shark, Bonito, Jobfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Big Eye Trevally