We anglers have been captivated with the sea and catching fish from the time we were introduced to this activity. The sport has, in many ways, evolved hugely and yet in many aspects has stayed exactly the same. It is unique compared to others. Anglers find it can be anything from relaxing to a very intense experience, and every time the outcome is different, in the sense that no two days will be the same. That is what motivates us – that there is always an element of surprise in it.
This time around we had the renowned Kamiyashiki San (Mangrove Studio) and group from Japan, Loic – a regular with us – joined by 2 friends from UAE, Adham and Loay, and the Popes, a father-son duo from USA, all vying for a piece of GT action in the Andamans.
Kamiyashiki San, a famous GT fishing angler, was one we could take tips from on how to set up tackle. He had brought an array of new lures to test and to try out. On day one Kamiyashiki San trumped over the others with his 25 kg Geet that took the lure feet from the rod tip. His Black Hercules 837LMG rod paired with a Stella 18000 reel made short work of reeling it in. Nevertheless, he had his fair share of heartburn when he lost a big one to the hook not being set properly, and another on light jigging which pulled line with ease before the line finally burst. We hooked what looked like a very large grouper that was unstoppable as it made its way to the security of the reef and bust off. As we say, fishing is a sport of chance; what fish will fancy the lure is difficult to predict and so is the outcome. At one point, mid-afternoon, when they were popping close to a drop off, they had a Dogtooth Tuna chase the popper all the way to the boat but abruptly lose interest and change its course. The next few days were not much of a numbers’ day but a 30 & 35 kilo GT by two members of the group using the prototype lures was more than sufficient to tell them that big game was around and it was a matter of patience. We had some slower action sessions on the rising tide and decided to try a few spots on the falling tide. Coming to one of the spots and casting over shallow reef the Fisherman pencil popper was annihilated in a huge swirl by one of our monster GT’s. The angler Kokubo set the hook but the fish hit back with such force that he was nearly pulled out of the casting cage. As he desperately tried to hold on and regain his balance the barbless hook pulled and the fish found its freedom. We were just getting over this disappointment when behind us there was an enormous splash as a popper was slammed and the monster GT took off with the high drag. A short pause and the fish ran again. This time again the hooks pulled out much to our and the entire team’s disappointment.
The last day of the trip was the best in terms of action as the GT bite suddenly came on with a GT feeding frenzy. Almost all casts were being hit or followed and at one point we had all of them on fish. We landed over 20 GT’s this day, with the largest being around 20 kilos. We could not have asked for a better way to end this interesting GT trip, where we were able to experience all the highs and lows of tropical fishing.
It was Brandon’s and Blake’s first trip to India, and they had travelled all the way from Texas just to experience the thrill of fishing for GT’s. They were ecstatic from the very beginning and we had gone over their trip plan – which included a few days’ stay at a remote southern island – in detail before they had arrived in India. Father and son duo turned out to be relentless casters which goes a long way to succeeding in catching tropical fish such as the GT. On their first day out, they managed to land their first GT’s so they knew what to expect going forward. After several casts at one of our prize spots Pope Sr had a big take. He was new to GT fishing but judging by the way the fish was doing searing runs his hunch that he has a GT at the end of the line was confirmed when the Capt. said that he had a GT and a big one at that. After several minutes of tug-of-war he landed a hefty 35 kg GT – his first and record best. Junior was not far behind, landing GT’s in the 25 kg plus mark. Afternoons were reserved for jigging action and were at times rewarded with plenty of reef species, coral trout and Groupers. They were both using light jigging gear and it was great fun to hook up on the PE 3 and have some action, which required finesse rather than brute power to haul the fish up. There were a few big ones that we followed but they all managed to bust off, one even after we followed it for some time. We moved over to popping in the evenings and had several hits, of which quite a few were converted. In all, they came looking to experience fishing in the Andamans – of which they had heard a lot – and catch different variety of fishes and that is exactly what they got.
Loic, Loay & Adham were onboard the Tropical Star on their third trip fishing with us. In fishing a lot has to do with luck and being in the right spot at the right time. Unfortunately, on the first day the guys had problems with the lines and bust off on the strikes – surprisingly – even though we were over the new moon and on spring tides. We did not have the strongest currents as expected with the big tides and no wind made the conditions tougher than expected. The top-water bite was difficult all around. The hits we did have were early mornings on top water and slow when the current had died down, so we had to try jigging as the preferred method, as the hits were more. Well, win some and lose some. The big GT’s did make a show but there were just too many smaller ones who were snatching the lures from them, frustrating the anglers. Late afternoon, during one jigging session, Loic hooked and landed a 20 kg Dogtooth Tuna. Loay and Adham on their part felt that they could have had more GT action but as anglers we all know that in fishing, especially in the tropics, nothing is ever certain.
Keep tuning in for more action in the Andamans at gamefishingasia.com
Enjoy the pictures and keep casting,
Popping Rods: Temple Reef GT 710/8PT, Black Hole 76 Nano Cape Cod, OTI 3101-7655,
Black Hercules 836 LMG, 837 LMG, 798 LMG, HOT’S 78 MH, Smith Tokara 60, Ripple Fisher Ultimo 83M, Expedition GTX 8/10, Final Spirit 78XH, Long Cast, KOZ Expedition
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella 10000, 14000, 18000, Shimano Saragossa 10000, Daiwa Saltiga 6000,
Poppers: Hammerhead G-Cup, BallyHoo, FCL EBIEXT 165, OTI Phantom, Awaumi, G Cap, Temple Reef, Patriot Design, Amegari, Frosty, Native Works, HOT’s TIG
Jigging Rods: Shimano Game Type j 5586, 3594, Radical Sure Catch, Super Short Rod JK, FCL Labo, Evergreen Poseidon,
Jigging Reels: Daiwa Saltiga EXP 8000H, 5500H, 4000, Shimano Saragossa 6000, 8000
Jigs: Sea Floor Control, Nomad, Orion, OTI Jumbo, OTI Jinkster
Species Landed: Giant Trevally, Green Job Fish, Barracuda, Dogtooth Tuna, Red Snapper, Coral Trout, Grouper, Bonito, Goldspot Trevally, Rainbow Runner, Long Nose Emperor