We went for a fishing trip to andamans, based out of Havelock predominantly. Last year's goa trip [first saltwater] had bombed big time with no catches whatsoever (except a few oysters caught on squid bait!!]. This time i went prepared : 9' 9wt flyrod with a bunch of saltwater flies, a cabelas baitcaster with abu garcia reel, medium heavy saltwater spinning rod with shimano 2500 reel. Also took along some rapala spinners, lures and spoons. The icing on the cake was the 3' plastic barbie baitcaster for our 2 year old.
First day was settling in and establishing a JUGAAD for boat [unfortunately my float-tube was veto-ed by the wife]. Organized a full day Dhoongi [small long boat used by locals for transport primarily. powered by a JUGAAD diesel generator!!], some beers, sardines and handlines. Went to the closest reef and tried EVERYTHING[flies,lures,and spinners] including lobbing chopped pieces of sardines on a handline. We caught quite a few small fishies including snappers, groupers,trigger fish,surgeon fish etc. In the end, we hooked up the barbie rod with the bait and BAM!! intense action for atleast an hour...we(read my wife) reeled in about 7 snappers!! All fish caught, only one released [a stonefish]..part of the deal with the boat owner.
Coral Trout on Handline
Bonefish(??) on Handline
Jimmy with his tiny Grouper(tiger)?!
Jimmy and my daughter with the first Snapper of the day on handline
Jimmy with his Surgeonfish
My wife with the barbie rod and beginning of the Snapper streak.
Sunset from the Dhoonghi
After such a good showing of tiny tidbits we decided we needed help. So we got hold of Mike, who ALSO operates from a dhoonghi but fished for BIG game fish some 30 kms into the great wide sea. Luckily, he was also a flyfisher. We loaded all our gear, chugged along for a good 1.5 hours to reach his spot. This is all of ours FIRST sea big-game fishing endeavour so we had NO idea what was going to hit us. Mike decided to use my new lures (rather than his mended,broken then refixed lures). We fixed up the trolling rods with a bonito deep diver and a green dorado type deep diver( 30' below). I rigged up my flyrod with a bonito minnow fly as well. During the course of the day we caught bonitos on the bonito lure, bonito on my flyrod, corral trout,groupers and even managed to hook up into a Marlin!! The hookup happened when Mike was retrieving the other lure when the trolling rod with the bonito lure just went nuts. Being the closest I went for it and set the hook ( to the best of my trout sensibilities). The line was tight and when we lined it up about 300-400 mtrs into the sea...we saw a 3m Marlin jump up right where our line was! [ 3m and 400-400 mtrs are Mike's figures...we hadn't a clue what hit us]. Within a couple of minutes I lost the marlin. We also got to see a sailfish jump..7 times. Dolphins rode with our dhoonghi...and a shark hate my bonito while i was reeling it in!! We saw the fin...and everyone of the boat shouts [SHARKKKK!!!] all in all..an INTENSE saltwater adventure. not bad for our first game trip. Its hard as hell and all hell breaks loose on the boat the SECOND someone shouts "Fish On!!"
Mike's Dhoonghi : The calm before the storm. Everyone relaxing, slicked up with sunblock and enjoying the ride...
First fish of the day, 8-10Kg Bonito on the Bonito Lure.Slash marked are the shark bites.
Same Bonito with the slashes.
Jimmy with his first Coral Trout
Her first Bonito (ever)
Jimmy with a Grouper
Double Hookup. She reeled her bonito first. I'm still fighting a 2 Kg Bonito who totally swallowed my bonito fly
Both fished reeled in. My first saltwater fish on a fly. NOT a bad day at work, eh?!
My fish also had this guy in his mouth, whom my daughter wanted to eat. Sushi-time!
Flycasting at Dusk....
Day 3 : After getting a dose of excellent fishing, we took on Mike again. This time Jimmy bailed, he was too tired after the previous day. We lost our prized lure while trolling out from the shallows heading for the deeper waters. Greed, no good!!The fishing wasn't as prolific as the previous day but I got a Trevally.It was a VERY hot day out on the sea, with no shade whatsoever...
GC hooks his first Trevally ever. Not a GT but who cares!
The lures minus the lost bonito
Day 4: Mike was busy so we got another boat and decided to try our luck. The sea was very choppy and we tried our hand at popping for the first time. the damn poppers were atleast a foot long..made a racket, but no fish got on. apparently rough seas aren't good for popping. Got some action on the trolling again. all is all, an excellent fishing trip, all fish released...will DEFINITELY go back.....
Coral Trout on a red minnow deep diver, trolled.
BARRACUDA..small guy but a 'cuda is a 'cuda..right?!
Cuda again...caught atleast 4-5 of these guys. Small.
That's it folks. can't wait for the next trip.