Sunday, April 26, 2015

Muscat Oman April 2015 (Yellowfin Tuna)

The tale of busting Yellowfin tuna in Muscat always made me feel that it is a task that can be accomplished.
I’ve been hearing stories from friends and clients stating that it is impossible to catch them on topwater but knowing how to approach them with the right presentation they will be no way not to accept our lure offer!
Ala’a visited us this winter to fish for Bluefin tuna in North Carolina and during his stay we talked about the possibility to get those yellowfin tuna on topwater, by the end of his trip he invited me and Bogdan to join him for 3 days in his home town Muscat Oman.

We flew from New York to Dubai and took a 1 hour connecting flight to Muscat, I’ve been over 15 times to Oman but I had never visited Muscat, I was so impressed by the culture and the architect of the city, civilized and well maintained with great hospitality, Make you feel at home!

We set up our gear that night and at 4:15AM Ala’s picked us up from the hotel, at 5:00AM we were on the hunt and in about 1 hour ride we saw the first sign of life, Dolphin all over the place.
We kept on searching for the spinner dolphin until we found them and at first cast right in the middle of the school I came in tight and Bogdan followed me, double hook up and it is not even 7:00AM.
We landed both fish and took a quick picture with no time to waste, we saw feeds after feeds with tuna airing out showing it is true colors and they were after sardine and flying fish.

Than Ala’a turns came and he broke the ice and got his first yellowfin tuna on the El Maestro 710MH matched with a Tackle House Britt in sinking, that lure was so deadly on this trip.
the day became tougher and tougher as more commercial guys join in the hunt to get a piece of the action, I counted over 30 boat at one time and whenever the tuna and dolphin school together all the commercial guys rush to the scene which made it a bit hard for us at the end of the day,
Suddenly the water interrupted in the front of us with tuna airing out, Ala’s and Bogdan get tight and I get a boil on my lure, they both get hooked up on the El Maestro 77H and 710MH and they both landed their fish. We called the day off and headed to the marina with a smile of glory on our faces…

Our second day was very tough we covered some mileages and a lot of ground but we could not find the dolphin.
I was at the bow when I saw squids fleeing away in that Bluewater , at first it took me 5 second to realize what it is and under it I saw the whole school of tuna swimming below us,  I screamed to cast but they were gone already, we kept on searching till we saw a whale and believe it or not the tuna were right next to him,
Ala’s and I made a cast and I saw the tuna airing out on my lure, I screamed big fish.
I set the hook properly and here we go after the long search Ala’a and I are tight but that did not last for too long.
Ala’s fish become unbutton and my line slack out after 3 minutes fight, I retrieve my line to see the Ringed Kudako hook became un-ringed, this is not the first time that it happen to me.
Very disappointed to have such a failure like that and it is not acceptable but things happen and with it we lost the best opportunity of the day,
We ended up playing a bit with the Mahi and the Sailfish and we were so close on scoring a saily but she manage to spit the hook.
On our last day we headed out a bit late and found the tuna and the spinner dolphin in no time,
we saw the feed of the day from a distance and we rushed to it with the 3 of us casting towards the dolphin, I get a boil on my lure and Ala’a is tight, Ala’a does it again on the same set up.
After 4 minutes Ala’a land a nice 80lb on the El Maestro 710MH matched with the Britt, what a start and it only get better and better with more topwater feed but they were all small fish in the range of 20 to 30lb,
I made the call and I asked our Captain to head offshore searching for the big boys, everybody looked at me and said you’re going to leave fish to look for fish? I said yes I have a good feeling.
we made the run offshore till we reached 80 miles and then we start seeing a bit of life here and there but nothing like earlier,
Spinner dolphin interrupted and I casted ahead of the school to see a monster out of the water charging on my lure, he miss it but another one grab it right away.
After 3 minutes I had it to color and I was so happy with the results and the performance of the Race Point 100, it was getting late so we decided to quit and head back with intension to stop at any opportunity,
Bogdan was suffering that day and he was so frustrated as he couldn’t get a bite and we on the other hand did not make it easy on him J
Spinner dolphin on the horizon, the Captain is rushing to the scene and I am handing the Race Point 100 to Ala’a asking him to give it a cast to feel it, after 2 twitch a massive explosion on the Moutoukenmaru.
the fish literally went 5 feet on the air with the lure attached to it is mouth while I am screaming at Ala’a to set the hook.
Ala’s set the hook properly and right away out of good will passed the rod to Bogdan knowing that is the last shot for the day and for Bogdan.
Bogdan is huffing and puffing and I am stressed out as the fish is way too big for the rod to handle, but she did not disappoint me and after 12 minutes we saw the sight of the fish and it was big.
Bogdan gave all what he have and he manage to land the biggest fish on the Race Point 100, that fish was a barrel when it hit the deck, it was just a masterpiece how the day ended and where my instinct took me and how everybody did not mind taking that decision to look for a bigger class fish, it sure paid off!
I want to thank Ala’a for his amazing hospitality and kindness and for that great time spend on the water, we surely had some memory for a lifetime, thank you my friend!!
Tackle used:

Rod: Race Point 250, Race Point 100, El Maestro 77H, El Maestro 710MH, Carpenter, CB One prototype
Reel: Shimano Stella SW18000, SWB 18000 & SWB 14000
Lures: Moutoukenmaru, Shell Shaping, Tackle House Britt Sinking, Gamma, CB One Zorro
Line: Power Pro Hollow 80lb and 100lb
Leader: Saltywater Tackle Twisted Leader
Hooks: BKK Single, Owner, Shout Kudako

  Tight lines

Monday, March 16, 2015

Port Blair, Andaman Sea India Feb 2015

When the Kuwaiti group contacted me to put a GT trip together I was a bit worry as they never fished for GT’s before. They all seemed to know what they are about to encounter but on the other hand GT fishing is very challenging and it is all about sharing the knowledge and being fit for the task.

The trip was set a while ago with a lot of questions and preparation. We finally met each other in Dubai and flew together to Chennai where we stayed all at the same Hotel. In the early morning I took the first flight to Port Blair to get greeted by Akshay at the airport. The guys arrived a bit later and we had the briefing and the schedule set for the next 5 days. The excitement was on their faces to a point that some of them could not sleep on that first night, thinking and dreaming to catch a GT on topwater.

The morning came and we headed out to the farther point south to be greeted with school of fusilier in every direction. The area was full of bait and life, we almost lost counting and we had one of the greatest days on the water with a 40kg plus GT on topwater for Saud on his first GT trip. You can’t ask for better than that! The action did not stop and we had a 51 GT’s between 2 boats - a great start with a lot of fish in the mid teen which turned out to be a training session for the guys. We headed back to the guest house happy and beaten!
The action was somewhat slower on the 2nd day and made the catch very challenging, fusilier was all over but the GT’s had a locked jaw with sudden violent attack that put up the spirit to keep casting and never gave up.
I was using the Race Point 100 matched with the Hammmerhead cherry asymmetry 200 and I was able to get the ultimate performance. That set up was topnotch and the tip softness of the Race Point 100 allowed the lure to get the best performance with tons of strikes and so many GT’s airing out to get the lure. Another great day on the water with close to 30 GT’s between 2 boats, spoiled for the quantity for sure!!!
We decided to hit the jigging ground to try our luck for Doggies; present they were but luck was not to our favor. Many strikes with small fish landed that actually put up a smile on the guys and they were so happy to land their first ever Doggy.
With the calm weather that we were about to finish the trip we made the call to head to invisible bank. It was a 55 nautical mile run but the sea was flat like an oil field and we made it in no time. The guys were fascinated by the scenery and the clarity of the water. Upon arrival we started picking up small GT’s, it started slow but down the road it changed. Ultimately, we begun getting fish after fish until Akshay picked up the RP 100 and casted the 120 Orange Gamma. While I was at the bow and literally within 3 to 4 feet from the boat an estimated 35kg doggies came out of nowhere and smash his lure while he was striking and setting the hook. Line screaming, man running around and fish was on the run!
In another word Chaos was at the play J
The fish dumped half of the spool in less than 30 second and the line came in loose with a big disappointment, tight again from a nice doggy to a shark - what a disappointment.

 We decided to move to the deeper water while we marked bait and within the first drop we begun getting GT’s on the jig on every drop. The fish weighted from 5kg up to 25kg, it kept us busy and we ended up with 61 GT’s between 2 boats. The guys by the end of the day became a pro and their casting ability and distance improved a lot.

On the last day we decided to hit a new ground and we headed east to jig with a stopover at a reef to pop. The guys on the other boat landed an estimated 45kg GT on a pink Hammerhead C Cup that Abed El Mooty had asked me to sell it to him, it really paid off to have the right lure in hand.
Since the guys were collecting lures while ago they ran into many copies and cheap products that they have no knowledge what to buy. Therefore, they end up with some copies and low end popping lures, the price was way too costly and at certain time we had open swivels, however – the lesson was learned!
We moved east and made it to jigging ground, start marking bait than fish at 110 meter. Suddenly, the water irrupted with skippies on topwater and small yellowfin. Sure enough the doggies were under; I had a great take on the jig while Salah got tight as well, however we both lost a big fish and the bites died down after 1 hour.
At 1:00 in the afternoon we called it off and headed to get our last topwater session. It was a bit slow with sudden awaken to warn us to stay awake. I had a big GT that came in 3 times chasing on my lure but missed it at all time; it was the biggest I ever seen on the trip and a real hefty one.

We called the trip off and headed back to the port to pick up 2 GT at the mouth of Port Blair entrance, so we ended the trip nicely.
It was such a pleasure to fish with the Kuwaiti group and I totally had a great time with them. The guys were so happy with the results that they already booked a trip for 2016 season. In the meantime if you want to be part of the action, get in touch with us put up a trip for 2016 – it’s filling up quicker then we think and the timing is perfect for GT’s, Doggies and Yellowfin tuna.
I want to thank Salah, Fawzi, Saud, Abu Saud, Abd El Mooti and Sami for that exceptional time I spend with you guys, I look forward to see you and fish with you in the near future, thank you guys!!!
And also Gamefishingasia for their outstanding service and hospitality!!

Tackle used:
Popping Rod: Race Point, Carpenter, Black Hole
Jigging Rod: MC Works, OBX, Van Staal
Reel: Shimano, Daiwa, Saragosa
Line: Power Pro Hollow, Jerry Brown, Varivas SMP, Sunline
Leader: Fisherman, Varivas, Seaguar Fluorocarbon, Saltywater Tackle Twsited Leader
Lures: Hammerhead, CB One, Carpenter, Shell Shaping
Jigs: Shout Shab Shab & Stay, Hot’s drift tune , Smith Nagamasa, Lamble Bait, Marine Bait
Tight Lines