Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Southern Oman, Halaniyat Island Nov 2012

The first part of the trip started when Igor flew from Moscow and met me in Dubai,
We then flew together to Salalah to be greeted by Ashraf at the airport,
We didn’t stop talking about Southern Oman and the monster GT‘s that have been caught in the past couple of years.
The old memories that I shared with friends and clients are rolling in my mind just like a movie, reminding me of this magical destination and how much joy and happiness it has brought to many people, I am so happy to be back again at the Hallanyiat Island.

Southern Oman became my main GT destination for the past 2 years, the success and the report speaks for themself, if you are in the hunt for the trophy GT of a life time, this is the place to be! No doubts about it!
We had a slow start on Igor’s trip as the current was not pushing and the wind decided to take a break, it was hot and slow but our spirits were high and the dedication and commitment was with the crew.
We started our first part of the day jigging for AJs and we were greeted with some nice fish, took some for the table as we wanted to have Sashimi for the night,
The afternoon was a GT session and all we can think of is the topwater hits. The beauty of popping is that you get to see the fish engulf your lure and the instantaneous reaction when setting the hook and the peeling of the line after.

We started our drift but with the lack of current we were barely drifting and every now and then we had to motor to move a little, after couple of hours I decided to change my lure and I switched to the Siren, it took one cast and I came in tight on the prototype Bad Mon
300, we finally broke the ice!
The fish measured 121cm, looked healthy and hefty. Took a few pictures and released it to fight another day.
We called the day off and headed to the guest house on the island, the sunset was simply amazing.

On the second day we decided to start our day jigging and again I got greeted with a nice start followed by more, until my satisfaction was completed and when my rod had the bend that I was looking for,
I could tell that is what I am looking for, the line started screaming and Igor is looking at me with confusion, we got the fish to the boat took quick pictures and released the beast allowing it to grow bigger,
Igor turn came and he hooked a nice AJ, his line was screaming and I was screaming even louder, he manages to land the fish and was so happy as this was the biggest AJ he ever landed.
On the way back home we saw many sailfish jumping from a distance but they disappeared as we approach and at one time we saw a marlin chasing our lure to the boat side, this experience that we gain will be contributed to the second group on knowing how to target those fishes and landing them successfully.
Nick was guiding Fukui-san and other Japanese guest and we heard they had an amazing early morning session, they tried to call us but by the time we made it out, the action died down,
We kept on trying till Igor came in tight; with cheers and joy we had it in his lap,
It was Igor’s biggest GT ever landed, the fish measured 125cm took a few pictures and released it.
I switched to popping and after 20 minutes a fish cleared out of the water missed my lures by 2 feet and never came back, the back and the size of that fish is hard to describe,
Incident like that keep us going and give us strength to keep casting, you never know when your time will come to hook the big one!

As for the remaining 2 days it was very slow for us except that when we dropped a jig,
We landed many different species,
Igor made sure to book his trip for 2013 before leaving,
 On the early morning of the 23rd I dropped Igor on the main land to greet our 2nd group from Brazil,
The guys consisted of Paulinho, Cabe, Bruno, Milton and Bruno, unfortunately one of the guy couldn’t make it due to work issues.
We had 2 boats for the guys and we decided to run close to each other,

We started our first day jigging for AJ, the Mahi were so thick but it was impossible to keep them on the hooks, their acrobatic jump was something to keep us entertained,
He switch technique and decided to go after Sailfish, and boy did we slammed them, sailfish up to 100lbs were flying in the air as if they own the ocean.
We counted close to 10 sailfish at a certain time busting at the same spot,
We succeeded on landing 5 sails all on stickbaits,
The guys had a blast and I was relieved to have a great start for the guys, I can also see the smile on Captain Camron and Saoud, what a day for a start,

On our second day we decided to hit the GT ground, the tide was pushing and the current was right with some gusting wind, a perfect combination for a GT bite,
Made it to the desired spot at the early AM and start our drift, right after the third cast a big explosion hits Cabe’s popper, his line got tight and it was a battle, the fish was putting some real hurt on him until he dropped the fish after a minute or so.
We kept going on the same drift and again, Cabe’s had his lure inhaled followed by mine, we doubled up and all I saw is a big fish that literally cleared itself out of the water on my Craft bait popper, it was a pleasure to see the Race Point 300 on a big fish and I manage to put a good hurt on the fish to raise it to boat side in less then 2 minutes,
My fish measured 145cm, I was so happy to break my old record.
Cabe was still fighting his fish and we I asked him to tighten his drag and try to get his fish fast so we can take pictures with both fishes on board, sure enough he had it to boat side and his first ever GT measured 122cm, I could see the smiles of success on his face,
We took a quick photo and released both fishes to fight another day.

While we are in this chaos the other boat was tight as well and I can see Milton at the front putting a nice bend on the Race Point 200, after a brutal fight Milton landed his first Omani GT with pride, his fish was a twin of mine, measuring 145cm as well, they too, took a quick photo and released the fish to fight another day and hopefully grow bigger.

Not a bad start to see 3 fishes been landed on both boat on the first drift,
The guys were so happy and cheering each other for that amazing start; we gave the area a rest and moved to another location,
Right from the start we saw tons of fusiliers grouping together and look a little nervous.
We started casting towards them and again Cabe got tight but didn’t take him too long to drop the fish again, Bruno faced the same problem on our boat as well, he gets tight set the hook and he then drop the fish as well, we were all using barbless hooks.
I explained to the guys that setting the hook needs to be fast and strong. When those fish start peeling line, it doesn’t mean they are hooked right; you will have to set and make sure the hooks are embedded.
I made a cast and see a fish come twice on my lure and missed it, we are on the right place for sure and the fish are feeding,
Bruno is running into his tackle box and asking me what to use, I saw a Shell Shaping twister and I asked him to put it on,
In one cast and he was on, Bruno landed a nice GT that measured 120cm on the Race Point 250, if it wasn’t for the twisty leader he would have lost the fish, the fish tried to reef him and the abrasion show up on the whole leader, he was 1 inch away from the braided line, luck always smiles at you sometimes J

The other boat is on as well and Bruno # 2 is tight too, they landed a 110cm
I could see the guys had enough and I called the early morning session off and headed to the villa at the island for a break and lunch,
The guys were so tired and wanted to take a nap; I woke them up at 4:00PM and off again,
Paulinho comes back to the lodge at night with a big smile on his face; he landed his first Omani GT,
We ended day 2 with good result and the Captains manage to put fish on everybody’s lap.

Our third day started early, we headed at 5:30AM hoping for better action then yesterday.
We started our drift but the current was very slow and we notice that we are barely moving,
It looked to me from the start it is going to be a tough day and sure it was,
On the first drift I came in tight and the fish dropped my lure, the guys were in shock watching but I didn’t waste any time and casted right away and after 2 pop, BOOM again.
Game on, I wanted to put the Race Point 150 to the test and see how much I can push the limit on this rod, all what I can say is, I am very happy with the result and with the amount of pressure the rod took.
I landed a nice 131 cm GT on the Race Point 150, took some pictures and released it,
After couple of hours of casting the guys decided to jig and I think we made the right decision and we were greeted with many different species from AJ, Bonito, Hamour (grouper) to sea bream and yellow dot trevally.
We called the day and headed to the island,
Right after dinner, Captain Cameron comes to inform me that one of the boats has a small problem and they need a part to repair it.
We changed plan and I asked the guys to jump on board on one boat all together tomorrow, I will stay behind on the island and wait for Captain Cameron to return.

On the fourth day Captain Cameron left the island at first light and headed to the main land while Captain Saoud took the guys for an early sailfish session,
It was my first break after 8 straight days and I enjoyed a bit of sleep, by 10:00 am Captain Cameron was back and the boat is fixed,
We asked Captain Saoud to be back by 11:30 am, the time had passed and I know Captain Saoud well, if he stayed that means the action is good, we packed lunch for the guys and made the decision to run to the general area where they were supposed to be and we were right on the money, they were there.
We approached the other boat to see how they were doing; the excitement from all 5 guys says it all!
They landed 5 sails so far, 2 on the jig and 3 on topwater,
We asked what they wanted to do and they all said they want to stick to area and continue fishing for sailfish,
Paulinho and Bruno jumped on board with me and off for the hunt again,
I had never seen so many sailfish congregating at one spot in my life, it was heaven on the ocean, Nat Geo moments kind of $h!t and very hard to believe, I guess we discovered a new ground and with that we added more species to target in Southern Oman, what more could you ask!
I was in a dilemma between taking pictures and fishing,
I still wanted to put a bend on the Race Point 150 and matched the rod with a Moutoukenmaru Prototype lure and game on; I have to admit that the fish put a good hurt on me but I got it to the boat, took some pictures and released it quickly.

I decided to stop fishing and focus on taking pictures, from the scenery I am witnessing, it will be a shame not to go for the lens.
I took some nice pictures as I watched Paulinho’s lure getting attacked and inhaled by the sails,
Paulinho landed a nice fatty sailfish on the Hot’s tide lez 78MH rod matched with the Smith Baby Runboh lure.
It was an unbelievable sight watching the sails danced on the water.
While all this was happening, the other boat gets a double up and they landed both sails into the boat J
Bruno was struggling, the sailfish were following his lure without attacking, I asked him to dig into his bag and get a pink lure,
After 3 cast Bruno get tight on the Daiwa Dorado slider, we got his fish in, took a quick shot and released it,
He was so exited and happy that we run on the boat screaming and went airborne into the water!!
We landed 10 sailfish and we called the day off, everyone shared unforgettable moments and great times, what a day to remember J

The guys wanted to commit to GT’s for the last day,
We fished very hard but we didn’t even get a look at our lures, so we decided to go for the sailfish to save the day,
We landed 3 sails and had more then 8 hook ups, 2 of them lost when they came off right at the boat side.
Southern Oman still has its magical moments; if you are willing to go with the flow you will catch a fish.
Our Brazilian guest had a great time and I personally enjoyed their company, we had great atmosphere and an amazing time, they already booked a trip for 2014.
I would like to thank Ocean Active and the crew on the island for their outstanding service!
Keep up the good work guys.

Tackle used:
Rods: Saltywater Tackle Race Point 200,250,300 and the 150 prototype, Smith Tokara 60, Smith Keyolhu, Carpenter, Hot’s Tide Lez 77XH and 78MH, Carpenter Coral Viper 79/40RF, Zenaq, Smith GTK, Race Point 200 custom.
OBX-400 prototype jigging rod, Smith AMJ-S52EX, Fisherman
Reels: Shimano Stella, Daiwa Dogfight
Line: Power Pro Hollow130lb, Jerry Brown Hollow 130lb, Varivas Avani SMP.
Lures: Shell Shaping, Craft Bait, Carpenter, Smith Baby Runboh, Heru, Moutoukenmaru.

  Tight Lines

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