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Alphonse Island Fly Fishing Season 2019 | 18 – 25 May 

Week 35 marked the final time spent on the flats of St. Francois for this season. Old friends of AFC returned “home” to celebrate the amazing season and the finned creatures that frequent the flats.

Long surf walk moves were made at the initial stages of the week but, unfortunately, did not produce too well. The lagoon itself, however, proved to be on fire. All traditional flats species were present which resulted in a remarkable amount of flats slams.

Matt Ferrey produced a slam on Tuesday with a 91 cm GT, a Moustache triggerfish on Top Sticks finger and capped it off with a Bonefish. Matt’s boat partner for the day, Ray Cadiz, landed the largest GT for the week on the same walk on Top Sticks finger, a fish measuring exactly 1 metre.

Ray himself landed a flats slam on Wednesday. A Bonefish, a solid GT of 76 cm, off the back of a guitar shark on the white sand flats of Morning Traffic, and the largest triggerfish of the week, a yellow margin measuring 54 cm.

Justin Kemp was the slam champion of the week. On Tuesday he landed a bonefish, a moustache triggerfish and a black 86 cm GT on Fields of Gold, charging the fly so fast that his eyes were out of the water as he ate. Justin landed another flats slam on Thursday with a 68 cm GT on Pinacolada out of a rat pack, a bonefish and a good sized moustache triggerfish on Fallujah.

During the invitational week, guides have the opportunity to fish as well. Kyle Simpson landed a slam on Monday with a Giant Trevally, a large moustache triggerfish, a bonefish and capping it off with a 30 cm permit behind Judes. Rudi Lubbe also got a flats slam on Tuesday with a bonefish, a permit and a GT (only the second recaptured fish of the season) landed on a 9wt and a bonefish fly.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

This week was the last week of guests fishing on Alphonse and they certainly made it count! Although we completed our acoustic tagging the previous week we continued to PIT tag and scan all GT that were caught.

This week 10 new GT on St. Francois received a unique ID number and these fish ranged in size from 62 to 91 cm. In other exciting news we recaptured a previously tagged fish –which is only the 2nd recapture to occur the entire season out of 198 GT that have been PIT tagged for this project! The 63 cm fish was initially caught and tagged 2 weeks earlier in Pompano channel and was recaptured 2.1km away at Delta. It will be interesting to see next fishing season which individuals are recaptured and where.

We also caught several of the resident GT on Alphonse and strapped “FishBit” acceleration loggers to their tails to look at their activity in the 10 minutes immediately following release.

With the season wrapping up, shortly Caitlin will be heading back to her university in the States for a few months to work up the data and recommend management actions to be taken in the upcoming season.

Year 2 of the GT tracking project starting in Sept 2019 will focus primarily on monitoring movements of the 70 acoustic tagged GT, PIT tagging new GT and recording recapture information, and developing best practice guidelines for C&R by looking at how angling and handling effects fish physiology and behavior.

A Thank You to everyone who has been involved in this project, including all our wonderful guests, AFC guides, and all the project collaborators. This is just the beginning of many exciting things to come.

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Alphonse Island, until next season!

TOTAL CATCH STATS FROM 6 ANGLERS THIS WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 46
  • Giant Trevally: 12
  • Triggerfish: 9
  • Permit: 2

The post Alphonse Island Fishing News – ‘Flats Slams’ EVERY DAY! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Alphonse Island Fishing Season | 20 – 27 April 2019 

The presence of large weather systems during the opening days of Week 31 brought in rain and heavy winds. Fishermen, and guides alike, persevered through these initial bad weather days by concentrating mainly on Bonefish.

As the weather turned for the better, all were ready to pursue a more challenging quarry. Chantal Chone catching, perhaps one of the most challenging fish in the atoll, a 48 cm Moustache triggerfish on Top Sticks finger flat.

Giant trevally showed up in good numbers. The constant southerly wind ensured that the flats to the south of St. Francois had good clean cold water. Four GTs were landed in this area this week. Sean Dougherty and James Orford landing three fish (between 70 cm and 87 cm) in one session between King’s Cut and Baghdad. Sean also landed a pearlier of a fish (102 cm) in the same area later in the week.

Ted Conrads landed the largest GT for the week. The fork length of this fish measured a beastly 116 cm – one of the largest fish landed on St. Francois this season. This fish was tagged with an acoustic tag and will provide critical information on the movement of top lagoon fish.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

It was a great week on the flats of St. Francois and everyone saw lots of GTs around. We collectively managed to land nine GT, including three fish measuring over1 m  (102 cm, 103 cm, and a whopping 116 cm!).

All fish were “new” fish (i.e. we had not caught before) and received PIT tags with a unique ID number. Two of the GT (116 cm and 76 cm) were also tagged with transmitters to track their movements. The larger GT (#61 for the project) was caught on one of the finger flats and will hopefully provide insight into whether these fish are resident to the lagoon.

The smaller fish (#62 for the project) was caught and released on the flats behind the island (Back of the Moon to those who know), which is an area we often see fish but have struggled to get one tagged this season. With the South East monsoon season fast approaching it will be interesting to see how GT movement and activity responds to the changes in conditions.

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 333
  • Moustache triggerfish: 1
  • Giant Trevally: 8

The post Alphonse Island Fishing News – 3 GTs over 100 cm! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Alphonse Island Fishing Season | 4 – 11 May 

The South Eastern remained a challenge throughout the entire week, pushing in large swell and heavy cloud cover. However, by midweek the sun made its appearance and the fishing turned on, like a lit up Bluefin behind a 4/0 crease fly skipping on the water’s surface.

The Bonefishing remained very stable during the week with more than 400 fish landed, including a couple well over the 60 cm mark.

With the sea standing up due to the wind, Giant Trevally was targeted inside the St. Francois lagoon. Jeremy Rochester, from the Wildfly crew, landed a special 82 cm fish, his personal best, inside Rattray’s channel. Alphonse atoll itself fished well too, with Lee Potter landing two GTs at GT bay on Friday. The GT of the week was raised by a popper in Petit La Passe by Dick Warner – a brute of a fish measuring 106 cm. Some large Bluefin are also being caught regularly, like William Hobhouse’s 74 cm specimen, proving that they are truly a worthy quarry on the fly.

Milkfish were prevalent inside the lagoon as well and large numbers were seen feeding along the finger flats. Two fish were landed during the week, one by Richard Simpson on Ignoblis finger, and the other by John Barns. John also had excellent blue water fishing throughout the week, landing three Sailfish on the fly. Gareth George, also from the Wildfly crew, struck gold Friday by landing a beaut of a Permit at the Back of the Moon.

Owing to the diversity of the fishery, two very capable and fortunate fisherman had the pleasure of landing a flat slam each. Cooper Mead, on his first time to Seychelles, landing a 51 cm Moustache Triggerfish, a 63 cm GT and a Bonefish on Thursday. Jeremy Rochester also getting it done with a 47 cm Moustache Triggerfish, a 65 cm GT and a bonefish.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

We battled tough weather this week with high winds and a sun that was being very antisocial. We still managed to land a few fish though and put PIT tags in five new GT caught around St. Francois. We also had a crew from the South African fishing TV show “Wildfly” here filming several episodes, one of which will focus on the GT research that we are doing!

We managed to film the capture and tagging process of a GT with both the PIT tag and acoustic transmitter being surgically inserted. I believe the episode will air in Oct 2019 so stay tuned for more details. We are now tracking the movement and activity of 69 GT and only have ONE TRANSMITTER LEFT to put out. Who is going to be the lucky #70?

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Alphonse Island!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE  WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 426
  • Giant trevally: 7
  • Triggerfish: 2
  • Milkfish: 2
  • Sailfish: 3

The post ALPHONSE ISLAND FISHING NEWS – 2 Flats Slams in One Week! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Alphonse Island Fishing Season | 27 April – 4 May 

The southern winds prevailed throughout the week making for tough fishing conditions, but, despite these challenging conditions, the true class of the fishermen on St Francois shone through.

First time fly fishermen, and veterans alike, enjoyed epic Bonefishing, with many tales of “Bonefish as far as the eye can see”. In total 411 Bonefish were caught during the week.

Giant Trevally were sighted in good numbers throughout the entire week, especially inside the lagoon. Barry Unwin caught a beautiful 85 m GT while popping in Ignoblis Channel. Another fish was raised while popping, this time an 88 cm specimen by Tom Leslie in the top lagoon of St. Francois. Jason Hum had an epic day on Friday, landing two fish. One in Tam-Tam channel and another one eating off a Ray on Tiger flat. The biggest fish of the week was caught by Sam Balderson, a massive 101 cm fish that charged a brush fly in Milkyway channel and had to be chased through coral structure with the skiff.

John Wilson hit the homerun on Monday getting a flats slam. A Moustache Triggerfish picked off a finger flat inside the lagoon, an 80 cm GT swimming on a ray behind West Knoll, and finishing it off with a bonefish. Later the week he also caught a Giant Yellowmargin triggerfish measuring 51 cm.

A good number of Milkfish have been feeding inside the lagoon this week. Quite a number have been hooked, but none were landed successfully. It just shows how remarkably testing these fish are on tackle and fishermen.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

As the fishing season starts to wind down we have been pushing hard to get our last GT tagged. Luckily our guests were willing to help and the project accomplished its 2nd best tagging week of the season. Despite near constant high winds we managed to get out 6 more transmitters in GT around St. Francois and an additional 3 fish with PIT tags, bringing our total numbers to 68 and 179, respectively.

We were also able to capture and deploy one of our ‘FishBit’ activity logging devices on a respectable 111 cm GT to collect data on the swimming behavior and activity of fish in the minutes following catch and release.

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Alphonse Island!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 41
  • Giant Trevally: 15
  • Triggerfish: 2
  • Permit: 1

The post ALPHONSE ISLAND FISHING NEWS – A Flats Slam and a GT of 101 cm! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Alphonse Island Fishing Season | 13 – 20 April

The early low tides this week reduced the fishing opportunity for the traditional dropping Bonefish, but it made for excellent cool water pushing tides. This was evident in the number of fish spotted on the finger flats, especially during the push.

Two Yellowmargin Triggerfish, the most challenging triggerfish to catch at Alphonse, were landed this week. One by Michael Haworth on Tam-Tam finger and one by John Eames. John also caught a Moustache triggerfish on Dragon’s Back finger.

Rat packs, consisting mostly of Bluefin and Giant Trevally, are still showing up in good numbers on the finger flats. Mark Provenzano caught the biggest Bluefin of the week, measuring a whopping 71 cm, off a rat pack at Hologram. Another St. Francois first timer, Michael Rudman, caught a beautiful 70 cm GT on Tam-Tam finger, also from a rat pack. The largest Giant Trevally for the week was caught on GT-Friday by Timothy Youngkin, a beast top-lagoon fish measuring 103 cm on Top Sticks Finger.

Although the Sailfish seemed to be quite lethargic, the Wahoo made sure the bluewater fishermen had enough action with a total of 13 fish landed.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

In addition to tracking fish movements on the flats, we are also looking at the short-term impacts of angling and handling on fish physiology and activity. To do this we use similar technology as a FitBit and strap these small devices to the tail of fish when released.

These FishBit devices record information on acceleration and body dynamics (i.e. orientation in the water; e.g. nose down or swimming on side, etc.). By looking at how angling duration and air exposure influences fish responses we can begin to create energy budgets to measure the physiological expense of fighting on the line, handling stress, and post-release behavior.

All season we have been testing different methods of accomplishing this work and this week we had our first successful deployment. Expanding on this aspect of the GT research, which will include collecting blood samples to look at stress responses, will be a primary focus in Year 2 of the project. We also had a great visit with representatives from two of our partner organizations, SeyCCAT and Island Conservation Society.

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Alphonse Island!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 366
  • Giant trevally: 4
  • Bluefin trevally: 5
  • Triggerfish: 3
  • Wahoo: 13

The post Alphonse Island Fishing News – 103 cm GT on Top Sticks Finger! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Astove Atoll Fishing Season 2019 | 11 – 18 April 

The final week on Astove this season was met with Father and Son, Terry and Will. This was both their first ever exposure to saltwater fly fishing. This season on Astove has been full of incredible fishing and remarkable experiences and this last week was by no means any different.

The first few days of the week saw some incredible weather and great conditions. A good amount of time was spent offshore teasing some incredible fish up out of the depths. As the tides started slowing down between the moon phases we ended up spending the latter part of the week around the mouth of the Astove lagoon.

On this tide cycle the mouth generally produces some incredible moments. The lagoon proceeded to fish extremely well, with some unbelievable bonefish sessions. Both Will and Terry wracked up 180 Bonefish for their week.

On top of this they closed the week off with 10 GT’s and Will had an incredible 96 cm fish in barely any water in the lagoon on the last afternoon session. It’s always a pleasure fishing with a father and son team. Fly fishing has always been something enjoyed between fathers and sons, and being part of that experience is always remarkable.

After a spectacular season out on one of the most incredible places on the planet, we are looking forward to being back out on Astove next season!

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Astove Atoll!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

Giant trevally: 10
Bonefish: 180

The post ASTOVE ATOLL FISHING NEWS – 112 cm & 107 cm Gt’s landed to End the Season! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Cosmoledo Atoll Fishing Season 2019 | 11 – 18 April 

For our final week of the season on Cosmoledo the team welcomed David Hall, Carlos Montero, Timothy Youngkin, Dennis Maloomia, Staffan Simberg, Markku Lamppu, John Nash and Chantal Chone.

Last week’s weather seemed to have blown itself out and our guests were greeted with some postcard-perfect weather. The week started off with a neap tide that shifted nicely into a full moon spring tide as the week closed out.

The week kicked off with a bang with Dennis, John and Markku all getting stuck into their first GT’s. Dennis being new to the flats had a fantastic week. His trophy 112 cm GT was the fish of the week. Tim, Staffan, Markku, Dave, and Chantal all managed to continue the great Trigger Fishing from last week. Chantal carried her stellar form from last week and managed to land the only Milkfish of the week. There seemed to be a lot of baitfish out in the bluewater this week and there were some good signs of Yellowfin Tuna around. Tim managed to get a deep bend his fly rod as he went tight on a good specimen. Dave added a good count to our GT stats as he kept the score board ticking over. He also landed a trophy fish that measured a solid 107 cm.

It was a great week for all with some spectacular weather and some good banter at the sundowners table. A great way to close out an unbelievable season out here on Cosmoledo. The Eco-Camp has been an incredible success thanks to the excellent work put in by our awesome team on the ground as well as the great guests that have had the privilege of experiencing this incredible destination with us… Until next season!

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Cosmoledo Atoll!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Giant trevally: 64
  • Triggerfish: 13
  • Bonefish: 12

The post Cosmoledo Atoll Fishing News – 112 cm & 107 cm Gt’s landed to End the Season! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Cosmoledo Atoll Fishing Season 2019 | 4 – 11 April

Uwe Holzkamp, Chris Maguire, Charles and Brooke Mohr, Richard Mukheibir, Andrew Fieggan, Chris Freund, James van Hasselt, Chantal Chone, Robert (Bob) Merrill, and Paul Jenkins all joined us for week on Cosmoledo.

Some pretty rough weather was predicted for the first few days of the week and it arrived in full force. Strong winds and consistent rain made for some tough conditions out on the flats. With a spring tide to get the week going however, the anglers remained hopeful.

Andrew had a great introduction to flats fishing. He landed his first GT, Triggerfish and Bonefish for the week. Bob had a great week out on the water despite the challenging conditions. He landed his first GT on fly but perhaps his catch of the week was a beautiful 9½ lbs Bonefish that had his reel screaming for mercy!

Our old friend and still the Queen of Cosmo, Chantal had another great week out. Amongst all the GT’s and other reef species she caught, Chantal landed 8 of the 13 triggers caught for the week including a monster 57 cm Yellowmargin Triggerfish, the biggest of the season so far!

Despite the conditions everyone managed to get stuck into some solid GT’s with a few real trophies seen or lost. The trigger-fishing was off the charts this week so here’s hoping the trend carries through to our final week of the season.

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Cosmoledo Atoll!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Giant trevally: 64
  • Triggerfish: 13
  • Bonefish: 12

The post COSMOLEDO ATOLL FISHING NEWS – Triggerfish Mania – 13 Landed! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Alphonse Island Fishing Season 2019 | 6 – 13 April 

The longer drops and slower moving water made for excellent fishing on the finger flats of St Francois atoll this week. Fish of all species were spotted on these coralline flats throughout the week with some good fish being landed.

Boat partners, Tom Hermansen and Miles Beharell, had a cracking day on Thursday, doubling up on two massive Yellowspot trevally on La Passe finger – truly a special and rare moment. The biggest Bluefin Trevally of the week was caught by Gary Garbers, measuring 66 cm.

Another area on the atoll that fished very well during the week was the Back of the Moon, on the southern side of St. Francois Island. Two Permit were landed in this area, on by Gerhard Krassning and another by Scotty de Bruin, a fish measuring 60 cm.

Jay Epping had a once in a lifetime day on Thursday, completing a flats slam well before lunchtime. The slam consisted of a Giant Trevally of 68 cm, caught on Tam-Tam flat, a beastly Yellowmargin Triggerfish, measuring 51 cm and sealing the deal with a Bonefish caught on Andrew’s Train.

The Giant Trevally are still showing up in good numbers, with a lot of fish being spotted daily. The biggest Giant Trevally of the week, measuring 91 cm, was landed by Tom Hermansen on the apex of the eastern sand flats of the atoll. Numerous “ratpacks” are present on the atoll as well. John Baugher had an encounter with one of these groups on Friday, landing 3 GT’s in a row.

Father and son team, Peter and Jake Mullhollan, had an amazing first saltwater fly fishing week. Peter landing a massive 51 cm Yellowmargin Triggerfish on the white sand flats of Mullet Bay and Jake landing the best Bonefish of the week for the group, measuring 67 cm, off Point Dot on Alphonse Island.

GT Tagging Programme Update:

The Geets are out in abundance on the flats, but they are certainly outsmarting us lately and proving more difficult to catch! But that is half the fun, right?

Six fish have been PIT tagged on St. Francois and one fish received an acoustic transmitter, number 60 for the project! This 70 cm fish was caught in a “ratpack”, a group of 10-30 small trevally that roam the atoll lagoon together busting up baits. Tagging a fish in one of these groups is exciting and will provide some important insight into the behavior of these ratpacks.

Additionally, all the receivers in our underwater listening network have now been downloaded and the data analysis has begun, so stay tuned to see what these fascinating fish have been up to for the last few months!

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Alphonse Island!

TOTAL CATCHES OF THE WEEK:

  • Bonefish: 567
  • Giant trevally: 6
  • Bluefin trevally: 12
  • Yellowspot trevally: 2
  • Triggerfish: 3
  • Permit: 2

The post Alphonse Island Fishing News – Double Holy Grail and a 97 cm GT! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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Astove Atoll Fly Fishing Season 2019 | 01 – 11 April 

Our guests this week had quite a unique experience: two anglers, Seychelles regular El Davo from Canada and first timer Tom from the USA, with the entire Astove Atoll at their disposal.

From a guiding perspective, it was a pleasure having endless amounts of water to explore. El Davo was quick out of the blocks to land 6 GTs, the biggest 91 cm, on his first day. Suffering from jet lag, Tom powered through and landed his first ever GT.

The advance of spring tides filled the lagoon nicely and having never experienced the quality of Bonefishing in the Seychelles Tom capitalized nicely and was literally left speechless with the endless opportunities for tailing bones.

A low-pressure system midweek brought high wind and low visibility, however, the less-than-ideal conditions did not deter our anglers with El Davo landing two Triggerfish, while Tom landed two cracking Giant Trevally’s in two casts while fishing the lagoon.

As the low-pressure system passed fishing improved and a combination of lagoon moves as well as surf walks ensured both guests were kept entertained with a nice spread of bell ringer species. Fittingly El Davo finished his last day with a flats slam.

Tight Lines from the Alphonse Fishing Co. Guides on Astove Atoll!

The post Astove Atoll Fishing News – Last Minute Flats Slam! appeared first on Alphonse Fishing Company.

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