Fantstic Report from our customer for his expeditions in Lhaviyani in Christmas time in 2014. Landing over 50kg in 3 day expeditions, he is suprisingly 1st year GT Angler on 12th month from his first GT Fishing also with us in January 2014. Originally posted in 360tuna.com and copied here with author's permission.
Started By DaButt, Jan 01 2015 05:30 PM
Almost one year had passed since I fished with Captain Mohamed
at GT Fishers Maldives last time around. Also this time I had booked
three days of fishing since I was on vacation with my family. We had
chosen to stay in a resort on the Lhaviyani atoll for this year's winter
vacation and I was excited to learn how the fishing compared to the
South Ari atoll.
Mohamed and his deckie Ali picked me up at 8 am at the resort. We
headed northwest to fish the western and northern parts of the atoll. We
worked our way north as I tried lure after lure without any strikes,
not even from red bass, which are so plentiful in the Maldives. It
wasn't until late into the first fishing day when we reached an opening
in the reef where two currents meet that things started heating up. I
had several strikes and it wasn't long before I landed the first GT of
the day. Soon thereafter, I had another strike and when I set the hook
the fish went crazy swimming fast from one side to the other. It was
fairly shallow where we were fishing so I kept my rod high while putting
as much pressure on the fish as I could. We soon realized that the
reason for the GTs fierce flight was sharks and halfway into the fight
the shark caught up and in some strange way, the shark managed to get
the second hook into its mouth. A few minutes later, we could lift a
half dead GT and the shark on board. My first bluewater fishing double.
After a few quick shots, we released the shark but the GT could
unfortunately not be saved. A few casts thereafter, I caught my second
shark ever on a lure when a larger white tip reef shark almost swallowed
my Hitter X-slide 120 black mac. When we eventually got the lure out of
the shark’s mouth, I quickly realized that I had to put in a new order
to Hitter lures when I returned from my fishing. The X-slide had taken
some real heavy beating. We caught a few more GTs at the same spot
before moving on.
Following a short boat ride to the next reef, I put on a black Yambal
GT Harrier 205. There was a nice swell rolling in from the sea and at
times I had a hard time keeping my balance at the bow as Mohamed slowly
brought the boat forward. In my second or third cast, I had a really big
GT coming up from behind. It missed the GT Harrier by an inch or so,
turned, only to miss the lure once more before disappearing in the
swells. Damn, there I lost my chance of catching a large GT on this
trip, I thought before launching another cast. However, after having
caught another GT, I had a massive strike on my black GT Harrier.
Already when I set the hook I felt that the fish was big. The GT went
deep. Fortunately, it swam towards the boat where the water was deeper.
Mohammed backed the boat up to make sure that the line didn't break when
the GT passed the drop off and then put the engines in neutral to let
me play the fish. I kept hard pressure on the GT but it continued to
take line. When I eventually managed to turn it and regain some line, I
could only bring it halfway up before it turned and started taking line
again. My fishing gloves were wet and had become very slippery so I
almost lost my grip. I screamed at Ali to take the gloves off. When they
came off, I once again turned the fish and this time I didn't let it
turn its head again. I kept pumping until Mohamed could grab the leader
and gaff the fish in its lower jaw.
It wasn't before the fish lay on deck when I realized how big it was.
Mohamed and I measured the fish - 147 cm from jaw to fork and my second
largest GT ever! We estimated the weight to somewhere between 50-55 kg.
After the fish was landed, I caught a few more GTs and ended the day
with eleven GTs to my name. Mohamed also caught one GT so the total for
the first day was twelve GTs - not bad! In addition, I caught two
sharks, my first sharks ever on artificial lures and three red bass. I
lost one lure – a Gamma 140 abalone. The 175 lb fluorocarbon leader
snapped when I set the hook. It was the very same lure that I lost, but
was able to retrieve, on my January trip to the Maldives. However, this
time the lure unfortunately didn’t surface again.
When we headed back to the resort later that afternoon I felt like I
was walking on clouds. What a fantastic start to my fishing! I knew that
it would be hard to beat that the following two days, but I really
didn't care, especially not after having landed such a fantastic fish.
The second day, we fished on the same sides of the atoll again but
decided to start fishing where we had the greatest action the first day.
The fishing was ok with lots of strikes and a few GTs caught, but many
fish missed the lure and some others I was unable to set the hook
properly. Around the tidal shift when the bite slowed down, I shifted to
my light (PE2-4) set-up and put on a Smith Tobiika sardine. After three
or four smaller GTs, a 20 kg+ all of a sudden took an interest in my
Tobiika. Thinking back on the episode, I am not really sure if I tried
to entice or avoid a strike. Nonetheless the GT smashed my sinking
Tobiika and approximately twenty five seconds later, I watched the last
meters of my approximately 120 meters of PE5 YGK Galis flow out of my
SOM 6k spool, before the line snapped. That's what happens when you
bring a knife to a gun fight, I thought as I put on my reserve spool.
The sea was very calm and as I was standing at the bow, casting
towards the reef, I suddenly saw a majestic sail on the surface a few
hundred meters outside the reef. Mohamed quickly turned the boat around
and I switched to my Carpenter Endless Passion 85/36 which was rigged
with a Bridge Ayakasi 180 flying fish. Despite trying to cast both in
front of and on top of the big sailfish, it showed no interest in my
lure so we gave up trying already after a few minutes.
Soon after returning to fishing for GTs along the reef, I hooked up
to another large GT on my black Yambal GT Harrier 205, the same lure
that I had caught the big GT on the first day. However, this time we
didn’t react fast enough when the fish headed towards the drop off,
resulting in a cut line and lost fish. I had another big fish, either GT
or shark, following my blue Seven Seas Valkyrja II 210 just beneath the
surface without engaging.
Although I ended the day having caught eleven GTs and one bluefin
trevally, the average size of the GTs was smaller than the first day so
the third day we decided to head northeast instead of northwest.
There were fewer inhabited islands on the west side of the atoll and
the reefs were longer. Mohamed stopped at a few spots that had been
productive for him in the past but the GTs weren't cooperating. The
hours passed but still no GT. Had we made a mistake when deciding to
switch sides of the atoll? Soon thereafter, when I had just put on a
Strategic Angler Walker frigate mackerel, I caught my first GT for the
day and it was soon followed by another three fish on the same lure.
These fish were all larger than the average fish caught the days before
and put up good fights. However, they were no match for my Carpenter
Monster Hunter 80H, paired with a Stella 14k and Yumeya spool, which I
had brought as my "heavy" set-up. We continued to catch fish as we moved
further north and when we were nearing the end of the fishing day, I
had caught ten GTs and four red snappers. The scenery was beautiful and
at one point in time, we had some 40-50 dolphins around the boat - a
Just like in January, I had no luck with poppers. All my GTs where
caught on stickbaits. However, unlike January, we spent more time
fishing the water close to the drop offs than the reef. We also chased
bait fish more actively and several times I got strikes when casting
towards bait fish. I changed lures quite frequently and often times I
got strikes soon after I had changed lure, just like in January.
I caught 42 fish in total, 32 GTs, 7 red bass, 2 sharks and 1 bluefin
trevally – a very good result. Mohamed and Ali provided excellent
service at all times, I didn’t even have to change lures if I didn’t
want to. If you are interested in fishing in the Maldives, I can
recommend that you get in touch with GT Fishers Maldives. I will be back
again next Dec/Jan!
Below I have inserted some pictures from the trip.
Carpenter Monster Hunter 80H, Stella 2013 14k, Yumeya spool, Varivas
Avani GT Max PE 7, Seaguar Fluorocarbon 175 lb, NT swivel, Hyperwire #11
Carpenter Endless Passion 85/36, Stella 2008 10k, SOM 16k spool,
Varivas Avani GT Max PE6, Seaguar Fluorocarbon 150 lb, NT swivel,
Hyperwire #10 split ring
Kaiser Lightcast 73H, Stella 2008 6k, SOM 6k spool, YGK Galis PE5 and
Varivas Avani GT Max PE4, Seaguar Fluorocarbon 80 lb, Fisherman swivel
with cork screw