GT FISHERS

カテゴリ : Services

It is fun to encounter many different fishermen globally by running GT Fishing services.  I just received an interesting requrest from Irish fisherman Paddy for conducting a interview the other day.  So here it is and you may find it interesting to read a bit perpective of our services!

http://irelandfishingdiaries.com/2014/04/01/shin-achiwa-gt-sport-fishers/

Shin's GT Sport Fishers

Shin is the owner of  GT Fishers Maldives. Having fished in several places for GT’s, he found the perfect home for his love of giant trevally fishing in the Maldives and what a location with the most gorgeous tropical islands in the World. To combine your honeymoon with a  GT trip is the stuff of dreams to most anglers, or to the more serious fisherman you can stay at a more reasonable rate hotel in the capital Male than the resort islands with a group of friends. I was in the Maldives in 2007 though unfortunately not fishing, and can testify to the beauty of the place


http://www.gtfishers.com


So now over to Shin…..


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Me: How did you begin in fishing?


SA: I was raised in the port town facing Bay.  Dad took me to small fish fishing time to time.

Then around age 12 or so, started lure and fly fishing that was the time to get really in.  However, when I left Japan for the US for University, stopped all in order to focus on study and turn around my life from drop out state.


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Me: When did you get more serious into fishing?


SA: When I got married with my wife about 5 years ago, finally let myself restart fishing with my wife after 2 decades plus, then start going to fishing around Tokyo every weekend.  Then gradually escalated for higher state of fishing from managed fishing ponds to Hokkaido Salmon, Native Trouts Amemasu, Seabass, etc…


Me: Can you tell us about GT’s?


SA:2011 January, went to Palau for vacation and 2 day GT fishing for the first time.  Could not catch GTs but some red snappers, groupers, barracuda.  Went back to Palau 3 more times in following 6 months to catch GTs and get bigger size.  That was the start of GT.  July/August 2011, went to Okinawa and Tokunoshima in Japan for two more expeditions.  September 2011, went to Komodo Island in Indonesia then to Maldives.  This trip in Maldives, hired Dhoni boat from resort for 2 days; caught record 25kg back then but stressed with slow 5 knot boat; then, met current local partner at the airport on the way back to Japan and complained about lack of speedboat then decided to jointly look for speedboat in Maldives. November 2011 – less than 1 year of GT fishing start, I bought my own boat in Maldives while living in Tokyo, Japan, by wiring 88,000 USD to the local partner whom I met him only once at the time.  January 2012, took the boat for the first expeditions in Noonu Atoll, then decided to start external guide services since I cannot go to Maldives every weekend for fishing from Tokyo where I work in multinational enterprise as Japan President running over 100m USD business portfolio.


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GT is the ultimate fishing with casting and standing fight.  Particularly topwater fishing is exciting.  Typically keep casting 600+ times everyday for 10-12 hours daily and go on for 7 days straight if not more.  My body structure changed completely even after a decade of weight training.  Chest size pumped up from 90cm to 108cm after starting GT in 8 months.


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GT Fishing Topwater game started from Japan.  There are GTs in Japan as Tokara islands hold world record but fish stock is much less; casting all day and end up having only 2-3 bites and lucky to catch 1 while majority of people/expeditions end up with no catch.  I like to land over double digits including GTs and other fishes with some surprises such as monster grouper, Sharks, sailfish, and Napoleon Fishes.


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I would like to keep the wall low for any bigginers to try GT fishing.  So we keep top brand tackles for reasonable rentals such as Carpenter, Ripplefishers, Stella, those expert models for first time try honeymooners.


Me: How did you go to the Maldives?


SA: Maldives is by far the most beautiful ocean and beach in the world.  Came for my own honeymoon and vacations when I did not restart fishing yet.  Just like the nature and country there in general.  Having worked in Indian companies going there from Japan many many times, Maldives are relatively familiar locations also.  It is not that far away compared to go remote Okinawa islands, or closer than going to remote Indonesian islands like Komodo where you need to have transit over night each of the way at Bali whereas Maldives, it is just one day for 10 hours each with very smooth transit especially with Srilanka airline.


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Me: Can you tell us about your guiding service?


SA: Last 2 years, we hosted so many customers from so many countries.  We are proud that no customers including first try honeymooners came back without catching GTs.  Size is luck and technique.  Our Captain Mohamed is probably the one of the best in the world with high sense of professionalism and punctuality.  He is importantly fantastic fisherman himself so that he knows how to approach points ideal for anglers, tuned individually for his/her capability for example for average casting range etc.


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Me: What has been your personal favorite catch?


SA: Big GTs are always fun but huge sailfish and Napoleon Fish were good surprise that I got a lot of feedback from many anglers globally.  One of photo is getting published next month!


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Me: What other species do you fish for?


SA: Already mentioned earlier with some.  Red Snapper, Groupers of many kinds, Shark (once found over 200kg/4meter long gray reef shark who ate 15kg GT first hooked on lure ended hooking to the lure after eating GT!), Napoleon, Sail Fish, Trigger Fish, Blue Fin Trevally, Yellow Fin Tuna, Dog Tooth (65kg 2 weeks ago by Scandinavian customers in Lhaviyani Atoll).  Recently started Fly Fishing tours aiming for Bone Fish, that was fairly successful in February.


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Me: What tackle is needed for GT”s?


SA: Let me share my contents from my web site:

http://www.gtfishers.com/en/user_data/fishing_tackle.php


Me: When are the peak times of year for GT’s?


SA: The beauty of Maldives is there is no OFF Season for fishing.  There is no days that we cannot go fishing with our speedboat.  Historically, large slow Dhoni boats are ones doing GT fishing.  They cannot do anything in windy weather.  But we can be very high mobility and agile to go to the points behind the winds for example.  We are only one speedboat out in seas to do fishing that fishes are not so cautious.  Better to check the Tide than Seasons for Maldives.  Important to have longer period of currents with full/newmoon big tides.

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Me: What are your fishing hopes for 2014?


SA: More diversified countries anglers to try our services.  To do so, we developed and trained agents in Thailand and Mainland China that started functioning by bringing more customers.  Denmark agents are bringing Scandinavian customers now as well as German and Polish.  If Irish anglers start coming, that would be super!

Another thing is to start producing own lures and tremble hooks. We are 80% complete now.


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Me: Thanks for your time Shin


SA: No problem Paddy

 


Sorry I had not put so much contents in English part of blog...  During this offseason, it actually turned out to be busy season and busy booking for forthcoming high season.  Also gone some expeditions ourselves.

Anyway, one interesting contents I thought about sharing is that some typical customer inquiries.  65% of inquiries ask more or less similar questions.  So let me share our recent chain of inquiry Q&A:



8/5/2013
Picture of Mark Micallef
Your a legend!

Thanks so much

I will review over the coming few days and revert to you

Cheers!

M.M.

Dear Mr. M.M,

Thanks sincerely for your inquiry and love to have comprehensive list of questions v. one line question at the time by iphone/smartphone that continues endlessly then finally end up cancelling which recently experienced with one client in Singapore.... Let me respond to each question as I myself had a lot of confusions in early days and even now!


From: M.M.
To: info@gtfishers.com
Subject: Help Needed
Date: 4 Aug 2013

Hi There

I am looking at a fishing trip to the madlives in October and came across your web site.

I need some clarification please

a) There seem to be so many islands in the Maldives so where do you charter from?
We are based in Male City Island right next to Airport Island located in southern end of North Male Atoll.  Majority of resorts are located in either North/South Male Atolls with speedboat transfer; other remote islands are for airtaxi (water landing small aircraft) or domestic air for even further locations.  We can take charters at almost any atolls or resorts/guesthouses but transferring the boat from Male requires "remote atoll fuel surcharge" that is just simply paying the fuel required to get there and come back to Male with no margin added.  Remember that speedboat engine consume huge gas compared to cars.  I think you need to get yourself familiarize with maps of Maldives and which atolls are located relative to Male etc.  You can find the map in our homepage at: https://www.gtfishers.com/en/user_data/map.php or you can google search any Maldives map images to fit your style.

b) There is a lot of talk on your web site of south or north atoll but what does that mean exactly?
By looking at map you learning which atoll is located where.  Also look at the price table in attached PDF file for "remote atoll fuel surcharge".  Much of contents of each atoll is organized somewhat in our blog at: http://gtfishersmaldives.doorblog.jp/ that help you to decide which atoll you may want to go.  South/North Male show constant results without going far or no fuel surcharge, this is good for first timers.  Some decide to go a bit further to Rasdhoo/North Ari or Vaavu/Meemu. 

c) Do we have the luxury to stay at a resort of our choosing and then the charter boat will pick us up every morning to fish and drop us back? If so where is the most convenient to do this from? South or North?
You can stay at any resorts you want and we can pick you up from our base Male or if remote atoll we find our guesthouse nearby base to service you.  Again North/South Male is convenient.  One thing to pay attention is our daily rate include the daily limit to fuel consumption up to 150 USD worth of petro including pickup/dropoff - if exceed, you are responsible to pay excess petro.  So, if some resorts are so far from our wherever the base we find, it consume more gas just for pickup/dropoff, unless you prepare the resort stays for our crews.  One more thing is that you are responsible to get resort permission to have our access to their jetty to pick you up which sometime resorts do not like it though we have never unable to pickup customers in the past 2 years of operations.

D) What about the Hilton? Is that convenient for you?
E) Is it possible to go fly fishing? or you only do spinning with lures?
Let me reply these two questions together.  Hilton is quite far away as located in Noonu Atoll with significant fuel surcharge though we can find nearby base guesthouse for our crews.  I have myself stayed twice there but I am not impressed with them especially for cost performance.  For the amount of beach villa there, I can find water villa in elsewhere.  Food is not all inclusive and a cup of noodle soup cost 25 USD - turn off.  On the other hand, if you want to do fly fishing, particularly for bone fish, our recommendation is to go Lhaviyani Atoll or Noonu Atoll.  Please check our blog about the contents: http://gtfishersmaldives.doorblog.jp/archives/28421558.html If you have 6-7 days and dedicate 2-3 days for fly fishing, you should stay at either atoll.  Personally I like Lhaviyani Atoll that you can cover Baa Atoll and perhaps Raa Atoll as well.  My research shows most of fly fisherman go to Lhaviyani Atoll.  Kuredu Island Resort - not the best but biggest resort we have our friends working so that jetty access can be arranged from our side.

F) Pricing for 7 days fishing for 2 people in early Oct. Can you help?
Again, please take a look at our price table attached.  Basically XXX USD daily x 7 days then other additional costs are based on where you are going.  I hope this is good to start planning. 

Sorry for all the questions but there seems to be some complexity in the Maldives in terms of all of the different islands and the associated logistics so just trying to get more clarity



Thanks in advance
M.M.

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As we complete our first year, we are now preparing to make another line of services - Fly Fishing

Bone Fish in particular has been very popular targets for Salt Fly Fishermen.  We have been receiving several inquiries about this and started making some research and now we are working with Japanese and Denmark Agents to start our new services of Fly Fishing.

First of all, we have found that A Few Northern Atolls have the most concentration of Bone Fish and several anglers have mostly tried in those atolls.  In our last GT Fishing Expedition, we have seen so many bone fishes just around the Resort we stayed.  Our Japan Agent Mr. Kashiwagi of Free Ride Anglers took exploration expedition in 2009.

https://www.worldfishing.co.jp/record2.php?i=60

We have learned that some German, Malaysians, and other countries' anglers have gone there also on a periodical manner. 

Bone Fish, it is mostly sight fishing that you need to find the groups of fishes.  Then again, going with slow Dhoni becomes a problem to run fast from one point/island to another to find those fishes.  Thoese fishes seem to migrate many different locations; so we have to find where they are TODAY!  Speedboat can do much better on that than 5 knot dhoni which cannot even approach the island to land to the shore.

So our aim is to revolutionalize the bone fish fishing and other fly fishing in the area.

Bone fish flying destinations elsewhere has been rather far and expensive.  We believe we can offer significantly cheaper fishing with better access from the most of countries.  For example, for Japanese, Bone Fish expedition is Christmas Island (11 day journey starting from Monday, corporate people unfriendly..), Bahama, Seychelle, New Caledonia - all very far and expensive destinations.  Maldives can be cheaper alternative destination with shorter days required. 

Next challenge is that there is no budget guesthouses in those Atolls...    So we are now planning to make 3 room guesthouse ourselves.  Our local managing director moved his family to Male from this area for child middle education.  So we have one house available and empty.  All we have to do is to clean up and install aircondition units.  We think we can offer somewhere far cheaper accommodation than staying at Resorts around.  This way, we can contain the budget of expedition quite low rather than staying at resorts for 3-400 USD per night.  We can transport the customers with our boat also if seaplane is additional 3-400 USD per peson for roundtrip with unpredictable time.  It is only 2-2.5 hours to transport from Male Airport, assuming seas are not overly rough for global warming!

Anyway, please wait for a bit and we will soon report our first expedition.  If you are interested in, you can contact us or our Fly Fishing Passionate agent Thomas at GetAway Tours

http://www.getawaytours.eu/about/index.php

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Guesthouses are good and low budget alternatives to resorts in Maldives today.  We have served quite a few customers with Guesthouse package to our fishing charter services.  Guesthouses can be as low as, or lower than 50 USD per night per person.  On the other hand, Resorts are anything from 4-500 USD or more; Water Villa may be from 1,000 USD upward.

Let us be realistic.  We fishermen go out on sea from 7 or 8am until sunset.  We cast 3-400 times of 150g lures and fighting with 30-50kg giant fishes all day under brutal sun without shadow.  If I do that 7 days straight, I am exhausted.  Then what do we expect after fishing at night until next morning we go back to fishing?  Nice shower, simple but energizing meal, and good sleep.  I personally cannot drink any alchohol during my fishing expedition even though other times I finish a bottle of red wine by myself every day.  Question then is do we want to pay 600 USD per night plus expensive meal at luxary restaurant at resort?  Probably No. 

If you come with family or honeymoon, Sure!

Guesthouses in Maldives are mostly new and clean while at home hospitality that I like while being exposed to the local life.  We have a selection of local restaurants with local cuisins for a few dollars.

One issue for some people maybe that alchohol is not allowed outside of resort hotels.  Guesthouses thus do not serve alchohol.  However, there are some solutions like visiting nearby resort hotels.

There are several locations we can find guesthouses:

1. Hulehumale - Airport Island
It is ideal for transit before next morning domestic flight or seaplane move, or speedboat to Ari or Rasdhoo Atoll.  Only 5-10 minutes car ride after long interntional night arrival flights.  Male City, on the other hand, there are some hotels available but rather rated a bit high especially at high season.  Boat transportation though it is close is a bit troubling and clouded.  Some people stay in Hulehumale throughout the whole tour which is the most budget way to fishing.  As other blog contents say, we can do a lot of good fishing  in North and South Male; Hulehumale is good base location to do that.  If you feel like occasional drink, you can always to to airport hotel Hulehule by taxi for 5 minutes!

2. Maafushi Island in South Male Atoll
Another popular destinations that you can transport after night arrival by speedboat.  A lot of local life flavour with culture.  Many guesthouses are available.  Speedboat takes you there within 30 min or less if ocean is not rough.  Many restaurants available also.  Some guesthouses are facing the beach.  As also mentioned in other blog contents, perhaps you can try Shore Fishing which no resorts allow such.  Some hundred of dollars are required for speedboat transfer unless you take public ferry transportation that takes hours.

3. Rasdhoo Atoll
Rasdhoo is an atoll located on the north of Ari Atoll.  Most of Ari resorts require seaplane transfer but it is only one hour speedboat transfer.  Problem of seaplane or airtaxi is that you never know what time till the day before and always not most preferred or convenient time that limits your fishing time.  We can take our speedboat in the morning after transit night at Hulehumale guesthouse.  (We do not go during the night).  This Rasdhoo Guesthouse is the ideal base for Ari, and you can extend your coverage up to Baa Atoll with extra fuel.  We had several over 50kg GTs last year.  Please check other blog contents specific to those areas.

4. Vaavu Atoll also has a guesthouse.

5. Gaafu Dhaalu, Gaafu Alif, Noonu atolls all have guesthouses.  Today we are serving Italian anglers going to Lhaviyani.  Lhaviyani has not guesthouses so that we arranged Home Stay with our home's guestrooms while offering half board services with home cooking!  Anway we have a pretty comprehensive list of guesthouses and low budget resorts.  Please inquire anytime!

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Dhoni Fishing Safari has been a popular GT fishing method for over a decade in Maldives.  In fact, it was Only Way till we launched our Speedboat into GT fishing in Maldives.  During the high season from November to March, our Dhoni Hariyana is 100% booked; this is how popular it is.

Fishing from Sun Rise to Sun Set, bottomfishing at night, Full Board with plenty of drinks (Dhoni is considered as "Resort" so alchol drinks are allowed), party with you friends up to 10-12 on board, Fishing Safari on Dhoni has own ways of fun and luxuary.  If you have 6-10 pax, per person cost becomes very reasonable that is another advantage!

Dhoni has its disadvantage also that speed is only up to 9 knot so that coverage everyday can be very small.  For example, it takes over 3.5 hours from Male to Rasdhoo Atoll to transport by Hariyana (faster than some other dhonis, by the way), while speedboat can be there in 30-45 minutes.  Approach to the point can be not so delicate as its big body and speed so that fishermen may often face strong winds against while speedboat can easily go to the head of wind in a minute or two and distance to the pin-point to cast, you can very carefully navigate in details.

Fishing safari can be some good family vacation also.  Every year we receive some nice family with kids to charter Hariyana for a week or weeks to go around Maldives for different atolls.  Fishing, Surfing, Diving, you can do it all.

Speedboat, on the other hand, has its own limitations as well.  Petro consumption is so unbelivable.  Last customers in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll daily consumed 300 litters a day!  Now gas price is about 1.3 USD per litter.  You do the mass and find out how expensive that gets.  We usually do within 150 litters or less to cover quite large area.  You can still choose to run so fast like dring over 250km/hr on highway with your sports car that consumes your gas more than twice for the same distance, right?!  Another limitation is the size.  Size is ideal but limit the number of fishermen.  2-3 is the best comfort.  1 seems a bit too spoilt.  4 is tight but possible.  5 - need to take turn.  This is our experience with 32ft Magic Life speedboat. 

After we have operated our operation as GT Fishers Maldives to mainly market and introduce our superior services to the market for a year now, we are receiving new types of interests.  4-8 days of bundle fishing trip between Dhoni Hariyana and Speedboat Magic Life.  The idea is to take the advantages of both worlds.  Have 6-8 fishermen make group and travel with Dhoni for 4-8 days around different atolls.  3-4 people take turn for taking speedboat while the rest fish from mother boat of Dhoni.  At the end of the day, come back to dhoni to party over dinner and drink then sleep, or fish at night also.  This way, per person cost is very resonable and you can cover large areas and differnet atolls.  Speedboat will not spend as much gas as it needs not go back to the same resort/guesthouse but moving mother boat; usually dhoni follow the speedboat and catch up by the end of each day while speedboat approaches different points around the new areas and destination.  If between Atoll channel, Dhoni can transport during the night so that morning you can fish in new atoll as soon as sun rises. 

Some interesting fact I have learned: why 4-8 days - so different.  It is chracteristics of nationality.  European fishermen tend to be very savvy with budget while taking many days for holiday to enjoy long fishing vacation.  On the other hand, Japanese fishermen working in corporations have hard time taking long holidays so that most common vacation journey is 6 days; 2 days for travel and 4 days of fishing.  If you think carefully, it makes very little sense that if you take 6 days vacation including 2 day weekend .... -- if you take one more day of paid vacation then you can streatch your vacation for 9 days, from one weekend starting on Saturday to next weekend's Sunday.  However, it is cultural behavior that Japanese feel inplicit pressure not to take vacation more than a week.  If you are gone over one entire week, there is no place for you to come back to in your work and company!  Practically 1 business day should not matter like that unless some peak time that you would not take any vacation to begin with.  Well what can I say, it is the way it is.  Living in Japan myself for a while and do not care for such while surviving,. I cannot change the behavior of 130 million other people living there.  It is not so related to fishing but thought worth sharing for just interesting fact.  Europeans are much more practical and pragmatic that all Japanese respect and envy!!

Another intereting fact I have learned about Maldives is that most of owners of Dhonis are all from Kurendhoo - Eastern region of Lhaviyani Atoll.  GT Fishers Maldives Partner Hameed and Captain Mohamed are both from Kurendhoo also.  So if you see other Dhoni in port or sea, we definitely know who own and work in those dhonis.  They are either family or friends from neighbors.  So if we run out of ice or drinks (or beer?!), we can just ask our friends in Dhoni to share with us!  We are very friendly people and know everyone!

Anyway, Hariyana just completed Full Renovation last November for this high season!  Looking good, right?!

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