Trip Report - Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India
At the beginning of December I was preparing for the trip of a lifetime. A friend of mine is a guide in the Andaman Archipelago in India for two months each year. For years he has invited me to come out and I finally found the time and money. The target species was Giant Trevally and we were going to popping and jigging for them with heavy gear. I was insanely excited until....I saw this on the news....
The cyclone seemed like it did some pretty serious damage to the area. I talked to my guide friend and he had decided to postpone his arrival until January. I also seriously thought about cancelling but I didn't think I would be able to get the time off again. So I took an insane gamble and decided to roll with it! CAUTION: Lots of pictures!
We arrived in Mumbai and had a 16hr layover so we decided to do some sightseeing.
After 36hrs of travel, our first view of our final destination from the ferry, Havelock Island. *A note on the ferry, when in India DO NOT buy the lowest fare on the ferry, spend the extra 200 rupees (~$3 ) and get the "Executive Class". Your soul will thank you! We stood on the top deck the whole trip because the bottom deck was a hot, windowless, crowded, death trap.
Finally checked in to our accommodation.
This little guy was waiting for us in the door jamb.
As my friend couldn't make it, we organized a trip with a friend of his, Qutub, who runs Capt. Hook Sportfishing. I couldn't wait to try to catch something so I tried casting a line from shore with no luck. I went to sleep praying the cyclone hadn't destroyed everything.
When we arrived at the dock in the morning I was pleasantly surprised. Qutub had a top tier boat waiting for us. He had the hull special ordered from Dubai and assembled it on the island. It was by far the best sport fishing vessel on the island.
The captain swore bananas were good luck. I was skeptical but let him keep them anyways.
We ran about 30mins to an island just south of Havelock and the captain spotted bait over reef. On my first cast a GT exploded on my 5oz popper but the hit took me by surprise and the fish was off after a couple of minutes due to my lackluster hookset.
I soon got another chance though!
My first was to be the biggest and strongest of the day. It's truly amazing how strong these fish are. We were fishing very tight drags to keep them away from the reef. Even a small one has no problem pulling like off a reel with 25lbs of drag.
I had to take a quick breath after the first fish.
Just a quick breath though, the fish were around and needed catching!
Bananas seem to be working!
We fished some truly beautiful coastline and reef breaks.
All fish seem to like the popper. Including this delicious jobfish, my favorite! We kept this guy for dinner.
At 11am the guide told us it was lunch time. Truthfully, I wasn't really ready to stop fishing but the provided a welcome energy boost!
Last edited by kanvery; 01-06-2017 at 10:27 AM.
After lunch the rain started to move in. I was concerned at first but that concern subsided as my girlfriend and I got a double as the rain started. (Tiny Bonito on the popper!)
We stayed on that spot for a bit and picked up a couple more fish.
We started to head in around 3pm (Its dark around 4pm on these islands). On the way back it was low tide and we casted at some excellent drop-offs. It was very similar to casting for largemouth along a grassline...except stronger fish. These were my last couple of fish for the day. The last one was bleeding and clearly not going to live so it went home with the captain.
Wow! That's awesome! From the food pictures to the fish and even the Bananas! LOL
Thank you for sharing!
We decided to try again the next day for a couple of hours from one of Qutub's much slower boats. We had tons of blowups but only brought a couple of fish to the boat. We went through some amazing mangroves where I am told big grouper and coral trout hang out. Qutub is working on getting kayaks there to fish from. I will be back next year for that!
This is one of the boats loaner setups. I had never seen this long cast version of a Spinfisher in person! Admittedly, I do not think it's the best tool for this type of fishing but it's great for new fisherman.
All in all a great trip we had some amazing food and fun exploring the island. All of our fish were 20-35lbs. We couldn't find the 70-90lb monsters that are lurking around but I can't wait to get back! It is such an incredible fishery. The shore fishing opportunities are very good too when it is not just after a cyclone. If anyone is interested in doing this trip next year (January) just contact me!
BONUS FOOD PICTURES!! Ohhh the food!
This ugly thing is Bombay Duck.
This is what Bombay Duck looks like fried up. A little gelatinous but tasty!
The food on the ferry home. We opted for the higher class and got this little lunchbox!