St Brandon’s Blog: 31 Oct – 7 Nov 2017
St Brandon’s Blog: 31 Oct -10 Nov 2017
The high winds and rain which we had experienced on the atoll leading up to our final trip of the season had hung around the atoll for the first day with our new guests. This made spotting fish more difficult than normal which was disappointing as there were some good Bonefish present. We did however still manage to land in excess of 35 fish with an average size of 6.5lb, which got the guys eyes in and their reels screaming. The numbers of Bluefin Trevally around was however the highlight, the pushing tide being particularly productive. Austin Harris capitalized on some of the bigger fish hunting and landed a huge Bluefin measuring 80cm. It was a sign of things to come!
Day 2 thankfully brought sunny skies and much calmer conditions. We enjoyed some good Bonefishing during our morning session, the group landing 40 fish averaging 6lb. The big Bones for the day went to Guy Gardiner who landed two 8lb fish and an 8.5lb specimen, whilst the biggest was landed by Iain Abercrombie who caught a tank 9lb fish. The Bluefin were around in large numbers and many of the guests got well and truly stuck in. There were many Permit shots had cross various areas of the atoll. Austin Harris hooked and unfortunately lost his first Indo Pacific Permit, showing again how tough these fish can be to catch. Charles Brooks however made the most of his chance and landed a beautiful 11.5lb Permit that was snaking down a sand depression on the most famous flat on St. Brandon’s. Well done on your first Indo- Pacific Permit Charles, it’s a special moment!
The Bones were out in good numbers on Day 3 and the clients all got stuck into some good numbers of fish, over 35 fish were landed during the day at an average of just over 6.5lb. The largest Bone for the day went to Graham Watt and James De Penning who both landed 8.5lb specimens. The Atoll’s Permit were out in good numbers once again with 2 being hooked during the day. Richard Smithers unfortunately lost his fish but Iain Abercrombie managed to land his first Indo with a solid 8lb fish caught on a coral ridge on the Eastern edge of the Atoll. The Trevally action was just getting better and better as the week continued and this was evident in the number of Bluefin seen smashing bait around the high water areas. The Bluefin of the day undoubtedly went to James De Penning who landed a monstrous 83cm fish that pushed aside all the smaller fish in the school it was cruising with to crush the fly. That was not the only impressive trevally to be landed on the day though as Charles Brooks, who continued his great run and landed an 80cm GT that was sitting just off a coral garden in ambush. A GT is always a special fish and to catch a GT on St Brandon’s is even more impressive.
As the fourth day rolled on the guests were all well and truly into the swing of things and this was evident by the number of fish landed during the day. The Bonefish were landed in good numbers as in excess of 35 fish at an average of 6lb came to hand. There were some great Permit shots had as well with Graham Watt making the most of his shots by landing his first Indo Pacific Permit, a respectable 6lb fish that beat a hungry Bonefish to the fly. The trevally fishing was in full swing with some of the guests enjoying shots at some very large GTs but the fish had the final say. The Bluefin Trevally seemed to be everywhere on the atoll with large numbers of these apex predators being hooked and landed throughout the day. Austin Harris came out on top with the largest Bluefin of the day, a solid 73cm bruiser.
The great Bonefishing continued into day 5 as the clients collectively caught around 35 fish in the 6.5lb bracket. The Bluefin Trevally fishing went from great to phenomenal. It seemed as though any area that would hold bait on the high water also held large numbers of big, hungry Bluefin. This was evident when in one session during the afternoon – on only one of the islands 22 of these lighting fast fish were hooked. Many of them got the better of the anglers but there were still some great numbers of fish brought to hand. Graham Watt landed the largest for the day with his 73cm goat fish eating machine.
Day 6 would prove to be a very special day indeed. There was some incredible skinny water Bone fishing to be had during the morning low and pushing tide. The insane Bluefin Trevally were around again as all the clients got stuck into great numbers. One angler in particular, Charles Brooks landed around 15 of these brutes by himself during the day, all in the 65cm-80cm range. The day was however capped off with a truly amazing effort from Graham Watt who managed to get the first Grand Slam on St Brandon’s in 4 years. Graham landed a few Bones during the morning, the biggest being 7lb. During the push he was fishing around a coral ridge when his guide spotted a GT cruising the edge towards him. Graham cast out his popper fly ahead of the fish and with 2 pops the GT ate. A few minutes and some muscle aching runs later the fish was landed, a beast 94cm GT. Some great photos were taken before the fish was sent back on its way. About 20 minutes passed before Graham’s guide jokingly said all he needed now was a permit and low and behold the fish appeared ahead of a small pod of Bonefish. Graham stuck a cast out to the right of the fish and with Bluefin-like aggression the fish engulfed the fly. A nervous fight ensued and eventually the fish was landed and the Grand Slam confirmed. Graham also caught a few large Bluefin during the day so you could almost say he got a super slam. Very well done Graham, a Grand Slam is a rare thing and something you are sure to treasure for a very long time!
The last day of the season brought with it some tough conditions as low light, rain and wind was the order of the day. There were shots at some very large GTs that unfortunately were not converted. There was still some good Bone fishing to be had by the guests. Although the last day was tough, the fishing that was had during the week was incredible. This will definitely be one week to remember, not just for the guides but also for all the guests who joined us out on this wild place.
This brought an end to another cracking season out on St. Brandon’s. There were some incredible moments during the season that will not soon be forgotten. We all look forward to March when we will be heading out for another season on this very special place. Till then tight lines and screaming reels to everyone.
The St Brandon’s Guide Team
Tags: Bluefin Trevally, Bonefish, Flats Fishing, Fly Fishing, FlyCastaway, G.Loomis Fly Rods, Giant Trevally, Permit, Sight Fishing, St Brandon, Wade Fly Reels, Wild Coolers