St Brandon Blog: 23 May – 2 June 2017
Our last trip of the season had arrived and with it a group of 6 guests extremely excited to be with us! The seventh member of the group was Justin who had fished with us on the 9 -19 May 2017 trip and had stayed and fished on the atoll with the guides during the off period. Justin had enjoyed some great fishing during this time, landing a further two Permit despite having a hook pull on a particularly large fish. We were excited to get going and once we had our new friends settled into the guest house, we prepped their gear and began planning for another great 7 days of skinny water wade fishing.
The action kicked off on day one with some excellent Bonefish fishing on the low tide. There were many Bones out on the flats and the guests landed good numbers, Justin and Danie each landing beautiful 8lb specimens. There were also large amounts of big Bluefin Trevally around the atoll and the guests enjoyed many shots at these impressive predators. Riaan and Mike landed big fish, beautiful specimens measuring 74cm and 70cm respectively. The fish of the day was however Danie’s 78cm (16lb) Bluefin Trevally, caught while a pack of these fish were harassing and eating a school of Goatfish. Congrats Danie! There were also shots at the atolls’ larger and more elusive Giant Trevally but sadly no takers this time round.
The second day brought with it a new sense of anticipation among the guests after the stories of the previous day had been shared around the dinner table. The Bonefishing continued where it had left off, with aproximately 70 Bonefish coming to hand, the average size a very impressive 6lb. Denton and Pieter managed some larger fish when they landed a 7lb and 8lb fish respectively. Great fish anywhere in the world! The Bluefin were on the bite again, Riaan landed a decent 70cm fish and Mike continuing where he left off when he stuck a 72cm Bluefin. The Permit were around in good numbers as well and there were many shots to be had. Justin (who is a serious Permit angler) hooked two but unfortunately one came unstuck. He did however keep his cool after the disappointment and shortly after landed a beautfiful 5lb fish. Justin was racking up an impressive Permit tally during his stay with us!
The weather sadly turned sour on us during Day 3, with low light and high winds being the order of the day. These low light conditions can however lead to some amazing fishing for large Bonefish and the big guys were certainly out and about, despite conditions making it a challenge to get the casts where they needed to be. The rough weather did little to deter this eager group, everyone enjoying some tricky yet rewarding Bonefishing. Danie and Ben both landing 7lb fish, whilst Riaan brought in a beautifully conditioned 8lb. There were shots at Permit as well but no red caps were dished out that evening.
The weather settled on the fourth day, our guests enjoying some exceptional skinny water Bonefishing. The weather from the previous day had brought with it some icy cold water and this got the Bones feeding aggressively. In excess of 50 Bonefish in skinny water were landed by the guys, the average size a very credible 6lb. Peter, Ben and Danie all landing fish of 7lb. No monsters but the image of chunky fish slinking their way onto the flat in ankle deep water certainly left an impression. Justin who was fishing almost exclusively for Permit got stuck into some more opportunities and converted his 4th fish for the week. Superb angling!
The incredible Bonefishing continued on Day 5 with some larger bones coming to hand. The fishing was fairly technical but very rewarding in the super skinny water and considering we landed over 70 fish at an average of 6.5lb it was a day not to be sneezed at that’s for sure! Justin continued to show his angling skill and experience landing Bonefish of 8.5lb & 9lb as well as his 5th Permit for the week, the 8lb fish coming right in the death and close to the lodge!
Day 6 was full of action, our guests enjoying multiple shots at Permit and the large Giant Trevally. This was also the best Bonefishing day of the week with the guests enjoying some of the finest skinny water fishing this planet has to offer. Everyone got well and truly stuck in and in the end we had wracked up 83 Bonefish before the sun had sunk below the horizon. It’s hard not to get numb when dealing with the numbers and impressive sizes of our fish, but when you think about it, where else in the world can you experience Bonefishing of this calibre on a regular basis? It is just insane!
Sadly our last day did not match up with the previous, tough light and some warmer flats water making things trickier than usual. That said, there was some extremely exciting and technical Bonefish fishing on offer. We landed 20 fish during the day, some of which were particular memorable as they required some spot on presentation and careful wading. Judging by our guests reactions, it was clear they had enjoyed the day nonetheless but were sad to be leaving.
And so ends our early 2017 season on the atoll. It’s always a sad occasion, but looking back we had enjoyed a great season, with exceptional Bonefish and Permit angling. We had also danced with our friends the Trevally, including some monster Bluefin and barn door size GT’s, including the 127cm & the 128cm fish. It was just another incredible season, the level of fishing providing further evidence why St Brandon ranks as one of the finest fisheries on the planet. Thank you to all our guests this past season for their adventurous spirit and the time we spent on the water together. We are counting the days until the 18th of Sept later this year!
The St Brandon Guide Team