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Nick Bowles

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Hallaniyat Islands Information
July 17, 2011, 07:00:08 PM
We have finally got to the end of our last season and have been working towards getting our boats and equipment sorted out and ready for the coming season, which we will start in September in Musandam and October in Southern Oman due to the the Monsoon (locally called Khareef) blowing and making conditions a bit tough down South. We are now focusing on the new season and I have had a lot of queries regarding Southern Oman and asking for details on the trips, operators, logistics, equipment etc. So below is some information on what we will be doing. It should be an awesome season and we are really looking forward to getting back on the water! HIT IT!!

Ocean Active Introduction
Ocean Active was formed in 2003 in Dubai due to the lack of decent fishing information, services and products in the region. Over the years Ocean Active has grown into the first sportsfishing company in the Middle East offering an end to end service and products to clients. We were lucky to discover GTs in Oman and introduced popping/jigging to the region in 2006 and put fishing and popping in Oman onto the map. Before this there was very little information about GTs in this region and even less equipment to target them. Since then we have worked hard to build up a huge amount of knowledge fishing throughout Oman from North to South both shore based and offshore. We also specialise in flyfishing, jigging and offshore fishing and over the last few years have introduced new techniques and styles of fishing into the local market to help build up a new sportsfishing industry in the region.

Ocean Active offers guided trips to some of the best fishing areas in the region and abroad which include Maldives, Seychelles, Mozambique, Zambia and USA. Additionally we will be offering a range of new trips over the coming season to include Rompin, Andaman Islands, Kenya, Zanzibar, Egypt and Yemen.

Ocean Active runs charters in Dubai, Fujairah, Musandam Oman and Hallaniyat Islands Southern Oman. All our guides and captains are IGFA and RYA qualified Yachtmaster Captains and trained to captain boats up to 200tons. This includes STCW95 first aid, VHF Radio and Sea Survival. In the areas we fish there is little or no help if you have a problem and the guides and captains have to be well trained to ensure the best possible chance of a good resolution to any problems. All the captains and guides have a very high level of experience both with boats and fish. They have a wealth of information and can help fisherman of any level catch a trophy fish.

We opened up our first specialty Fishing Shop in the Dubai Garden Center on Sheikh Zayed Road in December 2010. The shop offers a wide range of products which include popping, jigging, flyfishing, offshore and a range of accessories and apparel. Ocean Active online shop will be available in October 2011.

Over the years Ocean Active have found new fishing destinations and seen some amazing things happen. Over the last couple of years Ocean Active has been involved in filming a range of TV shows called Off the Charts which shows some truly amazing places. We will be filming the new series in UAE/Oman over the coming season and will be working with local Government Ministries to promote education, regulations, seasons and best fishing practices in these remote areas to ensure fish stocks are maintained for generations to come.

Oman Introduction
Many centuries before the country of Oman was formed, Muscat, its current capital, was a prosperous trading center and an influential regional city. Located on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman occupies a strategic position at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Shortly after Qaboos bin Said Al Said replaced his father (in 1970) and took control of the country, this ancient land gained its complete independence. Among needed changes, the new sultan's priorities were social changes, as well as the modernization of the infrastructure and the improvement of its established oil industry. Then, in the early 1980s, this long closed country (for visitors and western businesses) opened its doors to the outside world and to tourism. Oman is now one of the most hospitable countries with a rich tradition and culture that is warm and welcoming.

But it is the little known Hallaniyat Islands in Southern Oman in the Dhofar region that is Oman?s best-kept secret. The Islands are alive with animals both above and below the surface and the modern world has not yet reached this little paradise. The Islands have a stark beauty that takes your breath away and is something that will remain in your memory for many years to come.

The Hallaniyat Islands rise up from the seabed from a depth of over 2000m up to great mountains looming above the sea. It is this environment along with the mysterious currents and climates that make this place so unique. There is an abundance of sea life that starts at the bottom of the food chain up to apex predators that seem to grow to Jurassic proportions, that make this one of the best GT destinations on the planet.

The Hallaniyat Islands is an extreme environment and is one of the reasons that there is such a diverse amount of sea life. There is deep water pushing up into shallow reef bottle necking between two islands that make for some of the most exciting and physically demanding fishing. The big GTs roam the shallow water looking for anything to eat and when they come up for the lures they come hard and fast and will break any equipment that is not up to the grade.

This is truly one of the last frontiers of fishing and will hopefully be preserved and managed for many years to come. It is a rare privilege to experience the Hallaniyat Islands and Oman in all its true glory. It leaves you with a feeling that you have experienced something really special and that old world places and values still exist.

Ocean Active has been running fishing charters and trips in Oman for the last 8 years and has a wealth of experience throughout Oman. There are several different environments in Oman and species to target. The Musandam in the North and Hallaniyat Islands in the South are two very unique destinations that offer some of the best GT fishing in the World. The Hallaniyat Islands have made a big impact on the fishing community with the shear number of huge GTs caught.

Hallaniyat Islands is a hardcore and extreme destination. This trip is not for the faint hearted and physically challenging. This is what GT Popping is all about! The equipment we suggest is heavy duty and listed out in our equipment list. But we don?t suggest anything less than 100lbs braid and 220lbs leaders. You will be fishing shallow reefs between 2-8m and there are no drop offs so there is no possibility to truck and trailer a fish. You have to rely on your own strength and the boat skill of one of the Ocean Active Guides to get the fish to the boat.

For the lures, poppers seem to work best and in the 170gr+ range. We have found that the 180gr Ocean Active Cubera Poppers worked well as they pop well and hold the surface well. When the sea conditions are rough then we have found that stickbaits do work. We have used the 200gr Ocean Active Ulua which worked well with heavier hooks to hold the surface. Colour wise silver, red, pink, orange and blue have all worked well.

Terminal tackle is extremely important and we have opened up almost every hook we have tried but we have found that due to the shear size of the fish we have had to try use the biggest hooks possible for when the fish are hitting and holding onto the lures and no matter how had you strike the fish the hooks don't set! Hooks we suggest are Decoy, Gama GT Recorders, Owner ST76 and Owner ST66. Split rings minimum 250lbs, swivels minimum 350lbs.

We have used a range of rods and this is personal preference and also dependent on body size and fitness level but the rods we suggest are heavy duty rods to be able to handle the large lures required and also able to put the hurt on the fish when required. Rods we suggest are Saltywater Race Point, Carpenter Wild Violence, Smith Tokara, Fisherman 82RS and Shimano Deep Monster.

We would also suggest bringing a heavy jigging rod to target fish on the jig like Grouper, GTs, Amberjack, Cobia etc. The jigs we would suggest 200gr+ and any of the Shout, Fisherman, Deep Liner etc jigs will work.

The primary target species are the GTs but there is a whole range of fish to target which include off shore and around the islands Amberjack, Grouper, Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado, Wahoo, Kingfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Blacktip Trevally, Yellow Dot Trevally, Queenfish, Cobia and many more species.

We suggest bringing a light popping/spinning rod along the lines of a Smith KGS70MH, Saltywater Race Point 72 (Launching November 2011). These rods can be used for the smaller species and can also be used in-shore if weather is not good enough to get out the islands. When we fish inshore we are targeting bream, bluefish, emperor, dorado, queenfish, trevally, grouper, cobia. The inshore fishing is really great fun and well worth trying. The night fishing is also good fun for rays, sandsharks and sharks. These can get up to 100kgs and require a heavy-duty surf casting rod.

The easiest way to get to Southern Oman is to fly into Dubai and then transfer to another flight and fly to Salalah in Southern Oman. From the airport in Salalah we will arrange a pick up for the group and drive 3 hours to the villa in Shuwayamiah.

For visas most nationalities receive an Omani Visa on arrival but please make sure you check visa requirements for your nationality.

The accommodation is good and basic. There are 4 double rooms each with A/C and ceiling fans. All meals at the villa are served by a cook and usually will be fresh fish that we have caught for the day or Arabic style cooking which is enjoyable and tasty! Meals on the boat are packed lunches with fruit, meal, chocolates etc to ensure that you keep going for the day!

Very Important
You will be traveling to a very remote area so please make sure that you have all of your required equipment, medications, supplies etc. The closest supermarket is 3 hours away so if you have forgotten something it may be very hard to get.

The villa that we use is also in a very traditional fishing village and the local culture and heritage is always respected at all times. This includes no alcohol in the village and also being careful with things like taking pictures, talking to the opposite sex and language. This is an old traditional place with a very friendly culture and safe. But there culture may differ from yours and you are a visitor so please respect the area, fish and people.

For any additional information required please contact me.
Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 11:17:57 PM by Amr Kehila