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Padraic Clear

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GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 03, 2018, 05:32:33 AM
So our much anticipated trip finally came after a year of planning. Our group of four made the long trip from the Ireland to the Andaman Islands via Dubai and Chennai. We arrived in Port Blair and and were transported to Gameshing Asia's guest house. We were greeted with a warm welcome by Prathap, Darren and the rest of the Gamefishing Asia team who set about organising our fishing permits and talking us through the plan for the week. Being our first GT trip we were eager to learn and absorb as much advice as we could before we went fishing. We were giving advice on lure rigging and received demonstrations on the fg knot. It wasn't long before we had our first casualty of the week with Steve impaling himself on a barbed treble hook which required some in-house surgery ;D ;D Having removed the hook the guys from GFA brought him to a nearby hospital to receive a tetanus shot.
Day one we set out to some local grounds as a warm up for the week ahead. Our skipper Kanta drove us to a number of different marks as we got accustomed to casting and working our poppers. We tried several lures without success when Steve put on a huge ebay special. Most of us including the skipper were laughing at this until Steve hooked into the first fish of the trip which gave him a great scrap. He boated the first fish of the trip a 15kg GT. We were all instantly pepped up with the sight of Steve's fish. Following on from this Neil landed 3 fish to 30kgs and I landed a nice jobfish. We finished the day with some jigging landing 15 fish between us with a mix of GTs, jobfish and a small doggy. I had some great sport landing my first GT on a PE3 jigging setup. Not massive but great fun on light tackle. A successful first day.
The following day we traveled further and after an hour an a half we were at our first mark fishing against the backdrop of one of the beautiful islands. Neil hooked and landed a small GT straight away his red cubera doing the business once again. We island hopped over throughout the day however the fish remained illusive until out of the blue Neil and Steve were into a double hook up of what appeared to be better fish. Steve landed a fish about 20kgs followed by Neils monster estimated at 47kgs. It was an amazing sight to see such a huge fish and it was far bigger then what we had imagined we'd catch on the trip. I finished the day with a small gt and my first bluefin trevally which was one of my target species for the trip. The fishing over the next 3 days amplified with more fish coming to our lures as we refined our techniques. We averaged 30-40 GTs a day for the next 3 days and lost plenty as well. I had a double GT on a white and red cubera followed by a GT and coral trout double the following day. Steve hooked into a good fish which made a run for the prop. After 5 minutes of grunting and expletives Steve landed his best fish a 40kg+ GT. Needless to say Steve was a very happy man. I had a nice Bohar Snapper which was another species on my wish list. At this stage I was getting hungry for a big fish but it seemed like I wasn't getting the luck after dropping one or two biggies. The rest of the guys had caught some nice fish with both Steve and Neil breaking the 40kg mark. I would have been happy with a 30kg plus fish but my luck finally came in on day four when my popper was engulfed at the side of the boat. This fish was making some serious dives and changed sides under the boat a number of times before it finally surfaced. Kanta called for the net and I prayed it would stay on. Safely in the net I was relieved an exhausted. Even better the skipper took out the measure informing me it was over 40kgs. After taking a few quick snaps and releasing it I sat down to let it all soak in. It was confirmed later that the fish was 44kgs my largest fish to date :).
We had more big fish on the fifth day with Neil landing another gt about 42kgs on a black Kokari popper. We managed to get all hooked up simultaneously landing four fish between 20-30kgs on one drift. We were all tiring at this stage and the work in the gym before the trip was definitely needed. We we hooking into monsters one of which had me doubled over the gunnel as it ran under the boat before bending out the GT recorder treble. Neil and Sean both had break offs on 170lb leader as the tail fluks appeared to have severed the leader. As i was landing a small GT a huge shape appeared behind it right at the boat a massive white tipped shark. I having taken a few unsuccessful swipes at the GT I managed to pull the fish into the boat out of harms way.
By the final day we were all exhausted and agreed to pop for 2 hours and spend the rest of the day jigging followed by a swim to a nearby island. The fishing was noticeably slower however this didn't stop Neil who landed the biggest fish of the trip estimated at 50kgs on a FCL Labo Ebipop. As Neil was playing this Sean was also into the action. Sean had lost some big fish but was determined to land this one. Another brute successfully landed the skipper estimated this one to be close to 40kgs Sean's biggest fish of the trip. We hadn't anymore action on the poppers after this and went jigging which was very patchy. Kanta kept moving to find new ground we had some small GTs and small barracuda but had a number of bite offs due to some big doggies none of which we managed to land. Hooking on my PE3 setup and small jig was surreal but eventually it wore through the leader. Steve finished the trip with a lip hooked white tip shark which took his jig. We ended the day with a swim from the boat to a beach on one of the islands before returning back to Port Blair. That evening we relaxed sharing stories over beers with what was a trip of a lifetime. We had landed over 130 GTs as well as several other species over the six days.
I'd like to give a special thanks to Gamefishing Asia for making such a memorable trip come through. The guys were so helpful and the food and service in the guesthouse was second to none. I'm definitely hoping to return.
I'd also like to thank Terry from Jigabite who gave us loads of advice before the trip as well as the forum members who provided lots of valuable information on the right lures and equipment to use.
Setups
Rods: Racepoint 200, 250, Shimano Jig Wrex, Outer Banks Jigging Rods, Daiwa Saltiga Hiramasa 58HS
Reels: Shimano Stella 14000 & 5000, Shimano Twinpower 14000,
Shimano Saragosa 10000 & 20000.
Line: Varivas Avani GT Max PE8, Jerry Brown solid 100lb, Varivas Avani Jigging PE3.
Lures: Darkstar and Heru Cubera 125 & 150, Orion Cono Cono 160, Kokari popper 160, Steve's ebay special, FCL Labo Ebipop 130
Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:34:32 AM by Padraic Clear

Chris Dennis

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 03, 2018, 07:56:49 PM
Once again the Andamans delivers. Great report of a fantastic maiden Gt trip with some solid fish.

Darran is a sound guy. All being well i'll be back in the Andsmans at some point in the not too distant future.

Padraic Clear

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 06, 2018, 01:37:38 AM
Thanks Chris and thanks for your advice on the Andamans it came in really useful  ;)
Yes Darren is so helpful and really knows his fishing!
I'm itching to go back already  ;D

Luke Nash

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 07, 2018, 11:30:36 AM
Fantastic report Padraic.

Joshua Fifis

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 08, 2018, 08:41:14 AM
Wow! What an amazing trip! I really think you'll struggle to beat that kind of action for a very long time!
There's always a bigger fish!

Matt Nutt

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 10, 2018, 09:56:00 AM
Absolutely fantastic, sounds like an amazing trip! 😀

Dan Hanon

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 10, 2018, 04:30:00 PM
Thanks for the trip report!  Andamans definitely on my list!  We'll done guys!

Chris Webster

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Re: GT first timers Andamans 2018
March 15, 2018, 12:50:20 PM
Great report mate. Looks like a cracking trip!