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Brandon Khoo

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Any news these days from Komodo?
July 02, 2013, 07:40:24 AM
Has anyone been to Komodo or know anyone who has been recently? This used to be regarded as one of THE spots for big GTs but we don't seem to read much about it these days. We'd be very interested to hear of any news from that locations including which charters are available.
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Mark Harris

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
July 03, 2013, 01:32:11 PM
Brandon I think your best bet currently will be to contact the AO guys who have been running regular charters there with reasonable results.  They have clearly found a boat captain who knows what he is doing.

A number of the charters which used to run in Komodo are no longer operating. One will be again soon (hopefully from next season) with a new boat and I will post details about that one when I can. This is one of first operators who operated in Komodo taking a number of the Japanese anglers in the early days.

The best option in my experience is to combine Komodo with Sumba to the south, maybe as a 6 or 7 day trip. Along the famous cliffs of Sumba, GTs are less common than in Komodo itself, but they tend to be bigger.  One operator who specialised in offering this trip was Extreme Ulua but when I last enquired they were no longer operating.

Brandon Khoo

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
July 03, 2013, 01:52:31 PM
Thanks Mark
Is there a reason why charters seem to come and go there? Not enough patronage?
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Mark Harris

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
July 03, 2013, 02:15:09 PM
I apologise in advance for not being able to give a simple, short answer to that question. There are many factors:

1. Patronage as you say. A key driver of that is that the grounds which are reachable on a day trip out of Labuhan Bajo (the only viable land base for fishing Komodo) soon became over fished, and therefore results became disappointing.

2. Destructive fishing practices. The healthy grounds discovered by the early charters soon became known to undesirables and reef blasting, gill netting and other horrendous practices became common-place.  This now FAR less of a problem as enforcement by the Komodo National Park authorities is way better than it was.

3. Bureaucracy. The park authorities and the harbour master's office in Labuhan Bajo have never been straightforward to deal with - welcome to Indonesia!

4. Logistics. As I inferred above the best sites and least fished sites are barely reachable on a day  trip out of Labuhan Bajo. Therefore a liveaboard is the best option by far (and the only option if you want to include Sumba).  There are a lot of very nice liveaboard vessels based out there but they are very much in demand from divers and therefore command huge prices.  Add to that - the captains of those vessels naturally do not know too much about GT fishing.

All that being said, there is no doubt in my mind that GT fishing is going to make a big comeback in Komodo. The results from day trips have been better in the past 2 years than for a very long time and previous operators are about to re-enter the market.  It is quite a good time to  be thinking about fishing Komodo again.

Andy Rowe

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
July 03, 2013, 03:55:28 PM
Agreed with your points Mark, I believe there are still plenty of fish, based on divers reports, but they are not as aggressive with artificial lures any more. I also heard rumor that enforcement of the 'national park' rules had slipped more recently due to a management change.

It certainly is one of the more beautiful and easily accessible GT places you could visit and the latter point, as Mark indicates, is a major part of the problem.

If I had a time machine though it would be first on my list to go back ten years too, the quality and quantity in the first years was apparently scarey.
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John Cahill

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
August 03, 2013, 12:43:08 PM
Just a little bit excited about this news...... when to fit in the trip.... arrggghhhhh! so many opportunities so little time and $$ ;D
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Luke Wyrsta

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
August 03, 2013, 03:02:51 PM
Dealing with a few contacts some 4/5 years ago if was never easy to get a straight answer or a price that wasn't over-inflated. Good to hear it may be back on the radar soon.

Mark Harris

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Re: Any news these days from Komodo?
August 03, 2013, 04:54:11 PM
I really hope to have some positive news by year end about a quality charter for Komodo.

There are lot of Labuhan Bajo-based boats you can fish with at the moment but results are hit and miss.