“A passionate angling family heads off to paradise in search of Doggies and Sailies with great success. Seychelles, the destination of choice.”
The dawn of paradise was upon us and having started the countdown in April, when our airplane tickets were bought, we were finally en route to the Seychelles for a two week long, well deserved break with the family.
The first week of the holiday was spent ‘acclimatizing’ to the tropics by going on a rum tasting tour to the famous Takamaka Bay rum distillery and Island hoping to the picturesque Prahlin and La Dique on a beautiful 51 foot Sunseaker. During the Island hoping excursions the fishing lines were inevitably dropped as the slow cruise speed was ideal for trolling. Our spirits were high with the hope of hooking an elusive Sailfish, but alas, our mood was quickly dampened when we did not even get a single strike between the 90 km stretch from Mahe (the main Island of the Seychelles) to Prahlin.
After diligently studying the weather for the rest of our stay in the Seychelles we finally set a date for the big fishing trip to the Southern drop-off. Finally the day had arrived and after an anxious night’s sleep (worrying about the weather and pirates) we were up at 4am in order to start our voyage at the break of dawn. At first glance the weather was perfect and as we cruised out of the harbour into the mirror like ocean it seemed that our patience had paid-off. The 15km stretch beside the shoreline of Mahe was windless and hence I started salivating at the thought of a perfect days fishing. As we went past the Southern tip of Mahe and abandoned the shelter provided by the mountainous Island, the wind started howling and swells began to grow larger. The windless day was a fallacy and the bumpy 2 hours ride to our fishing grounds started.
When we arrived at our destination we were greeted by a steep drop-off on the fish finder from approximately 17m to 1000m in depth. With great excitement we hooked our lines to the two out-riggers with medium-sized pink and purple skirts and the two rods in the middle with multi-colored skirts. Our lines were barely in the water when we had our first strike. As expected, the first couple of fish were Bonitos which we kept in the hatch for bait. A few minutes later we had a serious strike. Having drawn straws beforehand fate dictated that this one would be mine and 10 minutes later I landed a beautiful 15kg Wahoo. The Bonitos kept us entertained with regular takes and every Boni was accompanied by the Lyrics “Boni, Boni, Boni always Boni, in a fishing world” on the tune of Money, Money, Money by Abba. Sporadically we also hooked more intriguing species including Rainbow runner and King Fish. We were however pleasantly surprised when all three reels screamed simultaneously. Unfortunately my brother and father’s lines crossed and the friction caused my father’s line to snap. After another wonderful battle lasting approximately 15 minutes we landed two Yellowfin Tuna’s approximately 15kg in weight. Within minutes of the lines going in again it was my dad’s turn to wrestle with a Wahoo speedster which would have made double digits on the scale. What was going to be on the menu next we all speculated.
As we began refueling on Seybrew (the local beer) and delicious goodies packed by the wives, we unexpectedly had a strike on one of the out-riggers. It was our first strike on the more distant skirts placed on the out-riggers and from the sheer scream of the running reel we all knew this was going to be a big one. After a 30 minute “deep burn” tug of war and much speculation of what specie was on the other end of the line, my brother finally managed to land a stunning 40 kg Dogtooth Tuna.
As you might expect the debate arose amongst us of what the ultimate fish would be to duel with. Having witnessed my brother’s battle and considering its rarity, my father answered without hesitation “it has to be a Dogtooth”.
The cry of the ratchet had become a familiar sound and once again a brute of a fish started ripping line off the reel at an astounding pace. When at last my father was able to turn the fish it was time for the black magic harness to do its work in helping him win back line, inch-by-inch. The constant head bumps on the line should have provided the clue as to what species was involved in the tug of war that ensued. Twenty minutes later the mystery was solved when we had the first glimpse of a huge silver body showing in the depth below the boat, lady luck was on our side as my father landed a beautiful 30kg “Doggie”.
The drop-off did not disappoint and as we headed homeward bound we all sat back, with a beer in hand, and took the opportunity to reminisce on what can only be describe as a majestic day. They say a picture paints a thousand words; and the grin of contentment on each of our faces depicted the fact that this will be an experience that will be stored in the memory banks for years to come.