Madagascar – Dec 2012

Craig Thomassen
Ultimate Angling 3

So after Pam and Dustin left, my cousin Brent arrived with three of his mates. I stayed on to fish with them for the second week, and just take it easy. It was a nice opportunity for me to be on the water with no pressure to catch fish, no cameras, just a week with some good guys and an opportunity for me to take some pics, do some snorkelling etc.

We decided to head south from Sakatia, as we had been north the week before. This meant cruising down around the Radama Islands on the Yacht "Now Now" and fishing from King Julien, Madagascar Fishing Adventures' fantastic fishing craft.

It didn't take long for the boys to start getting into fish, with Peter Brooke opening his account with a bluefin kingfish taken on a Sebile Magic Swimmer.

Brent wasn't far behind and got the first GT of the trip, casting a stickbait towards a rocky outcrop and bringing it back with a gentle sweeping motion.

The boys were chuffed, this was what they had come for, and everyone started casting lures with vigour. In fact the boat became a bit of a hazardous place to be when the adrenalin was running so Brandon and I took cover beneath the T-Top and watched as the guys blew off some steam with frenzied casting.

Next customer was Peter with another great barracuda which took the Magic Swimmer, luckily I had learnt my lesson by now and had rigged the Magic Swimmer with a bit of wire, after seeing how the barracuda and king mackerel liked it.

Greg Hill got into the action with his first fish of the trip, a nice bluefin king, which took a monster yellow Mcarthy dropshot rigged on a Bimini Jighead.

Brent then got a Black Jack (Caranx lugubris) on a dropshot worked near a dropoff in around 35m of water.

Greg then landed a Marbled Coral Grouper on a Sea Iron Pelacus jig, fished on a Jigging Master 250 rod and PE 4 reel. A really nice light setup for dropshotting and jigging. The guys fought over who was going to use that rig, due to its lightness and ability to still deal with good fish.

There were plenty of bonnies around to provide frenetic light tackle action. In the pics, Jarl Heurlin shows off a pretty Kawa Kawa taken on a Sea Iron Super Sprat spoon. Probably the finest lure to target these feisty little members of the tuna family.

Peter then got a lovely king mackerel on a Darkstar Tuna 100 Popper. The fish hit the lure with a spectacular smash and fortunately didn't bite it off, as there was no wire leader on.

The Darkstar Tuna 100's are fast becoming my favourite popper for general use in the tropics. It is easy to work, makes a big disturbance and attracts just about every surface feeding fish around. I think that the fact that it doesn't have too much resistance, makes it easier to move through the water at a more brisk speed which generates strikes.

Another lure that did some damage in Madagascar is the Sebile Stick Shadd, this lure is the perfect size and shape to imitate a Fusilier, which is one of the GT's favourite foods in the tropics. The above colour is also the nearest colour to the Fusiliers that I could find.

Brent got another GT that fell for the old Faithful Tuna 100 popper. By the end of the trip this particular lure was looking like it had been chewed on for a week by a Staffy puppy and had the guys reaching for it at every opportunity as it seemed to be the lucky popper on the boat.

We fished a river mouth near the Radama Islands and got into some really nice Greenspot Kingies on light dropshot tackle. Natural colour dropshots were the best producers, with the above fish taken on a Berkley Pearl Watermelon Shad, rigged on a Berkley Nitro Jighead. The Nitro jigheads were ideal due to the strength of the Owner hooks.

The GT's continued to provide entertainment. Greg Hill has caught yet another on the Old Faithful Tuna 100 popper. We fished this lure on the Jigging Master GT Monster 7'8" rod with a Shimano Twinpower 10 000 reel, with the Jigging Master extra large spool and power handle conversion. This was loaded with 80lb braid and proved to be a great GT weapon.

All in all the guys had a blast and caught some good fish. There are also tales of the ones that got away, but that is what keeps us coming back for more. Thanks again to Madagascar Fishing Adventures for another awesome week!

 


 

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