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Fishing where Time stands still

Black Marlin and other big game fish await in Seychelles’ waters © Bharath RamamruthamIncreasingly, Seychelles is becoming a Mecca for sports fishermen the world over in search of a last frontier where one of the finest mixed-bag catches can be found: wahoo, sailfish, barracuda, trevally, dorado, tuna, swordfish, shortbill spearfish, amberjack, rainbow runner and such sought-after trophies as the mighty blue, black and striped marlin, all of which combine to propose the game fishing experience of a lifetime.

With a legacy of artisanal fishing stretching back over more than 200 years, the fishing scene in Seychelles has evolved to accommodate world-class trolling, jigging, popping, bottom-fishing, fly-fishing and blue-water fly-fishing and the chance to challenge the record books in virgin waters which have already yielded world records for bonefish, bonito, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, rainbow runner, giant guitarfish, moustache grouper and trevally, barracuda and wrasse.

Clamshell on the beach © Martin HarveyThe traditional fishing method of bottom-fishing produces an equally impressive catch, rewarding you with some of the finest tasting fish on the planet: groupers weighing in excess of 30kg as well as massive trevally, kingfish, greater barracuda, snapper, coral tout, sea bass, emperor and bream.

More recently, Seychelles has also become renowned for its salt-water fly-fishing and casting your lines on the magnificent, little-visited flats of the Outer Islands will provide prizes of feisty silver bonefish, giant trevally, permit, triggerfish, milkfish and sailfish. Blue-water fly-fishing is also gaining popularity for the ultimate challenge of landing large pelagic fish on light tackle.

The Inner Islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and their satellites, some with peaks rising nearly 1,000m high,  offer a wide variety of fishing grounds easily reached by Seychelles’ fleet of modern fishing craft whose crews each have their choice spots where to introduce both fishing aficionado and novice to the thrills of deep-sea and bottom-fishing. Interestingly, there are also two low-lying coral islands, namely Denis Island and Bird Island within the Inner Islands.

Fishing © Gerard Larose:STBFishing grounds are some 24 miles from the main Island of Mahé with a sharp drop off from 50m to 2000m. Inner Island trips can take fishermen as far north as Bird and Denis Islands (100km), where the ocean floor also plummets to great depths.

Seychelles’ dazzling chain of Outer Islands and their seldom-visited fishing grounds present unique opportunities for the intrepid fisherman to do battle with the heavyweights. In particular, the resorts of Desroches Island in the Amirantes group and Alphonse Island offer convenient bases for forays into areas legendary for their great fishing where big-game, fly and bottom fishermen alike can test their skills to the limit.

Further afield, sparsely populated islands such as Providence, Farquhar and Cosmoledo, accessible only on long-range fishing expeditions, present the ultimate challenge to the fisherman in search of truly exceptional experiences.

Several new, fishing tackle outlets now offer the latest equipment for trolling, jigging, bottom-fishing and popping and although each charter operator will cater for the needs of their individual fishing charter, anglers are still advised to bring along an adequate supply of favourite tackle and to check equipment availability with their fishing trip operator prior to booking.

Seychelles is proud of its long-standing, enlightened conservation policies, adopted to ensure protection of fish stocks through best practice in the fishing arena and the practice of ‘tag and release’ – when a fish is caught and then released alive back into the water – has been widely adopted in order to safeguard local fish stocks.

Seychelles’ Sports Fishing Club, started by local sports fishing enthusiasts, has now grown to over 400 members and has a Facebook page: Seychelles Sports Fishing Club, http://www.facebook.com/groups/seychellesfishing/ (Seychelles Sports Fishing Club, PO Box 1000, Mahé, Seychelles ssfcmail@gmail.com ) which is becoming a natural hub of the local Seychelles fishing scene. Further information is available on the Seychelles Tourism Board website: http://www.seychelles.travel/en/home/fishing.php

Never has there been a better time to enjoy the thrill and challenge of a lifetime fishing in Seychelles’ pristine waters where, in the words of a local author… ‘we still don’t have an inventory of exactly what lurks in the secret depths of these legendary isles.’

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