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The last day Mohamed and Ahmed picked me up at 7am since they had to drive back to Male later the same day. The wind had picked up a bit again and it was cloudier than the previous days. We even had some light showers, but nothing major. Mohamed drove northeast and we slowly fished our way back home to the resort. When we made our first stop, outside the reef/atoll, I had a decent sized GT crushing my red head silver bones Haku 120 in one of the first casts. Unfortunately, the hooks didn't stick. A few casts later, after having changed to the black silver bones Haku, I had another good strike. This time, the hooks stuck. The fish made a quick and long first run, towards deeper water. Maybe another dogtooth, I was thinking as I put pressure on the fish. However, I quickly realized that this wasn't the case. The fish didn't have the same strength and stamina. When it came closer to the boat, I thought I had caught a wahoo at first but as the fish broke the surface, I could see that it was a decent sized a barracuda - the largest I had ever caught.

The last day was the toughest day. Around eleven o'clock, following a brief rain, the fish virtually stopped biting, up until then, the action had been very good, although we didn't manage to land a lot of fish. But following the rain, the fish had locked jaws. We tried several spots that had been productive on prior occasions but were only able to get a few more non-committing bites. We decided to call it the day already at 3pm. I finished the day catching only four fish, of which two GTs.

The last two days, we casted more towards reefs and just as previous years, the first 10-20m of the casts were the most productive. Probably 90-95% of the action, came in this part of the retrieves. Another observation during the trip was that the GTs typically hit the lures just one time. So if it missed it, or if you were unable to set the hooks, you didn't get another chance. "One kiss only" quickly became an expression we used on the boat.

When summing up the trip, I had caught a total of 33 fish - 16 GTs, ten red bass, two bluefin trevally, one grouper, one shark, one dogtooth tuna, one barracuda and one unknown reef fish. I had also set three new personal bests: white tip reef shark, barracuda and dogtooth tuna. Not bad, given that I was only able to fish hard core - the way I usually fish - for a few hours per day. In addition, we had plenty of strikes, missed strikes and followers every day, so I had had plenty of chances to improve the catch statistics.

Next year, I am going to make sure that I am fit enough to fish hard for the full duration of the trip! Also, I am gong to leave the 18k reels and PE10 lures, spools and lines home and bring the 8k, 10k and 14k reels and PE6&7 lures and spools instead. Below I have inserted some pictures from the trip. Hope you enjoy them.


Tackle used:

Rods: Carpenter The Blue Lagoon TBL 80/40, Ripple Fisher Fanta-stick GT79 Reversal, Carpenter Black Current 80MRF

Reels: Shimano Stella SW 2008 18k and 6k (Japan model), Daiwa Saltiga 5000H

Spools: Shimano Standard 18k spool, Studio Ocean Mark 6000, Daiwa Saltiga 5k standard spool

Lines: Varivas Avani GT Max PE8, Sunline Castaway Monster Battle PE3&4, Daiwa Boat x8 braid PE6

Leaders: Sunline Big Game 210lb, YGK Castman 170lb, Seagar Fluoro 60lb and 80lb, Andei Fluoro 60lb

Terminals and hooks: NT svivels 1&2/0, Carpenter 350lb split rings, Owner Hyperwire 8&9 and 11&11H. Shout Assasin single hooks, Gamakatsu GT Recorder, Owner ST76, BKK GT Rex barbless trebles

Top producing lures: RAL Haku 120, Yambal GT Harrier Tiny, Orion Big Foot 70 and Orion S-Kiv 45


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