Astove has long been regarded as one of the worlds finest giant trevally fisheries, in recent years light has been shone on the permit fishing inside the lagoon, less talked about has been the bone fishing.
Offering a plenty of variety, Astove is home to some of the worlds finest bonefishing, but this is often overshadowed by more glamorous species and hardly gets a mention. Great fishing can be had on both spring and neap tides with each cycle giving a host of different opportunities.
On neap tides the milky blue lagoon empties much of its water back to the depths of the outer reef and with it most of the bigger fish. Permit, GTs and sharks leave until the next cycle of springs fills the lagoon once again, enjoying a rare moment of peace the bonefish stay.
On neap tides the water inside the lagoon is scarcely deeper than shin height and the fish cruise in shallow water inches deep, tanning their backs in the bright sun. While bonefish are know as being shallow water specialists it does seem a little ridiculous quite how shallow these fish venture. Built into each fish must the thought that bigger scarier creatures lurk in the deep.
So, the fish happily cruise inches of water, waiting for patiently for a good cast and a small shrimp. A slow strip encourages a fish to dart forward, nose down and tail up it grabs the fly, kicks up a rooster tail of spray and they tears off into the distance. It is east to whittle away the hours casting at tailing fish and bending the rod through to the cork.
In complete contrast to the shallow waters of the lagoon is the coral and grass covered surf line. While great fun can be had casting to fish in inches of water in the sheltered lagoon, the biggest fish lie within an arms reach of the crashing surf.
Spring tides are needed to make the most of this extraordinary fishing. Once the tide has rushed from the flats and into the deep all that remains are patches of ankle deep water until the push returns. The bonefish now have a window of uninterrupted feeding time until the tide brings the return of the bigger fish.
The surf side may not hold the same numbers of fish as the lagoon, but what it lacks in it makes up for in quality. Rarely will you cast to fish under four pounds and most will be between five to seven. These bonefish are green backed, broad shouldered and fierce. Lacking the niceties of their sand born cousins, once hooked they scream into the stitching the line through exposed coral heads in bid a to break free. Normally fifteen pound leader would prove ample, this is rarely the case with these fish where leader as thick as twenty five pounds is preferable.
Landing surf bonefish
Standing still and letting the fish run into the distance rarely brings one of the bigger guys to hand. Once hooked there are two options; follow the fish with a high rod and with tension on the line, or hope the guide is close and he can sprint after the fish to hold the line up. The idea of doing this is to clear the line from all of the small coral heads that the fish will inevitably wind himself around. This is tough and exciting bonefishing, the fish will rarely refuse a well presented shrimp, so the challenge lies not in the hooking but in the landing.
If you would like more information on Astove or any of our other Seychelles operations please contact Peter McLeod or Olly Thompson or call us on +44 1980 847389.