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Astove Atoll

Want to fish the wildest, most raw atoll in the Seychelles?

Astove Atoll caters to an exclusive four fly fishermen per week, and the season extends from November to December and March to April. The newly renovated lodge offers full-catering service, exquisite Creole cuisine, and accommodation in single air-conditioned en-suite rooms. We’ve fished the place twice and absolutely love it there. The diversity of the atoll; with the lagoon, flats, coral reefs, and drop offs, makes for some truly exhilarating fishing and plenty of unforgettable moments. Last time we went to Astove, we had shots at permit, bonefish, triggerfish, giant trevally, milkfish, dogtooth tuna, and sailfish – all in one day.

The Fishing

If you’re in the market for targeting the biggest flats-caught giant trevallies in the Indian Ocean, Astove Atoll is the place to be. It’s shallow lagoon, jagged coastline and endless flats surrounded by sheer drop-offs provides the giant trevally with a unique and versatile feeding habitat and, as a result, giant trevallies are extremely abundant.

Besides GTs, Astove Atoll boasts trophy-sized bonefish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, barracuda, milkfish and Indo-pacific permit. And if one ventures offshore, one can catch yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, groupers, sailfish and much, much more – just meters from the coral reef edge.

The Gear

Since the species diversity at Astove Atoll is quite overwhelming, you’ll need a versatile range of tropical fly rod-and-reel setups. You’ll generally need a minimum of four setups: An 8-weight setup for bonefish and triggerfish, a 10-weight setup for permit and milkfish, and two 12-weight setups for giant trevally – all of them pre-spooled with tropical floating lines. The reason why it’s a good idea to have an extra 12-weight setup on you at all times is that it enables you to switch quickly between poppers and streamers when sight-fishing for giant trevally. Furthermore, because giant trevallies are known for breaking rods, melting down reel drag systems and emptying backing reserves, a backup 12-weight setup is essential.

While the gear required for bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish and permit is similar to that used elsewhere in the tropics, the gear needed for giant trevally is in its own league. Here, you’ll need the very best saltwater fly rods in combination with a fly reel that can stop a span of wild horses.

As a life-insurance during the utter mayhem and chaos of a giant trevally outburst you’ll need a minimum of 250 meters of 100lb backing in combination with a specially designed fly line – such as Scientific Angler’s 100lb test Big Water Taper fly lines. The fly line is then linked to the fly via a 2-meter long 100 – 130lbs fluorocarbon tippet. It may sound completely out of proportion, but it is all due to the fact that a giant trevally needs to be treated with extreme strictness and maximum pressure during the fight. Otherwise, they will run off and you’ll risk getting spooled or being cut off on corals and other subaqueous structure. 

The flies, that are most commonly used at Astove Atoll, are specifically designed and developed for the fishing here.

The giant trevallies are fished with either NYAP poppers or gnarly streamers tied on the strongest possible 6/0 – 8/0 saltwater hooks like the Gamakatsu SL12s. They should be bulky, pulsating and have big, staring eyes – and it’s an advantage if they’re made out of materials that don’t suck in too much water. Among the local favourites are the Brush Fly, GT Mullet, Bus Ticket and Serge’s Wrasse.

When it comes to wading equipment, clothing and such, you can pack like you normally would for similar tropical trips. Otherwise, Alphonse Fishing Company provides in-depth information about what to bring prior to the visit at Astove Atoll.

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