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Farquhar Atoll

Farquhar Atoll is wild!
If you’re looking for the ultimate Seychelles experience, look no further.

We’ve fished Farquhar Atoll a number of times, and can safely say that it is one of the most unique saltwater fisheries on the planet. The variety of the habitats and the fish species available is truly unique, and in a single day you may get shots on anything from permit, triggerfish, and giant trevally to triggerfish, bonefish, bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, and golden trevally. Not to mention all the offshore species that can be caught along the atoll’s drop offs. It’s wild!

The Fishing

Farquhar Atoll offers a great mix of wading and skiff fishing. There are plenty of flats, reefs, and smaller islands and sand bars to fish on foot – enough to last a whole week, and the skiff simply adds to the versatility and possibilities. Many people go to the Seychelles to catch giant trevally. But when you travel to Farquhar, the giant trevally are really just a bonus. There are big, hearty bonefish on the sand flats along with schools of permit. The coral margins and turtlegrass flats offer great shots at triggerfish, as well as bumphead parrotfish. The latter is the true star of Farquhar. Bumphead parrotfish are among the weirdest, most fascinating fish on the flats – and hooking one is like suddenly being attached to a stray freight train.

The Gear

You’ll need a complete arsenal of saltwater rods, reels, and lines ranging from 8 – 12 weights.

For bonefish and permit, a 9’ 8-weight rod is optimal, while a 9’ 10-weight is perfectly suited for triggerfish and bumphead parrotfish. For giant trevally, even heavier equipment is required. 9’ 12-weights are usually the preferred choice to tame these supernaturally powerful fish. (And you might consider bringing a 15-weight setup for bluewater fishing for dogtooth tuna, sailfish, and the likes).

The fly reels should be saltwater-resistant, fitted with strong and smooth drag systems with immense stopping-power, and capable of storing 150 – 200 yards of backing. In terms of giant trevally, both the backing and fly line should have a breaking strength of about 100lbs – and the same goes for the leaders, which typically consist of 6 – 8 feet of straight nylon. Floating WF-lines such as Scientific Anglers’ Amplitude Grand Slam and Big Water Taper are among the top-choices for the Farquhar fishery.

Be sure to have all three set-ups rigged and ready at all times, as you never know what’s going to show up next on the flats.

Bumphead Parrotfish

Bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) is the largest member of the parrotfish family. It can reach lengths of up to 1,5 meters and weigh more than 150lbs, and it is distributed across the Equatorial parts of the Indian Ocean and certain areas of the Pacific Ocean. Bumphead parrotfish can live for more than 40 years, and since they’re slow-growing shoaling fish that don’t reach sexual maturity until the age of 5 – 8 years, they’re extremely vulnerable to over-harvesting.

The beak, which is so characteristic for the bumphead parrotfish, consists of fluorapatite, which is among the hardest biominerals in the world, harder than copper, silver, and gold. The fish use their beaks to chew corals, which they then churn, digest, and filter for nourishment.

The pink hump is thought to play a role in relation to certain hierarchy rituals. In these rituals, individual fish test their strength against other dominant members of a school by frontally colliding into each other – a bit like bighorn rams on land.

Another interesting fact is that bumphead parrotfish are protogynous hermaphrodites and therefore capable of changing gender. The dominant alpha male in a school is usually a female that has changed gender.

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