Before fishing for giant trivially on Christmas Island, I’ve been lucky enough to catch a number of the brutes elsewhere. I’ve had giant trevally (GTs, as opposed to G&Ts, to which I’m also a bit partial!) up to 70lbs fishing in the Seychelles (now a ‘no go’ area because of the Somali pirates!) and also in the Andaman Islands, but it has always been on pretty substantial spinning or popping gear. Although this is very exciting and spectacular, I have always wanted to catch one on a fly rod.
Happily I have now achieved this aim on Christmas Island, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean. Following one hell of a journey, we finally made it to our destination – absolutely shattered. I won’t go on about the trip itself, as it was a bit poor in all honesty. However, it did see me land a GT on a fly.
Having spent several days without seeing much action we spotted eight or nine big Trevally, which were showing no mercy to a small group of unfortunate milkfish. Using my TFO pike-fly rod, Shilton reel and 12-weight floating shooting head I made a long cast. It was a good one (although these ones weren’t that spooky, so I’m sure I could have had a second chuck if needed. Anyway, some frantic stripping saw my ‘gurgler fly’ splashing back across the surface, followed closely by huge bow-wave!
The take was savage! Immediately the fish scorched off some 140 yards and it was some time before I was able to gain any sort of control whatsoever. The raw power of these beasts can only really be appreciated by someone who has hooked one – words alone are inadequate to describe it!
Anyway after a great battle of about 15 minutes with me putting as much pressure on the fish as the tackle would stand, I was able to tail out my prize. And I don’t mind telling you, I was delighted. Chances at these big thugs were few and far between! The fish turned out to be a thirty pounder, which I was well pleased with (although they come a lot bigger)!
I also managed a blue-fin trevally of about 8lbs on the same outfit, and a modest GT of 10lbs or so on my bonefish rod ‘by accident’ (and that one led me a merry dance on the 7-weight tackle!) but nevertheless, although the bone fishing was excellent and I managed a personal best of 9lbs, I went there to catch the big brutes and overall was pretty disappointed. I would definitely think twice before going such a long way to fish in the future!
If you’re planning a GT trip yourself, it’s worth enquiring about whether or not the guides are happy chumming. I’ve since come across other anglers who report having some terrific sport using chum – of course it attracts the voracious GTs like nobody’s business, which I can imagine gets very exciting. When they’re ‘on’ there’s nothing like them, as this video shows. Maybe it’s Farquhar for me next time, if the bank manager (and my darling wife) says I can go!