GT hunt in the Maldivies


The sun was burning from a clear sky without any shade or wind to cool us down… The water inside the atoll was flat calm and was sparkleling in all shades of blue and turqies colors, from the deepest blue at the edge of the drop-offs to the nearly electric turquies on the shallow sandflats… A small island in the background, only inhabitet by coconut palms and white sand completed the perfect picture of our location, the Maldives…   Earlier this morning a nice yellow spotted trevally tailed perfectly on my crab fly on the skinny sandflat, a nice bluefin trevally had fallen for my fast stripped shrimp fly and I had lost two GT´s right on the drop-off right at the edge of the flat… Both Flow and David, which I shared the boat with for the day, had combined lost a couple of titan triggers and two GT´s up to about 20kg!…

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The tide was slowly getting too high to wade the sand flat efficiently so guided by our local guide and captain, we went to one of reefs in the surf on the edge of the atoll… We jumped from the boat and into waist deep water and started our walk against the reef in the surf line… On our way, 3 GT´s crossed our path but no of us never got the chance of any good shots at them… After a few hundred meters of walking we finally had the reef at our feet… Like a gate through the surf, the reef connected the flats with the deep blue water and made the perfect highway for both predators and prey… Lots of smaller fish species like needle- and butterfish where hanging on the reef like a perfect buffet for the GT´s… Flow and our guide Kaifa got into possession on one side of the reef and myself on the other… Now it was all about being focused and ready… After a few minutes the water suddenly exploded behind me! I knew that Flow and our guide was covering that section of the reef and just as I turned around I saw the shadows from a pack of GT´s smashing through the school of needle fish, and just as I looked at flow his line got tight and his rod was bending fearsly against the surf!… Flow really putted all he got into the rod and reel and so did the GT! After some minutes of what seemed like a tug-a-war on steroides, our guide could finally grab the GT by the tail! A beautiful mean looking Geet at arounud 12kg… we where now into the second day of trip and just landed flow´s 4th GT!

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After a few quick hero shots and a few high fives the fish was released safely… we went back into position on the reef… The needlefish was again slowly gathering on the side of the reef and was just sitting in the waves like nothing ever happened to them… Again it only toke a few minutes before the GT´s where back! I spotted one coming right out of the surf and right at me in a 45degree angle! I toke a shot at it and in the same second the fly toke the water the GT went for it! I was striping fast and hard and just a few meters in front of the rod tip the GT intercepted the fly and engulfed it right in front of me with half the head out of the water in a big splash! the line came tight and after a strong and hard strip-set hell broke loose!… The RSI 12wt bended deep while the GT tried to shake of the fly before it toke off in a powerfull run against the drop-off… To prevent to get cut off on the sharp coralheads and rocks at the end of the reef, I tried to bloke the spool of the vosso1113 with my hand.. that really putted some tension on the 50lb core flyline and the 130lb leader! to my luck the GT actually stopped and answered back with some serious headshakes on the surface before it toke off again!… The fight was going on for a while but eventually my buddy flow could grab the tail of my first GT of the trip! what an -amazing feeling! Two +10kg GT´s on fly in skinny water within 30min!

 

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The day after we went to the same sandflat as we fished a few days before… The tide was not really good for GT´s yet so I grabbed my RSI 9wt armed with the Halo reel and my favorit shrimpfly and started scouting the inner flat for triggerfish, yellow- and bluefin trevally… Within a couple of hours I got both bluefin- and yellow spotted trevallys, a small qeenfish and a yellow lipped emperorfish but most important there was quite a few triggers around!… Within an hour, 3 triggers toke my shrimp fly but due to their extreme hard mouth which is packed with coral crushing teeth and leather like lips I didn’t manage to hook a single one of them… The tide was raising and started to get too high to wade , it was time to hit the reefs and the GT´s again… I decided to head for the boat and on my walk back I passed a small patch of old coral with a nice trigger tailing in the middle… I dropped my shrimp fly 3-4meter in front of it… it instantly raced for the fly as soon as the fly dropped into the water and took a close look at it without either take it or refuse it.. A few quick strips and the trigger immediately followed it, I increased the speed on the fly and the trigger did as well… after following the fly a few more feet the trigger finally toke it! I strip-striked the hook as hard as I dared and finally the line came tight! It toke off immediately and went straight for a coral patch on the edge at the drop-off… I crunched the Halo drag to the max and just as the trigger went with half of the body into a small coral cave I managed to stop it and pull it out backwards! David who had watched it all from the boat, joined me and shortly after could he grab the fish…I beautiful Titan- or mustache trigger! This fish have been on my bucket list for a while and finally I was standing with this strange looking fish in my hand with all my expectations for it for filled! Trigger most be one of the absolute coolest flatsfish on the planet to chase with lighter tackle! They are aggressive but yet spooky, they are picky, almost permit-ish at times and have a hell of an attitude… Gotta love ´em!

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The tide was still raising when we arrived to the reef but it was still just low enough to walk along the surf… The stones and old corals really gave both feet and flatboots a good beating while walking the edge… I had several shots at some good GT´s but either they didn’t seem to care about my fly or they were moving too fast to actually get ahead of them… Suddenly A big GT showed up right in front of me, aggressively tailing in a shallow part of the reef!… I presented the fly perfect with a very short cast only a few meters away and within the first strip the GT raced for the fly! I could see the mouth open but it missed the fly and almost stranded itself on a coralhead just in front of me and went straight back to the deep… My heart was really beating! so close!… I continued my walk along the reef without really seeing any fish, except for loads of small coralfish, parotfish, murane ells and a few huge trigger fish… The reef changed from mostly being submerged stones and coral to be a dry reef of old coarl with a shallow but steep edge… I was so determined to get just one last shot at one of these big GT´s I had seen earlier that I didn’t noticed that I had left my guide more than 100m behind… The waves on this part of the reef was bigger and everything just seemed more hostile… Suddenly Two huge GT´s came slowly cruising along the reef… Looking into the waves I could really see how massive and broad they where!… I made a quick cast and one of them just kicked once with the tail, opened the mouth and sucked the fly in, in a big splash! everything stopped for a brief second, I strip-striked liked I have never striked before and tried just to focus on holding as tight to the fly line as possible…

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Despite I was crunching the line it suddenly ripped the flyline out of my hands, melted of a piece of my glove of and toke off while ripping a nest of fly line out through the guides!… It raced for the edge of the drop-off! I naively tried to stop it by blocking the reel with my hand… a loud noise sliced the air as my 50lb core fly line snapped and everything went slack… I stood still for a few seconds just looking into the waves and started to feel the disappointment fill up my body, but suddenly I caught a glimpse of the end of my fly line out there in the surf!… I instincly ran into the water , jumped into the surf and toke a swim to hunt it down! suddenly the end of the fly line was just right in front of me… I jumped for it and reached as fare I could and somehow miraculously got hold on it!… I felt a naive glimpse of hope and a feeling of confidence rush through my body … I wrapped the line around my hand while I tried to stop this true giant of the reef… The line got first tight and then really tight! standing in the surf with water up to my shoulders I started thinking of what my next move would be!… The fish made one final burst and all went slack again as the fish snapped the 130lb leader on a coral… The adrenaline was rushing through my veins while I was trying to catch my breath while walking soaked and defeated back to shore… My guide was just standing on the reef waiting for me and when I reached him we both broke out in laughs… Usually when I lose a good fish I am broken to the bone, but deep inside I knew from the beginning that to catch a GT at this size, on a flyrod, on foot, on a reef, just takes more than just skills and ordinary luck, but what a crazy and unforgettable experience it was! that fish will for sure live on in my memory for the rest of my days!…

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It was now the last day of the trip, and with 4 out of us out of 5 landing GT´s the day before I decided to let my rod be on the side of the backpack for the rest of the trip and just enjoy the day together with Jens as his spotter and try to get him hooked up with a GT on this last day of the trip… Today we skipped the flats and convinced the guides that we wanted to go straight for reefs in the surf… The tide was dropping so the reef was really shallow when we arrived… We both found a rock each to stand on to get a better view over the shallow edge and we didn’t had to wait long before I spotted two big Geets cruising the edge fare way, as they got closer I told Jens as calm as the adrenaline allowed “two big GT´s coming slowly from the left, get ready!”… I was standing about 30m to the left of Jens… as they passed me less than 5m away from me, my heart was pounding and through the crystal clear and calm water I could look right into the eyes of them, I carefully pointed them out and Jens started casting… the fish slowly turned away from us and continued just cruising leaving, Jens too far away for a really good shot…

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The tide was at its lowest now and with no activity around… We went back to the boat for a quick breakfast and shortly after we were back on the reef again… As the tide started to raise we saw a few GT´ in the distance and one close by that Jens had a great shot at… It tried to eat the fly while it nearly beached itself on the reef while Jens was running backwards as he ran out of line to strip, The GT missed the fly and the only thing it left behind was a big splash and gone it was…  We saw a couple of more GT´s but all too far away to get an actual shot at them… The whole day so far the reef had been busy with all kinds of coralfish, parrotfish and triggerfish just swiming around and minding their own business but suddenly all of them started to move in the same direction and after less than a minute the reef seemed empty… we discussed what was going on but before we ever got to answer our own questions 3 sharks at around 140-150cm was prowling through the reef… They were really aggressive and tried to get into all sorts of cracks and small caves inside the coralheads on the reef… it was quite a sight with the sharks hunting just in front of our feet!… very often GT´s will follow sharks and so did they also this time! just after the sharks arrived, I spotted 6 GT rushing in from the left trying to beat the shark to the sheer number of baitfish there was left… everything was happening right at our feet, so close to us that it was nearly impossible cast at them but then out of nowhere a 7th GT came in to join its pack in a perfect distance… Jens presented the fly perfect and the GT went for the fly immediately and engulfed it right at the rod tip!… This time I was standing right beside Jens, so everything happened right at both of our feet! Jens set the hook, line and rod came tight and the GT took off! we were both howling and screaming until the line suddenly went slack… we realized that the fish was lost but despite that we were still laughing and highfive´ing… Totally high on adrenaline of this awesome experience we agreed that this day had been one of the absolute highlights of the trip for both of us eben the fish got away!…

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Its not always just about the catch, it´s all about the experience! Interested to join on the next trip to this amazing place!?  Please contact me at: skovby@skjernriverguiding.com

Full gallery below – click/tap first image to watch in full screen mode. 

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