Lakshadweep Archipelago

The missing corner of the Giant Trevally Triangle!


Personal First Giant Trevally - WhereWiseMenFish Lakshadweep Exploratory Trip Nov 2015

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About Lakshadweep / Laccadives

It is hard to imagine that a single stone has been left untouched in the most populous nation on earth. Man’s shadow and indeed footprint is on almost every stone and rock on the Indian sub-continent…almost! Agatti Island a short 1 1/2 hr flight from Kochin in Southern India is the gateway to a series of atolls that have been virtually untouched by humans. Too remote to be accessed by local fishermen and protected under license from any form of tourism these atolls offer the sort of remote fishing opportunities that until now have been the sole prerogative of the islands in the Seychelles. Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Triggerfish, Indo-pacific Permit, Sailfish and a multitude of other flats and blue-water species roam these waters. This is the new frontier for the exploratory saltwater angler!

 

Satellite view of Lakshadweep Archipelago Christer with a Napoleon one of the most majestic saltwater species
Satellite view of Lakshadweep Archipelago – Christer with a Napoleon one of the most majestic saltwater species

The exploratory journey to Lakshadweep

Until recently, the very limited sport-fishing on the Lakshadweep archipelago has been constrained to those fishing on and around the local islands surrounding Agatti. Although these nearby islands offer interesting albeit limited opportunities, it is the further atolls that are out of range which first tempted a WhereWiseMenFish exploratory trip in conjunction with Solid Adventures in Nov 2015. On that first trip India threw every possible barrier in our way to seeing what lay beyond the immediate islands however it opened the doors to the potential the area had to offer. What it showed is that the area has very significant numbers of GT’s and other species with opportunities to fish for them with both a fly-rod and a popper. What has followed since has been a series of trips to all the fishable atolls, negotiation and re-negotiations with the authorities and every manner of imaginable drama. All this however is leading towards a fully refurbished motherboat with capacity for 6 anglers, guides and host and the launch of a new destination in Nov 2016.

Action from on the fly at Perumal Par Atoll Herle with a big Popper caught GT
Action from on the fly at Perumal Par Atoll ----------------------------------- Herle with a big Popper caught GT

The Fishing

There is a huge amount that still remains to be discovered about the fishing area and until a full season has been run exactly what will transpire is difficult to tell. What we know for sure based on the numerous exploratory trips so far is that the remote atolls offer very exciting fly-fishing for GT’s and all the other species that one can expect from the Indian Ocean. Triggers, Parrotfish, Milkfish, Bonefish, Indo-Pacific Permit. Just off the immediate flats surrounding the sunken lagoons with their encircling coral reefs, there are amazing opportunities for explosive top-water action with poppers. In the slightly deeper water Sailfish, Marlin and Tuna are very much evident. (They sustain the bulk of the population on the inhabited islands of Lakshadweep.)

Giant Trevally from the sandbanks surrounding Perumal Par Giant Trevally from the sandbanks surrounding Perumal Par
Giant Trevally from the exquisite white sandbanks surrounding Perumal Par

Fishing Boats

Most of the fishing is done from locally built wooden boats. These boats can easily take 2-3 anglers plus crew depending on the style of fishing. Each boat will have a captain as well as a fishing guide. Every boat is equipped with a GPS, Radio, fish-finder and of course a cooler for cold beverages. Their will be the option to return to the mother-boat midday but your guides and captain will be as happy cooking whatever freshly caught fish you may have encountered during the day. The fleet of boats consists of 3 larger wooden boats to fish both the deeper flats and inside the lagoons as well as the reef. They are also fully equipped for jigging. These boats were formerly used by local fishermen who would spend days out on the sea fishing some of the more remote areas of the Lakshadweep and as such are very seaworthy and stable. In addition there will also be a smaller boat to access the skinny water of the lagoons. Most of the fly fishing is done whilst wading so this boat will primarily be to provide access as well as being useful as a backup.

Lakshadweep Fishing Boats Underwater camera action of a tamed Trevally
Lakshadweep Fishing Boats ----------------------------------- Underwater camera action of a tamed Trevally

The Mothership

For 2016 a completely refurbished 26m ex sport-diving boat, Sawfish, will be the base for all the fishing trips to the Lakshadweep atolls. The boat has a capacity for 9 anglers with 5 single and 2 double-bed cabins. There is a shared shower and WC for anglers on the main sleeping deck. The main deck is spacious with an AC lounge and a place to relax. The open top deck is the ideal place to relax in the evening after a day of fishing complete with screen and canopy that can provide shelter as required. A good-sized freezer and coolers will ensure the drinks are kept cold and the food fresh. Rod holders, an outside fresh-water hose-system to rinse the tackle, electricity with European plugs, a desalination unit and modern electronics etc complete the boat. Do not expect the same standards from a 5 star cruise but it will be a very capable platform for a small team of anglers.

The motherboat prior to its comprehensive refit
The motherboat prior to its comprehensive refit

Environment

This is a remote fishing destination and as such anglers should be prepared for both minor medical and unexpected fluctuations in the weather. The temperature in the Lakshadweep archipelago is fairly constant throughout the year with high’s of 32°C and lows of 23° C. Shorts and T-shirts will be the order of the day but long-sleeved trousers and shirts will be important for sun-protection and a lightweight rain-jacket will comes in handy for any cloud-bursts which can feel much colder after a hot day in the sun when accompanied by a brisk sea-breeze.

The motherboat prior to its comprehensive refit
The motherboat prior to its comprehensive refit

WhereWiseMenFish – Typical Itinerary

Day Activity
Friday Arrive Kochin, transfer to Marriott airport hotel (10 minutes)
Saturday 7AM, transfer from Marriott airport hotel to domestic airport and flight to Agatti. Afternoon transfer to mothership and sail to the designated fishing grounds where the small fishing boats will be waiting.
Sunday-Friday Fishing. Friday afternoon we ship back to Agatti and sleep on the boat.
Saturday Transfer to a nearby house and farewell lunch (leaving the boat to be cleaned and prepared for next group), followed by the Domestic flight to Kochin. Arrival time Kochin will be appr 1PM. Option to overnight / day-room at Mariott Hotel prior to international flight

 

Fishing Season

For the 2016/2017 season weekly trips will be run from November to April. This is the best period to fish in the Indian Ocean when weather conditions can expect to be relatively stable. Trips will consist of 6 anglers alongside a group leader on occasion and a dedicated fishing / expedition manager on board at all times.

Rates for 2016 / 2017 Lakshadweep Expeditions

Season: The season will run from Nov-Apr.
Rate: $4,990USD from Agatti airport.
Package Includes:
  • Seven (x7) nights on the motherboat.
  • Six (x6) days guided fishing.
  • Price includes full board accommodation.
  • Includes transportation from Keflavik Airport.
  • All meals and local drinks.
Note: Price does not include gratuities (400USD) or hotel night at Kochi.

If you would like to know more about the trip, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart with a Sea Trout from the Rio Gallegos River Justin Maxwell-Stuart

Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
E-mail: justin@wherewisemenfish.com
click here to skype me  Click to Skype Me!

 

 
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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to India, please contact us at the following:

United Kingdom Office:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart
Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
justin@wherewisemenfish.com

United States Office:
US Country Code: +1
Telephone: 646 797 2945
info@wherewisemenfish.com

 

Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.



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