Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gallery 2010-11 uploaded

The gallery for the season 2010-11 is now updated on our website it can be viewed by going to the gallery page or following the link

Enjoy the pictures

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thomas Tan

India is a country of glaring opposites which often catch a visitor unaware. The picture below is of Chennai (Madras) coming in to land and it's a huge sprawling city of over 5 million people! Finding time and space alone in a bustling city like Chennai's almost impossible, let alone space to go out and fish.

But two hours away and across the Bay of Bengal lie the Andaman Islands. They are a union territory belonging to India and have for long been forgotten . Today with the rise in awareness, the internet and boom in the Tourism sector these Islands are slowly coming into their own. Most Islands are inhabitable and covered with thick tropical jungle that spills out onto white beaches or straight into the sea. These Islands also house vast reefs off which we have some of the best fishing in the world.

The series of images below are from a 5 day fishing trip led by Thomas Tan from Singapore. Thomas visited us with his friends and they had an excellent time popping and jigging our areas and coming up with some super fish.

We hope you liked the images and more to follow soon!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Team SFI.

Most of our readers and followers of the blog have at some point fished with us in the Andaman Islands and have met the staff. A lot of people we realize have no idea who we are. This post serves as an introduction for people who've never been here or plan on visiting us in the near future.

We started our first season of catch and release game fishing in the Andaman Islands way back in 2006. We fished in 2005 out of local dugout boats (dungis) and explored the area we could then with limited knowledge and very limited horsepower. What we found amazed us and we set of on quite an adventure! Back then we started with our first boat Halcyon I.

We've come a long way since then with a fleet of 3 boats currently and now cater to large groups of keen anglers as well as small individual groups. While out exploring we decided to primarily focus on popping and jigging as we had access to a wide species of fish that could be caught very successfully using these methods. Off late we've been trying some trolling for larger pelagics and bill-fish with great success.

We've been visited in the past by Alban Regnoult. Alban's fished many exotic places in the world and currently is fishing for Pike and Perch in Sweden. He's also part of SMITH_Europe Pro Staff and runs his own blog below:

We hope to have Alban visit us in the Andaman Islands soon and have some great fishing times with him.

Shambhu, possibly your first point of contact. Works as our Manager handling and overseeing most of the Andaman Islands based activities. Apart from handling our reservations and logistics for the groups he also handles most of our liaison work with the authorities and tries to ensure trips go off with no hiccups!

Our main skipper Kantha's one of the most experienced skippers here when it comes to rod and line fishing. Kantha loves popping and has eagle like eyesight when it comes to spotting bait-schools. We've caught some huge GT with Kantha and he's often ensured clients go back with their missions accomplished especially when it involves GT!

Dilip also known as 'Philippe' by our French clients has been fishing with us for 3 years now and started off from scratch. He's done pretty well over the years and his easy temperament and willingness to go out and catch fish has made him a favorite with repeating clients. He's a good jigger and is keen on jigging.

One of our latest additions is Arjun who's fished with us for a season. He's been keen on the popping and jigging but loves trolling and live-baiting for large pelagics and bill-fish. Also has an uncanny knack of spotting birds and dolphin when needed the most. We're sure there will be some big bill-fish landed next season and Arjun's going to be not far from the action!

Gafoor who has worked with us for the last 3 years is a deckie. He's been out a lot with Kantha and has assisted on many a trip. He also doubles up as the caretaker of the boats when we aren't sailing.

One of our newest members of the team is Rajesh. Rajesh previously worked as a commercial fisherman on local fishing boats. He has a great understanding of tides and moon phases. He's also helped us find new areas especially to jig based on his prior experience. He's also told us of catching a 60kilo Amber-jack during his long-lining days! He knows of many distant reefs
and drop-offs in the North and Western Andaman's. Right now those locations are well out of our reach but maybe one day we'll have a boat big enough to go out and fish these areas.

The second Shambhu of our operation is the cook! One of the most important men in the operation, keeping crew and clients well fed. Shambhu's worked with us for the last couple of years and has an understanding of the sensitive nature of our client's stomaches :-) He's responsible for the packed lunches on board and handles our seafood barbecues and manages to find the freshest local ingredients which go into our daily food plan.

Above are the team who're seen and meet the clients on a daily basis, but we also have workers who do a lot of work to make the operation run smoothly. Siddique in charge of purchasing and fuel procurement is another key member along with Usheela who makes sure our place is clean and in order by the time we're back after a hard day of fishing. Chinna works with the cook, helping out in the kitchen and anywhere else he's required apart from being the watchman after the day is done. Also our mechanic who's on call 24X7 in case we have an engine that gives us a bit of trouble. When we have a break and no clients fishing the whole team's working on engine/boat maintenance, planning for future groups and updating inventories of stock and spares needed.

Hoping that you'll all meet the team one day and we're always trying to do our best to give our clients the best possible fishing experience here in the Andaman Islands.

Darran & Akshay.