|Early morning natural beauty at Komodo|
Recent reports had been more encouraging though, so much so that Adhek Amerta decided that he wanted to try running charters there again. Adhek first fished there in 2002 and guided many of the world leading GT anglers around Komodo before giving up there with great sadness when things took a downturn.
So, he and I planned a 4 day test trip together starting on January 5th 2014, staying in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores and making the short trip out each day. Adhek sent out his boat Hapuka from Bali to be docked at Labuhan Bajo for the duration of this trip and also for trips tentatively booked by others later in the month. This is a really nice boat to fish from with high gunwhales at the back and a superbly constructed stainless railing and cage set up on the bow. Four GT anglers can cast without any issues.
|Hapuka is a lovely boat to fish from|
|One of the many very solid and hard pulling Komodo GTs|
And so it would prove. Over the four days, I lost count of the number of GT strikes. I did keep a tally on the first day and it was 18. The 3 days which followed would have been similar to that for sure. Bear in mind this was pretty much a solo mission and for 90% of the time I was the only angler fishing. The fish were not especially "on" though with many, many flappy misses and quite a number of fish lightly hooked (probably foul hooked) coming off after a few seconds. That being said, I was extremely happy with the quality and number of GTs landed.
Also had a couple of hugely enjoyable PE3 sessions. I will never forget one 2 hour period when I lost count of the number of bluefin trevally landed but it was more than 20 for sure. Other fish caught on the lighter gear included GTs and red bass.
|Bluefin mayhem on the lighter PE3 gear|
|Red Bass are everywhere at Komodo|
|BCS Wave Walker - 255 mm, 170 grams|
|Adhek Viking 160 grams|
On the popper front, I was almost exclusively using the new Adhek Viking 160 grams. This is such an easy popper to use and it casts like a dream. It too raised multiple large GTs.
|Another one on the Wave Walker|
For first time visitors, I would highly recommend you take half a day out of the fishing schedule to visit Komodo or Rinca islands to see the Komodo Dragons. This is truly one of the great wildlife spectacles anywhere on earth. Adhek is set up to offer this side trip for you.
|Komodo Dragons grabbing a spot of lunch. Photo by Jon Chia, originally published at Flickr and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence|
This trip certainly removed any lingering doubts Adhek had about resuming charters to this most iconic of locations. And it proved to me that Komodo is well and truly back in the top echelon of GT spots around the world.
|GT work out|
Carpenter Endless Passion 82/38 (PE8)
Carpenter Monster Hunter 80H (PE8)
Carpenter The Blue Lagoon 80/40 (PE8)
Carpenter Black Current 80 MRF (PE3)
Successful GT lures
BCS Custom Baits Wave Walker 255 (170 gr)
Adhek Viking 1 (150 gr)
Adhek Medium Penipen (140 gr)
Carpenter Gamma 140
BFP Astro Swimbait
ASWB SS 90
PE3 lures that did the business were Smith Saruna Dragon, IMA Barbarossa and Duo Rough Trail.