If you had a choice between fly fishing Seychelles flats and big-game fishing Seychelles blue waters, which would you take? I know - that's a tough call. I'd say you don't need to choose...
Fish the flats as the tide permits and go after big-game fish in between tides. And more important: do not make any choice until you get there as you can enjoy both at a superior level at the remote outer islands.
Did you know that fishing Seychelles waters is not only the national sport but also the second biggest money earner for the country? The fact is the one million plus square kilometers of sea around Seychelles is one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, so that explains why, with such abundance and so many different varieties of fish.
In Seychelles fishing is a way of life. Everybody here has fished at one time or another. Even the president goes angling when he takes a break. I myself started my fishing adventure when I was only 6 years old. And that's quite typical.
Fishing and fish is a part of the culture of Seychelles. As a young child I used to wade to chest deep and fish for hours. I would even forget about lunch completely. Of course this got me into trouble and much scolding, but it didn't stop me doing it again. :).
After all, is there anything better than a day's fishing? Especially fly fishing Seychelles waters! What else? We lived by the sea about a mile from Victoria, Mahe - not the best place for fishing but the ocean bordered our backyard. So every spare moment was devoted to fishing and fish talk.
I caught my first beautiful silver bonefish at a very tender age and I was hooked. As I got older I would start accompanying adult friends of the family in boats fishing just beyond the reefs - perhaps 500 metres out.
I remember catching my first one-spot snapper, my first parrotfish, and my first grouper, trevally and barracuda. I liked the sea and enjoyed fishing whenever I got the chance - meaning almost every day.
Fly fishing Seychelles - 8 different species of Trevally alone: pics courtesy of mister-tee
Because of school and the great distances involved, I never got to the outer islands to fish, but I heard so many tales from my grandfather and uncle and father too, and I envied them for their having fished in those remote parts. Perhaps one day I will.
Talking of the outer islands... One visiting angler says: "Must be the best inshore flats, sea-water fly fishing on the planet." And he cannot be far off judging by the stories from my folks. International anglers who have discovered Seychelles fishing mostly say the same. The fish are plentiful and big around the outer islands.
One angler compares his recent Seychelles fishing holiday with his previous sorties in the Bahamas and the Yucatan. The difference is as big as night and day - unbelievable. And he says that...
While he had been ecstatic with a catch of 5 - 10 bonefish a day each weighing 1 to 3 pounds in the Americas, in the outer islands of Seychelles he would catch 40 to 60 bones a day averaging 4 to 6 pounds with several 10-pounders and over.
Some anglers just freak out when they see the sheer mass of fish on those flats - it is just beyond belief. One says, "I faced a shoal of one thousand bonefish." Now, what will you do when you see that? Well, just expect it. And get fishing.
And enjoy it, knowing you are in fishing heaven. Of course there's more to fly fishing Seychelles waters than just bonefish. There are hundreds of other varieties of fish to target...
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If you go big game fishing there you'll catch huge sailfish, tuna, marlin monsters, giant barracuda, bonito, wahoo and many others. And that will be just beyond the reef edge, which is only a couple of hundred metres from shore.
And while the tide permits you can target the inshore flats that are teeming with 8 kinds of trevally, bonefish, African pompano (Indo Pacific permit), groupers, parrotfish, snappers of many different varieties, milkfish (Chanos chanos), 3 different varieties of triggerfish and more...
You also find most of those fish near Mahe and the inner islands but they are nowhere near as abundant as around the remote coral islands. And here's a side note:
For recreational fishing Seychelles has two main categories - inshore flats fly fishing and offshore blue-water fishing. The latter can be further sub-divided into two different types: big-game fishing and bottom fishing.
While most visiting anglers would prefer fly fishing Seychelles waters and trolling for big-game fish, the locals would opt for a day bottom-fishing just beyond the reefs from an anchored boat for such varieties as trevally, groupers, parrotfish, snappers, emperors and jobfish. You see the latter are looking for a tasty dinner in addition to some fun.
"What is bottom-fishing?" you ask. It is actually fishing the ocean floor at depths of 30 metres or more with a long line of perhaps 100 metres at the end of which are anywhere from one to 15 baited hooks. The line is weighted down by lead weights.
Just drop your line overboard and each time you bring it up you could have anywhere from half a fish to a dozen. "Why the half fish?" you wonder. Well whatever is left after sharks have had a go at your catch.
Bottom fishing Seychelles - red groupers, snappers: pics courtesy of mister-tee
Incidentally, in Seychelles you wont find the locals fishing with a rod, reel and fly. There, it's just a line, hook and bait for both recreational as well as professional fishermen. So the cost of entry is minimal, and arguably a lot more fun too.
In fact I started my own fishing adventure with sewing thread and a "reengineered" safety pin and wondered why I could not land my catch.
Then I discovered the fishing hook and line that I could buy in short lengths, so I started landing my prize more often. But that was many moons ago. :).
This just goes to show that you don't need much in fishing gear to enjoy fishing in Seychelles and a case of: less is more - more fun.
The Seychelles Fishing season is from October to May. During the dry season corresponding with the SE trade winds, the sea can get rough and fish quite scarce, so not the best time for a fishing holiday in Seychelles. Conversely the rainy season is the best time for Seychelles fishing. See this page for more about Seychelles weather.
These islands can boast of many world records for such species as: giant trevally, bonefish, big-eye trevally, dogtooth tuna, moustache grouper, striped bonito, giant guitarfish, blue-fin trevally and many others. It's a real anglers' paradise with no equal.
Many anglers return to the incredible fly fishing Seychelles waters continue to deliver year after year once they discover this fishing heaven. Perhaps you will too after you experience the unbelievable fly fishing Seychelles has in store.
Now it's your turn...
Do you have a great story about fly-fishing in Seychelles? Share it here! If your story is about big game fishing then go there instead. Thank you in advance for sharing with our readers. If you have a great picture share that too. You can upload it below and make your story come alive...
Angling in Seychelles and anglers
Fishing in Seychelles
Fly fishing Seychelles vs. bottom-fishing
Big game fishing Seychelles Seas
Seychelles fly fishing
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