St. Brandon’s Atoll – Indian Ocean Trip Report 2017:
“As I woke to the pitter-patter of birds on a metal roof and the roosters crowing, I had the panicked moment of “Where the hell am I?” After scanning the room, a smile came across my face. I quickly realized I was back at St. Brandon’s Atoll and the anticipation of day one started to simmer. The multiple days of travel were all but forgotten and everyone was ready to go.
It did not take long for some wild moments to take place. Tim Brune exercised some demons of his past and made very quick work of his largest GT to date. As I watched Tim fight the GT it was a very surreal moment. I have been with him in the past where everything that could have gone wrong did for multiple times on multiple fish. This fight was pure execution and a thing of beauty. The fish’s spirit was broken quick as Tim applied as much pressure as his setup could handle.
Elsewhere on the Atoll, Mike Ward had landed the trips first Indo Pacific Permit. Others were experiencing the amazing skinny water bonefishing along with other Trevally species.
What ensued over the next week can often be referred to as the “Permit Problem”. It arises in a place like St. Brandon’s. Even though it was confusing at times, the Permit Problem is a good problem to have. A combination of the guides spending more time specifically focusing on permit and there seemingly being a lot more permit on the atoll heightened the focus on Permit. However, do you really focus on Permit when you are in the midst of the best bonefishing in the world? We ended up landing 11 Indo Pacific Permit for the week, which was amazing! We also lost a significant amount of fish that were hooked up. 9 in total which led to plenty of hook conversations around the vises during cocktails. There is no doubt that St. Brandon’s is turning into an Indo Pacific Permit fishery and it most likely will keep getting better!
The sole pursuit of Permit was subdued as we all got to experience the skinny water bonefishing over the week. It is simply the best bonefishing in the world. There was one bonefish landed over 10 lbs, 5-7 over 9lbs and countless fish in the 6-8lb range. In hindsight, it makes one wonder what the bonefishing results would have been if the “Permit Problem” had not crept in !
While we only landed one additional GT, some of the other species played nice!
We were all extremely thankful for the weather we experienced on our adventure. The last night, as the sun set, the conversation turned to what a special place St. Brandon’s is and how lucky we were to experience it once again! We look forward to returning next year.”
-WCA President Mike Dawes