MV A’mani Mothership – Seychelles: Devoted Permit fishermen embrace the ever present challenges of their passion to such an extreme that it often evolves into an act of mental self torture and extreme introspective analysis. If you’ve ever had the luxury of committing a full week to chasing these elusive fish, you will begin to understand what kind of mental toll they can take on you. Even if the conditions are perfect and you are seeing fish on a consistent basis, there is nothing harder to do with a fly rod than hook and land Permit. This is true for Atlantic Ocean Permit but even more so for their cousin across the world: the Indo Pacific Permit. Everything about catching Indo Pacific Permit is harder: they are harder to see, they are even pickier about what they eat and collectively we have far less data and experience fishing for them. They truly present the pinnacle challenge for saltwater flats fishermen. With this context in mind, there may not be a better way to fish for Indo Pacific Permit than the Alphonse Fishing Company’s Amirantes mothership trip.
What separates this trip from almost every other Permit fishing trip in the world is the juxtaposition of fishing that one is capable of experiencing on each day of the trip. The central focus of the adventure is to catch Indo Pacific Permit along the multiple Atolls that make up the Amirante Archipelago in the western Indian Ocean; however, this location is also home to some of the greatest offshore angling that the Seychelles offer. Each day is scheduled around the best tides to fish for Permit: wade fishing selective locations at precise times utilizing the expertise of the experienced Alphonse Fishing Company guide staff. The remaining portions of the day are spent trolling the blue ocean (within sight of the permit flats) and catching Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Dogtooth Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Snapper and Grouper. It’s a day of fishing divided into two halves that could not be any different. As WCA President Mike Dawes phrases it “You spend one half of the day getting your butt kicked by Permit and the other half exacting revenge by hooking and landing dozens of fish offshore.” It’s a Permit trip but you get to actually catch a bunch of fish, two things that very rarely go hand in hand.
Most of the trip is focused on one Atoll in particular: Poivre. Poivre lies 268km South of Mahe and is located on the Eastern edge of the Amirante Bank. This small atoll is comprised of two islands with a shallow lagoon. This specific location epidmizes the Amirante adventure with some of the best flats fishing in the region, especially for Indo Pacific Permit and mind blowing offshore jigging, popping and teasing. Poivre’s location is everything. Situated on the Eastern edge of the Amirante Trench, which steadily steps down to 1200 meters within sight of the shoreline, the area boasts the best possible structure for bluewater fishing.
Homebase for the trip is a newly refitted 54ft motor catamaran named the MV A’mani. She is spacious, stable and most importantly has a two meter draft that allows her to anchor in calm lean waters. The A’mani offers two guest cabins with both double beds and single beds in them, two cabins with double beds and two bunk beds in the passage between cabins. There are two communal showers and toilets and all the cabins and indoor areas are fully airconditioned. This boat is the perfect size and design for a four person group and fully equipped for fly fishing, game fishing and spin fishing. The food aboard the A’mani consists primarily of fresh fish that is caught on a daily basis by the guests and crew. If you like the freshest sashimi possible, you will not be disappointed.
A land based operation will soon be established on Poivre which means this expedition will lose a little bit of it’s adventurous character. If you want one of the best possible opportunities to knock the Indo Pacific Permit off your species list while not going insane trying to do so, this is the trip for you and right is now the time to make it happen.