Astove Island | Fly Fishing | Seychelles | Q&A
Astove has become synonymous with the largest flats-caught GT’s in the Indian Ocean. Its shallow lagoon and small entrance, surrounded by sheer drop-offs makes the experience truly unique. This lagoon is a sanctuary for both juvenile and trophy-size fish that feed on the shallow white sand flats that line the inside of the lagoon.
Astove is small and is surrounded by coral flats with deep drop-offs on the flats edge allowing predators easy access. Not only does Astove have large GT’s but it also has an equally impressive Bonefish, Permit, Bluefin Trevally, Triggerfish, Barracuda and Milkfish population. The offshore fishing starts metres from the edge of the flats where you can test your tackle against species like Yellowfin Tuna, Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo and Sailfish. The variety of Grouper and Snapper that can be caught while dredging adds a new dimension to the number of species you may tick off your list.
Where is the lodge?
Astove Island Lodge is situated 655 miles south-west of Mahé and forms part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls. Astove is a small and unique atoll that spans 3 miles from north to south and just under 3 miles from east to west at the widest points.
Where do they fish?
The fishing is mainly concentrated around the large internal flats or the shallow lagoon which has one small entrance, and due to its elevation, a phenomenon occurs whereby the tide falls like a river for ten hours of the 12-hour tidal cycle and then turns to flood the entire lagoon in only two hours.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
Anglers will either fish the outer Atolls offshore or inside the lagoon depending on what species you wish to target. The travel time to the fishing from will then be anything from 5 to 15 mins.
What fish will I catch?
There are now over 60 different species that you can target on Astove. Anglers can decide to either target a certain fish species or just opportunity fish by casting at what you and your guide find as you go out and explore. There are plenty of species to target that you can catch from Bonefish, Triggerfish, seven species of Trevally, Milkfish, Barracuda, Sailfish, Dogtooth Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and a plethora of other flats and offshore species.
How many fish will I catch?
The number of fish you can catch will depend on several factors. One is how high you set the stakes. For example, if you are looking to fish for all species on a given day you can expect some good days with 10 to 20 Bones per day. However, if you wish to just target species such as GT’S or Permit the number of fish you catch will be reduced.
How do they fish?
Each day two anglers will fish with one guide and the fishing is a mixture of either wading the flats or fishing from the skiff over larger areas. There is also the offshore fishing with either conventional tackle or fly fishing. When fly fishing you will practice switch and tease methods, where the guides tease target species to the surface including Sailfish and Tuna. You will then cast your fly into the action as the teasers are removed. With conventional tackle customer will troll lures behind the boat or cast surface lures around the boat.
Do the guides speak English?
All our guides speak very good English.
Who is best suited to this destination?
Astove suite anglers who tend to prefer targeting predator species like the GT’ s as the fishable areas suit GT’s perfectly.
What skill level is required?
We believe this destination is more suited to more experienced anglers. This is because it is more of an advantage if you are more experienced at casting when fishing for the more challenging fly fishing species, like GT’S and Milkfish. Having said this all of our guides are great instructors and love nothing more than teaching customers to catch the first of a new species.
How physically demanding is this trip?
To get the best out of this destination and if you wish to spend all day fly fishing you need to be of a suitable fitness standard and be able to walk certain distances each day (easy hard bottom sand walks). If you wish to fish offshore with both conventual tackle or fly fishing there is limited walking involved as the fishing is mainly conducted from the boat.
When to go?
Astove is open to anglers from early November to late April with a break over the festive period. This avoids the unstable weather patterns that can be experienced outside of this period. You can have excellent fishing at any stage during the season.
Weeks with full or new moons tend to be at a premium as the increase in tidal range and flow of water in and out of the flat benefits the GT’s that lie in ambush. When fishing for the flats species the opposite may apply. As the conditions will change over the 6 days fishing you should always experience a taste of the variety experienced over any week is one of the major attractions when fishing in the Indian Ocean
How to get there?
From the UK fly to either Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha and from there it is only a short 4.5-hour flight to Mahe. Once you have overnighted in Mahe the next day just a 3-hour flight to Astove.
What is the accommodation like?
You will be accommodated in one of six single en-suite air-conditioned rooms that surround the central courtyard area. The lodge has a lounge and an indoor and outdoor dining area. The bathrooms have a shower, toilet, basin, towels and facecloths.
What is the food like?
The menu comprises of an English breakfast, a packed lunch of your choice and a Creole-style buffet dinner served in the inside dining area.
Does the lodge provide fishing tackle?
Fly fishing outfits consisting of Thomas and Thomas fly rods and Shilton reels, loaded with 300 yards of Cortland braided backing can be loaned at no charge. Fly lines will need to be purchased from the shop and it is recommended that you preorder a fly pack for your expedition, which would include all the flies you would need for the various different species on offer.
There is a full range of flies that are custom tied for this destination on the right hooks and with the correct material. It’s important that angler’s pre-book the rod hire as well as tackle to ensure that we have sufficient stock. All tackle sales may be settled at the end of your trip upon check out at Astove. All rod breakages are for your account and will be billed at $150 per rod.
Is internet and phone signal available?
There is no mobile signal/connectivity on the island. Each Bungalow and Suite has a phone service, operated via satellite. There is no free wi-fi.
Are there other activities available?
Astove is mainly aimed at anglers as there is very little to do as a non-angler.
How much does it cost?
Sportquest Holidays offers you the complete package including all flights and transfers. To view all prices and availability visit our Astove Atoll fishing page.
Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all your own travel arrangements Sportquest Holidays can book just the lodge and fishing for you.