Alphonse Island and St Francois hold the reputation as the best bonefish fishery in the world and this past season has demonstrated this once again.
In total 13,086 bonefish were caught and released during the 30-week season and since its introduction 281 anglers achieved the ‘Alphonse Twenty Bonefish Club’’, which is 20 or more bonefish in a day. There were also some bigger bones caught, especially in the latter portion of the season when the water was cooler. The biggest fish of the season topped the scale at a whopping 9lb 8oz.
The positive spirit, rejuvenated outlook and new techniques from the fresh team of guides had a record impact on the trevally landed this season. The GT’s were bigger than past seasons too, with 57 of them over a meter. The biggest fish by, only 2cm, measured a massive 129cm and weighed approximately 100lb. A further 190 GT’s were landed for the season, which averages at just over six fish per week. The GT’s ‘little brothers’ also broke records with 563 bluefin trevally landed.
The St Francois lagoon has also gone through some very interesting changes and it has become a very active permit fishery, with daily encounters expected. 19 anglers were lucky enough to land an Indo-Pacific permit, which is by far the hardest of the permit species to land.
Not only did the guide team make inroads into the GT’s, but they also developed new techniques and crab fly patterns to target the ever-present and very finicky triggerfish. Selectively targeting them during neap tides whilst on pancake flats has made an incredible improvement to numbers with 48 yellowmargin and 46 giant triggerfish landed.
The guides always have their eyes switched on when it comes to our magnificent milkfish population and their feeding habits. Cementing this claim is the incredible result of 61 milkfish landed. Seasoned milkfish hunters will know that in order for 61 fish to be landed a LOT more have to be hooked and in fact 427 were hooked and ‘the beasts’ simply got off. It’s fact that there is nowhere else in the world that comes close to the milkfish fishery at Alphonse and St Francois.
The Alphonse team celebrated 29 ‘Grand Slam’ titles, consisting of a GT, milkfish and a bonefish in a day and whilst the milkfish were returning from their spawning grounds the guides actively chased the ‘Flats Slam’ that involves the tricky triggerfish, GT and the ever-present bonefish. The bell rang out with 31 anglers rising to the occasion and a total of 60 ‘Slams’ for the season was a new Alphonse record.
Alphonse has a very unique geographical layout and is home to hundreds of thousands of bonefish that dwell in areas in close proximity to where we catch sailfish on fly and to add to this season’s achievements 17 anglers managed to catch a ‘Bills & Bones’ Slams with a bonefish and a sailfish in one day.
The team is stronger than ever before and the enthusiasm and willingness to give 100% for each guest has made this season the best in years.
Bills & Bones x 17,
Grand Slam x 29,
Flats Slam x 31
Bonefish x 13,085
GT’s x 190
Milkfish x 61
Indo Pacific Permit x 19
Yellowmargin Triggerfish x 48
Giant Triggerfish x 46
Bluefin Trevally x 563
Sailfish x 33
Other Gamefish x 1 370
Tight lines from Keith and the entire Alphonse Island team.