Fishing the Radama Archipelago
Photographs and text by Edward Truter
A collection of photographs from northwestern Madagascar while on an offshore spinning and vertical jigging jolly with host, Radama Sporfishing
“A” is for Africa but is this Africa? Sort of, though not quite.
“B” is for blue and bright and balmy, just a typically perfect-weather day in the Radamas.
“C” is for chameleons of all sizes, shapes and, err … colours.
“D” is for dawn and the delight of dreaming of all the day’s possibilities.
“E” is for Epinephelus. Madagascar’s are big in number of species, size and appetite. It’s a measure of the pristine state of many of the deeper reefs, but it’s also a fragile resource that needs to be managed with extreme caution. This is Epinephelus coioides or orange-spotted grouper.
“F” is for fishy formula. A session of vertical jigging starts with cruising drop-offs glued to the ‘TV’ and doing a little math. Fish at 59 meters: thus 5900/30 = 197 ft, therefore one requires 197 g/28 = 7 oz of brightly coloured, fluttering metal to reach the zone. There’s a tip in there: the minimum vertical jig weight required in grams equals the depth in feet.
“G” is for good, golly gumdrops, what a fine dinner!
“H” is for Hell’s Gate, a pile of rocks bordering a channel that is GT Heaven. Tempted by baitfish riding the tide between inshore shallows and the offshore deep, all manner of other species stack up here too.
“I” is for inebriated. The morning after, Charlie is an alcoholic diabetic lemur. Maybe we should all drink less?
“J” is for journey on the long road from home. Will there be fish when we get there?
“K” is for knoll and a kindly sea, Sugarloaf Rock in water calmer than a teacup. High mountains inland shield this region of northwestern Madagascar from trade winds and most stormy weather.
“L” is for lemur, a breakaway faction of the primate clan (though the African monkeys probably couldn’t give a continental).
“M” is for magic mirror and to marvel at the coloured creatures from below the glass.
“N” is for noisy and how you want to work your plug to call in a hit.
“O” is for observe, soak it all in. Time ticks here at the rhythm of the wind and tide.
“P” is for pelagic punishment, pull or be pulled!
“Q” is for quantity and quality, bait-balling GTs could be found on demand.
“R” is for rosy job fish. Are they named for the job (hard work) it is to catch them by having to crank a jig at warp speed?
“S” is for sunset and sashimi in that order.
“T” is for teeth—Spanish mackerel, the oceanic bullet with a bite.
“U” is for uber: uber-interesting, uber-strong, actually amberjack are uber everything.
“V” is for valuable—Madagascar currency.
“W” is for will this be the one, will this cast be the Big Hit?
“X” marks the spot, Kalakadjoro Island, a fisherman’s Xanadu (and you can bring your wife and let her loose with all your credit cards!).
“Y” is for yellowspotted trevally, they come to soft plastic like kids to jelly jujubes.
“Z “ is for Zebu, is it beef and reef for dinner then?
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