This article was written by Christiaan Pretorius, a fly fishing industry professional that has traveled the world fly fishing and guiding in some of the worlds most exotic locations. He spent 6 years guiding in the Seychelles, so it only made sense to see if he could narrow down the top 5 species to for any angler target in the Seychelles.
There are not many fisheries in the world that have 5 different fish species worthy of a mention in an article. But, the Seychelles makes this a difficult topic to narrow it down to 5 as I can think of at least 10 species enjoy targeting on these pristine flats of the Indian Ocean. I will never forget the fact that after 6 years of guiding a couple different atolls in the Seychelles it was not uncommon to be faced with situations where you really had no idea what we were casting at. That is the beauty about the Seychelles, the diversity of species, the pristine environment and the remoteness. The conservation is another success story in itself. Here are my top 5 species of fish to target on the flats of the Seychelles.
5. Bump Head Parrotfish or Bumpies (Bolbometopon muricatum)
What’s not to like about them? They are big, they are blue, they tail in the flats and they are strong! On my recent trip to Providence Atoll, I really got to see what it was all about. Seeing a group of 30-40 fish ranging in 25-40lb range waving their big blue tails at you is a damn exciting sight. It definitely takes some determination to keep making the right cast and really slowing everything down until all hell breaks loose when they grab your fly. A well deserving specimen of the of the 5th spot on my top 5 fish list in the Seychelles.
4. Permit (Trachinotus falcatus)
I’m sure I don’t need to justify why this fish made the list of species to target in the Seychelles. We should get something straight too, the fact that certain atolls will provide better shots at certain species. You really do need to do your homework if you are planning a species specific trip to the Seychelles. I am an absolute Permit addict and love the challenge. They keep me on my toes and force me to become a better fly fisherman every time I cast at one and the Seychelles is abundant with them.
3. Bonefish (Albula vulpes)
Yes, we actually do get bonefish in the Seychelles, lots of them, and big ones too. Unfortunately, because of the variety of species one encounters, the bonefish often gets overlooked. I have had guests walk past 8lb tailing bonefish because they get so fixated on specific species. That’s just wrong. I have and will always love fishing to tailing bonefish, and the beauty about bones in the Seychelles is the fact that they grow them big out there. Hooking fish in the 5-6lb ranges is not uncommon. The biggest one I ever laid my hands on was a beautiful specimen of 11.5lb on St. Brandon’s Atoll.
2. Trigger Fish (Balistidae)
If you like fishing to tailing fish while wading the flats, this fish is right up your alley. There are three different triggerfish to target on the flats of the Seychelles, two of which is more prominent trophy species namely the Yellow Margin Triggerfish and the Moustache Triggerfish, both incredibly colorful and beautiful, awkward looking, but truly special. Don’t let the little tail fool you, once hooked these fish will put you’re a serious stretch in your fly line with the goal to reach any hole in they can go get stuck in to make your life really difficult.
1. Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis)
Hands down the most badass fish to target with a fly rod in hand. A real tackle buster, I have many memories of reels exploding rods snapping, fly lines disintegrating… Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong with these fish. But before I scare the life out of you there are a lot of things to look forward to. The best thing by far is the sheer aggression that these fish feed on. Often they can be very forgiving, where a cast that landed 20ft short works perfect as these fish will often bolt 30ft to inhale a fly before you can make you first strip. If you don’t know the fish, you should be embarrassed. Google “GT eating birds”…drop the mic!
There you have it the “Top 5 Species to Target in the Seychelles.” To follow along with Christiaan, you can find him on Instagram or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.