Nubian Flats Exploratory week 4 – 14 to 21 April

With amazing weather forecast and this being the fourth week of our exploratory season on the Nubian flats, everything pointed to a killer week.

Our itinerary for the week was as follows: We were top set sail on Tuesday morning, then fish the majority of the day on a small island we had visited previously (in the hope that we would have some more shots at the numerous permit we had discovered here), next on the list would be another slightly larger island which we would sail to after giving proper consideration to the permit flats.

One thing we noticed early on this week was a major shift in season. In the space of a couple days, the average temperature shot through the roof with an increase in the humidity as well and a major decrease in wind. Officially we were fast heading in the direction of summer.

Our first stop once again produced the goods – with very low water and almost no wind, the conditions were absolutely perfect! On the flats we found some monster barracuda, GTS and some big titan triggers – but the fish that kept everyone on their toes were the permit. The first afternoon session we bumped into two good sized fish but this paled in comparison to the number we encountered the following morning. We sighted and presented to at least 10 tailing permit in the space of 3 hours – to put the icing on the cake they were all big. Big or small, permit are always tricky and although we were getting loads of shots at these iconic fish, no one could entice an eat, but what a spectacular sight it is when you see them tailing and feeding in such shallow water!

Although we had spectacular fishing on the permit flats, it was only once we arrived at the second island that the magic happened. The flats were literally flooded with trigger fish. Both titan’s and yellow margin were on every flat. The sight of very hungry tailing triggers, just about everywhere you looked. They were tailing and were in a feeding mood – If you had the finesse to present the fly delicately the triggers would rush over to inspect the fly and almost always tailing on the crustacean imitation instantly. Some would follow the fly all the way to the rod tip, where others wouldn’t hesitate at all in completely engulfing the fly – something that makes us really love the trigger fish, as every single specimen is completely unique and you never know how the situation is going to unfold.

With so many tailing fish around, it was often a case where the guests were unsure of what trigger to cast at next – a true angling heaven for anyone who knows and loves trigger fishing. On top of the vast numbers of triggers, the extremely low tidal difference meant that you could fish for these tailing fish the entire day, everyday.

In between all the triggers we saw really good number of GT’s, Barracuda’s, and some bonefish on the flats as well. On the GT side I managed a GT of 87cm fish on the flat but although we saw quite a few over the 100cm mark, we just couldn’t convert any of these fish. The bonefish were proving, once again, to be very tricky. It seems that we are seeing more and more of these fish as the season progresses, and hopefully with some more time we will manage to decode them to a point we can start converting more of the chances to fish.

With the flats being full of fish we did very little walking and teasing along the flat edges but the couple teasing session’s we had produced some crazy fishing. Richard got absolutely manhandled by two GT’s in the vicinity of 35-40kg. He made up for those fish though and in one particular session landed 6 smaller GT’s and 7 bluefin all before lunch. As always the bohar snapper were in good attendance and we got some good fish pushing towards the 10kg mark. One fish that really stood out was the massive 10kg coral trout Craig got during our last session of the week on tease. Beautiful dark bars down the side and completely covered in bright blue spots, a fish that i am sure Craig will remember for a while.

This ended our first four weeks of exploratory work on the Nubian Flats, and what a four weeks it has been. We are slowly starting to build a deeper understanding of the fishery. It’s time for me to pack my bags and head home now, but I am not too depressed as we still have three more weeks of exploratory work still be to undertaken during May and June. Personally I cant wait.


Mark, Fede and TF Nubian Flats Exploratory crew.