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Now here’s a new angling goal you can try for. You’ll have to go to Alphonse Island in Seychelles to achieve it, mind you, but success wins you a free return trip to that angling Valhalla. Let me explain. . . .
The new angling goal is the brainchild of the guide team on Alphonse Island, as well as Keith Rose-Innes, who has just taken over the management of the Alphonse Island fishing program. This is the same Rose-Innes who recently took over management of the fishing program on Desroches Island. At any rate, the new angling goal involves taking a permit, a milkfish, a giant trevally, a bonefish, and a triggerfish in one day. The achievement has been dubbed an Alphonse Golden Grand Slam. Anyone who achieves this goal, Rose-Innes says, will be awarded a free return trip currently worth more than $6,200. No, this is not a come-on, Rose-Innes says; an Alphonse angler recently accomplished this.
“The almost impossible feat of a Golden Grand Slam was achieved recently by an angler fishing St. François Atoll,” Rose-Innes writes. “Fourth-season Alphonse fishing guide Andrew Mayo guided Matvey Ivanov to this coveted achievement. Bonefish are easy at St. François Atoll, of course, but triggerfish, permit, milkfish, and giant trevally can all be notoriously difficult to catch. Catching them all in one day is an astounding achievement that points to the continuing conservation success story that is unfolding at Alphonse Island.
“The guide tells me he began the morning by helping his client land a milkfish. He quickly decided that the next catch would be a giant trevally. ‘We caught a beauty!’ the guide explained afterward. ‘It weighed more than 20 pounds. This inspired Mat and me to try and achieve the Alphonse Golden Grand Slam. Our next target was a bonefish, which was easy when you take into account that St. François is one of the most prolific areas in the world for this species. Permit, on the other hand, are problematic the world over. Amazingly, we took one shortly after lunch. Prior to that day, I had personally hooked nine permit in various locations around the world but never actually landed one. Landing a permit was a great personal achievement by itself. That left us with just a triggerfish to catch. With luck on our side and my knowledge of where to go, we landed the final species.’”
Alphonse Island is the atoll where the ongoing Seychelles fishing story began more than a decade ago. Longtime subscribers will remember our reports on Tam Tam, a yacht that was used as a mothership by the first anglers to fish St. François Atoll. Since then, a fishing facility consisting of elegant A-frame houses has been built on nearby Alphonse Island. There have been several ownership changes leading up to the current situation, which sees Keith Rose-Innes heading an effort to expand and improve the fishing program while keeping conservation at the forefront. A place on our Honor Roll awaits any angler who files an on-site report update on the Alphonse Island fishing program this season. More details are available at www.alphonse-resort.com.