Fishing In Alor - Part 1

Fishing in Alor - Part 1

Recently i was invited to go on a five day jigging and popping expedition to Alor, Indonesia, on the Komodo Shalom. "Live Onboard" trips have never really been my thing, but i agreed to this trip because the group was made up of good friends and i really wanted to be out fishing on my birthday.

The Runway at Kupang

The journey began with a flight out of Singapore at 10pm. A couple of transits and almost 12 hours later we touched down in Alor. Our flights were carefully booked to avoid stay overs. So comfortable neck pillows, regular toilet breaks at the airports and bottled water were essential during the travel.

View in front of the Blue Mali Fishing Lodge

Once our baggage was collected, we made a quick pit stop to check out the new Blue Mali Fishing Lodge, located 5 minutes away from the Airport. This place will be ready soon and it is definitely worth checking out if you are into Ultra Light - Medium reef game. I will cover it in another post.

Side View of the Komodo Shalom

At the dock we were greeted by the friendly smiles of the crew that operate the Komodo Shalom skippered by Capt Ambon. Boat owner Budi Wi gave us some last minute tips as the deckies loaded up our stuff and wished us luck before we set off to our first fishing spot that was about 8 hours away.

Sleeping Area: Clean, Comfortable and Air-conditioned

As we set off, i made my way down to select my bunk. The air-conditioned room's layout is well thought out. Each bunk has it's own power socket for easy access and hooks for hanging clothes. The common area outside had racks for drying wet towels and storing your footwear.

The Throne Room 

There were two toilets equipped with showers at the back of the boat. They were both cleaned regularly throughout the trip. There is no water heater so showers are cold and perfect after a long day's fishing. Support railings are installed so you can move around safely when its choppy.

Dining Area

At full seating, the dining area can get a little cramped but nothing a mate can't hand to you if you needed something you couldn't reach. The refrigerator was topped up with the drinks we had ordered. The two cooks Jack and Suhar were always available and ready to make us snacks.

A typical meal whipped up by the cooks

 After setting up our tackle. We had a taste of what was in store for us on the culinary side. The food was delicious. The chilli was so addictive! After the meal, the Z monster attacked so i went down to the bunk to catch some sleep while some of the others continued chatting and setting up their gear.

Rusa Island Sunset

It was almost 6pm when we got to our first spot and the sun was going down. I headed up to the roof to take some pictures and the Captain took us on a sunset cruise before anchoring at the first spot for the night. The anticipation was building and after a quick dinner, it was finally time to fish!

First Ruby of the night

Despite a depth of only 80 meters, we had to use really heavy jigs as we were anchored in a channel and the current was really strong. Edgar got the ball rolling with the first Ruby Snapper of the night. A couple of us also hooked onto fish but dropped them mid-fight due to the mouth of the fish tearing.

Nigel's first ruby of the night

The current was starting to get stronger and our jigs were not able to reach the strike zone. Nigel took out his trusty 500g tungsten jig and scored his first fish of the night. The jig however was lost on the next fish as the tax man showed up and took both the fish and the jig.

Dyran getting taxed

We were getting sharked a lot. So the first mate Martin, Nigel, Lenny and i decided to try and catch one. We used my Yamaga Galahad PE6 paired with Shimano Ocea Jigger 4000P. The shark hit hard. However the fight was brief. It bit through the steel wire. Cheap thrill denied, we called it a night.

Watching the Sunrise

The next morning i got up just before dawn to catch the Sunrise. We had moved during the night. After breakfast, 4 of the guys headed out to pop on the tender. I dropped a Chasebaits Ultimate Squid, hooked up and got spooled!!! You can watch the video of the incident on Instagram.

I think i brought a knife to a gun fight

My emotions went from excitement to panic to despair as my trusty Evergreen Poseidon Slow Jerker and Shimanao Ocea Jigger 2000NRHG combo was rendered useless by the fish. 400 meters of PE3 Varivas line vanished in less than 10 minutes with full drag! As i watched Dyran getting spooled after hooking up on a jig on a similar set up, Ambon told me that we were in Big Dog territory. 

Edgar's GT

The rest of the morning was pretty quiet after a chaotic start until the group that had gone popping came back for lunch. They excitedly told us that Edgar had landed a beast of a GT! The rest of the group didn't hook up but there had been plenty of follows and misses.

Nigel with one of the fishes he hit after lunch

After lunch, some of the guys continued jigging and hit some fish while the others just hung around and recuperated waiting for the 2nd popping session in the late afternoon. I didn't have much luck hooking up so when the Captain decided to change the location, i went to catch a nap.

Dyran's Rat GT

 Later in the afternoon, Nigel, Dyran, Lenny and I set off in search of some Giant Trevally with Martin on the tender. The wind had picked up considerably but, Dyran managed to hook up a juvenile GT on the Shimano Ocea Pencil shortly after we started casting

The first of many Blue Fins

Meanwhile, Capt Ambon had moved the mother boat closer to the islands to take shelter from the wind and also to keep an eye on us while we were out popping in the small boat. Carlos started casting towards some Bommies nearby and was rewarded with a nice Blue Fin Trevally. 

Another Juvenile GT Landed

Nigel switched to his lucky Native Works Napalm and scored a GT. While it was not very big, it put up quite a fight in the strong currents. Lenny and i continued casting and i connected with an annoying Long Tom much to everyone's amusement. Fortunately, it fell off and swam away.

Sashimi Time!

Inspired by Carlos, Matt squeezed in a couple of casts between his Netflix binge and got a little Blue Fin Trevally that was dispatched quickly and sent to the kitchen to be processed for sashimi. Jack did a brilliant job and the sashimi was wolfed down later during dinner. Nothing like fresh fish!

If you want to score points with your lady when you are out fishing, do what Mike does!

The sun was setting as we got back to the mother boat. Mike, the resident videographer was taking some pictures of the sunset with our jigging hooks as props. He told us that he takes a different picture every day to send to his girlfriend(s) to make them happy so they don't forget him. 😍

Lenny yelled, "I'll Spit On You!" as he reeled in his first Ruby Snapper to the surface

This was Lenny's first big game trip. He is an awesome guy who is naturally funny and extremely hardworking. He lost his balance while setting the hook but recovered quickly and landed his first Ruby Snapper on the Shout Seduce rod paired with a Shimano Stella SW10000PG reel. 

Big Fish + Strong Currents = Exhausted Angler

Edgar dropped his jig and hooked onto a hard fighting fish. After some huffing and puffing, he finally reeled up this 26lb Ruby Snapper. While posing for the picture, the fish secreted some whitish substance on him and he said, " I have Fish Sperm all over me!" Check out the video on Instagram.

Dyran's Giant Gold Fish

Dyran landed a good sized fish on his Synit Kaha custom built rod that was paired with a Jigging Master PE4 reel. The current picked up considerably after this that even 500g jigs went flying. The heavy rain that followed brought an end to the night's fishing. 

Photos/Videos: Mike, Carlos, Isaiah

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