I want to catch a GT. Badly. I’m not alone. Who wouldn’t want to catch one? Massive, aggressive (like, OJ aggressive), top water even? Come on!
Guides out in Christmas have found a way to get their well paying foreigner guests the GT they have flown half-way around the world to tie into. The easiest way to get it done is to chum. Milkfish (I almost wrote Milf fish, which is a whole other post, I’d think), are caught and cut up and the juicy bits milk chum lure the big, massive kings (and queens) of the Jack family in for anglers to catch, fight, photograph and release. Doesn’t sound horrible.
However, I’m starting to hear about some major downside to this whole enterprise. Some of the guides are starting to say the Geets are starting to get habituated to the handouts. I read one comment that talked about the fish being the equivalent of Yosemite garbage bears.
Here is what one friend and Christmas Island booking agent had to say…
It was unfortunate that I had to witness the ‘chum’ fishing by other lodges. To cut up and chum with the islands main food fish was sad to see, and many of the guides were disappointed it is happening.
On the bonefish side of thing, the chumming is affecting that also, according to the guides. I heard different takes (mostly in broken English) about the bonefish being extra spooky of any and all noise – thinking it’s “chum time and here comes a bunch of trevally, so lets leave this flat”.
Other guides said on some flats, the bonefish won’t eat a fly well any more, because they are used to picking up extra and stray pieces of chum left over.
“This flat ruined” is what one guide said once.
So, not only does it “train” the trevally, it’s changing the behavior of bonefish – according to the guides.
My group did not chum, and trevally to 65 pounds were landed – legit – on a cast fly to cruising or busting trevally. I personally needed a defibrillator on more than one occasion, as they are viscous hunters and will chase a goatfish, or fly for that matter, right to your feet. It was something else to see !!
Then there were all the the smaller trevally, the queenfish, the triggerfish, and all the wonderful wildlife…. what a special place!!
The debate has carried over to the Dan Blanton message board. Read the debate.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what is happening there. It is a special place to so many people and it is a place I long to get to myself. Don’t screw up before I get there.