Madagascar – Day 14
Granny organized most of this great adventure and I must say she may be in charge for life. I simply picked places that geographically should have fish and she took care of the logistics of getting there and where we stay. She’s’ been on enough Jeff Currier “wing-it as you go” trips. “No more” she says!
This morning we flew from Antananarivo to the small island of Saint Marie. If you look at a map it’s on the east side of northern Madagascar. It’s a long thin island and if you look at the bottom there’s another island called Isle Aux Nattes. That’s where we are. If you Google Earth this place, you will see why I chose this location for fishing. It’s all gorgeous palm tree lined beaches, flats, coral reef, channels and the bluewater is close.
We landed on Isle Saint Marie before 8 AM this morning along with a South African family. All of us then took a mile taxi ride to a beach and hitched a ride across a channel by pirogue (dug out canoe) to Isle Aux Nattes and to our hotel. These are the most beautiful beaches we can remember.
The hotel is called La Petite Traversée. We settled on this hotel because its one of the only accommodations out here that is English speaking. Most of our trip we’ve dealt with Malagasy and French and it’s been a challenge. (Man I wish I knew how handy paying attention in high school language classes would have been in my life!).
This region of Madagascar is famous for getting massive amounts of rain, but today the weather was absolutely gorgeous. However, you would not believe how hot it is. It was hot last week on the west side of Madagascar up at Sakatia Island, but it’s hotter here. Today was at least 95º and humid.
We arrived at La Petite at about 9 AM with the family of South Africans. The South Africans seem like great folks and will be staying here at La Petite also. We should have a lot of fun. La Petite is situated right on the water smothered in palm trees. I’m telling you, this place is absolutely stunning. The staff seems great and our room is perfect. If the fishing proves good here this week we may have found Heaven!
The La Petite staff whipped us up a great breakfast then Granny and I grabbed my 8-weight Ross rigged with my SA Sharkskin line and headed out. It appeared to me when I studied this island on Google Earth that a walk completely around the island would be less than a five mile hike. So off we went. The tide was rising so I felt like fishing could really be good.
Right off the bat from a deep channel near La Petite, Granny nailed the first barracuda of the trip. He was tiny but a cuda nonetheless. There are Great barracudas here as well as a couple smaller species of the Indian Ocean. I never got over to Granny to identify him or get a photo. That cuda was all we could catch there so then we continued our walk. Again, we can’t believe how beautiful this place is!
It didn’t’ take long before the rising tide eventually took almost our entire beach walking ability from us. It was a good thing we brought along Tevas because we had to walk through the palm forests and over some rocky points. It was tough going but there’s nothing like exploring new water and new places you have never been in your life.
Surprisingly, despite spectacular looking water, the fishing stunk. Other than the tiny cuda, Granny mustered up a blackspot emperor fish and I got a sand lizardfish. That was it. We casted our way along four miles of great looking beaches, reef and rocky points and got three dink fish. Such is fishing.
The entire walk took about four hours and despite the poor fishing it was a nice way to get some exercise. We spent the rest of the afternoon sipping beers on our deck. During that time Granny read and I typed away at my blog. I just may be learning how to relax . . . a little anyhow.
Dinner was outstanding tonight. I foolishly did not take a photo. The meal consisted of gigantic prawns that were scrumptious. We had a family style dinner and cocktail hour with the South Africans and I can tell this will be a great week. Now the evening rains have started and we are ready to hit the sack. Hope for a better fishing entry tomorrow as I have made friends with a couple cool dudes with a pirogue. They say they will take me out to the reef.