Know thyself say the wise elders. Know thy backyard say the wise old anglers. Stu Webb is neither wise nor old, but he knows the milky lagoon of Astove and its difficult denizens.

Trevor Skinner with an Astove Atoll permit caught on a Thomas & Thomas Sextant bamboo rod. Photo Stu Webb

“I’m not looking for a fish shape most of the time. A tailing fish is great, but most fish are spotted subsurface. Head down in the mud, the dark dorsal and self-tanned back in plain sight, they look just like a half sunk stick. It’s very easy to get excited when you see a piece of sea grass or turtle turd in the distance that catches the corner of your eye, but that’s why I get so obsessed with these fish. My eyes burn with the anticipation of spotting one. It doesn’t take long for everything to start looking fishy and when I do actually see one, I always do a double take because I was literally looking in that exact spot two seconds ago. Often, it’s a mock-permit.

“Perrr…!  Na na na it’s just a turd.”

If you do manage to spot one, most of the time your window of opportunity to make a shot is pretty tight, because the fish has only got to move twenty centimetres deeper and you have lost him.”

Check out the full story in issue 12 below:

Leave a comment



Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the latest to your inbox!