The small island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean is situated to the east of Mauritius, and must surely rank as one of the top sport fishing destinations in the world.
In 2009 Cyril Faure moved there from France with his family and set up www.defidailleurs.com
If you want to get to grips with the highly sought after species on offer, Cyril is the go to man for the area and his results for his guests speak for themselves.
Growing up in Brittany in France, how did your love of fishing begin?
When I was little, I spent all my school holidays with my grandparents, on the shores of Lake Vioreau. I grew up with a passion for hunting, fishing and nature that was taught to me by my grandfather.
I started fishing for roach and bream, and then perch and pike… Naturally, I developed a passion for fishing at sea.
How did you come to move to Rodrigues?
I arrived with my family at the beginning of 2009. Before, I was YAMAHA Official Driver (quad) and motorcycle dealership. I had the opportunity for a “change of life”. First I wanted to ride a motorcycle touring structure but during a trip to Rodrigues, I “fell in love” with the island and saw the opportunity to live my passion for fishing as Rodrigues has a strong fisheries potential. And above all, there is the quality of life I was looking for.
What species make this area so special to fish?
Rodrigues Island is a small pebble in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it is a fabulous platform for fish and it is surrounded by two large benches which have dizzying drop-offs (1500 to 4000m on the Hawkins’bench). These three areas offer a lot of food for fish with large concentrations of plankton that attract predators. The main species sought are doggy (white tuna, which is a sedentary tuna), marlin and trevally (which is a very dynamic fish). We fish for them using the jigging technique and bait.
Can you tell us about what months suit which species?
The fish are present throughout the year in Rodrigues.
We fish from late September to late June because July and August correspond to the southern winter, the sea is a bit stronger so we do not take group during this period. This is a time when we perform maintenance of the boat and make equipment purchases for the next season.
However, some species have their periods:
At the beginning of the fishing season (October-November-December) fishermen catch beautiful doggies, kingfish, wahoo and yellowfin tuna, while January to April, they catch pelagics such as blue marlin and black marlin. During this time of summer, when there is plenty of food, doggies and trevally are more discreet but there are passages of very large yellowfin (40-60 kilos). In April, when the water cools down, there are squid and giant trevally.
How can a visiting angler get to Rodrigues?
We take care of everything (if you wish): Flight – accommodation – transfer on the island and fishing, of course!
To come to Rodrigues, you must go through the Mauritius island which has an international airport.
Then the airline AIR MAURITIUS carries out flights between MAURITIUS / RODRIGUES with 2 to 5 flights a day depending on the period.
How do you fish for the dog tooth tuna and how can a visitor plan a trip to catch them?
The dogtooth tuna fishermen often come with their equipment. We advise on the appropriate equipment according to the techniques that the fisherman wants to practice jig fishing, bait fishing.
The dogtooth tuna are found along the drop off, where they come to feed, but I can not say more, it is part of my “secrets”!
Can you tell us about the marlin fishing?
The right time to fish for marlin is from January to April.
The best way to catch them is trolling with a lure or bait up a live bonito.
This is fantastic fishing for anglers who love their large pelagics. All fights are different and all are amazing !!!
For example, last week (at the Hawkins Bank), there was a big fight with a blue marlin of over 200 kilos that made twenty spectacular and fabulous jumps!
This is the ultimate game fish (such as doggy and trevally) !!!
Giant trevally is another speciality, what are a visitors chances of catching them?
We take them very often, with bait or jig, if you are a good jigger.
They can be very discreet, until you hook one! And then you will see their real power.
Best time: October-November and first half of April where there are large concentrations of giant trevally.
What has been your favourite catch for one of your guests?
There are a lot !!!!
If I have to choose …
1 / a double of doggies caught by jigging, 63 and 83 kgs, fishermen lines tangled. It was a crazy battle to the end.
2 / A big black marlin released and estimated at 350 kg. It was during my first season, marlin doubled the boat he was on bottom of 50m. I had to do high-speed maneuvers to catch up and by the end the fisherman was exhausted!
What do you consider your personal best catch in your fishing career?
On a prospecting evening with my crew.
I was jigging on falling tide and for 2 hours, it was madness: the jig was no time to touch the bottom, my crew spent their time picking my lines and could not fish themselves.
Up came doggies and trevally following without stopping … I ended up completely “dead”, it was fantastic!
Cyril thanks for talking to us and hope you have a great year.
You too guys and hope to see you out here sometime.