On an expedition

Cosmoledo & Astove | Seychelles

It was
a pleasure

More than 1,000 kilometers southwest of the main island of Mahé and about 200 kilometers north of Madagascar lies the Cosmoledo Atoll. - Right in the middle of the Indian Ocean and very far from any landmass! Among saltwater anglers, Cosmoledo was once known as the world's premier destination for GT (giant trevally) fishing. However, five years ago, the atoll was closed due to problems with pirates, and security could no longer be guaranteed.

In 2014, Cosmoledo Atoll is allowed to be fished again for the first time. The operation with the expedition boat Maya Dugong is militarily protected, providing a sense of security. Sensational catch results are reported after a test tour in February. - So our expectations are high, especially considering the trip is both elaborate and expensive. My angler friend from Munich, Helmut Alleze, is accompanying me in the very first week, along with the operation's owners, the Collins family, some South Americans, and English anglers. Personally, I will be staying in Cosmoledo for two weeks.

Our group is truly relaxed and pleasant! Everyone from the first and second week is super nice, we have a lot of fun, and we get along brilliantly. Thank you all for this unforgettable, wonderful time together!

Cosmoledo & Astove | Seychelles
01. - 09. March 2014

Our Travel Group


The Arrival

Etihad Airways takes us from Munich with a stopover in Abu Dhabi to Mahé, where we have to spend a night. We pass the time with a stroll to the marina and enjoying good food. There isn't much more to do there. A small private charter plane takes us from Mahé to Assumption, where the expedition boat awaits us.

The Maya Dugong is surprisingly well-equipped despite its age. Everything you need is there. The sleeping cabins have air conditioning, bathrooms, and enough space for luggage. The food is tasty, and the fishing boats are of high quality.

Fishing at three untouched atolls is a truly unique experience.

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    Great Catch
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    Catch & Release
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    On the boat
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    Double catch
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    On the way
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    Great catch
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    Team work
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    Fun & Fishing
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    Time for a Break


In Assumption, there's a runway, and a few workers live on the island to keep everything in order.

Assumption is particularly interesting for GT (giant trevally) fishing for me. On the arrival day, we have about three to four hours in the afternoon before the Maya Dugong departs for Cosmoledo. Between the first and second weeks, I spend seven to eight hours fishing alone in Assumption. The result: 9 GTs!

On the very first day, we hardly spend a minute on the beach before all three of us are reeling in a GT. Moreover, Assumption is teeming with giant tortoises. We even witnessed a hatch. It's both beautiful and brutal: the newborn turtles crawl down the sand dunes to the water from their nests. They've barely swum a few meters, and the GTs converge from all directions, feasting on them. It's hard to imagine how any turtles manage to survive.

It's the perfect time to cast the fly into the water! During this phase, the GTs are incredibly aggressive, obliterating anything in their path, especially Black Brush Flies that resemble small turtles.




Cosmoledo Atoll is approximately 14.5 km long and about 11.5 km wide. The land area of the atoll is only 5.2 km², and the lagoon area is around 145 km². It comprises a ring of 9 main islets and an inner lagoon. The waters around Cosmoledo are rich in fish, while the atoll itself hosts large colonies of frigatebirds, terns, and boobies. This beautiful atoll also serves as a nesting place for turtles.

Picture-perfect flats as far as the eye can see! Two main channels run through the atoll, which GTs (giant trevally) use for hunting. This allows you to spot GTs on the sandy flats from as far as 100 meters away, then wait for the right moment to cast your fly to the fish within the suitable casting range.

Even if the fly lands 10 to 15 meters away in their line of sight, the GT accelerates at full speed towards it, simply wanting to devour it. Pure aggression at that speed - it's a burst of adrenaline. What follows is a tough fight that challenges both the angler and their equipment.

Besides GTs, there's a healthy population of bonefish on Cosmoledo. The average size is around five to six pounds, but there are also some truly large bonefish. Of course, there's also a variety of other reef fish. We mainly focus on GTs, occasionally going after bonefish and other species during low tide.


About 38 kilometers south of the Cosmoledo Atoll lies Astove, which is approximately 6 km long, 4 km wide, and has a land area of just under 5 km². At Astove, the elevated fringing reef almost entirely separates the lagoon of about 9.5 km² from the open sea.

We spend two days on Astove due to the favorable weather conditions; otherwise, we would have continued after one day. Astove is a small atoll, with only one channel leading into the inner lagoon. Fishing in this channel and a few kilometers to the left and right of it - that's the highlight of this trip for me, mainly because of the size of the fish. There are extremely large GTs, and I manage to hook two really big ones (120 to 130 cm), but unfortunately, they cut the line on the reef after a few minutes.

The fishing takes place right at the surf, with the reef edge sometimes just 50 meters away. Beyond that edge, the depths quickly plunge to 100 meters or more. The big GTs come over the edge and predominantly hunt mullets on the flats. The challenge here is to stop a large GT and prevent it from going over the edge - that's the challenge! And it's not always successful...

On Astove, I also spend a few hours twice popping outside the reef edge. What unfolds there is unimaginable! We're literally catching fish like crazy. Sometimes we have around 100 GTs around our boat. The challenge isn't as great if you're ambitious. I catch GTs up to 120 cm in length, many barracudas, and much more on these trips.

It's a nice change of pace, but it doesn't compare to the fascination of fly fishing, which immediately draws us back in. What a great time!

What a great time


Fishing on the Atolls

I can truly say that I've fished in many of the best places on this planet. However, Cosmoledo surpasses everything; it's the absolute best I've ever experienced. I can't imagine anything surpassing it. It's no wonder Jacques Cousteau filmed his documentaries here. The abundance of fish in this natural jewel is unparalleled. In these two weeks, I've caught 90 GTs with the fly rod. Popping is uninteresting; it's too easy and no longer presents a challenge.

For me, the decision is already firm: Next year, I'll be here at least once again to fish!


All images
of the trip