Alphonse Island lies in the heart of the Indian Ocean, 7° south of the Equator and 500 kms south-west of the capital island Mahe. It is part of the Alphonse Group extending 16 km from north to south, comprising three islands: Alphonse in the north, discovered on 28 January 1730 by Chevalier Alphonse de Pontevez, commanding the French frigate Le Lys; Bijoutier in the middle, so named for its jewel-like beauty and a national symbol of the Seychelles; and St François in the south, named after Saint-François de Sales, now perhaps more famous for its fishing. Alphonse Island is a small triangular-shaped coral island strewn with coconut trees, boasting 3.6 km of coastline protected by a reef and offering the most idyllic setting for a very exclusive holiday.
St Francois Atoll
St. Francois is uninhabited and the lagoon is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide, consisting of firm white sand bottoms interlaced with channels and cuts. The number of people allowed to fish there is limited to 12 per week (although this has been reduced to 10 for this season) and, due to the remote location, will probably not even see that many.
The uniqueness that sets St. Francois apart from many other destinations is the ability to wade over 10,000 acres of hard white sand flats in search of these ghosts and allowing even novice fly anglers to spot and cast at fish with relative ease. Very few of the flats are heavily grassed although these areas can prove to be productive for larger Bonefish.
October 27th, 2012 – April 27th, 2013
Bonefishing is best done when the tide is on the move and is least productive on the low tide. A typical session will involve wading from the skiff for a few hours either fishing to cruising or tailing fish. This will last for as long as the fish remain on the flats. On the dropping tide, huge shoals of Bonefish can be targeted leaving the flats in what has been described as a continuous river of bones. The Bonefishing at St. Francois is as diverse as the fishery itself and will cater to all levels of anglers. Whether you’re after tailing singles or mudding shoals, the guides have the ability to make it happen. St. Francois is rumored to have the densest population of Bonefish recorded worldwide.
St. Francois has seven species of Trevally present throughout the atoll. The three most common are the Brassy, Bluefin and Giant Trevally. The Brassy grows to around 12lbs but gives an excellent account for itself on a ten weight rod. It is slightly longer than the usual Trevally shape which gives it tremendous stamina. The Bluefin Trevally attains 18lbs. and when caught in the surf can be a real handful. The Giant Trevally or GT is the real king, reaching weights of 150 lbs. The biggest GT landed on St. Francois last season and was estimated at 115lbs. 20-40 lb. fish are common place and can be found cruising the flats in search of Mullet and Bonefish or on the edge of the reef. Their ability to close on a fly or lure at warp speed is legendary, and the strike of even a modest-sized fish is enough to keep you coming back for more . . . every day!
At certain times of the year, Milkfish feed on plankton near the surface and are then enticed to eat flies. They are incredibly strong fighters and the use of a skiff is necessary to land them. Once again, it is imperative to listen to your guide while fishing for these phenomenally strong fighting fish as they have the experience of landing and fighting these fish.
The term “species bashing” refers to a form of fishing that takes place using small Clousers around coral heads and drop-offs with sinking or intermediate lines. This can produce numerous species of fish from Wrasse, Snapper and Grouper to Garfish, Goatfish and numerous other species. It is a great way to pass time during slack tides and can be tremendous fun.
The Seychelles is served by several international scheduled flights including direct services from London (Heathrow) with Air Seychelles, Paris with Air France and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles.
We are happy to help you identify the best flights to fit your fishing and/or extension schedule. Often guests arrive with a night or part of a day to spare before catching the inter island flight to Alphonse or before checking in for international flights home. We will be delighted to assist guest with restaurant recommendations or with choosing the correct hotel for an overnight or day room.
Fishing days are approximately 8 hours, starting on your arrival at the flats.
Breakfast is available from 6:00. All anglers meet at the fishing office at 7:00 each morning, by which time the guides and staff will have organized your equipment to be transferred to the mother ship, Tam Tam. Your rods will stay on Tam Tam for the remainder of your week. Fresh water will be provided to rinse your tackle at the end of each fishing day. Once all anglers are assembled you will be ferried to Tam Tam to commence the 40 minute trip to St. Francois.
On entering the St. Francois lagoon, you will be transferred to your relevant skiff depending on your guide for the day. Guiding takes place on a rotational basis allowing anglers to experience all facets of the fishery. Anglers will fish in pairs sharing a skiff and guide each day. Virtually all fishing is done by wading, with both anglers fishing simultaneously. However, casting from the boats for Trevally is productive in certain situations and skiffs often need to be used for following hooked milkfish or big trevally. Once again the guides have strict safety protocols and boat rules should be adhered to at all times.
Lunch is taken either on the mother ship or on the individual skiffs, depending on client preference. All the small boats are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, storage compartments, and coolers. Sodas and desalinated drinking water are provided.
Non-Angler: Not available 2012/13 season.
The long awaited development of Alphonse Island Resort commences during the months of July and August 2012.
Highlights for next season are:
Points to note about the 2012/13 season:
RATES FOR 2012/13 SEASON:
Angler's peak season: $6,200.00 USD
(October 27th, 2012 - December 15th, 2012 & January 12th, 2013 - April 27th, 2013)
Angler holiday season: $5,600.00 USD (December 15th, 2012 - January 12th, 2013)
Non-Angler: Not available 2012/13 season.
Inter island flight (Mahe - Alphonse return) $1,095.00 USD per person.
Conservation levy: $25.00 USD per person per day ($175.00 USD for the week, payable on the island).