Fly 3hrs Southwest of Mahé and you’ll find Astove Atoll. Extremely remote and utterly unspoilt, this island is part of the Aldabra Group within the Outer Islands of Seychelles. It’s known as an epic destination for anglers, as saltwater flyfishing options abound. Wild and rugged, Astove is comprised of limestone rock, sand dunes, beaches, flats and a lagoon – all which remain largely untouched by humans.
A fishermen’s paradise, Astove has a unique geology which makes it one of the best fishing destinations in the world. The Astove Wall is made up of large flats with a reef that drops vertically at virtually 90 degrees. The waters of Astove are where the giant trevally (GT) come out to play, and it’s one of the prime places in the world where huge flats-caught GT’s can be hooked. Astove mouth is legendary for both its natural beauty and because it funnels schools of fish (as well as sharks!)
Fishing guides on Astove are well versed on the best places to take eager fishermen. From fishing off the volcanic cliffs to fishing inside the lagoon, from casting into the surf zone to bending rods around the turtle grass and coral – anglers will be spoilt for choice.
Species that are prolific in these waters include permit, bonefish, triggerfish, and (of course) giant trevally. It’s not unusual for fly fishermen to catch a 6-7 pounder bonefish.
Due to sustainable catch-and-release policies, permit fishing on Astove has been consistently improving. The milky waters of the lagoon make for exciting fishing, as once the fish are visible, it’s necessary to get the fly in the water as quickly as possible.
For those who like to experience the ocean from beneath the surface, Astove offers outstanding scuba diving. Because there’s been relatively little human activity in the waters for the last decade or so, marine life is inquisitive rather than wary. Astove Wall is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world.
Astove’s fishing season runs from November to late April. Capacity is limited to only 4 anglers to ensure that conservation and sustainability remains a top priority. Over and above the sought-after bonefish and GT’s, Astove is also home to bluefin trevally, barracuda, milkfish, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo, and dogtooth tuna.
Scuba divers and snorkellers can see diverse marine live, including colourful coral, pelagic fish, sharks, manta rays, large grouper, snapper, napoleon wrasse, giant sweetlips, potato cod, tuna and the iconic Green and Hawksbill turtles of the Seychelles. Shark species such as hammerhead, silvertip, tawny nurse, bull, grey reef and whitetip reef can also be spotted in these seas. Waters here are warm, and visibility is generally around 40m.
Astove Atoll is also equipped with stand up paddle boards and kayaks – a wonderful mode of exploration from where one can observe abundant marine life as well as aquatic seabirds.
Birding enthusiasts typically spot caspian terns, Madagascar white-eye, souimanga sunbird and Madagascar cisticola as well as striated heron, cattle egret, dimorphic egret, red-tailed tropic bird, and grey heron. Astove has a population of around 150 giant Aldabra tortoises.
Accommodation of Astove is at Astove Coral House. Unfussy and rustic, showcasing natural elements from the island, each of the 6 rooms faces a central courtyard. Complete with en suite bathrooms and air-conditioning, the lodge provides fresh, creole inspired cuisine and accommodation is on a full-board basis. Staff and fishing guides are on hand throughout your stay on the island to ensure your comfort.