Dear Ascension- Enthusiasts,
in April 2017 there was an incident during the landing of the Royal Airforce Aircraft at Widewake Airfield. Since that time the flights from Brize Norton/England to Falkland Islands are not operated anymore throuh Ascension due to damages at the runway. Plans are made already for the maintanance. Because of administrative reasons the process is hard to predict, thus no one can say at the moment, when Ascension will be “open” again. We will observe the situation carefully and certainly keep it as part of our program — as son as the connection through England will be operated again, we will also start making trips to this outstanding fishing destination. We wil keep you informed.
Ascension is a small Island, located on the Midatlantic Ridge approximately half way between Brazil and Angola in the South Atlantic Ocean.
Experienced Big Gamers get Goosebumps already when only hearing the sound of the name Ascension… because they know: Here you find one of the real last paradises for sportanglers on this planet.
No wonder that some of the local population call this place the “Jurassic Park” of the sea. Visualizing the location and the history of this small island, it becomes obvious why this is so: First of all, the island which is of volcanic origin is located almost directly on the midatlantic ridge; thus it is practically a towering underwater mountain from the deep sea all the way up to the surface and then another 859 meter until the top.
The next island you will only reach after a journey of 1250 km, heading South-East. This is the much more known Island St. Helena where Napoleon was banned centuries ago.
The geological structures are a magnet for nearly all fish species of the South Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, Ascension has been almost always a military restricted area with no permission for any commercial fishery in the waters around.
The island which measurements are just 12 x 14 km is part of the Commonwealth under the British crown. It was discovered on Ascension day in 1503. The world famous naturalist Charles Darwin came here in 1836 and he was so much impressed by the appearance of the island, that he started to create a complete new ecosystem by implementing a planting plan on this so far entire barren island. By doing so, he changed the place to a “Garden Eden”, or Island Eden as people used to say at that time. Nowadays scientists consider this to be the very first experiment of this kind with a self reprodusing ecosystem. Particularly in the highlands of the island you can experience this still today.
Back to the fishing – so what you can expect from the waters around the island? Well, first of all certainly the “classic” Big Game Fishing, particularly for Blue Marlin with a lot of different species as by catch (for example Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado). You may not catch more Blue Marlin in comparison to Cabo Verde, but on the one hand you have season here the whole year (peak time : December-April) and zon the other hand the fish is pretty much bigger here on average. If you are seeking the really big Blue Marlin, Ascension will be sooner or later the place to go.
Perhaps the much more exciting fishing is here somewhere else: “active” fishing: jigging, popping and bottom fishing – and that is also what we clearly focus on in our program. There is hardly any other area where you can count on so much action. Both from the boat and from land! In boat fishing, amber jacks, black jacks, groupers, wahoos and of course the enormously strongly represented yellow fin tuna fish will be the target. It should not be an exaggeration to call Ascension the world’s best area for the Yellowfins.
On our first test tour (in June) we landed countless fish in the range between 20-70 kg on light equipment (mainly on jig and pop rods) and a whopping 5 “cows”(meaning yellow fin tuna over 100 kg) on heavier equipment . The largest of our tour weighed 122 kg – all “stand up” (without a fighting chair), so you can really let off steam …
How do you fish?
A typical day, when you go to “active” fishing in Ascension, looks something like this: First, in some places, usually not very far from land, with light popper rods (about 100-150 g casting weight) on Black Jacks, Dorados and Amberjacks. The fish here are mostly in the 3-10 kg class and will give you a a good fight on light equipment. It continues into somewhat deeper regions, where then jigs are also used to target Amberjacks (in larger calibres), Black Jacks and Groupers.
For longer trips from one fishing spot to the next, trolling lures are sometimes put out for a short time, which often hook very large yellowfins. Shortly before dawn there is a very special highlight: Then the boat usually moored to an anchor buoy, which is located a few nautical miles off the coast. After a short feeding phase (the so-called “chummming”) you can almost set the clock after a swarm of yellowfin tuna has arrived. Of course, it almost seems presumptuous to write here that this swarm always appears after a short time – but almost always it has happened so far- really!
When the fish are around the boat – again with light tackle – only hooks baited on a free line are used. The bites are brutal and the subsequent drill demands a lot from man and the fishing gear. Anyone who has ever fought a 40 kg tuna on a popper rod knows what we are talking about – and the fish here are often twice as heavy … You really have to have experienced this – we took turns within our group, so that there were always 1-2 people in the battle while the others recovered a little from the exertions of the fight just ended.
When darkness falls, those who still don’t have enough can face a very special challenge: bottom fishing. Not just any bottom fishing, of course, but on fish that you have probably never seen in your life. Here it becomes clear at the latest where the name “Jurassic Park” comes from. It usually doesn’t take too long to find the first interested predators for the bait – and then there are actually only two options: Either it’s a tooth-stiff, quaint Oilfish that gives you the impression that it’s from a different time – or it is one of the giant Six Gill Sharks that hunts for prey here at night.
These fish are real monsters without exaggeration. According to the skipper, no specimen that was lighter than 800 lbs ( approx. 360 kg) was caught. In our first attempt, an 80lbs (!) Stand up rod broke – the second attempt went well … the skipper assessed the fish at 18 feet in length (about 5.50 meters) at around 1350 lbs (so well over 600 kg). Welcome to Ascension!
If you are interested in shore fishing in addition to boat fishing, you will hardly be disappointed here either. This is where the most interesting time begins in the evening / night, when the triggerfish, which occur in incredible numbers, have ceased their activities and the large sea predators get a chance to think about the baits on offer. Here again it is Black Jacks, Galapagos Sharks in particular – and not infrequently even Yellow fin Tuna if they follow the feed fish close to land.
Ascension also has a lot to offer away from fishing: For example, the huge “Green Turtles”, large sea turtles, coming all the way from Brazil every year to lay their eggs on the beach. Especially in the evening and late hours, you always have the prospect of watching hatched baby turtles on their hike into the sea. In the summer there are also the giant Whale Sharks – we had such a giant at the boat three times during our tour in June, once so close that you could touch him when he nudged the stern with his nose. He had probably mistaken our boat for a female willing to mate …
How to get there
Ascension can only be reached with a civilian aircraft used by the British military (Royal Airforce). The flights depart from the Brize Norton military base (about an hour’s drive from London). On these flights there are only places for a maximum of 10 civilians. We organize both this flight, the feeder to London and the transfer to the military base for you.
Ascension is a year-round destination for jigging, popping and bottom fishing – but since the Marlin anglers visit the island in the winter months and the boat also has higher charter rates, a tour planning from May to October is recommended. Special notes: Ascension is an absolute exception area, which demands a certain resilience from the angler. You don’t have to be a trained decathlete, but you should have a certain level of fitness. Fishing in particular can be very demanding, especially since – depending on the sea conditions – the fights with big predators can be made more difficult.
The “Harmattan” is a 36 foot rampage yacht with 2 x 435 HP. Depending on whether you want to fish on Marlin, Outrigger + combat chair will be installed if necessary.
130 lbs equipment (for fighting chair) and 50-80 lbs stand up gear are available on board. For jigging / popping and bottom fishing the boat is used for up to 5 anglers. Here 2 anglers can share the bow and the other 3 stand in the stern.
THE Hotel Obsidian
Hotel Obsidian is just a 5-minute walk from the port.
Here you will find neat, air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant, where not only hotel guests can be found in the evening.
Dear Ascension friends,
In April 2017, there was unfortunately an incident due to damage to the runway when the Royal Airforce aircraft landed on Ascension. As a result, all flights with this Airbus A 330 were stopped until further notice, meaning that Ascension was almost completely cut off from the outside world. Since the duration of the repair work is currently very difficult to foresee due to administrative reasons, we are currently unable to set fixed dates for tours to Ascension.
We will of course keep this exceptional area in our program and resume the tours there as soon as Ascension will be available to us anglers again. We would be happy to keep you up to date in this regard.
With our offer for the following tours, we particularly address individual drivers.
- Flight Germany-London
- Transfer from London to Brize Norton
- Flight Brize Norton – Ascension
- Transfer on Ascension Island
- Accommodation in double room for 8 nights
- 5 fishing trips (3 x day + 2 x night *)
- Shore fishing** as you like
- Hosted by: Kai Witt, Global Fishing Adventures
Minimum number of participants for this trip: 8 people
The minimum number of participants must be reached at least one month before the start of the trip – we will inform you accordingly.
* The day trips each take about 8 hours and the night trips take about 5-6 hours (usually from about 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.). There are 5 anglers on board.
** For shore fishing, it is advisable to take a rental car in order to get to the promising places without any problems. The vehicles cost around £ 25-30 per day (available directly from the hotel) and should be ordered in advance due to the high demand.
For travel groups of 3-5 people, we would be happy to make you an individual offer according to your wishes.
We would also be happy to make you an individual offer for fishing on Marlin. It is also an advantage here if you already have a small group of 2-4 anglers together.