30 Jul 2007

In A Good Life Wasted the author Dave Ames

In A Good Life Wasted the author Dave Ames recounts his last twenty years as a fishing guide in the trout fishing capital of the universe, Montana. It is every true fly fisherman's dream to be reincarnated as a Montana fly fishing guide.

As Ames aptly puts it in the opening line of the book, "With all my fingers and all my splayed toes I still can't count the number of millionaires who have wished out loud that they could be me." They wouldn't wish it if they read on as Ames describes living in a rat infested trailer, bouncing checks and using a log in the great outdoors as a temporary outhouse until he can buy a toilet.

Ames' career begins as a hydrologist for the federal government who one day goes "postal" by punching a clock - literally.

He bluffs his way into a job as a fishing guide working for a local Blackfoot Native American known affectionately as Kingfish. He plods his was through his early guiding days and his life becomes entangled in a contradictory world of haves and have nots. The numerous stories Ames recounts meld seamlessly with each other and offer more lessons on life's moral and religious significance than on fishing.

Most books lose steam after the first couple of chapters - not this one. It becomes more intriguing and gets better as it goes.

It is truly a page turner. The surest sign of a great book for me is when I am done do I tell myself I want more. The answer here is a resounding yes! So, Mr. Ames, during the long Montana winters get cracking and put pen to pad and finger to keyboard and allow us to be temporarily reincarnated as you.

29 Jul 2007

small boat fishing in Fiji

Some real small boat fishing in Fiji... Not for the faint of heart...

24 Jul 2007

Pop Goes the Shimano Weasle

Its not often I get to fish 4 kilo (8lb) Line Class aboard Bite Me but when the opportunity arises, I jump at the chance. Fishing 4kg around these parts is something akin to snagging a lose thread on your jumper to the grill of a semi truck and then trying to pull it around. If its yellowfin tuna we are talking about, the semi has its parking break on.

With Tim Simpson here for our annual week of 4kg action and my deckie Joe off for a day, my colleague Richard who runs Matava Resort's diving operations (Mad Fish Divers) jumped aboard to lend a helping deckie hand and generally join in the fun.

Richard didn't know what he was letting himself in for. At about 11.00am with three lines set for wahoo, we yet again got jumped by yellowfin tuna. All three rods went off but one fish quickly dropped. Tim dealt with his small yellowfin in a quick and efficient manner but Richard's fish was obviously something more serious as line continued to peel off the reel at an alarming rate. We were fishing the lee side of a prominent point in the barrier reef where the depth plummets to a thousand feet so were in a good position to manoever fast and chase fish. This yellowfin however had other ideas and having helped itself to about 600 yards of line, proceeded to charge off with the current towards the point of the reef where a South East chop met a North Westerly current. Conditions were, to say the least, not ideal for backing down!

Well, on 4 kilo, where the fish goes, you go, so off we went chasing down the fish whilst Richard tried to make some of that lost line back. Upon reaching the patch of ugly chop, the yellowfin proceeded to extend his pectoral wings into the current and pretend it was a brick. A particularily stubborn brick. Over the next two hours we tried all the usual tricks. Getting ahead of the fish and trying to plane him up, changing the angles just to cheese him off and tempt him into making a mistake, praying for divine intervention....nothing gained us more than 50 yards of line which the tuna promptly too back again. This was a yellowfin slugfest on 8 pound line and we were going to have to like it or lump it. In the third hour we got a glimer of hope. We made some line back and started to slowly coax the fish up, inch by inch. We would make ten yards and lose nine but the brick was starting to budge. After three and a half hours we were definately starting to make some headway as Richard slowly began to fill the spool with some deft finger work on the line during rod lifts and wind-downs. I came down from the bridge to stand at the transom next to Richard to get a close look at the spool and how we were doing.

At precicely 3.05pm, four hours and five minutes into the fight with me staring at the spool, The Shimano TLD5 reel exploded. Well, I say exploded, what I really mean is that there was a loud bang, a puff of salt spray, the ratchet blew sideways clean out of the boat and the spool imploded under the massive pressure of line. The monumental strain of 400 yards of stretched line compressed on the spool was just too much for the little TLD, never really designed for such an extreme load. It crunched itself into the scrap pile amid a chorus of colourful language. Richard grabbed the line with the feint hope that we might be able to hand line the fish in but it was never really going to happen. Moments later the big yellowfin bust us off and lived to fight another day. Richard took it like a man though I must confess I was tempted to spit the dummy. Oh well,that's fishing 4 kilo line class in Fiji waters for you. Any takers ?

More Fiji National Records fall to Bite Me !

This week I had the pleasure of that renown angler, author and editor of BlueWater magazine, Tim Simpson fishing aboard Bite Me.

Tim and I get together every July and troll ultra-light 4kg line class for Kadavu's annual run of big wahoo and Pacific sailfish fish that gather along the barrier reef slopes. This ultra light fun fest is timed to coincide with the start of the season thought this year we were a few days early and the bite was just firing up at the end of the week. Its what I call 'my annual week off' and we just go out there to have some fun and target a couple of IGFA World Records.

I run Avet SX reels on custom Stickfacewrangler all roller 4kg rods and Tim brought a couple of his Shimano TLD15s on Daiwa and Custom rods.This year we were trying out the new orange Platypus Lo-Stretch IGFA line which proved to be excellent for visibility and sensitivity. Tim brought a bag full of Halco minnows and Williamson skirted lures which we took great delight in sacrificing to the hungry yellowfin that plagued our every move.

The small schooling fish of about 15-20lbs were hours of entertainment but we finally skirted the little ones and Tim hooked up a more respectable yellowfin that dived for the depths and challenged us with a stubbornness that only yellowfin do so well.

Calling for some investigative boat manoevering to find the direction the tuna was happiest with and 50 minutes of gaining line inch by inch only to watch it scream off again, we finally boated a new M-04kg Fiji National Record Yellowfin Tuna. Weighing in at 14.6kg (32lbs) it was not a massive tuna by any standards but significant on 4 kilo line class and tastey to boot!
Not content with a yellowfin record, we then proceeded to hook up some lively little mahi mahi which cavorted across the ocean waves in typical mahi fashion. The largest of which weighed in at 7.2kg (16lbs) setting a new record for Fiji mahi on 4 kilo line class.

Fishing 4 kilo line class in Fiji waters is entirely beyond the comprehension of most local anglers. Fish are generally caught here for food not for sport. Most local anglers consider 10 kilo line class to be 'light tackle' and look on in horror when I pitch up at the Pacific Harbour 3 day International tournament with a plethora of 4,6 and 8kg outfits.

Last year (2006) we took 2 National light tackle Records and our anglers walked away with thousands of dollars in prizes, much to the chagrin of some of the 'old guard'!

This week, the yellowfin were so prolific that it was common to have multiple hook-ups, even when trolling right beside the barrier reef. Deckie Joe frequently found himself clearing second and third rods with yellowfin attached. I often had to run down from the bridge to clear rods as Tim and Joe had their hands full of speeding tuna.

One morning, whilst trolling a mixed spread for wahoo and sailfish, we got jumped by yellowfin in the usual manner. (lots of shouting and screaming reels). Tim selected a rod and Joe then selected the next.

Out on the rigger however, the skipbait garfish with Pakula Fluzy rigged on the nose simply sat quietly and slowly began to sink as I nudged Bite Me to a stop. No problem there I thought, these were only very small tuna and Tim was already making headway with his fish coming under control. Jut leave the skipbait out there - its well clear of the props and the anglers lines.

Suddenly the rigger clip pops and the reel gives a short sharp ratchet blast. Tim starts yelling "Strike on the rigger" but I'm not so sure. Its not that deep here and that skipbait might just have sunk deep enough to snag coral. (Oops..Darn).

A second later the reel starts to tick over and Tim calls me down from the bridge to grab the rod. I'm still not convinced its a fish.... By now the two little tuna are coming on board and Tim pops up to the bridge to drive on the fish I don't think I have. Moments later all doubts are dispelled as the bit of coral I envisage on the end of my line barrels off seaward in a long thumping run.

Hmmm... What eats a sinking skipbait in 40 meters of water right next to the reef....Dogtooth tuna ? shark ? Oh oh, was that skipbait rigged on wire leader for wahoo or mono for a sail ? Sinking feeling...I can see this all ending in tears...but after 10 minutes, I am still connected (Phew! wire rig)

So, anyhow, long story short...from gain a bit / lose a lot to gain a lot / lose a bit we finally get colour and all eyes are on the fish to try to see what it is just in case it busts us off on the home stretch and we don't identify it. (Don't go there - its a painful experience) Lo and behold up comes a very grumpy Giant Trevally. Now, we normally release GT's but this one turns out to be a new Fiji National Record on 4 kilo line. I have to say I was quite chuffed at landing a GT on 4kg line after an hour long fight so close to the reef as these bruisers are notorious for spooling or 'reefing' anglers even on heavy tackle so I elected to weigh the fish which set a new Fiji record of 10.20kg (22.5lbs). Very nice, Thank you. Beers all round!

The wahoo and sails just didn't cooperate with us this week as the water temperature hovered at 26.6 but all the other species here kept us busy with screaming reels and busted lines. Tim had a definite world record wahoo on but the line mysteriously parted about 15 minutes into the fight. Probably got bit by another fish. He also fought a sailfish for over 5 hours and my colleague Richard fought a yellowfin for over 4 hours. More on that later.

To all you heavy tackle anglers out there, the next time you skull drag a mahi or wahoo in on your 130lb marlin gear, imagine how much fun it would have been to fight that fish on 8lb line.....4 hour chair fight on a big blue marlin?

Pah. Try a 50lb yellowfin on 8 pound line. Now thats what I call a fight. Any takers?

The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing

The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing
by Milt Rosko

This book is full of information that will help put you and your friends into some good fishing. The information ranges from fishing on rental boats in a small saltwater bay to offshore trips for big gamefish and even provides recipes for your catch from Milt's lifelong fishing companion and wife, June. One of the highlights of the book is the use of photography chronicling his tactics as a "jetty jock" in order to land the coveted lunker Striped Bass that cruise the Northeast coast every April to December from the Cheasapeake bay, Virginia to New England.

There are even some photos revealing his commitment to teaching and imparting his fishing "know how" to his grandaughters on small skiffs. Rosko has been fishing for more than 60 years and he has culled the best of his knowledge gained over six decades into this 288 page handbook for successful angling! He covers all the coasts but is especially strong in his homegrown territory, the Northeast coast.

It makes a great gift for someone who has a passion for fishing or a budding gift for fishing.

18 Jul 2007

How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor

Yasawa Island forum: How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor:

"back to Matava on Kadavu...paradise. enjoy"

Yasawa Island forum: How long to stay at an island reosort? Which Island resort... - TripAdvisor:

Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

"I was just on Kadavu, at Matava (matava.com) and also in the Yasawas.

I thought that Kadavu was spectacular and very remote. This was so romantic and the 'resort' was unbelievable. The place is an organic farm, fruits hanging all over the place, organic garden, making the food so yummy. There are no roads and all travel is done by boat. The snorkeling/diving is on the 4th largest reef in the world. We hiked into a village and swam at the base of this huge waterfall. We kayaked out to the smalll island opposite Matava and along the shore. The staff was the icing on the cake. I am still sending them presents. I wanted to keep all of them in my pocket!!! enjoy, look at the website."

Fiji forums: Splitting Time Up in Fiji - Honeymoon - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

"what can i say!

but perfect one day,better the next! Matava was everything one could want in a holiday,the best diving I've done in fiji, world class fishing the best results one could ask for,and as for service and food well say no more,the beer was cold,the food off the planet 5star+ and just the whole resort oozed good karma which as a guest you noticed,the staff had perpetual smiles and were always well presented, not to mention the management the guys were hands on with daily activities and always had time for questions on the best options for day trips,or any activity you wished 2 pursue whilst here..."

Kadavu Island: Matava - The Astrolabe Hideaway - Traveler Reviews - matava a priceless peice of paradise. - TripAdvisor

17 Jul 2007

Sportfishing Matava style

Classic pacific sailfish jumping behind Bite me.

13 Jul 2007

Tricks Of The Trade - Yellowfin Tuna

Most of the lures we run here in Fiji are highly active lures. Marlin, sailfish, wahoo and mackerels all seem to prefer a noisy erratic lure with a strong bubble trail. Yellowfin are different. They will completely ignore a spread of active lures and hit the one lure that is just sitting quietly.

When we are out trolling lures for blue marlin on heavy tackle and one of the rigger lures is sitting quietly rather than smoking a bubble trail, I sometimes leave it alone. More often than not, it gets jumped by a big Yellowfin.

Bait Balls

Tuna heard baitfish into a tightly packed ball and force them up to the surface where they are trapped and attacked from below. When we see a bait ball on the surface we drive around it – not through it. Charging over it usually breaks up the ball and drives the fish down deep. Its very tempting to race straight over the patch of churning water but remember - your lures are behind you, not if front of you. By the time your lures are passing through the area, the boat has already driven over it, broken up the bait ball and driven the fish down deep.

It’s better to drop your lures further back, drive around the ball and then when your lures are on one side and the boat on the other, straighten up so your lures pass right through the area.

Getting a Strike

If the tuna are there on the sounder or on the surface but not striking your lures, put a tiny bullet, pink or black red or blue/pink out in the middle of the spread. Often the tuna are so focused on tiny baitfish that they ignore the larger lures. This little guy will draw a strike and then the rest of the shoal, thinking they are missing out on a meal, will follow the first fish into the spread and hit your other lures. If you can get just one to strike, you will immediately get multiple other hook-ups. You will be surprised at the size of fish that hit little bullets but don’t be tempted to rig them on heavy leader.

Sacrifice a little bullet and get the fish biting in your spread.

Fighting a Yellowfin

Don’t be shy about using butt pads, harnesses or even getting into the fighting chair. Yellowfin have an extraordinary power to weight ratio and unless you are sitting pretty in a harness or chair, you will quickly become tired. You will grip the rod and reel handle too tightly, your fore-arms will cramp up and you will start using bad posture. It’s all bad news for your back.

Patience. Don’t ramp up the drag and try to haul a Yellowfin out of the depths using brute force early in the fight. In my experience, chances are you will pull the hook or break something.

Landing a Yellowfin

When a Yellowfin starts to get tired, it turns on its side and begins to fight in a circular pattern. It is too tired to keep its head down against your drag setting so it keels over and swims round in circles. If you are skippering the boat, now is the time to earn your keep. A circling Yellowfin coming straight up under the boat will drag the angler’s line across the props & rudders and ‘ping’ – there goes your sashimi.

We drive away from tired Yellowfin in order to keep the fish behind and away from the hull. We put the angler in one corner and try to keep the fish circling off that corner as we work it in to the boat. It is also much easier for an angler to fight a fish that is some distance away from the boat rather than straight down.

A Few Tips from the Deck

Always try to gaff a tuna just behind the head – never towards the tail. If you do accidentally gaff a tuna in the tail, get the gaff out immediately because the tuna will take off and you will not be able to hang on. You will look pretty dumb as your gaff steams off away from the boat. We use a flying gaff for any fish over about 90lbs (don’t forget to tie off the end of the gaff rope to a good solid cleat!)

Never grab a tuna by the tail, even a small one. I did once and it is a sensation I imagine to be similar to shaking hands with a jack hammer.

We bleed our Yellowfin by inserting a knife behind and under the gill plate and slicing the tuna’s heart. Some anglers nick the tail and then insert a blade behind the pectoral fins. I have seen several knife blades and tips sheered clean off doing this. If the tuna kicks when the knife blade is inserted, it will snap any type of fine blade filleting knife.

Costly and dangerous for whoever has to fillet the fish later.

Penn - Senator 9/0

Trackstick II Personal Tracker

Sounds like an awesome toy, just HAD to blog about it! How about tracks of game fishing boats.....




"The Trackstick records its own location, time, date, speed, heading and altitude at preset intervals. With over 1Mb of memory, it can store months of travel information. The Trackstick is the perfect tool for individuals looking for a way to track anything that moves. Use it for recording the exact routes you take when hiking, biking or vacationing. Record the location of everywhere you went, import pictures and other information into Google Earth™ to offer an entirely new perspective of your journey. Includes GPX photo stamping feature for adding your favorite photos to your own maps."

Trackstick II Personal Tracker

11 Jul 2007

Fijian: Lonely Planet Phrasebook by Paul A. Geraghty

Dr. Geraghty is the world's leading linguist of Fiji's 300 indigenous regional dialects, and this book is a simple, straightforward, useful introduction to any traveler.

Lure Test - BFG

At about 22 inches in length (depending on how you trim the skirt) this lure is an absolute MONSTER. It’s the biggest lure we run on Bite Me and is in fact even larger than some of our teasers.

When we fish heavy tackle and troll lures for marlin, this is our automatic ‘go to’ selection for the short corner position. It’s a pusher style concave face lure which really punches its way through the water and repeatedly dives well under the prop wash. Its serious weight and length makes it stable in all weather conditions and therefore easy to run. No fiddling about trying to find the working tow height and drop back length just put it where you want it and it will smoke a big and I do mean BIG bubble trail up and down through the wash. Not only is it a screaming grander lure, its also a great big teaser for those days when there are just little blues about.

There is some debate as to what BFG stands for. I believe it stands for ‘Big Friendly Giant’ though most of my guests, upon seeing it, substitute a rather more colourful word in place of ‘friendly’.

Position: Short Corner
Rigging: 2 x 12/0 hooks on 500lb wire
Leader: 550lb Marlin Hard Moimoi, length depends on wind-on leader if used
Best colour: Match the hatch – what baitfish are around ?

I would not run this lure on anything less than one of our 80lb bent butt chair rods. Unbelievably, this lure has drawn strikes from fish as small as 150lbs. Just because a grander doesn’t climb on every day, don’t be tempted to change down to a smaller sized lure. This lure is as good as any teaser in the wake and will draw in all sizes of marlin. Run it as a teaser but be prepared for something huge to climb on board.

Maker – MBT Lures Australia
Website – www.mbtlures.com

International Game Fishing Club- Fiji Islands

International Game Fishing Club- Fiji Islands

"Fiji is renowned as a popular holiday destination, but is now being recognised for having more than just sun, sand, and surf. Under the glittering crystal clear and placid waters are some of the biggest and most sought after game fishing species in the world.

Wahoo, Tuna, Sailfish and Marlin are just some of the fighters which thrive in Fiji waters ready to challenge keen anglers.

There are boats equipped with sophisticated gear available, and fishing grounds widely acknowledged as the best game fishing area in Fiji.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to visit and fish these wonderful islands and wish you all good luck, good weather and good fishing.

Our organising committee is keen to assist with your arrangements and any queries you may have.

Registrations are now open for The International Shimano Invitational Tournament 2007"

8 Jul 2007

Bite Me’s Celebrity Guest of the Month

Who is this weeks mystery guest pictured here earning his keep aboard Bite Me ?

Some clues :-

  • This expert angler hails from down under
  • He talks softly but carries a big pen
  • He doesn’t have a brother called Bart or a sister called Lisa
  • He’s happiest when surrounded by blue water…


Hello Tim Simpson, Editor of Bluewater magazine. Good to see you showing the local boys how a proper deckie earns his keep.

Hope you had fun fishing with us aboard Bite Me.

Rumour has it you took some Fiji National Records on 4kg line class…..

7 Jul 2007

Welcome to casualangler.com

Subject: Re: Welcome to "casualangler.com" - http://casualangler.com/phpBB3

Hi John,
Not too bad but the wahoo bite has just started in ernest and the sailfish packs are starting to show now so all the fishing for the next few months will be light tackle for those guys.

Just spent a week fishing 8lb line class with Tim Simpson (BlueWater magazine) on Bite Me for wahoo & sails which can be a bit risky round these parts what with all the yellowfin. Fought one yellowfin for 4 hours and 5 minutes and we were just beginning to win when the Shimano TLD reel exploded under the line crush strain. Blew the ratchet clean out of the boat and the spool imploded.

Lost a possible world record sailfish after a 5+ hour fight. We were still fighting after dark and the deck lights attracted squid...which attracted a pod of dolphins...which bumped into the line and bust us off.

Took some Fiji National Records though so all not on vain.

Got IGFA Anglers Digest coming in a week or two to film some shows for the Sportsman Channel and the big Fiji tournament coming up so the next few months should be a lot of fun !

Best regards,


Cpt Adrian Watt

Director, Matava Resort Gamefishing,
Tel: + (679) 3336 222 or 3336 098

Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 1:49 PM
Subject: RE: Welcome to "casualangler.com" - http://casualangler.com/phpBB3

I am doing a bit of redesign and will have you back up by tomorrow morning or sooner. I hope you like the new look and feel I have been working on.
How has the fishing been in the islands?
John Kessler
-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian at Matava.com [mailto:Adrian@Matava.com]
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 7:44 PM
To: webmaster@casualangler.com
Subject: Re: Welcome to "casualangler.com" - http://casualangler.com/phpBB3

I looke at the website and couldn't find anything ?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2007 2:37 AM
Subject: RE: Welcome to "casualangler.com" - http://casualangler.com/phpBB3

I added you site to my featured sponsors. Take a look and see if you are OK with what I did www.casualangler.com
John Kessler

6 Jul 2007

Both fish and angler smiling!

A big toothy Barracuda Smile!

2 Jul 2007

Penn - Inshore Combo - 955 International With 7' 6'' CP75MH Custom Power Stick Rod

Penn - Inshore Combo - 955 International With 7' 6'' CP75MH Custom Power Stick Rod

Reel Features

  • American-made reels true to their legendary name sake.
  • Designed and built expressly for saltwater fishing...and the raw power of saltwater fish!
  • Forged, precision machined aluminum frame, spool and side plates.
  • Built like an International with light-weight, one-piece, forged frames (not die cast like other baitcasters).
  • Handsome, corrosion resistant gold anodized finish.
  • Super-duty, high-speed gears for unfailing strength and fast retrieves.
  • Built Penn tough with a machined, high strength machined stainless steel main and pinion gear.
  • The fast 4.75:1 or 4.5:1 gear ratios lets you gather up to 20.6 inches of line for every complete turn of the handle.
  • Infinite anti-reverse for rock solid hook sets.
  • Thanks to a specially designed one-way roller bearing, handle kick back is eliminated for solid, positive hook sets and silky smooth, quiet performance.
  • Two aircraft quality, sealed stainless steel ball bearings.
  • The oversized, multi-disc HT100 star drag system offers the smooth stopping power of reels twice the size.
  • Ergonomically designed star wheel is infinitely adjustable over a wide range of settings.

Other top-quality features are: positive level wind system; zirconium oxide line guide with titanium nitride coating; positive push button free spool; auto engage with turn of the handle; adjustable, three-level centrifugal brake casting control; stainless reel seat; loud, easy-to-use clicker; soft grip padded handle.

Blue Marlin Basic Lure Spread in Fiji

OK, so we know that if you tow just about anything around behind a game fishing boat in the South Pacific, eventually, a blue marlin is going to take a look and have a go.

That being said, most of us don’t have the time nor the inclination to spend a week trolling a pineapple wrapped in tinfoil just to see what happens.

Guests going fishing aboard Bite Me rely on the crew to assess the conditions, select the best areas, find the bait and troll the lures most likely to raise a blue.

Over the years we have tried and tested a wide variety of lures and have established a fairly productive spread which forms the basis of any blue marlin hunt.

We usually start off with the basics and then tweak this to match the prevailing conditions or swap one or more lures to cover all our bases, i.e. run lures that simulate the baitfish we believe the marlin are hunting.

Okay, for example you are out trolling on the Kadavu trench and you come across a school of skipjack tuna feeding on the surface.

We would immediately check to make sure we had at least one lure out that imitates a wounded skipjack.

It’s a big empty ocean. Any marlin in the area is going to be focused on the skipjack and will probably ignore everything else.

Match the hatch’ as the freshwater fly fishermen are fond of saying. Its just as appropriate to hunting marlin as when casting flies to a brown trout.

The following is a sample of our basic starting blue marlin lure spread from left to right):

I have laid them out in roughly the usual positions.

The smaller lures on either side usually work best and are most productive when run from the outriggers.
The larger lures in the centre are usually run from the corners, closer in to the transom.

  • Black Bart Hot breakfast - Sliced face jetted lure - Short rigger - Long slender bubble trail
  • Joe Yee Apollo in 'Evil' - Sliced face lure - Short rigger - Probably one of the best blue marlin lures in existance. Immitates a skipjack tuna
  • John Lau Talibung - Sliced faced lure - Short rigger or Long Corner - A good all-rounder and the black head & pearl insert draws repeat strikes
  • Top Gun Ball-bearing Nightmare - Sliced faced head that rotates to maintain the ideal head angle - Short Corner - All weather - First grander in Vanuatu
  • Pakula Rat - Pusher style with concave head - All positions, generally Short or Long Corner - An aggressive lure with large diving bubble trail
  • Hollowpoint Cabo Killa - Sliced face lure - Long Rigger - Medium bubble trail, good immitation of a skipjack tuna

This spread works well for us in Fiji and has accounted for numerous blues. We do of course have a large selection of other lures aboard our gamefishing vessels but you have to start somewhere. We vary colours a little throughout the year according to the baitfish present and are happy to take 'lure requests' from angling guests but as a starting point the above spread will have you off on the right track.

If you are thinking or trying out a couple of new lures in your spread, I can safely say that any of the above lures would be well worth a run.

Lure manufacturers:
Pakula lures

MBT Lures

Hollowpoint Lures
John Lau Lures – Contact John at jaslau@yahoo.com
Marlin Magic Lures
Black Bart Lures www.blackbartlures.com
Wellseys Lures www.wellsystackle.com

If you want to know what the top Australian skippers use, check out the lead article in the Feb / Mar 2007 issue of BlueWater magazine at www.bluewatermag.com.au