10 Apr 2008

Fiji National Record Released

IGFA Rep Tam and his wife Dee Little took a break from their excellent home town Australian NT barra & inshore reef fishing to have some fun with the bluewater gamefishing around Kadavu Island.

Blue marlin were the target choice and with excellent weather, we headed out to the Kadavu seamount to tow some big lures and skipbaits.

We had a skipjack skip-bait set on the short rigger and a small tuna lure out to catch a second tuna for another marlin skipbait to be set on the long rigger.

Using 80lb chair tackle, we had an 18ft 500lb wind-on to a 9ft mono leader to 16/O circle hook, rigged just in front of the skip-bait's nose with a short dacron bridle.

In no time, the tuna rod went off, Tam began to bring in the next marlin bait and Bite Me slowed to a halt. After about 10 seconds, line started ticking off the Penn International 80STW set on the short rigger with the first skip-bait. Tam quickly passed the tuna rod to deckie Joe and climbed into the chair. After a good 15 seconds of controled free-spool, Tam eased the drag up and Bite Me edged forwards. The rod loaded up and we all waited for the marlin to explode on the surface.....

No exploding marlin...just heavy pressure....

Now blues have done this to us before, but nine times out of ten on the Kadavu seamount, no marlin leaping across the surface equals shark, and usually not for long as we use mono leaders.
This one was different. About an hour later we bullied the shark into view and found out why.

Bizzarely, we had managed to hook a good sized Bronze Whaler, with a circle hook, on the leading edge of its left pectoral fin. It must have chowed down on the sinking skip-bait, nipped off the tuna and the belly of line had pulled the circle hook back along past its gills and perfectly set onto the pectoral fin.

Amazing what you see out there.

Although this shark smashed the existing Fiji National Record for Whaler shark, I am happy to say that Tam elected to release the fish unharmed. Testament to the spirit and ethics of the members and Reps of the IGFA.