25 Dec 2009

'Tease Me' Goes Into Action

Our brand new inshore popper boat 'Tease Me' just had her first popper casting bash taking visiting anglers Sam Cheadle and Dave Olson out for a couple of popper casting sessions along Kadavu Island's Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef. Sam and Dave are new to heavy tackle poppering but came well prepared with Stellas, Dogfights and Shimano GT Specials.
A couple of sessons on Tease Me followed by a day on Bite Me and some nice GTs hit the deck (gently of course !)

Dave with a GT caught on a Buffalo Prototype

Tease Me performed perfectly and proved to be an excellent platform for popper casting, despite the day being a little breezy.

Dave Christens 'Tease Me' with a cracker

Best fish of the first day aboard 'Tease Me' was this excellent 46 Inch (short length) GT above for Dave that would have weighed in around 40kg had we not released.

Sam with some sensible protection from the Tropical sun

The next day we took Bite Me to go long range in breezy choppy conditions and headed out to work the Great Sea Reef area. Despite an awkward SE 5 foot short period wind chop and SW ground swell, both Sam and Dave landed into some nice GTs as well as a Spanish Mackerel for dinner and some Red Bass for a bit of variety.

Dave seems happy !

Dave with yet another GT - this one measuring 43" short length

Sam hooked up to a dinosaur on a black Buffalo prototype that probably would have gone 40+kg but despite upwards of 20kg of drag the fish peeled line off Sam's Dogfight and made it to the shallow breakers to bust us off.

Sam knocks off another GT - this one measuring 38" short length

Sam and Dave were a lot of fun and a pleasure to have aboard. Thanks for Christening Tease Me and hope you guys had fun with the Kadavu Island GTs.

New Inshore Popper Boat "Tease Me"

Tease Me

We have just taken delivery of our new inshore popping & jigging boat 'Tease Me' and despite the recent direct hit from Tropical Cyclone Mick, she now rests safely on her mooring at Matava Resort.

Full specs will be detailed soon on the gamefishing website but here are a couple of pics to wet your appetite.

Extended high side rails for added safety, coolboxes for chilled drinks and storage for safety equipment

Full walk-around for fighting fish and T-top for shade

Tease Me should be an ideal platform for anglers to work the inshore coral lagoons, outer barrier reef drop-offs and breakers popper casting for GTs, bluefin trevally, yellowfin tuna, Spanish Mackerel, jobfish and jigging for a whole host of species including dogtooth tuna, amberjack, giant grouper and deepwater snappers.

December Gamefishing Report

It has been a bit of a topsy turvey run up to Christmas with very unusual water temperatures and even a direct hit from a Cat 2 Cyclone thrown in for good measure.
Whilst the normal incoming flood of hot summer water hovers to the North West of the Fiji Islands, the rest of Fiji is still experiencing water temps some 3 degrees lower than normal.
The winter wahoo season that normally comes to an end in September actually extended right through to the end of the year. In fact we are still finding wahoo though not quite in the big mid-winter numbers.
Around October, huge numbers of Mahi Mahi flooded in, a welcome by-catch for the marlin anglers. The marlin bite has been fairly average though boats able to find and fish a temp break are having great success on blues.

The delay in the warmer water moving in has however meant that the Christmas run of Yellowfin Tuna looks to be starting late this year. Only now are we seeing the first few schools of smaller fish around Kadavu Island though several 150lb fish were recently landed off the west coast of the main island.

The summer popper casting season has got off to a great start, the big GTs obviously don't mind the unseasonably cooler waters. Both of our gamefishing vessels 'Bite Me' and the new inshore popper boat 'Tease Me' will be spending most of their time in the next few months focused on popper casting for GTs and jigging for dogtooth tuna. Jan - April being peak season.

We just missed out on taking the Dogtooth IGFA All-Tackle World Record last season. Hopes are high for the coming few months.
Happy holidays everyone....

18 Dec 2009

Matava fully operational after Cyclone MICK - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/e/en/enimal/905450_merry_christmas.jpgOn Monday 14th December 2009 Fiji was hit by a Tropical Cyclone, TC Mick. The cyclone passed straight over the main island and just to the East of Kadavu Island. Although the resort experienced high winds and heavy rain, no damage was done to the resort at all, apart from the loss of some thatch from the corner of the roof of the dive centre. The guests and staff spent the whole day playing cards, board games and reading books safely in the Main Bure while Maggie served breakfast, lunch and dinner as normal. Richard has said that the biggest thing he is upset about is that most of the mangoes came down out the big mango tree! No mango jam this year!

By Tuesday 15th December we were once again fishing, diving and trekking as normal, in glorious sunshine albeit with a stiff breeze!

The cyclone passed quickly and was over in less than a day, however Kadavu island, like the main island, did experiences high winds. Kadavu's main Telecom Fiji tower in Vunisea sustained damage and at the moment, all communication (including mobile services) are down on Kadavu.

Unfortunately this means that we are currently unable to communicate directly with our reservations system at the resort. A communications issue such as this would normally be repaired quickly however with the other wind damage to many systems on the main island, it may be a few days before normal communications with the resort is re-established. Please bear with us.

Furthermore, Airports Fiji Ltd was also engaged in an upgrade to Kadavu Airport last week. Although no interruptions to services were expected, the works (now delayed by the cyclone) have now caused short term interruptions to flight services. All flights to and from Kadavu from Nadi International Airport and Suva Airport are currently suspended and we have been advised that the airport will re-open on the 18th December 2009.

We appreciate your patience in these matters, and rest assured that we are all fine and 100% fully operational at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort.

May we take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for this festive season

Richard, Adrian, Jeanie, Stuart & The Team

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava fully operational after Cyclone MICK - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

12 Dec 2009

Simon fishing on Bite Me in the Fiji Islands

20 Nov 2009

First Pre-Season look with the GT poppers

Well the windy winter season is almost over and soon ideal conditions will prevail for the popper casting and jigging fans. We just had our first look with the poppers along Kadavu Island's Great Astrolabe Barrier reef and the signs look good for some monster GTs this coming summer.

Tony with a nice GT pushing 40kg

Although the weather was still a bit breezy our angler Tony managed some pretty good fish, the best of which would have weighed about 40kg has we not released. (we release all GTs)

Tony with a nice GT over 35kg on a prototype Buffalo popper

Plenty of fish around to 15-20kg range

Deckie Joe also had a few casts with one of our Shimano GT Specials releasing his new personal best fish over 30kg on another prototype Buffalo popper.

We will be testing these new design poppers for the manufacturer over the coming months and so far they are performing excellently. More on that later...

8 Nov 2009

Big Fish!

4 Nov 2009

New GT Popping Boat for Matava in Kadavu Fiji

31 Oct 2009

Superb blue water fishing at Matava in Kadavu, Fiji Islands.

29 Oct 2009

“No Caught Shark Allowed”: Matava leading the Shark Free Marina Initiative in Fiji

Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters in Fiji are taking a leading role in the international shark conservation efforts, organizing Fiji to become the first country to fully participate in the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI).

The SFMI works with marinas, boaters and fishermen to develop policy designed to protect sharks as a vital component of the oceans health. The SFMI has a singular purpose, to reduce worldwide shark mortality. Working with marinas, fishermen and like minded non-profit groups, the Initiative forms community conscious policy and increase awareness of the need to encourage shark conservation.

Shark Free Marinas work with, not against, the recreational and commercial fishing community, in order to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy shark population for our oceans, and to contribute to their ongoing survival.

Matava, together with partners in Fiji, has helped many marinas and charter fishing boats become SFMI certified, and Fiji now has more certified Shark-Free Marinas than any other country in the world. Stuart Gow, Director of Matava, said that his team has been actively promoting the SFMI, and distributing information about the Initiative, with the long-term goal of making Fiji “the first country to be proud to announce itself as a ‘Shark-Free Marinas’ Country”.

See the map of current Shark-Free Marinas

The majority of shark species caught by recreational and sport anglers are currently listed by the IUCN as “Threatened” (or worse) and each year, half a million of these sharks are killed in the US alone. It is estimated that 70-100 million sharks are killed yearly worldwide.

See IUCN Red List of Threatened Shark Species

About Matava

Matava is an eco adventure getaway in Fiji, offering a unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the pristine and remote island of Kadavu, Fiji. Matava is a PADI Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator, a title awarded to demonstrate a commitment to conservation and provide customers with experiences that enhance visitor awareness, appreciation and understanding of the environment. Matava is also one of the supporters of the Fiji Shark Conservation and Awareness Project, which aims to raise global awareness of their imminent extinction of sharks and the crises facing our oceans.

With more than 12 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive center. Matava is participating in TIES ecoDestinations project (currently featuring “beaches, marine and coastal ecotourism experience”) as one of the Summer Special 2009 sponsors.

Underwater Thrills:Swimming With Sharks: “No Caught Shark Allowed”: Matava leading the Shark Free Marina Initiative in Fiji

28 Oct 2009

New GT Popping Boat for Matava in Kadavu Fiji.

New GT Popping Boat for Matava in Kadavu Fiji.

27 Oct 2009

New GT Popping Boat for Matava in Kadavu Fiji

The floor gets sealed and finished.

19 Oct 2009

September 2009 Fishing on Bite Me

Facebook- September 2009 Fishing on Bite Me

12 Oct 2009

Fiji Striped Marlin

When is a blue marlin not a blue marlin ?
When its a stripey of course...

The only time I was ever wrong was when I thought I was wrong....

Oh, appart from a couple of weeks ago when we tagged and released a small blue marlin of about 250lbs that has come back to haunt me....

John Angus was aboard Bite Me completing his Royal Slam when we hooked the fish on a Zacatak Rat. She shook her head just like a blue, charged off just like a blue and at first we thought she would go 400lbs. But fishing 130lb class line and with John a very experienced angler, we had her alongside in 10-15 minutes and we quickly reassessed her size.

She was however still pretty green and feisty so with the tag already in, Joe whipped the hook out and released quickly (whilst I was half way down the ladder with a camera - thanks Joe)

The marlin behaved like a small blue but was lit up like a stripey. I got a brief look at the dorsal and my impression was of fairly stout fin rays and an overall height of about 2/3 body depth.

Small Blue I declared.

But no...doubts persisted....

So I sent the picture off to Tim Simpson, Editor of BlueWater magazine. Probably a Stripey he declared and send the picture on to Dr Julian Pepperell who added "Probably a Stripey"

Blast... I am being out-voted by my peers...

Last ditch effort, I sent the picture off to the NSW DPI, batted my eyelids and murmured "little blue ?"

No ! They declared...Most probably a Striped Marlin !

As Eddie Izzard said "They were China in my United Nations Council and Vetoed me !"

Of course I still harbour feint hopes that one day this fish will be caught again....weighing 750lbs.... I don't give up that easily.....

7 Oct 2009

Big Blue Marlin

We have a group of very nice Kiwi divers here at the moment enjoying diving on the Great Astrolabe Reef in front of Matava Eco-Adventure Resort.

Yesterday, after a morning of diving and snorkeling with a Whale shark, we took four lucky divers out for a spot of afternoon gamefishing aboard Bite Me.

Although we were just looking for some wahoo or mahi mahi for dinner, I took a couple of 50lb class stand-up rods as well as some 15kg line class tackle. The weather was glorious and I thought a little swing out wide of the reef could produce a marlin or two.

At about 1.30 I spotted some small skipjack tuna working bait so swung round with the two 50lb rods out on the riggers. One trolling a Hollowpoint Cabo Killa and the other a Black Bart Hot Breakfast. Half way round the school the Hot Breakfast got inhaled by a big blue marlin that shook her head for a second and then went balistic with a flick of her enormous tail.

Oh-oh, now we have a blue of easily 500lbs hooked up and heading for New Zealand on stand-up 50lb class gear....

(Beadlam in the cockpit as 3 rods and a teaser are franticly cleared as the big blue greyhounds towards the horizon like a bat out of hell.

Line screams off the 50 and I hit the throttles hard chasing after her. Of to my Starboard side a big belly of line cuts through the water as the marlin forges ahead and I try to chase her down alongside. Finally she slows down to a cruise on the surface, I spin us round and start backing down hard as the angler starts to make some line back. Cameras flash but the blue is done jumping. For half an hour we start to put a little line back on an almost empty spool.

Then the big blue does the one thing I dread on (relatively) light tackle.....she sounds..... and we are in the impossible position of being overhead with a mostly empty spool. Normally we would change the angle, move off to one side, anything...to get her to change her mind and do something other than sound... but we just don't have the line left to manoever.

A 500lb blue, underwater, weights about 50lbs. The same weight as our line breaking strain. At full drag on sunset we were applying about 35lbs of drag and on a mostly empty spool, more like 40-45lbs of drag. If she decides to head straight down, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop her....
We were screwed. At about the 45 minute mark at full sunset drag and about 10 turns of line left on the reel....the line parted....

A Big Blue Marlin will show you who's the Boss

I hate busting off a fish, especially as the lure is still in its mouth. Only a single hook rig so hopefully with the pressure off, the marlin will just spit it out.

I'm almost annoyed....

Still, we went home with priceless memories of a spectacular jumping big blue marlin. We also saw a Humpback whale breaching and came across two huge Sunfish basking on the surface. Very cool...

Oh, and a nice wahoo for dinner...

New Wahoo Record

Yes, congrats are in order for Mr Ed Sturdy who last week successfully fought and landed a new Fiji National Record Wahoo after a 35 minute fight on 15kg line class aboard Bite Me.
When the wahoo finally came to the boat Richard sank the gaff in and heaved....and nothing happened.... "Adrian " he said, "Er...a little help here.."
I ran down from the bridge thinking Richard had 'tweaked' his back, grabbed the gaff and declared "Don't worry ! I have got it !" and I then heaved....and again nothing happened...
That's when I realised Richard was fine....it was just a blooming big fish !

Well done Ed, at 44kg its a new pending M-15 Fiji National Record.

6 Oct 2009

I'll save you !

I'll save you !
Originally uploaded by edsturdy.

Wahoo & Ed

Originally uploaded by edsturdy.

A unique experience - TripAdvisor

This place makes you forget about the rest of the world. The staff & management are so friendly, the views are amazing, but you have to put in mind that an enviornment friendly resort means its running on solar energy power, so dont expect ACs or fans, just clean pure air !

I'll be visiting Matava Resort again in the upcoming fishing season for sure.

A unique experience - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

23 Sep 2009

Bluewater Magazine 75: Special features include: THE QUEST featuring Matava and Bite Me

Bluewater Magazine Issue 75

Issue 75

On sale 1st Sept 2009

Special features include:


For several years, BlueWater’s editor has been pursuing the world records for wahoo and Pacific sailfish on 4kg tackle. He recently teamed up with Bill Boyce and headed to Matava Resort in Fiji for the latest attempt. Their adventure illustrates the excitement and strategies that develop in a challenge that puts everything on the line.

Boat reviews
Formosa 580 Tomahawk Centre Cab; Boston Whaler 280 Outrage and 285 Conquest

Bite Me Gamefishing Charters - awesome Sailfish, Marlin and Wahoo Fishing in Kadavu, Fiji

13 Sep 2009

Royal Slam Completed aboard Bite Me

According to the 2009 IGFA World Record Game Fishes book, just 71 people in the world have achieved a Royal Slam. Membership of this exclusive club means that you have achieved the capture of every single billfish species recognised by the International Game Fish Association.
( Pacific and Atlantic Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, White Marlin, Striped Marlin, Pacific and Atlantic Sailfish, Spearfish and Broadbill Swordfish)
The list will soon be amended to include John Angus who completed his Royal Slam aboard Bite Me last week with his last remaining species, the Pacific Sailfish.

Deckie Joe takes the leader

The sailfish bite was oddly quiet but through a bit of perseverance, John landed a sail of about 80lbs and the TBF Release card was duly completed and sent. Wahoo and yellowfin by-catch kept us on our toes and Daisy-chain Teasers took a bit of a battering but it was all worth the fun. John then rounded of the trip with a nice Blue Marlin of about 130kg.

A beautiful blue marlin lights up for the cameras

Well done John ! A rare achievement and one any billfish angler would be proud of.
You can read about some of John's gamefishing exploits in his book "Confessions of a Billfisherman" published by the Halcyon Press.

Sons Robbie and James Angus hold or have held multiple IGFA Smallfry and Junior IGFA World Records including the Black and PAcific Blue marlin. In a couple of weeks time Robbie will be making a bid to reclaim his M-Junior Black Marlin World Record from Alex Johnston off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Alex's record stands at a whopping 496kg...
Good luck Robbie !

The Art of angling runs right through the Angus family. Robbie is also an acomplished artist
painting many of the sights he sees out gamefishing.
He was kind enough to paint a scene experienced aboard Bite Me and the painting will hang in Matava Resort's main bure for all guests to see.

A sail hook-up aboard Bite Me

10 Sep 2009

Its all Work Work Work...

Its a tough life working as a deckie on a gamefishing charterboat in the South Pacific.
The office doesn't have air-con but the views are nice...

You have to be in the office by 6.00am...

The commute is a real pain..

But there are some nice fringe benefits

17 Aug 2009

IGFA August Hot Catches

Fishing the waters of Fiji, Tim Simpson, Coomera Waters QLD, Australia, guided by Capt. Adrian Watt, landed a wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) on June 17, weighing 31.6 kg (69 lb 10 oz) on 4 kg (8 lb) Platypus Lo-Stretch test line.

Simpson, the editor of the South Pacific specialist offshore gamefishing magazine Bluewater said he was fishing the coral reefs at 200 fathoms, 30 miles off Kadavu Island, Fiji aboard Watt’s boat Bite Me, using Halco Laser Pro 190 trolling minnow lures which he reported are phenomenally successful for wahoo.

He and top American marine photographer Bill Boyce were on a mission to attempt world records on light-tackle for wahoo and sailfish. Over the past four years Simpson has been pursuing the current IGFA record of 56 lb 11oz (25.71 kg) caught off Bermuda a decade ago. Both he and Boyce were locked into a double hookup, battling their tooth laddened fish which each sizzled off 500 meters of line, sometimes straight down and in opposite directions several times.

Full details, plus all the secrets of how Simpson achieved the pending record, will be published in a spectacular feature article in BlueWater Issue 75 – on sale in early September.

See www.bluewatermag.com.au for more.

IGFA August Hot Catches