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

8 Aug 2009

"No Caught Shark Allowed": Matava leading the Shark Free Marina Initiative in Fiji | Your Travel Choice Blog

6 August 2009 24 views No Comment

SS-Matava-topMatava 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.

SS-Matava-Reef SharkMatava, 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

SS-Matava-MantaAbout 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.

>> Check out Matava’s auction package “7 nights at Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort” at TIES ecoAuction!

Photos by Stuart Gow, Matava

"No Caught Shark Allowed": Matava leading the Shark Free Marina Initiative in Fiji | Your Travel Choice Blog

5 Aug 2009

July Gamefishing Report

The winter season started with a bang as big packs of wahoo flooded in. Marauding groups of up to 50 fish were seen on all the usual Kadavu Island haunts and every pack contained some fish close to the magical 100lbs mark.

A nice 80lb wahoo on the Kadavu Seamount

Dion with a healthy 50lb Kadavu Wahoo

The sailfish also started to show nice and early, still solitary but destined to form up into packs.

Anglers aboard Bite Me recently took several light tackle records including the M-04 Fiji Sailfish Record and the M-04 Wahoo IGFA World Record.
The Yellowfin are however, late ! Only now, at the beginning of August are the first schools moving in. No real size to them yet with most schools around the 20lb (perfect marlin bait) size and the occasional fish to 50lbs. Fellow charterboat Rogue landed a 150lb yellowfin but the big fish are not yet here in numbers.

Yellowfin to 50lbs

An unusual NW current in the past few weeks shut down the wahoo & sail bite to the North of Kadavu but I am pleased to say the cooler water is moving back now and yesterday for example Bite Me raised 2 sailfish packs and got jumped by 2 wahoo packs (which made a very expensive mess of our light tackle sailfish lure spread !)

That warm current did however have some upside. With it came a lot of small Dorado and better yet large numbers of blue marlin. In the recent Denarau Sport & Gamefish Club Tournament, competing boats tallied 19 Blue marlin bites.

Christy's first Mahi mahi !

August and September we will continue with the light tackle fun on the big wahoo & sails and on a nice calm day, throw some poppers at the reef for GTs up to 100lbs.

Shane Heartstone with a good Kadavu Island GT

Wonder just how big your GT is ?

Wonder just how big your GT is ?

There is a great deal of debate out there about calculating the weights of GTs prior to release. We recently had Shane Heartstone from New Zealand aboard Bite Me who was kind enough to bring us a specially designed fish weighing bag. Originally designed for weighing Yellowtail Kingfish, we tried it out on the GTs here and it works extremely well.

A deckwash keeps the GT healthy

We plan on measuring Lower Jaw - Fork Lengths as well as quickly weighing the fish before release. It will be interesting to see how the various different formulas work for Kadavu Island GTs.

Now there will be no debate about GT weights aboard Bite Me.