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