27 Feb 2011

Fun Day on Bite Me

Claudia & Ben's first double hook-up

Claudia & Ben and Dang & Mary recently had a fun day of gamefishing aboard Bite Me. We fished the North Astrolabe Barrier Reef with 15kg trolling gear and soon found some nice Yellowfin Tuna.

Not only are yellowfin a lot of fun to fight and land on medium tackle, they are delicious to eat !
Sashimi starter and seared yellowfin steaks for dinner...
We did however release a couple after we had a good feed on board.

Mary's first Yellowfin

On the way home we stopped off at one of my little GT spots so that Ben & Dang could throw some poppers.....

Ben released this nice GT over 20kg

Dang then landed and released this lovely GT around 30kg caught on a Buffalo Popper

Everyone caught lots of fish and had a great day out....and to top it off we were all very popular with the other resort guests when we presented fresh yellowfin for dinner that night !

26 Feb 2011

Matava wins Environment/Local Sustainability Award at AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010

Matava wins AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award 2010

Matava has been awarded the Environment/Local Sustainability Award at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards

KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS – 26th February 2011 – Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to be announced as the winner of the Environment/Local Sustainability Award at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010 for its policies on environmental sustainability and the environment.

The annual Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards night sponsored by AON was held at the The Warwick Resort and Spa on the Coral Coast on Friday 26th February 2011, and attended by Matava Director, Stuart Gow. Many local tourism operators and business people attended the evening presentations. This year there were over a thousand nominees in the 12 categories. This glamourous event was Red Sea Rig & Cocktail theme, welcoming guests with a 3 course dinner, an awards ceremony & fantastic live entertainment with a turn out of over 400 guests.

The Environment/Local Sustainability Award recognises efforts to preserve the environment & local communities for the benefits of locals & visitors alike in developing & fostering both environmental & national conservation. It also assesses efforts to support cultural initiatives and promote public awareness and education in support of “Fiji Made” products by reducing their carbon footprint.

Matava was proud to be nominated in 3 categories, and was chosen as a finalist in all nominated categories at this year’s AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards. Bite Me Gamefishing Charters and Mad Fish Dive Centre were recognised as finalist in the Fiji Experience Award, and Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort was a finalist in the Quality Accommodation Award as well as winning the Environment/Local Sustainability Award.

“We are extremely proud to win this award. We have been lucky to win overseas and global awards for our environmental policy in the past year, but it is especially gratifying to be recognised at home by our colleagues in Fiji.” said Mr Stuart Gow, one of Matava’s Directors.

Richard Akhtar, Managing Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said “At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding environmental efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort:

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

About AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards:

The awards which have been in existence for 14 years, honour those who have made a significant input to Fiji’s most important industry. The prestigious awards are given to individuals, groups and companies in a broad range of categories; covering accommodation, restaurant and dining, tours and transportation, environmental and local sustainability. Winners were chosen as part of a nomination process which began late last year and closed in January. Recipients of the various awards have proven dedication, active participation and innovation in their fields of speciality, and have thus merited the esteem of the industry. Over the years, the AON Excellence in Tourism Awards has grown in prestige and now not only bestows recognition but serves as an incentive for individuals and companies to aspire to greatness in the sector.

AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010


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Matava wins Environment/Local Sustainability Award at AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards 2010

16 Feb 2011

Bluewater Magazine Issue 84 On sale 2nd March 2011

Bluewater 84


Capt Marlin Marker’s marlin-fighting techniques - It’s one thing to find and then hook a marlin, but once that’s accomplished, then what? How the battle is conducted – from strategic considerations even before the hook-up, to the positioning of the boat – can have a huge bearing on the outcome. Jon Schwartz quizzes one of the masters of the game for the secrets to his success.

Surface blasting for yellowfin: Yellowfin tuna are exciting on any tackle, but catching them by casting poppers will add a whole new level to the thrill of tackling these powerful speedsters.

They call the shots - Capt Ross Newton - The rich waters of Australia’s northwest have inspired a productive career for this adventurous captain.

Lure lore: Part 2 – Meet your match - When selecting your lure colour, should you try to match the prevalent prey, or pick a colour to stand out among them?

Product review - Van Staal spinning reels - These extraordinary reels were created to perform under conditions that destroy lesser casting and jigging reels.


  • Riviera 51 Enclosed Flybridge Series II
  • Bar Crusher 670HT
  • Yellowfin 6700 centre console

14 Feb 2011

On The Water : Fiji Fishing Resort

To anyone who has traveled the world in search of fine fishing locations, an un-deniable fact we keep contending with at so many of these destinations is .. Paradise Lost.. Paradise Lost… Paradise Lost. For we have all been to places we dreamed could never exist, and once there, had the most insane adventure, vying to return as soon as humanly possible. But when we did make that much anticipated pilgrimage back to paradise.. It was indeed .. Lost. Typically due to over development, to people who for one reason or another just don’t seem to belong there. You know the scenario, we fishy type people in our shorts, and industry related T-shirts, keep getting replaced by the dreaded “suit and tie on the beach” look. Or worse yet, the bald guy clad in Bermuda shorts, with white sox, black polished wing tips, and a big obnoxious woven hat with MEXICO sewed across the front of it. Tell tale signs that your “secret spot” is a little less a secret, and more likely the hottest new time share condo destination.

Well, I just returned from a filming expedition of a new travel / fishing series called IGFA Angler’s Digest TV on the remote Fijian island of Kadavu. From the moment my Top Siders touched the ground, I knew I had found a special place. A place sooooo different from any other I had ever been. One which gave me the immediate imminent feeling that I will soon be truly experiencing… Paradise Found…!!! The 40 minute skiff ride from the small air strip that services Kadavu was an adventure unto itself. Passing thru stunningly clear waters where the pristine virgin coral reefs pass just a few feet under the flat bottomed hull.

Going thru reef passages where the current is flowing. Giving me visions of giant trevally, and bluefin trevally lining up to brutally beat down any un-suspecting baitfish, un-lucky enough to find itself within eye shot of these fantastic predators. As my mind wonders, my focus suddenly becomes the verdant green rain forested slopes that cover the North side of Kadavu, where large colorful parrots are seen transecting the coconut trees. Secluded white sand beaches pass by that look right out of a Hawaiian Tropic Tan ad. The only thing missing are the bikini clad women waving at me as if from a float in the Rose Parade on New Years morning.

The only signs of human life are a few small villages where native Fijians reside in communities no larger than a few hundred people. Amazingly friendly, hospitable people I might add with exponential emphasis.

People so removed from our uptight materialistic worlds that they have no need for petty jealousy of “keeping up with the Jones’s”. Their continuous laughter, and the perpetual smiles plastered to their faces will make you wonder what planet they are from, or better yet, which one we all need to visit for a reality check.


Little was known of what type of fishing to expect other than a smattering of yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, sails, and perhaps a marlin of various colors and stripes. But since we never really hear much about Fiji offshore, we assume it is not a place to spend much time, money, or effort in pursuit of the ultimate blue water experience. Boy was I WRONG..!!! From the first glance at the British Nav Charts presented to me by IGFA Captain Adrian “MEGA” Watts, I knew we were in fishy territory.

The Astrolabe Reef runs over 125 miles around the Northern edge of Kadavu Island. Plenty of openings, channels, and inlets are geologically placed to allow a good mixing of inshore reef forage species to venture out and beyond the outer reef drop off. Placing them in the beady eyes of all the above mentioned predators who hang on those walls like wolves waiting for Little Red Riding Hood. The beautiful thing about the geography of the reef and the surrounding islands, is that a lee can always be found where fishing can commence in relatively quiet seas.

Our trip was made in July, considered the Fijian winter. The Fijian island group consists of 310 islands, and is located in the Southern Hemisphere. To be exact, 19 degrees south of the equator. Though not considered the rainy season, it is a season where North Westerly trade winds can blow for several days at a time, making the act of fishing the front side of the Astrolabe a bumpy affair. We had some of those winds, but all were less that 20 knots and seas were less that 4’. Hell, whose kidding who.. That is an awesome day off the Texas coast, the North East canyons, and the Caribbean in general..!!!

No worries for us as we were under the skillful guidance of Capt. Adrian, aboard the BITE ME, a solid 31’ twin diesel, Aussie built DEEP V sportfisher. A sister ship to the popular Black Watch platform. Adrian’s knowledge of the reef is legendary and the boat currently holds 19 Fijian line class records. His soulful mate, Joe Tuku also shares “god like status” and is great in the pit.

In the act of filming a show, quantity can often over ride quality, when fishing an area. People watching these shows want to be entertained with fish being caught. In Adrian’s case, quality is always his mindset. This time of year, the waters cool to a range of 74 – 76, and the wahoo and sailfish are most active. They were our target species. The heaviest outfit we fished were 30’s but most were 16 – 20’s, with a great day spent fishing the 8, and that will have it’s own happy ending later in the story.

Full article here:
On The Water

9 Feb 2011

Some Pics from this Week

Steve & Kathy from Florida

Jigged the Seamount this week, no doggies just a few odds & sodds like Almaco Jacks, groupers...
A lot of small yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the area.
Marlin bite has been quiet this week. We had a sinking skipbait whacked by a billfish whilst we fought a yellowfin but it didn't return to finish off the bait. Raised another small blue that lit up like a Christmas tree, methodically inspected three lures and then disappeared...probably because of all the tuna around us at the time.

Steve helps Joe bring in another nice Yellowfin

Jayson from Perth joined Steve & Kathy for a day on Bite Me landing this nice Yellowfin Tuna.
He spent the rest of his time popping aboard Tease Me - More on that later

Steve with a pretty female Mahi mahi

3 Feb 2011

IGFA World Record Wahoo

We have just heard some great news from the IGFA. Our World Record Application for the W-03 line class Wahoo World Record has been approved.
Back in September, Fiona Stallard landed a 21kg Wahoo on 3kg line whilst fishing aboard Bite Me.
Congratulations to Fiona ! She is now the new holder of the International Game Fish Association W-03 Wahoo World Record.

Bite Me now has two ultra-light Wahoo World Records to her credit:
W-03 - Fiona Stallard
M-04 - Tim Simpson

Tim Simpsons World Record Wahoo on 4kg line class

Anyone care to have a go at some more ?
We would be delighted to try !

Jan 2011 Popping & Jigging - Latest

Marcio with his first Doggy

Randy Chin from JDM Tackle was here last week with Brazilian angler Marcio and photographer Christian for a bit of GT popping and deepwater jigging.
I tried not to get in the way of all the photography but managed to elbow in a few shots...

Randy quickly knocks off a small one

A morning on the Kadavu Seamount produced a few dogtooth tuna but no monster fish that day.

Marcio poses for the camera...not my camera !

The GT bite was decidedly average, possibly because of a nearby tropical depression (later to become Cat 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi and devestate parts of Queensland).

A nice Grouper for Randy on a Craftbait popper

Marcio's best GT

Grouper on a jig

GT on a Stickbait

Joe drops a jig and gets nailed by this huge Malabar Grouper

As with all Groupers, we do our best to catch & release

Randy with one of those long GTs that confuse weight formulas

If you would like to know more about the new type of stickbait lures used or the new rods tested out this week, drop Randy a line at JDM Tackle

2 Feb 2011

Late January Gamefishing Update

Joe leaders a nice Yellowfin Tuna

Father and son Darren & Josh had a few days gamefishing aboard Bite Me to celebrate Josh's 16th Birthday. We really wanted a nice blue marlin for Josh but the blues didn't want to cooperate. Despite trolling some of the world's best marlin lures around skipjack and yellowfin tuna schools charging around chasing flying fish....no blues.
The tuna were moving too quickly for us to livebait so it was Moldcrafts, Joe Yees, John Laus, Marlin Magics, Black Barts and Pakulas that we used on stand-op 50lb gear and 80lb chair tackle.

Darren with a beautiful Yellowfin Tuna

Joe hoiks in a Mahi Mahi (Dolpninfish)

A trip round the North side of the island found us yellwfin, Mahi mahi and even a missed bite from a Pacific Sailfish but the blues remained elusive.
(They are worse than London busses....Three bites in an hour then nothing for ages....drive you nuts they will )
Josh with a Mahi around 12kg

After a couple of days we turned to some popping and jigging. Weather a bit ordinary and the churned up choppy water not ideal for popping but we found some fish.

Darren loads up one of our Saragosa 18,000s on a GT Special

Josh lands and releases his first ever GT

and his first ever doggie on a jig