27 Jun 2011

The Billfish Foundation Australia Experience

The Billfish Foundation adds Australia sportfishing trip to The TBF Experience

25th Anniversary membership drive adding regional billfish adventures worldwide

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. USA. – The magic of fishing Australia’s Sunshine Coast in Cairns has been added as the newest prize trip in celebrating The Billfish Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

The program is aptly named The TBF Experience in the spirit of highlighting TBF’s focus on conservation through sportfishing. The science-based foundation is giving away fishing trips to some of the best fishing destinations in the world; an event that’s more than a membership drive, it’s a celebration of the sportfishing lifestyle. The drive runs into the fall of 2011.

“Besides our three previously announced trips in Guatemala, Panama and the U.S. which can be won by TBF members across the globe we’re adding more exciting sportfishing trips off continents around the world like Australia,” said TBF Science and Policy Specialist Elliott Stark who is coordinating the Silver Anniversary trips.

The TBF Experience at Cairns is a special trip available to South Pacific residents who join or renew their TBF membership (starting at $40) by October 1. TBF will draw one winner who, along with a guest, will join a TBF executive and Capt. Tim Richardson for two days (Nov. 21-22) of giant black marlin fishing on the Tradition out of Cairns, Australia. For more on the TBF Experience Australia, visit here .

“We’re reaching out to thank our membership base worldwide,” said Stark, ” there has never been a better time for those in Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and throughout the South Pacific region to join TBF or to experience billfishing at its best.”

“More details of these exciting trip giveaways and membership premium program is on the TBF website here ,” said Stark.

Win Trips in U.S., Guatemala and Panama

“TBF is uniting the world through sportfishing. In addition to the Cairns trip open only to those in the South Pacific, we have three prize trips open to TBF members from around the world who join at certain levels. These trips, all with expert captains, are in three of the world’s greatest billfishing destinations.”

“At the $75 membership level there’s a one day Atlantic Sailfish trip with Capt. Bouncer Smith in Miami, Fla. USA. Those joining at the $250 level will be entered to win a two day, three night fishing package for Pacific Sailfish and blue marlin with Capt. Brad Philipps in Guatemala.

“And the winner of the $500 or higher member level (one chance per $500, two chances for $1,000, etc.) can be joined by three guests for a three day sportfishing trip off Panama’s Pearl Islands for black and blue marlin, Pacific sails, big dorado and yellowfin. That trip includes four nights and three days accommodations at the beautiful Hacienda del Mar on San Jose Island.”

“We’re pretty excited how this drive is turning out,” said Stark. “Simply joining or renewing your TBF membership between now and Oct. 26, at the levels listed, gets you in the running.”

Winners of the global trips will be drawn in October at TBF’s 25th Anniversary Dinner during the Fort Lauderdale Intl. Boat Show and trips will be scheduled for 2012. For more details on the trips, visit the TBF website at billfish.org or contact Elliott Stark at 954-938-0150 ext. 101.

26 Jun 2011

Spinner Dolphin Pod

A wonderful pod of spinner dolphin seen from the bridge of Bite Me


25 Jun 2011

Good News for Costa Rica Billfish

First hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica sign

agreement to support billfish conservation

Initial group of Central American hotels, resorts and restaurants set example for others in promoting sportfishing ecotourism by taking sailfish and marlin off their menus

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. USA. – The Billfish Foundation (TBF) entered into an agreement with its conservation partner, the Costa Rica Sport Fishing Federation (FECOPT) and four participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica, pledging to stop serving all sailfish and marlin.

Based on a socio-economic study released last year by TBF showing the huge economic value of sportfishing tourism to Costa Rica, the participating hotels adopted the ban on billfish from their restaurants in part to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the nation.

The four properties include the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica in Puntarenas, the DoubleTree Cariari by Hilton San Jose, the Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort and Spa, and the Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport. The bold conservation move with the hotels and resorts came after two months of discussions with FECOPT Executive Director Enrique Ramirez.

“TBF is proud of the efforts by Enrique Ramirez who secured the participation of the four participating Hilton Worldwide properties in Costa Rica and explained the conservation and business benefits of the world’s sportfishing tourists, reaffirming Costa Rica’s stature as one of the world’s premier fishing destinations,” noted TBF Chief Scientist Dr. Russell Nelson. “We specially appreciate the foresight of the general managers at the participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica - Ricardo Rodriguez Gil, Laura Castagnini and Rui Dominguez - that supporting sportfishing conservation efforts are good for the oceans and good for business as well.”

“The participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica are leading the way for Costa Rica’s tourism industry to move toward new levels of support for sportfishing conservation practices,” said FECOPT’s Ramirez. “Using the impetus of our agreement with the participating properties we look forward to partnering with sustainable tourism tour leader Horizontes to let this precedent spread across the nation’s tourism industry.

TBF President Ellen Peel applauded the agreement as a new standard for voluntary conservation action in the private sector adding, “we’re very pleased to see tourism businesses and government tourism officials responding so positively to the facts and information presented by our socio-economic research conducted with the University of Costa Rica that clearly supports TBF’s message that good conservation can be good economics.”

TBF has been working with governments such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Panama to protect billfish, mainly from overfishing coastal fisheries by commercial interests, while implementing tag and release programs for sportsmen. Herbert Nanne of San Jose serves as TBF’s Central American Conservation Director.

Established 25 years ago, The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world. TBF's comprehensive network of members and supporters includes anglers, captains, mates, tournament directors, clubs and sportfishing businesses. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, TBF is able to work for solutions that are good for billfish and not punitive to recreational anglers. To reach Dr. Nelson call 561-449-9637 or visit www.billfish.org

The Billfish Foundation is out there right now trying to preserve our billfish for future generations. Consider becoming a valued member Its all you need do to help.

19 Jun 2011

Want your own Custom Rod ?

Graeme landing a Southern Bluefin Tuna last week on 3kg line
using an Eyre Game On 3-4kg rod

Eyre Rods based in South Australia hand build custom light and ultra-light tackle gamefishing rods for the discerning record hunter....Want one of your own ?
Its easy ! Just land an IGFA certified World Record aboard Bite Me and you can keep the rod....or they will make you a brand new one !
Bite Me now carries a range of these beautiful custom rods for any angler wishing to make an attempt.
You can see details here.
If you think catching a World Record is next to impossible, we have already taken the Wahoo M-04 and W-03 World Records Your name could be on the next one we knock off, oh and on your brand new hand made custom rod as well !

Good luck to all anglers booked in for this winter wahoo season !

13 Jun 2011

Kadavu GT Popping Update

We had an unusual summer of popper casting for GTs with the La Nina weather paterns making for unfavourable conditions and sometimes a very poor bite by our standards.
On a normal summer season day with a couple of anglers popping we expect around a 10 GT average and 15-20 on a hot bite day. This season we averaged about 5....

One after another, summer tropical depressions came by to the West of the Fiji Islands on their way South. Normally they sink by us to the East. These tropical lows sent some sizable South Westerly swells that churned up the inner lagoon water...which emptied out of the passageways. They also stalled the current that normally sweeps along the outer barrier reef bring clear oceanic waters. So coloured water emptied out of the lagoons...and just stayed there with little or no current to clear it away.
The solution aboard Bite Me - Stickbaits !
In a normal year we generally catch 75% of our GTs on poppers...This year we landed at least half the GTs on stickbaits.

The Nomad Wahho & Dogtooth stickbaits were very effective

Also the Orion Bigfoot in Fusilear colour

The best poppers this season were still the Cuberas, Craftbaits, Buffalo, Orions and of course if you have the cash..FCL and Hammerheads...

Cubera / El Toro still produced

Even so, some late summer season anglers did get some reasonably good GT fishing with most fish averaging 15-20kg and a few bigger ones around the 25-30kg.

Now that's a seriously long pencil for a Bluefin Trevally !

More Recent Gamefishing Pictures

How do you like your Yellowfin ? BIG PLEASE !

We had a great late summer Yellowfin Tuna season. Everything from big cow 75kg fish down to tiny juveniles no more than a month or two old....

Mandy on her Honeymoon

Smallest yellowfin ever caught aboard Bite Me !

Jigging produced some interesting species

Albacore Tuna


The usual species as well...

Dolphinfish around floating FADs

Wahoo starting to arrive for the winter season

The ever present GTs and Bluefin Trevally on poppers

8 Jun 2011

Gamefishing Report June 2011 - Kadavu Island - Fiji Islands

 Gamefishing Report June 2011 -  Kadavu Island - Fiji Islands

The summer blue marlin season was reasonable with fish averaging around 250lbs but we didn't see the usual monsters this season. 

Perhaps it was the slightly unusual La Nina weather patterns and currents. Fortunately the yellowfing tuna fishing was excellent. A good run of summer yellowfin continued right up to early May. 
Most fish averaged about 50lbs but some very nice cows spiced up the mix weighing in at well over 150lbs.

Bite Me was fortunate enough to tag and release two extremely rare baby striped marlin. Fish of this size are believed to be only a few months old. 

 We are still waiting confirmation from the fish ID experts however we are pretty sure they were stripies. Catching marlin of this size in the South Pacific is a very unusual event and to catch two doubly so.

Evidence is increasingly indicating that the Fiji waters are a striped marlin spawning ground.

The La Nina weather conditions affected the summer GT Popper casting with frequent South Westerly swells and North West to South West prevailing breezes. Water colour was generally poor as the usual ocean currents that scour the outer slopes of the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef failed to show. Some very good fish were still landed but the average number of GTs landed in a day fell from the usual 12-15 down to 5-8.

At time of writing the first winter wahoo and sailfish have started to show. The sails are still one here, one there and the wahoo have not yet formed up into the expected packs of 40-50 marauding fish but we expect that to start happening within the next few weeks.

By July we will br re-rigging every single lure in use with wire and fending wahoo off with sticks. We have a number of anglers booked in to fish ultra-light tackle this season so we are hopeful of adding a few more IGFA World Records to Bite Me's growing list of accomplishments.

Capt Adrian Watt - Bite Me Gamefishing Charters

5 Jun 2011

Bite Me Hauls Out

Its that time of year again when Bite Me hauls out for her annual maintenance and full out of water Marine Safety Survey. Actually its not due till August but we are so busy in July and August we are having to haul out two months early !

She gets a full high pressure blast, sand down and two new coats of anti-foul. All inlets inspected, rudders dropped and greased, props polished, running gear cleaned, anchor and chain pulled and cleaned, winch greased and tested, sacrificial anode checked, Raw water intake strainers pulled and cleaned, life raft serviced, shaft bearings checked and a full wax polish from the Fiberglass Shop....


After !


After !

Unfortunately the list doesn't end there.....
Back in the water.....
Engine fuel pumps pulled and serviced, Turbos pulled and serviced, Intercoolers and raw water / fresh water coolers removed and cleaned, Rocker arm valve clearances checked, shaft alignments checked, engine control cables replaced, Fiji Islands Marine Safety Authority In-Water Survey.......
......and that squeak from the helm chair fixed...... Its been driving me nuts.

4 Jun 2011

Denarau Gamefishing Classic Tournament

The Denarau Game and Sports Fishing Club's announces The 2011 Adrenalin Fiji's Game Fishing Classic. The 3 Day event is on from July 15th - July 17th from Port Denarau Marina, Fiji.

With a number of successful competitions already underway each year, this year's event is building to be the best yet!
A new Website is dedicated to the competition - www.fijigamefishingclassic.com
Integrated booking system in association with Fiji Finest Tours for International Competitors and direct Boat Seat/Charter bookings.