26 Oct 2011
24 Oct 2011
Graeme and Owen fron South Australia spent a week with us at Matava Lodge with the intention of going after the M-03 Wahoo IGFA World Record. Owen makes a range of ultra-light custom rods and this was a great opportunity to put them through their paces on some relatively big fish.
We started off with a bit of a warm-up on some small yellowfin. Despit their small size, on 3kg line these yellowfin put up quite a fight.....Fortunately the guys had been practising on the Southern Bluefin Tuna at home so we were asured of some sashimi for dinner !
Graeme was up first using an Avet SX (Florida Cam) spooled with Platypus Pre-Test on an Eyre Toxic Wahoosta. We were using the best wahoo lure money can buy...The Halco Laser Pro.
After a fight of just over an hour, Graeme had his first prize....
Owen then had his chance using an Eyre Pirate These rods were hand made specifically for Bite Me and the finishing is beautiful. What's more they proved to be perfect for the job in the hands of an experienced angler.
Graeme then hooked up and fought a feisty Mahi Mahi that would have smashed the Fiji National Record but just as Joe went in with the gaff the fish leapt out of the water (as they so often do !) and threw the hooks boatside.
Unfortunately the weather turned on us for a few days so we had to switch tactics. One of the advantages of the Pirate is its working range up to 8kg so we re-spooled with 6kg and headed back out. Owen got this nice Mahi Mahi, again using an Avet SX on a Pirate.
By the way, if any angler catches an IGFA World Record using one of our Eyre Custom rods they get to keep the rod....Or Owen will make them a brand new one for free ! Check out his website for details.
You have to experience the fun of fighting a fish like this on ultra-light tackle. Its a lot of fun for the skipper too !
The weather got worse so we spent the last two days fishing the calmer lee side of the island with the 3kg gear, in particular, the Ono Drop-off. After having a beautiful little sailfish jump and throw the hooks on us (bugger) we found some decent sized yellowfin. A bit too decent ! We fought two yellowfin for well over an hour and a half each only to have the line break just as we were getting close..... I have hours of GoPro video footage but I won't subject readers to blubbing anglers ! These yellowfin would have smashed the Fiji Record and possibly given the IGFA World Record a scare but it was not to be.
Anyway, we just missed out on the Wahoo World Record but had a lot of fun chasing it. The Eyre rods performed beautifully and now have a proven track record. I can't wait to have another go....In the mean time I might just mount them on the wall...They are that pretty !
Owen from Eyre Custom Rods Australia landed this 40lb Wahoo on 3kg line class using an Avet SX on an Eyre Pirate custom rod aboard Bite Me. Fight time about one hour and a very nice fish on 3kg line class !
12 Oct 2011
From the beginning of 2011, the South Pacific experienced strong La Nina weather patterns. Warmer than normal water gathered towards the Western side of the Pacific leading to unusual weather conditions. Normal tropical depression and Cyclone paths shifted West and Australia's long running drought was broken. For the Fiji Islands this meant fine weather but frequent large ground swells from the South West. Normal oceanic currents along Kadavu Island's Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef stalled and the GT Popping season was significantly affected with coloured water outside the barrier reef and GTs moving from regular haunts.
The summer yellowfin tuna run started late but by the end of March, Bite Me was landing excellent yellowfin around 130lb with our best fish weighing in at 165lbs.
Our normal winter Wahoo season begins with the first wahoo packs arriving in May and by June the outer reef slopes are crowded with hundreds of wahoo packing up on reef points and current lines. Not this year. Water temps stayed stubbournly higher than normal. Our June water temp was the highest recorded for that month in 15 years....
Nevertheless we did get a wahoo run, just not as crazy as normal years. Packs averaged 10-15 fish rather than 20-30 and the average size was down from 60lbs to around 40lbs. The Kadavu Seamount proved very patchy wahoo fishing. Some days it was loaded, some days quiet. Very unusual indeed.
The Pacific Sailfish didn't disappoint but with unusual current directions along the reef and a scarcity in normal winter bait, they moved around a lot making my job a little harder than normal. Still, we did manage to take the M-06 (12lb) Fiji National Record with a sail of just over 75lbs.
The La Nina weather patterns usually only last 9-12 months so by December, the start of the next summer Popping & Jigging season, we should be back to normal. Looking forward to it.
8 Oct 2011
With the new direct flights between Hong Kong and Fiji operated by Air Pacific, we have been delighted to welcome more and more guests from that part of the world.
Manny and Cherry stayed at Matava Eco-Adventure Lodge for some diving, snorkeling, adventure and of course...fresh sashimi !
sails showed in reasonably good numbers but with unusual weather and wind directions they did tend to move around a lot so no specific area consistantly produced.
1 Oct 2011
For a great photo spread of the Fiji National Fishing Records caught on Bitee see here the Records Photo Gallery.
Species Class Record Angler
TOTAL Fiji National Line Class Records held – Fortysix (46)
TOTAL All-Tackle Fiji National Records Held – Three (3)
TOTAL IGFA World Records held – Two (2)