Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A great day fishing out of Pacific Harbour, Fiji

The forecast for Saturday was beautiful. Plans made and gear readied, time to fish. We leave after eight and decide to make a straight run instead of trolling to the fishing grounds that we want to try today. This of course burns a lot of fuel but saves about two hours.
We get to the bottom end of a reef system called Frigates.
It is a very popular surfing spot for locals and tourists alike.

We set out three lines looking for GT’s or mackerels. Trolling right along the reef edge. This method has a great payoff potential but a very high risk of snags.
Not to worry as we did not get a bite.
As we round the top end of Frigates we decide to try a bit of popper fishing. Rosie’s cousin Paul has not done a lot of poppering and is keen on trying it.
After a fair bit of casting practice, that is what I call it when you get no bites, we decide to move.
The sea is flat and the sun is out, there is no wind and no birds in sight. Sounds like a nice day for a picnic on the water but not for fishing.
Bottom fishing with bait is the consensus. First find the bait then find the spot to fish.
Luckily Paul knows a spot that usually holds bait. Within 10 minutes we have bait and are looking for a spot to drop anchor and fish.
Soon we are baiting hooks and dropping to the bottom.
Now this is where everything changes. Rosie can’t stand it, bait fish are breaking the surface right on the edge of the reef. About as far away as a person can cast. She ties a large popper on and fires a long distance cast using a 30lb set up. One pop, two pop, three pops and the surface explodes. The unmistakable scream of braid being taken at will from a reel along with shouts of excitement was all it took to end the bait fishing. The fight is tough but fair and soon a nice Bluefin Trevally is in the net.
Now the rest of us are trying to get our rigs changed from bottom fishing to popper fishing and Rosie is out there with another cast and another huge explosion. This second Trevally is a Bigeye and manages to break the tip of her fishing rod which is actually my rod because hers was blown apart by a very large GT a few months back. Rosie still manages to boat it and by the look on her face has reached nirvana.
This spot is totally turned on. We can see the Bluefin school swimming along the reef and they are all in the 4-7kg range.
Before any one else is out there popping Rosie has landed another three big Bluefin. By this time the rest of us have gotten sorted out and Paul is now casting a popper at the reef as well as myself. Before long there is a massive explosion and my popper disappears in a churning mass of foam. As my line pulls tight and my drag comes to life I feel the unmistakable rush of adrenalin and a giant smile on my face. This fight is different to the rest, it is deep with very hard repeated runs. Big head shakes and a fair bit longer. When we finally see color the beast lets us know it is a Giant Trevally. Pound for pound one of the hardest fighting fishes in the sea.
This fight is followed immediately by an explosion on the end of Paul’s line and the unmistakable shout of, “I’m on!” This is Paul’s first big fish while popping and it lives up to the reputation. He is over the top with the largest Bluefin of the day. Next up to catch a big on was Natasha, Paul’s wife. Being a first timer this was going to be a challenge. Once she is hooked up and with a bit of coaching and a few breath holding moments a nice Bluefin is netted and has its picture taken. There is still one person left to catch a fish, Rosie’s brother Paul, we call him Baba. After a bit of casting he is hooked up and the fight is on. during the entire fishing frenzy we had been seeing a few sharks but we were not being harassed to much. This time would be different. As soon as we see color on his fish we notice another color right on it tail. It looks as though this shark means business. I am at the back of the boat with the net and start telling Paul to reel as fast as he can. As the shark starts to gain on the Trevally I start to slap the water with the net. This buys us enough time to boat another nice fish and Paul is over the top.A bit more fishing and it is time to head back. With non stop chatter about a great day fishing and when to go again, we arrive at the jetty just before dark safe and sound.
Not a bad day for our first real attempt here in Pacific Harbour.

Tight lines and screaming drags


Ben said...

Not a bad day at all! :)

H Oh said...

Look at those skies! So jealous!

T. Brook Smith said...


Man that looks like an awesome day!