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Fishing in Fiji - INDIANANGLER ->

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 Post subject: Fishing in Fiji
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Fishing in Fiji

I had always yearned to fish in Fiji,as it was quite close to Australia and one could reach it within 4 hours flight time.

However, the problem was a lack of information as to the type of fishing offered and a trawl through the Internet and local fishing forums indicated that Fiji was primarily a big game fishing area...not something that I was keen on as I prefer to fish for smaller species.

Furthermore, I always like to fish from the beach and in Fiji all the resorts (barring one) do not allow this.

The rest of the beaches/shore areas belong to the native village chiefs and they do not grant permission readily to outsiders to fish there.

However, persistence paid off and I managed to locate one resort on the Fiji Coral Coast that had it's own private beach and yes, allowed it's guests to fish there!

I wasted no time in booking my stay there and then readied my gear,which was a bit complicated to organize.

Firstly, the beach could only be fished at high tide and the water was quite shallow,so poppers and topwater lures were a must along with light rods and smaller sized reels.

I covered this aspect by taking 2 Shimano telescopic rods rated 3-4 kilos
with Penn Applause 4000 reels, loaded with 12lb braid.

A selection of small Halco, River2Sea poppers and shallow running 
Maniac metals covered the lures segment.

To be continued...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Fishaholic

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Posts: 1398
I also found out from some obscure sources that there were mangrove jacks  in the Fijian rivers as well as the shy and rare jungle perch.

Consequently, a fair number of lures were packed for these species.

Someone mentioned that it was possible to catch fairly large GTs in Fiji from the rocks ,so in went some larger Halco Rooster poppers and another rod rated 10-15 kilos with 30lb braid ,loaded onto the new Penn SpinfisherV 4500 reel which I intended to test out for the first time.

As luck would have it, the resort had their own boat and were willing to take me out trolling/casting in the ocean for tuna and Spanish mackerel.....they also said I could have a go at GTs in the30-40kilos
category!

This meant another reel for the tuna and mackerel (Saltist4500) and a trolling rod rated 24kilos, mated to a Penn760 Slammer with
50lb braid.

A selection of Xrap30(Green Gold Mackerel),Halco Laser Pro +8m,
Halco Trembler and a Rapala CD 14 had to be added to the gear to
serve for the trolling.

It was turning out to be quite an undertaking!

My main purpose was to do a short recce on this trip so that I would have first hand knowledge as to the possibilities in Fiji.

To be continued...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:37 pm 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
The flight to Nadi in Fiji was uneventful but gave me a chance to see the waters around Fiji when the plane descended.

What a sight! Beautiful coral fringed islands with the surf breaking over the coral reefs,prime GT territory as well as home to a host of species if we trolled parallel to the reef edges.

Customs and Immigration were straightforward and we were greeted by cries of "Bula", which means hello(and goodbye in Fijian) by everyone.

First impressions were that it was like being back in India..with lots of Fijian Indians around one felt at home.

The taxi driver was a Thakur from India,whose forefathers were brought to Fiji by the British as indentured labour to work in the sugarcane fields.

He gave a nonstop talk for 10 minutes on whatever questions newcomers to Fiji may ask...and seeing that I was a Sardar he told
me that Fiji Gold was the best beer to drink and that their rum was also quite good (points duly noted!).

After his speech, he mercifully quietened down and allowed us to enjoy the lush green scenery around us...there were fields of sugarcane and maize just like Punjab. 

Almost everywhere there were villages with mandirs and saffron flags and Indian stall holders selling mangoes,papayas and guavas
with masala!

The roads were excellent and were being constructed by New Zealand contractors.The most popular cars were Toyotas.

After about an hour, the road went parallel to the coast and we saw the ocean up close..it looked quite calm at low tide.

Finally, we were at the resort .

To be continued


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:50 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
The resort was perfectly situated by the ocean and one could step out of the bure(native dwelling) straight onto the beach and start fishing!

Unfortunately, the tide was late at night ,so we had to wait until the morning high tide before we could wet our lines. The waves were too many to allow poppers to be utilized,so we cast out the small metal Maniacs as it was windy.

The Maniacs are a flattened metal spoon that runs shallow and have a nice swaying action...perfect for the conditions.
There was one possible bite but we gave the fishing a break as we wanted to fish the evening tide when there were no swimmers or snorklers in the water.

We were hoping to catch smaller trevally,although we had been told that some quite large Spanish Mackerel had been caught off the beach.

Making ourselves known to the boat operator at the Lodge paid dividends, as he told us that there was a deep channel running into the beach from the reef, where one could catch mangrove jacks  at LOW
tide.

This was interesting, we could now target fish at either tide change and increase our chances!

So at the next low tide, we waded out towards the channel keeping a lookout for the black and white banded sea snake, the only poisonous snake to watch out for..there are no snakes in Fiji,if there were any they had been taken care of by the imported,now feral, Indian mongoose.

We made tentative casts but soon lost several lures, as these kept snagging on coral outcrops which were just underwater and not visible to us. We gave up and agreed to use a boat to cast into the channel at a later time.

To be contd...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:51 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
The evenings in Fiji are cool and breezy on the coast and dinner is made enjoyable with an abundance of Western and Asian dishes, all types of drinks and soothing music played live by a Fijian band on guitars and a ukelele...they even sang some Indian songs for us!

The plan is to rest the next day, it being a Sunday on which no self-respecting native Fijian works ( they are staunch Catholics).

One of the things we were warned about is "Fiji Time", essentially the native Fijians go with the flow and are not really bothered by our notion of keeping to a schedule or time..... this would come back to bite us later!

On Monday, we are to take the Lodge boat for what we were told would be fishing for tuna and Spanish mackerel by trolling, with some reef fishing for variety.

To be contd.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:29 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Monday morning dawned with big clouds on the horizon, which the boat captain said would move away later...fortunately there was no wind .

The boat was moored in the channel and we had to wade out several hundred meters to get to it,carrying all our gear and helped by a strong Fijian lady.

We were to depart at 7am and return four hours later, so minimal food and water was taken along with us.

The skipper started the 115 HP Suzuki engine without any problem but then the instrument panel displayed some problem which could not be fixed by him...a phone call to the mechanic confirmed all was in order and the panel display was an aberration.



We motored out of the channel and started our troll parallel to the reef,gunning for mackerel and dogtooth tuna ( this is the only tuna species to have teeth, can run up to 80-90 kilos and is a prized gamefish amongst the angling crowd).

The current was too strong for our setup and the skipper told us to reel in and he then went full speed for a couple of hours to a village where he was to pick up his deckhand cum guide.

The guide was ready and quickly on board..his knowledge in getting through
the reef channels was crucial and he knew where the fish were.

Our troll in the shallow waters around his village immediately resulted in a small dogtooth tuna hooked on my Xrap..this was quickly reeled in and iced by the crew as they did not believe in catch and release.

Despite the guide, the boats engine hit a reef rock and whilst backing out my deep running Xrap got deeply stuck and was lost forever!

Contd...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:43 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
The loss of the Xrap meant that we had no deep running lure and consequently we never  had a hot bite after that, only some halfhearted swipes at the other lures by some unknown fish,perhaps
Barracudas.

We now switched tactics and started to cast to either side of the boat
towards reef edges as we were running through a shallow channel.
The skipper was using a Halco Haymakers popper while I used my trusty Twisty 40gm.lure...and I hooked up to a decent trevally.

The crew were delighted with this and kept it for the table.

We then came out of the reefs and started casting poppers from the seaward side towards the foaming surf,as this was prime GT territory and the Fijian crew really wanted to catch GTs.

They were using Shimano GT rods,with Saragossa 15000 spin reels
loaded with very heavy monofilament or a heavy overhead reel and ,I think,Yozuri stick bait.I also tried my luck using their gear but found it to be too heavy.

The waves were really building up before hitting the reef and the wind had picked up to 20 knots, it took courage to keep fishing there with just the engine idling to keep us from smashing onto the reef but ,man,was it
exciting living on the edge!!

After a while without any hits, we gave up and trolled back parallel to the reefs again back towards the resort...it was now several hours beyond our scheduled return  but then we were living on Fiji time!

It was slow going ,the wind and the waves had picked up while thunderclouds built up ominously....the boat was now pitching quite a lot but fortunately I do not suffer from mal de mer.

However, as we were still a couple of hours away from the resort I took the decision to have the crew land us at the guide's village and then took a taxi back ....leaving them to carry on the journey by boat.

Contd....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:06 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Back safely at the resort, the crew returned several hours later with the boat and our fishing gear..we rewarded them with a good tip,gave them the fish to keep and also left them some lures .

They had been a good bunch, strong and skilled with good seamanship
qualities and had brought us back safely in quite adverse conditions and I had got on well with them.

They told me that they will take me to some local rivers to catch mangrove jacks when I next return.

So now the recce trip to Fiji has paid off.

We can fish from the lodge straight onto the beach for small trevally
and mackerel at high tide,fish the channel at low tide for Jack's, fish the rivers for Jack's and then go deep into the forest streams to catch the jungle perch....besides catching tuna,GTs,wahoo,trevally
and mahi-mahi (dolphinfish or dorado) out in the ocean and the reefs.

We will return better prepared and more knowledgeable to Fiji next time!
Bula!

Pictures to follow.
Kingfish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:57 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Fiji trip pictures:



In front of the chalet, just steps away from the shore.


Resort view from the ocean.


On the way to the boat at low tide.


Boat in the channel waiting for us.


Loading up.


Massive ocean and waves.


Dogtooth tuna on my favourite X-Rap 30 Magnum.




Be careful - this tuna has teeth!


Popping session for GTs.


Long casts needed to reach the surf break.


Trevally caught on Twisty.


Whew! Safely in calm waters from where a taxi was taken to the resort.


My favourite lure - unfortunately, it is resting somewhere on a reef in Fiji.


Maniac lures - excellent for casting into the wind and yet these run shallow.


Twisties - always in my tackle box wherever I travel around the world.



Kingfish - signing off.


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Nice Fishing. Congrats!! Wish you many more


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@angler-nadeem

Thanks, wishing you tight lines!

Kingfish


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Fishaholic

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Great catch kingfish.

what is the make and model of the lure the one you lost. Is it a trolling deep diver lure?

Can we popp by using the small Halco popper 35 and 49 grams in the deep sea. We find difficulty to make them bloop.

Regards,
Vijay.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:59 pm 
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Hello Vijay.

The lure was a Rapala XRap 30 Magnum.... and yes, it is a deep diver that runs 30ft. below the surface for trolling.

Agreed, the smaller Halco poppers are difficult to bloop when there is a lot of wave action. I used the smaller Halco popper because I was not really geared for GTs ....it must have still got a hit because when I was checking it yesterday it had quite a few toothmarks on it.

Regards,
Kingfish


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Hi Kingfish,


Thanks for your concern.

I tired with both River 2 sea wooden dumbbell popper and Roster haymaker 110grms but the distance covered by the wooden popper is further than the Haymaker.


Is there any particular colour for barracuda lure? (Most of the anglers who hooked the species used popper - red / white or orange/white or pink/white).
Is there any suggestion from your end?


Regards
Vijay.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:55 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Hello Vijay,

I have never specifically fished for barracuda,these have always been a by catch and it is considered a nuisance fish by the anglers in Australia and almost always thrown back.

I have caught a large one in Goa trolling with a bright silver /pink colored Halco Scorpion
lure...which reinforces the often quoted theory that barracuda will go for anything that shines.

Have you tried casting heavy metal lures ? Look at the Halco Twisty in the 55 gm size, it will go for miles if cast from the shore with a suitable outfit, if it is distance that you are after.

There are also Surecatch Knights,Bishops as well as Spanyid Snipers and Raiders available in Australia ranging unto 85 gms in weight.....I am not sure if you can get these metal lures in India.

They cost about A$8 retail in the stores in Sydney and are very popular with land based anglers spinning for pelagics (tuna, mackerel etc.)



Regards,
Kingfish


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:59 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 238
Hi kingfish. Thank you for your advise will try with the metal lures.


Regards.
Vijay.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:00 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 238
Hi kingfish. Thank you for your advise will try with the metal lures.


Regards.
Vijay.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:22 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 1398
Vijay,

You have metal lures? If so, I would be interested to know which ones and what weights?

What is your rod,reel,line outfit?

Kingfish.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:17 am 
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Fishaholic

Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 10:09 am
Posts: 238
H kingfish,
I didn't got a metal so far but after you adviced planed to get some from halco.

70 to80 grams..

I use uglystick 9 ft rod, Penn battle8000 reel, 80lb briade 100lbs leader.
This my shore setup.

Regards.


Vijayfisher.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Enlightened

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:46 pm
Posts: 82


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