Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Alex's Yellowfin Tuna

Merry Christmas everyone, it is such a glorious morning here in Savusavu,  hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas.

Just before Cyclone Evan threatened Fiji, we took out a lovely young couple from Australia.

This is his story.

Luther's Yellow Fin Tuna - Friday 14 December 2012

Arriving into Savusavu on a Tuesday, our first few days were spent getting settled, stocking up on provisions, and figuring out what to do before Cyclone Evan arrived, which was due to hit us some time over the coming weekend. I had to patiently wait for the right conditions before I could spend a day out with Terry & Trevina who run Transtar Charters. 

I rang on Thursday night with only a couple of days left before the storm, hoping that we could get out and get a line wet! We all agreed that the following day was looking much more promising than the previous few days. I had been lucky enough to get out the day prior for a rainy morning spearfishing session off the lighthouse reef. Taking 4 fish in total, I was joined by a few curious white tip reef sharks for most of my dive, only loosing 1 fish to a decent size bronze whaler shark which I had to fend off from taking the rest of my catch before I could get back to the local guides boat. 

I was looking forward to enjoying some sun and getting out past the reefs! I arrived at the wharf at 6:30am with my girlfriend Belinda who had never been game fishing before, we were greeted by Terry & Trevina with their boat Searov prepped and ready to go. It was a calm morning with a fews clouds hovering in the distance, a beautiful day lay ahead of us. 

After cruising through the bay enjoying the view from the water, we hit the point which was the beginning of the reef which I had nicknamed 'Shark Alley' and the Searov engines opened up as we headed South West in search of some birds. All 4 lines were in the water soon enough and it didn't take long before we found some activity. The birds were working a school of baitfish and Searov began dancing its way through the mild swell.

Soon enough the first reel went off and we had our first hook up for the day, a 6kg Yellowfin Tuna. Searov continued her dance and shortly after our first catch, we had all 4 lures hit with a quad hook up! I quickly landed the first Yellowfin Tuna around 5kg to avoid any tangles as Belinda and Terry worked on quickly landing the next 2 Yellowfin of similar size. All of the fish from our first 3 hook ups were landed and I grabbed the last rod, the line starting peeling off again as soon as I picked it up with that magical sound of the reel screaming at me, I knew that it wasn't another 5kg Yellowfin Tuna, we assumed a shark must have grabbed the last fish. 

Taking a reasonably casual approach over the next 20 minutes just trying to win some line back, we watched as a school of Yellowfin Tuna returned with a massive boil up on the surface with plenty of action happening all around us. I quietly cursed the shark on the end of the line. There was still a bit of fight left in the fish and as I brought the line closer to the surface, the fish took one last decent run and went deep. 

I started getting edgy to get stuck into some more Yellowfin Tuna so I turned the pace up on bringing in more line. I finally saw the trace and made the call to Terry who joined me at the back of the boat to cut the line. As the fish drew closer to the surface, the dark object I was expecting to see was much shinier than expected. Terry's confirmation over the sound of the Searov engines made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and the goosebumps were instant "He's a big yellowfin!!!"  

Terry swiftly guided Trevina with orders to manoeuvre the boat so we could land this trophy fish which was now hovering at the back of the boat. Terry guided the fish to the side of the boat and I quickly placed the rod in the holder, grabbed the gaff and prepared to end the fight. My first strike was a miss, I quickly struck again hitting the fish in a perfect position to bring him onboard. With the help of Terry we used our combined strength to awkwardly heave the fish into the boat. We all finally had a chance to see the true size of the fish. At 160cm in length, 108cm girth, this 75kg Yellowfin Tuna was a true specimen, with amazing pectoral fins measuring 60cm & 70cm respectively. 

We continued on for the next couple of hours with a bit of rain on approach, landing 6 smaller Yellowfin Tuna in total, all approximately 5-6kg each and the 1 trophy fish, it was a solid outing. It was a great introduction to fishing in Fiji with Terry & Trevina providing a magical day out on the water, an unforgettable introduction for Belinda's first fishing adventure, and another trophy catch for myself. 

By far, my highlight of the trip however was sitting on the back of a moored Searov in Savusavu Bay, cleaning all of our catch, enjoying a few cold beers in the sun, accompanied with some fresh sashimi, wasabi and soy sauce. Thank you to Terry & Trevina who treated us like family during our stay in Savusavu and showed us what fishing in Fiji is all about. Terry & Trevina compliment each other's skills and are an awesome team out on the water and a must do for any angler visiting Savusavu. I can't wait until our next trip….

Thank you for the wonderful write up Alex ,we really enjoyed the day out with wonderful people.

Many thanks

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cyclone Evan

What a relief this morning to wake up & see the sun & calmer seas.

The last few days have been very hard on the body & mind
We had a fishing  charter on Friday ( more about this in the next blog), then Saturday we had to put Searov on her cyclone mooring, & make her secure.
Then it was back to the property to make the house safe by putting up sheets of plywood against all the glass windows & doors, big job.

Also we had to go around cutting leaves off the banana  trees & coconut trees to try & save them from being blown over, also clearing anything likely to fall on power lines
This did help but we lost a lot of trees, also about 40 small avocados off the tree.

As Evan grew closer on Sunday we just stayed indoor & hoped our preparations were enough.

It was a sleepless night as we heard the wind getting stronger & stronger, not having electricity (went off about 7pm) made it a little more eerie.plus now Internet was out so couldn't get any reports.  Radio stations always get weaker in these situations.

Once it was dawn we could look out to see what damage had been done, the house stood up really well & the ply over the windows stopped the rain blowing up through the louvers
The garden was a mess, but things grow so quick in the tropics it won't be long before it is all back like before, only well trimmed.

After breakfast we went down to see how the boats had faired in the harbour, Searov looked good dancing around on her mooring, the 2 big boats that beached themselves, hadn't hit anyone
One yacht had come off its' mooring & hit 2 boats on the way down, before being secured onto the Copra Shed dock.

It was making a mess of the dock as it was too heavy, so Geof & Terry had to try & make it so it wouldn't take the dock out.
This took about 2 hrs, sometimes really gusty winds would sweep through making it hard for them to do what had to be done.

I think after hearing the reports, we were once again lucky to have escaped the way we did, there was a lot of flooding & damaged to trees in the town but it looked fairly safe.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Savusavu Bay Early Morning

It has been a quiet few weeks for us so Terry is busy giving the cabin of Searov a fresh coat of paint.

This year there are still a lot of boats in port for the cyclone season, a lot more then usual, yes we are into that time of year again.

We have had a scare already, but fortunatly it didn't turn into anything, just very strong winds & lots of rain.

On our trip out the last time, we had another lovely sunrise, but this time it wasn't as red, still beautiful to look at though.  We caught some nice Yellowfin & Mahimahi that day also, so it was another good day out on the water.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Savusavu Sunrise

On our way out out on a charter the other morning, there was this beautiful sunrise just as we got to the harbour entrance, it looked like a ball  of fire sitting on top of the water.

I was slow getting the camera out & with the boat moving fast the picture didn't come out as well as expected, also the sun was now higher off the water.

The charter ended up being  a good one,  a lot of action, played some good size fish, & brought home some Yellowfin.
We lost 4 lures that day, one that we had just put out for the first time! Never mind that is all part of the game.

Last week we also had a charter with guest from Savasi Resort, this time we landed a nice size Yellowfin & a Mahimahi.

We were fortunate to land the Yellowfin as it was a fighter, lost our gaff while trying to bring it in, but managed to find it once the fish was on board.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Savasi Resort Savusavu

Last week Paul caught a Marlin while out on a charter with us.

We were unable to show him with the marlin, at the time I published my last entry.
I have since been forwarded a photo, of Paul taken at Savasi Resort, where he was holidaying while in Savusavu.

Nice one Paul.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Paul's Marlin

It has been 3 week since my last post, since then we have had a few fishing charters, but only catching a few Mahimahi & small yellowfin.

We went out on Monday afternoon but the weather was so bad it took us 2 hrs to reach the seamount, nothing much was working once we got there, but managed to get a nice Mahimahi.

It wasn't nice out there & the weather was closing in so headed home, on the way back we picked up another Mahimahi but lost it after it's second run.

The men on board wanted to go out again, so arranged it for Thursday morning as they were flying out on Friday.

We were down at the boat about 4.30 getting set up, clients arrived about 5.45, once on the water it look like it was going to be a good day.

Clients wanted to go to the other seamount to see if it was working better then the one we had gone to on Monday, so off we went.

No it wasn't, not a bird or fish in sight, about a hour of pulling lures around Terry said, think we had better try the other one?

We hauled gear in & raced across to the other one, as we got there we could see birds all over, & it wasn't long until we had fish on board.

We caught 10 yellowfin tuna & a barracuda, then the birds seem to disappear. we carried on for a little longer then decided to head towards home.
We had seen Mahimahi in the water but they weren't interested in the lures we had.

About  a hour from home, Bang the rubber band on the outrigger went off & the whole outrigger shock, line was pealing off so quickly it wasn't going to be long before we would be spooled.

Terry started to back up, then we saw this big Black jumping out across the back.  At one stage we thought we had lost it as it came powering along the side of the boat, this gave us a chance to see the size of it, it must have gone under the boat then back out.

It took over a hour & half to bring it in, it kept going from one side of the boat to the other, so had to keep turning the boat in either directions.

Finally it was at the boat, by this stage it was pretty much dead, it had been a long fight , the angler was pretty much stuffed also, thankfully it was overcast.

It took all 5 of us to try & pull it onto the duckboard, once done, everyone sighed a sigh of relief. It had been choppy out there so Paul did a great job bringing it in, at times when we had to back onto it, everyone got sprayed with salt water, at least it kept us cool.

I didn't get to take photos of it hung up, as they took it straight from the boat onto a truck to the Resort where the clients were staying.

Hopefully they will send me a photo for my collection!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jalil's Marlin

It was a lovely calm morning when we arrived at the Copra Shed Dock about 5.30, for our morning charter.

We had spoken to a friend who was also leaving for his return to Nadi on his Black Watch fishing boat, about where the fish were running.

He had made the comment there wasn't anything at the bottom end Sea Mount, when he came through on Friday, so once past the entrance, we headed out towards the Top Mount, to see if anything was working.

To our disappointment there wasn't any sign of fish around, & no birds to be seen, so started the runs up & down around the fad.

Fortunatly  we finally got a hit, it was a Mahi Mahi,  this was brought into the boat without too much trouble by Oliver, then it was back to the trolling around the fad.

We were just talking about going to the bottom mount as nothing was happening, when a line went screaming out, a few seconds later I saw the first of many jumps, it was a Marlin.

Well at that point everything seemed to happen, Jalil was in the chair & all the other lines were being brought in, then another big run,  this time we all got to see the fish as it jumped out of the water.

Jalil handled the rod like a professional working the fish in a little at a time, sometimes the Marlin would take a run & take out all the line that Jalil had worked so hard at bringing in.

At one time I thought we were going to loose it at it jumped out of the water a few times then took off peeling off lots more line.
Finally it was at the boat, on its last jump the line got caught around its tail, so Jalil had to work harder to  bring it in tail first.

It was all  hands on deck to help bring in onto the duck board, finally it was up.
Just after it was tired up on the duck board, Terry went to take the lure out, to his surprise the lure just fell out, we were so lucky it hadn't happened earlier.

Now we had something to bring back to shore for dinner.

And they had some kind words for us once we got back.

Terry and Trevina,

We had an absolutely fantastic time. Skipper Terry and his better half were awesome and the catch of a large black marlin (reputed to be 120kg, but who is counting), two mahi mahi and one skipjack were an experience of a lifetime. Locals were green with envy about the marlin (see attached photos) and we will remember this for a long time to come. Thanks for the wonderful outing.

Oliver, Jalil (the marlin expert) and Scott

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Savusavu Kids Sailing

Just before the August school holidays the children from the Sailing club had a big clean up day.

Repair work was done on the the boats & then they were all painted in preparation for the trip to Viti Levu .
for the sailing regatta.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trip To Koro Island

This month seams to have flown, it started off very quite, then the last few weeks have been really busy for us.

As usual when we have trips to Koro the weather seems to pack up, & last week it stayed true to form.

A couple of the trips we had to pick clients up from Dere Bay so we were able to take it slow & ride the waves more gently.

 The last trip we had on Monday was no different, early that morning the wind calmed down & the seas looked good, so we thought it is going to be a good trip across.

About  15 mins out from the lighthouse Terry said here it comes, & boy it sure did, winds gusting up to 25knts, thankfully the clients were settled down below & were able to take the rough conditions.

After putting the clients ashore, engine check, cuppa tea & sandwich, we made our way back.

This way isn't too bad as we travel with the waves but I can say we sure were traveling on  the top some of those waves, it was a lovely sight to see the lighthouse at the entrance to Savusavu Bay knowing we would soon be home. 

The calm waters of Dere Bay

                                                   Lighthouse at the entrance to Savusavu Bay

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Where have the days gone?
We are now into August, Olympics are half way through, & Christmas is around the corner!

A few weeks ago we did managed to take a couple from Sweden out, on one of the days that the wind died down a little enough to get pass the lighthouse.

The seas were still rough, but as they were leaving the next day, wanted to give it a try.

Luckily we managed to pick up a few Yellowfin (small) & a nice MahiMahi, they also got to hear the line run out twice with nice fish on, but unfortunately, didn't manage to get it into the boat.

Over the last few months, we haven't had much rain & the ground was beginning to to dry out,& plants looking sad, but thankfully last night we got some nice rain to make things look that lovely green again. Now I don't have to walk around the garden with a bucket full of water.

The other day I was these young sailors from Savusavu Yacht Club, enjoying a sail with the wind blowing up the harbour.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Savusavu Sunset

The weather over the last month or so has been really unpredictable, we had a few really nice days with calm seas, but the day we had to take clients to Koro Island it was blowing 15-20knts.

Half way across the clients wanted to stop & fish, so they could have fresh fish for dinner.

Luckily we saw birds working ahead so headed towards them, we picked up a nice Mahi-Mahi for dinner, then carried on.

We had a fair bit of groceries to unload, as the clients were staying a month on the Island & needed a lot of stuff.

It was fairly late as we returned home so didn't have time to put the lines out again.

As we got closer to Savusavu the sun was setting & through a beautiful red glow across the sky & sea.

What a lovely time to be on the way home.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The beginning of July brought with it some very strong windy days, the weather itself was great, as the winds kept the temperature down.

But for some of us that needed to go out pass the entrance to Savusavu Bay, it was too rough.

There were a couple of charters that had to be cancelled because it was blowing too strong, & the clients flew out of Savusavu, before the winds came down

We did manage to take some young men out, Sunday last, but they were seasick not long after leaving the dock, we did warn them it would be rough but they wanted to try anyway.

 A Walu & a Mackerel Tuna were caught, which they took home for lunch , so it wasn't a wasted day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yachts Arrive Into Savusavu

Well it is that time of year again, when Yachts  from all over the world, head towards Fiji.

Savusavu is one of the ports they head to, for clearance from Immigration & Health Officials, before heading to other parts of Fiji,

A few of the Yachties decide to stay in Savusavu for longer then the week it takes to get all the permits in place, some just to relax after the long sail, some do repairs & maintenance,

 A week or so ago, someone  counted 60 boats in the anchorage area. That is a lot of boats for this township.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nippon Maru Visits Savusavu

On Friday, the Japan Cruise liner Nippon Maru arrived into the port of Savusavu for the first time.

There were a small number of passengers on this ship, so the little town wasn't flooded with tourist walking around.

They were taken on the usual tours, & from reports think it all went off well.

I have been away so haven't been able to keep up the blog.

The weather in Savusavu  this morning is beautiful, the strong winds we have been experiencing over the last week, have gone, so the seas are calm once more.

Think it is time to take Searov out to give her engines a good run!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


It wasn't a very good Easter this year for a lot of people in Fiji, with all the flooding many people were out of their homes.

We were lucky in Savusavu, again the rains & flooding didn't effect us a lot, so are counting our blessings.

The flights into Fiji were cancelled after the flooding, so Terry was left at the Auckland airport for 4 days trying to get back to Savusavu.

When he finally got into Nadi he had to wait 2 days there, as the plane home had a mechanical!
Guess it could have been worse?

Took the boat for a run, as she has been sitting, while he was away. It was another lovely day on the water, calm seas & bright sun, not too good for fishing though.

We go a nice Mahimahi, small yellowfin & a barracuda, so headed back home.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sun Princess Returns To Savusavu

Well what a beautiful morning, the rain clouds lifted & Savusavu was able to show itself off to the visitors on Sun Princess.

The first tender was at the Copra Shed Marina a little after 8.00, for passengers to disembark for the first of the organised tours.

The band boys were there playing their Island music, & the Ladies offered the passengers a flower as they made their way through the Marina.

During the morning we had light rain showers to cool everything down a bit, & make it a little more pleasant for those walking around town.

The handicraft stalls were once again set up along the foot path outside the Copra Shed, displaying all the craft made in the villages.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sad Day In Savusavu

This has been a very sad week for the community of Savusavu, & people are still upset with the tragedy that happened.

On Monday night around 7.30pm there was a explosion heard in town, shortly after another explosion then a massive fire broke out on one of the yachts at anchor in the Savusavu Bay.

This area is where most yachts anchor in the safety of the bay & close to shops, market etc.

Unfortunately Sharon wasn't able to be saved, Sean got out, but died in hospital the next morning.

Their boat Obilo was pulled onto shore a day ago, so that Police & fire experts from Suva, were able to carry out their investigating, into this awful tragedy.

It is truly a sad sight to see their boat lying up on land that way.

RIP Sean & Sharon.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cruise Ships In Savusavu

Another lovely clear day for the visits of cruise ships into Savusavu.

Yesterday morning we welcomed 2 boats, one the Captain Cook cruise ship & the other Princess Danae.

This is the first visit we have had from the Princess Danae. Passengers on board were mostly French.

There weren't many passengers disembarking off the 2 boats, not more than 4oo I think, but for our little down, this is a number that could move comfortably around.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Trip to Koro Island

It was a beautiful morning as we left the Copra Shed Marina dock for Koro Island, with our passengers.

The seas looked calm as we approached the lighthouse, so it was going to be a lovely trip across.

On the way over I saw a few schools of fish working, but we couldn't stop as there had to be work done on Koro.

We arrived at Dere Bay just after 8.30, the men leaving to do the work on the Vodafone Tower.

Terry & I spend most of the time waiting in the cool of the bure, that Dere Bay have on their dock. It is a lovely spot on a day like this, as it got fairly hot waiting on Searov, as the day progressed.

It took longer then expected for the work to be done, so we didn't leave for the return trip until 2.00.
On the way across we had said if we saw fish working, we would try for a fish. but didn't have too much time to waste.

About half way across , I saw a big workup of birds & fish, so the lines were put out, a little later we had a double hook up, lost both, the men hadn't used a rod before, so Terry had to show them how to work it.

Thankfully, another double strike, this time we got both in, skippys. at least they have something for dinner.

We had another couple of strikes, but didn't land them so pulled everything in & headed for home, reaching Savusavu just before 5.00.

This has been a long day, just need a shower & a early night.