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

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