Boating Bits

A journey into the deep

IT’S always nice to fish something new but last week’s trip to Vanuata with Lowrance and Simrad was so completely foreign to me that I actually didn’t know what to expect. In most of the fishing I do, 10 metres is really deep. So the idea of fishing FADs in a kilometre of water or watching the screen of the Simrad for exactly the right time to drop your jig into a school of dogtooth tuna in 150m of water was completely alien.

We spent five days fishing with Ocean Blue Fishing charters aboard their three beautiful Edgewater boats and I quickly learned that in those depths the marine electronics are your best friend. Lesson one was that vertical jigging is hard work! Over the span of five days every drop of the jig made your arms even sorer but by waiting until you could see a nice patch of squiggly lines on the twin Simrads you could get maximum return for your effort.

Another new thing for me was the use of auto-pilot on relatively small boats. I was under the impression that it was the realm of mega yachts of the rich and famous but in five days the captains rarely even touched the wheel, instead plotting courses on the touch screen and giving slight adjustments with a few buttons that changed the heading by ten minutes or one degree either way.

The main targets for the trip were GTs, dogtooth tuna and marlin and we managed to tick them all off the list along with yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, red bass, jobfish, coral trout and a heap of other species.

Keep an eye out for the full Vanuatu report in an upcoming issue of Fisho but for now you can take it from me that the rumours you’ve heard about the people, the place and the fishing are all true.

More info at the Simrad and Lowrance websites

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