Report: Honeymoon fishing Fiji style

LAST week I was lucky enough to jet off to Fiji’s beautiful Coral Coast. Whilst the primary purpose of the trip was to attend a family wedding, a journey to this part of the world wouldn’t be complete without sampling the fishing the Pacific Island waters have to offer.

Luckily for me the bride and groom also love to fish and so sneaking off on a fishing charter during our short stay was a must rather than an option.

Having never fished Fiji before I contacted fishing travel guru David Noble from Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures to arrange a charter for us close to where we would be staying.

After the wedding celebrations were complete, it was time to go fishing. Unfortunately, our visions of fishing in warm Fijian sunshine were quickly dashed as we awoke to thick clouds and rain squalls. Alas, we weren’t going to let it put a dampener on our day. The mission for the trip – catch the bride (Ingrid) a bigger fish than her previous personal best (a 50cm Australian salmon).

After a short transfer from our hotel we were greeted at Mango Bay Resort by Fiji Sports Fishing’s owner Danny and our charter crew Freddy and Johnny. After a quick chat about the plans for the day we made our way out through the crystal clear waters of lagoon entrance and deployed a spread of small skirted lures.

It didn’t take long before the crew spotted a couple of birds on the horizon and soon the first mahi mahi of the morning was leaping all over the ocean, much to Ingrid’s delight. Mission accomplished – her biggest ever fish and first game fish! There was more to come and soon all on board had caught one of these colourful acrobats of the ocean, with some jumbo striped tuna thrown into the mix.

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Ingrid was particularly happy after catching with her first dolphinfish.

We were amazed at the way the local Fijian guides would rely on the birds to tell them what was happening below the surface. They would spot birds from miles away and could straight away tell you what fish were feeding. Generally, two or three birds diving sporadically together would lead to a hook up on a mahi mahi. Larger groups of birds wheeling and diving signalled striped tuna and school yellowfin. It truly was a lesson on reading the signs of the ocean.

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Chloe and the crew found tuna action just offshore.

We finished the day with some fun in the form of a huge school of striped tuna only a few hundred metres from the lagoon entrance. There were smiles all round despite the weather and Ingrid was over the moon with her mahi mahi and tuna.

Whilst we visited Fiji outside the peak times for the larger pelagics, the below provides a good guide as to the peak times to fish for certain species.

When to go:

Species best months
Black marlin – July-Nov
Blue marlin – Mar-Aug
Striped marlin – June-Aug
Sailfish – All year
Wahoo – June-Aug
Mahi mahi – All year
Barracuda – Oct-Mar
Skipjack tuna – All year
Yellowfin tuna – May-July
Giant trevally – Oct-Mar
DogtTooth tuna – June-Oct

Sports Fishing Fiji is based at Mango Bay Resort on Fiji’s mainland, Viti Levu, but services all of the major resorts along Fiji’s famous coastline the Coral Coast which stretches from the beginning of Natadola through to Pacific Harbour. Fishing specific trips can be organised through Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures who will arrange everything from your accommodation, transfers and charter. All gear is provided or you can bring your own.

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