Wednesday, 18 April 2018


I’ve just come home from a two-week trip to Vanuatu with my family and despite strong winds and huge swells the whole time we were there, we still managed to catch a few nice fish. The first week my brother, Dad and I stayed in a cheap little air bnb – it was pretty basic, but the location was nice:

A mate had given me a hot tip about some very fishy rock ledges, but the wind and swell meant it was just too dangerous to fish:

So we spent the week exploring:

These jungle crabs and oceanic geckos were everywhere:

I tried (and failed) to take some nice bird snaps – they were just too skittish. This is a very pretty emerald fruit dove:

And a grey-eared honeyeater feeding on a hibiscus flower:

The supermarkets are horrendously expensive, so we did most of our shopping at the local markets:

Giant avo’s for 50 cents – ripper:

We had one little break in the weather, and we had a flick from a safer rock ledge that we found on google maps:

But all we could manage were a few of these small-toothed job fish:

Very pretty fish:

And pretty good sashimi’d. This rock ledge was full of life:

But when the tide started rushing in:

And the sun started to set:

It was time to leave. For the second week of the trip we stayed at a fishing lodge. Unfortunately the wind didn’t drop below 25kn the whole time we were there, which limited how and where we could fish. But again, the location was top drawer:

The first morning was probably going to be our best weather wise, so we shot out to one of the several FADs that are in the area. It didn’t take long before my old man landed this nice yellowfin:

He followed this up with another:

I then hooked a blue marlin around the 80kg mark on a popper, which put on quite a show before busting my leader. When the wind picked up, we moved closer to land and popped for GT’s for zilch, and jigged for an assortment of small reefies including coronation trout and rosy job fish:

The next morning we stuck close to the islands trolling for wahoo:

After a number of missed hook ups, my brother finally landed one:

We again went popping to no avail, before spending the afternoon jigging. We started off with a few job fish and scaly mackerel:

I got dusted by a couple of unstoppables:

Before Dad and I landed our first ever doggies (albeit little fellas):

The next day I was up before the sun to have a flick before we went out on the boat:

But when all I could manage were heaps of these aggressive little fellas:

I gave up and decided to take some snaps of the local wildlife instead. These virulent yellow wasps were everywhere:

And there were heaps of butterflies:

Plenty of cool lizards too, like this Sanford's tree skink and Pacific blue-tailed skink:

Anyway, once out on the water, we started jigging, and the fish were on from the start. We landed a heap of rosy job fish, gold band snapper, and amberjack:

Even mum snuck a jig over the side and snagged this nice coral trout:

I hooked up big and after a solid fight, up popped this cracker diamond trivially:

We also caught a heap of small doggies:

But the big dogtooth alluded us again. The next day I FINALLY nailed a  (small) GT off the top:

While my dad and bro scored a couple of nice reefies:

We again jigged up an assortment of ooglies:

And my dad hooked up to an estimated 100kg marlin on his popping rod. He fought it for an hour – boy was he hurting – before it popped the leader, leaving us with nothing but crappy some photos of big splashes:

And a lovely shot of a big beak ha:

On our final day, there was a break in the weather:

So we went back out to the FADs:

There were booby's everywhere:

And we couldn’t keep a popper or jig in the water without being harassed by tiny tuna and frigate mackerel:

But we eventually found some big fish too:

Including a double hook-up on nice yellowfin:

And this mean couta:

My dad had a big yellowfin (50kg+) at the side of the boat, but unfortunately it pulled the hooks. We decided to troll one of our small tuna around for a doggie, and it didn’t take long before we had one on deck:

It doesn’t really count on a bait though right? So we decided to jig for our last session of the trip. But the big doggies eluded us again - dang:

And before we knew it, it was time to head home:

Pretty good trip!