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 Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2

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Rhod Lloyd
Ray hunter

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Location : Bottom of the world, New Zealand

PostSubject: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:51 am

Friday //- The first night was a welcome dinner and briefing, where our team leader drew an envelope with 4 envelopes in containing the name of the boat we would be on for each of the 4 fishing days. Each evening the next days envelope would be opened.
Our first boat for Saturday was to be "Hakula" one of the most favoured game boats, owned and skippered by the local organiser of the contest.

This trip was not to be a lazy week in the tropics! Breakfast from 6-30, and board the boat at 7-30. Saturday morning as the boats loaded and left for the start line, Hakula limped up to the wharf with an overheating problem which took 2 hours to fix, a stuck thermostat in the cooling system.
All the boats troll plastic marlin lures in various sizes for Marlin, yellow fin tuna, sailfish, mahimahi, and wahoo. Most of the fish action is over the drop off, where the depth plunges from 500 to 1000m , though there are 3 fish aggregation devices, usually a string of orange buoys, (or sometimes a bunch of coconut palm fronds) moored in 1200m by 1500 m of rope to a concrete block. The marine growth on the FAD attracts small fish which attract bigger fish-----. Another theory is that pelagic (open ocean fish) use them as navigation devices, living around them and going out on foraging trips. Finding the fads can be a problem as current and wind can see them anywhere in a half mile circle. They cost about NZ $11,000 each to set up, and a cyclone can destroy them all

The brown boobys (tropical gannets) enjoy sitting on them.

Luckily it was a slow morning, and nothing had been caught by the 5 other boats. The prediction was that low tide at 11 am was likely to be the best time, and sure enough just after 11, boats came on the radio reporting strikes, but the first few did not hook up, and it was mid day before the first blue marlin was tagged and released, estimated at 90 KG.
The contest was organised by the Vava'u Sports Fishing Club, which has it's own marine radio network, and the rules were that all strikes, hook ups and landed or tagged fish were called in immediately. Every 2 hours there was a check in reporting progress, and for the first 2 hours all boats were 0-0-0.
After mid day, the radio came alive with boats reporting fish action all around us, but for our team even though we were granted an extra hour to 5pm not a touch.
I have to admit, that at times during that first day "what am I doing here" came to mind. As we all know, that's fishing!
There were 2 tagged marlin, a wahoo and a few mahimahi caught for the day.

(It was the right way up on the computer!)

The following day was a Sunday, and apart from church nothing much happens in Tonga, so it was a relaxed start and a chance to talk with others.
In the afternoon, I decided it was my only chance to see a bit of the area, so I walked along the road past the resort for an hour to the south end of the small island we were on. As they say, "only fools and Englishmen go out in the midday sun", about 26C, but hotter on the tarmac and in sheltered spots, but then I have always been foolish!

A typical house with the garden fenced to keep the many wandering pigs out.

And a bit of a surprise as most Tongans are not well off, an impromptu dump at the side of the road, and it still has the lights on it ( I don't think they worked though.)

Honest there will be some fish in Part 3
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Kirky's Dad
Sunnyrhyl Addict
Sunnyrhyl Addict

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PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:20 am

Great report and pictures again shame you all blanked look forward to part 3.cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:50 am

Great report and pics mate WAHOOOOO cheers
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Species Hunt Winner 2017
Species Hunt Winner 2017

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Location : Rhyl

PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:01 am

They say a blank is a blank, but somehow that seems slightly more appealing than a wet night in Rhyl, lol!
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The Big Cheese

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Location : Sunny Rhyl, near t'beach and the old folks home

PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:49 pm

What no pin whiting? Says he tonga in cheek....

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PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:49 pm

Great read and pictures cheers
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Swordfish Hunter

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PostSubject: Re: Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2   Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:57 pm

Another cracking set of pic's cheers
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Vava'u, Tonga. Part 2
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