Well we leave for New Zealand tomorrow to chase their massive kingfish on top water and jigs, and if you haven't seen the news a container ship has crashed in Tauranga where we were supposed to fish. I spoke with the skipper and we will be fishing now out of Whitianga. Hopefully the fishing is just as good!
Im having a custom jigging rod built for an upcoming trip to New Zealand. The rod is a Synit Deepshot Seriola which will be suitable to knock over almost any fish you will encounter on a jig. Its 5'1" rated for PE5 - PE10 lines, can handle a huge 22 kg of drag and a wide jig range 180 gram - 550 gram. I cannot wait to get my hands on this rod! Graeme from Synit sent me some picks of the lower section of the build which has been completed. This rod is the same blank as the Deepshot Tuna pro (as it is badged in the Northern Hemisphere). I opted for the blue dyed blank similar to in this review.
With many weeks of large seas there was finally a break in the weather and we jumped at the chance to head out and try to catch some yellowfin tuna jigging and cubing. We only managed a couple of Albacore tuna to about 12 kilos on the jig, but it was good to put a bend in the fake lez.
We hooked up to what was either a huge yellowfin or a bluefin tuna on a cube, it hung on the surface for a few mins then when it realized it was hooked dove 700 meters down before popping the trace. I caught the last few minutes of the fight on camera.
I've just returned from 5 days fishing in Kadavu, Fiji. We had fantastic weather and though it was hard work we managed some good fish. We popped for 3 days, jigged for 1 and spent a day chasing marlin, however we only raised one sailfish. We saw a few bust ups from yellowfin tuna but unfortunately no luck at casting a stickbait at them. We were monstered when jigging by some beasts of the deep, and next time I will add a PE8 jigging outfit to the list as a must have. The most successful popper was also the cheapest we had on board, a Kronik big boppa 150 which was almost left at home! The fish took a liking to Baby Runbohs as well, however after 1 fish they were pretty much ruined.
Starting to get a little bit excited.. this time in a week I'll be boarding a plane to Fiji. We are spending 5 days fishing out of Kadavu Island on 'Bite me'. Popping for GT's on great astrolabe reef and jigging for Dogtooth tuna at cape washington sea mount.. I have spent all week checking, packing and re-packing tackle..
Myself and 4 mates have just arrived home from 4 days fishing for sails in Kuala Rompin, Malaysia. We had a fantastic time and landed some great fish. My goal was to land one on a popper, which i managed on the final day. The popper was an Adhek mini gecko rigged with a single 7/0 owner SJ-38 on assist cord off the tail. While not the biggest fish of the trip it was by far the most exciting for me.. especially to see the surface strike!
On bait the score was: -
Day 1.. 2 fish landed for 3 strikes
Day 2.. 5 fish landed for 5 strikes including a triple hookup
Day 3.. 6 fish landed for 8 strikes
Day 4.. 6 fish landed for 9 strikes
So all up over 4 days we landed 19 sailfish and 2 spanish macks. Great fishing!
Saltiga Z4500H filled with Daiwa Accudepth PE4
Caranx Kaibutsu light pleasure
10ft 80lb shock leader to a solid ring
3ft bite leader to the popper.
The famous Rompin statue
Beats with a nice fish
My biggest sail of the trip
2 fish out of a triple hookup, 3rd still being fought
Little mack teeth
The poppers and stickbaits that made the journey with me.. top right is the Adhek mini gecko that landed my sail.. with an aggressive downward sweep of the rod this spits up water then dives and kicks from side to side as the bubbles escape from the face, leaving a great trail!
After a few weeks of bad weather and commitments we finally got out for a fish on sunday. It was a late start, the seas were choppy and we weren't expecting too much but 2nd drop i got a hit and third drop I landed this kingfish. The jig that did the damage was a 250 gm Zest green and gold centre weight. The seas flattened out and it turned into a beautiful afternoon. Unfortunately we couldn't find any more fish possibly due to a pod of dolphins moving through. We did however see a whale breach, its entire body getting airborne about 60 meters from the boat.. it was an awesome sight!
We have booked our trip to Kuala Rompin, Malaysia for the first week of October and at the moment its all i can think about! After quite a few hours research into popping for sailfish i have managed to find some good information on various sites. I had previously set a goal of catching one on my branzino after seeing a video of someone achieving this however the research leads me to believe it will be quite difficult to set the hooks with PE2. Also to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the fish (whilst still providing good sport) I now have my mind set on using PE4 and my saltiga z4500. This I will pair with a 7.6ft Shimano Caranx Kaibutsu light pleasure - LPS7604.
The light pleasure suits PE2-4 for casting poppers and stick baits up to 120g which should be ideal for the size lures suited to the Rompin sails. As an added bonus it is reasonably priced and won't break the bank (although not released in Australia so I need to order from overseas). To reduce freight costs i also decided to add a new light jigging rod to the arsenal - the Hots Fake Lez 54M. This is suited to PE2.5- 4 and jigs up to 200g it should work a treat on the inshore reef kings around Sydney.
And finally I plan on trying my hand at some underwater photography/filming and since my current camera disagrees with getting wet, I will need to purchase a Sanyo Xacti ca9 waterproof video camera.. more on this later though.
Little bit of a late report, have been busy with work and not had a chance to put this up yet. In March I went back over to Thailand for a month long overland trip through Laos and Vietnam.. I didn't get to do much fishing, however when i booked the trip i was determined to put a day aside to fish the famous Bungsamran fishing park in Bangkok. The lake is stocked with a few different species of fish including the Arapima and Giant snakehead, both of which have been added to my "catch before i die" list. This trip I targeted the Giant mekong catfish, which i think is the most abundant species in the pond. Looking at the pond you can see the shadows of giants just below the surface as you pick your spot on the jetty.. I'll let the photos do the talking.. I highly recommend a trip here if ever you have a spare day in BKK. Bungsamran is also home to the 7 seas proshop - one of the best tackle shops i have had the pleasure of stepping foot in, with exotic brands and products on display which previously I had only been able to drool over on the internet. http://www.bungsamran.com/en/
One of the cabins you can spend the night in... maybe next time
Putting the hurt on a cat.. or more accurately it putting the hurt on me. Its heavy tackle for these fish - 6500 Baitrunner's spooled with 50lb mono and dough baits the size of a tennis ball.
One in the net..
Giant Mekong Catfish..
You can see all the different cabins available in the background of this photo.
Kelly showing me how it's done
The business end..
My 6th cat in about 2 hrs.. my arms were well and truly worn out so after a nice lunch we called it a day..
Other then this trip i have only been out once recently off Sydney after some reports of a few yellowfin tuna around. Unfortunately all we managed was 1 hookup to a fin which was lost, a few striped tuna and a lone dolphin fish.. The currents are not favorable at the moment but hopefully i will get out again in the next few weeks.. tight lines and calm seas!