Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raivavae, French Polynesia Jan 2015

Apology for the late report, between work, family and getting a cold, I finally had the chance to sit down to revise the 6 days I spend in Raivavae with Mark.
Due to some circumstances 2 anglers could not make it, ultimately we end up just the 2 of us on this trip.

Mark joined me in LA and we took the flight together to Papeete. Upon arrival we headed to the hotel which is situated across the street from the airport and in the morning we jumped on board on the plane to Raivavae, where we get greeted by our Captain Edmond at the airport.

After a quick briefing we started assorting our gear looking forward to wet a line in the early AM.
The morning came in and we headed to the reef with an aim to jig. After a couple of drifts we start getting bites after bites. Mark was getting smashed on every drop with no chance to get his fish to the top; the shark were after our fish on every hook up.
It was a day of struggle in terms of landing, but Mark end up getting a hefty GT on the jig and it was his biggest ever. By the end we were happy and we ended up the day with joy and good memories. And the food of course was outstanding!

Our second day started very early as we tried to gain time before the wind start picking up. We were about to get 35knot wind and we decided to shoot out to the reef to get a chance before it is too late. The bite was not that bad and the yellowfin tuna were very active along the shark harassing bait on topwater. After a couple of attempts we managed a couple of small fish until we decided to quit as with the shark around mixed in with the yellowfin tuna and the chances to land them was getting smaller.

The wind picked up and we decided to get to the lagoon to cast for GT’s. I switched to single hooks and casted to see my lure was getting harassed by a pack of big GT’s throwing it 4 to 5 feet in the air without getting hooked, all big fish.
Mark on the other hand got tied but ended up losing the fish. After a while we nailed couple of small ones but the bite began to fade away.

We moved to the middle of the lagoon and I switched to the Sea Falcon to cast. While at it a bird started harassing the lure, 5 feet away from the boat a big shadow comes out of nowhere and smashed the lure! An estimated 45kg to 50kg GT hit the lure and I set the hook once and twice with awesome bendo on the RP 100 but he managed to snap my line. It would have ended beautifully but that is part of the game, the wind start hauling and we called the day off.

The wind kept on blowing stronger and stronger and we end up sitting at the shore for a while hoping for a miracle. When it eased down we made it to the lagoon but the weather and temperature dropped down shutting the bite with it, however we still managed to pick fish here and there.
It than settled down a bit and we headed to outside reef where Mark got his A... Handed to him by a couple of Doggies and of course the massive tax collector! 
The bite was on and off and we picked up all sorts of reef species, the condition was a bit rough but manageable and there was a certain time that we can get 3 to 4 bites on a drop, the Doggies were very active at certain tide.
All of a sudden I looked to the side of the boat while jigging and I saw the nervous water, I dropped my jigging rod and I got the El Maestro 77H. As soon as the popper touched the water, yellowfin tuna were on it charging, showing up their whole buddy; Mark followed my steps and we were in for a long fight as the shark were smashing on our tuna.
I end up losing my lure while Mark broke his line and his lures surfaced grapping all attention around. The sharks were trying to hit it and luckily we got it fast out of the water, we were using barbless hooks which made the release mush easier and safer.

We kept a close look at that water but suddenly the water broke loose and I saw the most fascinating things that I ever encounter on the water - hundreds of flying fish 7 to 8 feet in the air and for a second I said to myself where those birds came in from?
Yellowfin tuna up to 150lb in the air were on those flying fish. I turned to our captain asking him to put us in position. Mark grabbed my RP 250 and I got the RP 100. We casted at the same time with a single twitch and right on - those fish were so aggressive they went airborne landing on the lures. They appeared descent sizes. I lost mine after 10 minutes fight due to shark attack and we got drifted away from the action while Mark was struggling. He got to a point that he was left over with 20% line capacity but he managed to land it and the fish hit the 98lb bled it. Mark was so happy and satisfied and I on the other hand was glad to see him catching all the species that he wished to catch on this trip.
The wind began to kick and we called the day off.

On our last day we tried to run to the outside but the tuna were not present so we pushed to fish a new area inside the lagoon in shallow water. It was quite sporty to pull up those GT’s from 3 feet of water with that harsh terrain but we managed a couple before we called the trip off.

Mark, Thank you for being a great companion, I enjoyed my time with you and hopefully we will get to fish together soon, until next time:
Tackle used:
Rod: Race Point 250, Race Point 100, El Maestro 710, El Maestro 77H, Carpenter
Reel: Shimano Stella SWB 18000, 14000, 20000 , Maxel
Line: Power Pro Hollow, Jerry Browne, Sunline, Varivas
Leader: Fisherman, Varivas, Seaguar, Manyu
Lures: Sea Falcon, Hammerhead, Shell Shaping, Carpenter, Moutoukenmaru, Bertox
Jigs: Hot’s, Shout, FCL Labo, Marine Bait, Haoli, Smith Nagamasa

  Tight lines