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3 Months in Tonga - what to take

Printed From: The Fishing Website
Category: Destinations
Forum Name: Tonga/Vava'u
Forum Description: Tonga destination and travel info, advice and trip reports here
Printed Date: 19 May 2024 at 8:47am

Topic: 3 Months in Tonga - what to take
Posted By: WildBird
Subject: 3 Months in Tonga - what to take
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2014 at 3:17pm
Hi All,

Got a volunteer role coming up in Tonga at end of September. Just after some thoughts and experiences of Tonga. Pretty keen fisherman, so will be after alot of that. Unfortunately its a volunteer role, and so wont be able to afford the charter boats. Wondering about landbased stuff, stuff you dont need a guide for? Also, gear to take. Will likely abuse the credit card and get a stella or saltiga and matching rod for throwing poppers etc. Also got a chronarch baitcaster with 30lb braid for smaller stuff, and maybe even a small 'trout' outfit for small stuff. What about lures? Are they available there, or very pricey? Best to take them with me? What else? Split ring pliers etc as well? 

Also, I know this is a fishing site, but I am also pretty keen photographer. Like I said, not much budget to play with, so an aluminium housing for my SLR is unlikely. Anyone here use before? I have my PADI licence, but havent dived much. Likely more snorkeling (also alot cheaper!). Have a GoPro and gopole and a few mounts etc, and a D3s. Lens wise have 24 2.8, but might look at something like a Samyang 14mm 2.8. Non autofocus, so not sure how it will go underwater.  

Anyway, hope to hear some words of wisdom from here. :-)



Posted By: KikBac
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2014 at 3:45pm

Posted By: alan syme
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2014 at 1:05pm
Take all lures/softbaits/soft plastics etc with you, as they are very hard to get over there and if by some minor miracle you found some, they would be crazy expensive. Take your own.

Same with any specialist gear like spilt ring pilers, photography gear. Expect that you will be unable to buy anything like that over there. There are no bunnings warehouse, mitre 10's etc and what shops there are, are often closed and don't do NZ opening hours.

You don't need a guide, walk and cast and you will find fish.

Take some old or cheap running shoes (maybe even 2 pairs) that you will throw away at the end of your trip, Good to use on the coral and offers protection for your toes on the reef and reef cliffs etc. Don't try and wear jandals/sandals as your feet will get sliced to bits.

Take lots of storm type lifelike soft plastics, like the ones from rebel sport, deadly on inner reef species and good fun on light tackle.

Enjoy your time there!

Posted By: BananaBoat
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2014 at 10:56am
Never fished Tonga, but am guessing it is similar to species caught in Aitutaki along the shore & in a kayak.
Amongst other gear, I took a 2500 sized reel & 3-7kg rod with 3kg braid & had a blast catching bluefin trevs & others.
Am sure your accommodation will have a kayak to use, especially good when blind casting
Softies were fantastic, although many fish had teeth, biting off tails. Colour did not matter, just get your action out of the lure & you were in.
Looking back now, I would stick to the zmans 4 inch curly tails for better durability, 1/4oz jig heads is plenty enough.
Best all round were spinners/hex wobblers around 8-16g squash the barbs, carry a pair of long nose pliers around... Heaps of fun, till a GT shows up.
Get decent footware similar to the shimano marine shoes for walking around in the water. I took similar cheapos from the warehouse & the coral chewed them up in no time

Posted By: WildBird
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2014 at 10:12pm
Started with a few things. Got nauticam housing, pick up camera (RX100M2) tomorrow. Fishing gear - bloody pricey here in Oz! But got good split ring pliers (black magics - $90), and a few poppers, and some soft plastics. Heaps to go though, lots of terminal stuff like split rings and hooks, leaders etc, but good to know what options are - i.e. nothing available there!

Posted By: WildBird
Date Posted: 17 Sep 2014 at 7:47pm
Got some reef shoes, more poppers, more soft plastics, more memory cards, mount for putting gopro on my underwater housing, rashie shirt, another long sleeve fishing shirt, one of those scarf, neck sunscreen things, fishing gloves, some leader (200 metres 50lb, need more 200lb). Just built a rod tube with some PVC pipe, will work out what rods I have at home and see what fits. Got Stella 18000 with 92lb braid and a shimano stick bait rod, and have a chronarch 201, and a 2500 shimano threadline, baitcaster has 30lb braid I think, 12lb braid on little threadline. New diving mask. Importantly though got someone who can buy and ship stuff to me when I run out :-) 

Posted By: WildBird
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 1:56pm
"Take all lures/softbaits/soft plastics etc with you, as they are very hard to get over there and if by some minor miracle you found some, they would be crazy expensive. Take your own."

Just to update, I am on Tongatapu, in Nuku'alofa. Not one of the outer islands. So far have done stuff all fishing (weather not good, plus no car, and no boat, all reef around here). As for tackle though, lures are quite plentiful here. A shop called E M Jones has a range of Halco stuff, as well as a few others. Mostly big poppers and stickbaits, laser pros, and tremblers. Also has hooks, leaders, and various other things, a few owner split rings etc. Ideally bring all terminal tackle, but lures can at least be restocked here. Prices are reasonable as well. Halco haymaker roosta popper about 38 $TOP, others same price point. No plastics such as squidgies etc, so bring smaller tackle gear. Reef shoes here, but a bit dearer than home, but good to know they are here if needed. 

Posted By: Reel Deal
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 2:20pm
Haha Kikbak classic

The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb

Posted By: Metal Float
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 2:59pm
Get yourself a motor bike (and a stick to beat off the dogs and don't run over any pigs nor children).  Catch the boat at the port over to the island that is 20min away. I've seen people casting off the break water near the palace (Nuku'alofa) but I'm not sure how well they do. Otherwise, hook up with some of the Aus and NZ diplomates - someone always seems to have a boat (of sorts) - they usually (ust to) go to the Villa McKenzie umu on a Friday night (book ahead).

Posted By: WildBird
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 7:04pm
Cheers, will see how weather is tomorrow, or might go on Sunday for a look, at least a snorkel there. Live near wharf so easy. Oh, kickback? I wish :-) There are a couple of places selling fishing gear, but mostly cheap cheap rubbish. The store I mentioned sells all sorts of stuff, boats, sporting gear, electrical, a bit of everything, and cant tell from outside that it would have decent fishing gear. Might have met some people with a boat, so hopefully get to chase that up. Definitely need a boat I think, just too reefy here in town and surrounds. Might even see if I can buy a kayak from one of the places that hires them out. Saw they had a sa kayak with rod holders in back of it. Miss my Hobie Pro Angler in places like this!

Posted By: Falco
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2014 at 7:44pm
I may have been lucky but while I was on Vavau for a month I caught up with quite a well known skipper and he took me and three mates out for 400 I caught mahi-mahi, wahoo, yellow fin and a blue marlin for 100 Panga

So I guess my point is talk to people and they may be able to fit you on somehow, never been on Tongatapu for any length of time but I'm sure you could have some fun somewhere

as dead as dead is

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