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Popper set up for Tonga

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: 23 May 2024 at 6:11pm

Topic: Popper set up for Tonga
Posted By: pieboy98
Subject: Popper set up for Tonga
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2010 at 8:55pm
Gday All

I've been roped into a trip early next month for 5 days to Vava'u
and are planning to do some land based fishing.
Just wondering what gear you used for casting poppers??
Mono or braid?? Line Weight?? etc
Have got a new Baitrunner 12000D on a Killwell 15kg 7" rod,
Am hoping this will do the job or atleast the reel on another rod??
Don't do much popper fishing but could get into it

If you have any ideas or advice it would be greatly appreciated


Posted By: wanabe
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2010 at 10:37pm
2 piece rods are easier to get on the plane, and if it's what you have and cannot get better use it, sometimes you can get lucky.

I have found the best way to find out if you like it is to charter a boat and make sure they know what you want to do and learn.

They have all the gear and the local knowledge .

On a trip to Fiji I went for the first popper trip and caught a 35, 45, and 48lb gt and a huge bara in 3 hours, some of my most memerable trips have been short ones so day trips can just be expensive, and a waiste of money

Posted By: marzocco
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 12:33am
If you're thinking of land based popper fishing in Vava'u then I'd suggest you get in touch with Kurt Carlson who lives and works on the island and is a keen land based GT fisherman. He guides and has a centre console available. He's knowledgeable and a nice guy. He guided the Japanese fisherman Fukui there last year with good success.
His contact is mailto:[email protected] - [email protected]  
I fished with Kurt last year and had a great time.

Posted By: Redwaka
Date Posted: 07 Oct 2010 at 9:46am
Ive just got back from Vava u. Stayed with Kurt and Lyn at Talihau for 4 days of our trip. Brilliant hosts and great to communicate with when planning our trip. Unfortunately only ended up spending one day out fishing with Kurt. However landed my first GTs - frinkin awesome. 

Kurt gave us a great day and I learnt heaps. Kurt is a no frills angler who likes to keep things simple but effective. He will guide landbased as well as taking you out on his whaler. His rates are very reasonable (especially landbased). I certainly would use him if you seriously want to hook a GT. If you have the time do both, otherwise put odds in your favor and take the boat. 

Your setup will catch fish but will be on the light side so expect to lose gear. I wouldnt take anything lighter than a 24kg setup. I was running a 24-37kg 7'2" Synit with 80lb braid and I needed every ounce of power this set up gave me. The strikes can be pretty wild and you are fishing over shallow reefs and drop offs mostly. I had one GT smoke me. The stella screamed in excitement until the fish found the reef. Still cant believe how fast the line flowed given how rediculously tight the drag was set Ouch. Kurt used 100lb.

Kurt runs a twisty leader made from 80lb mono which he attaches to the braid using an improved albright. He said he has never had a problem with this setup. I changed to his setup and had no problems. I was using twisties catpawed to a bimmini or single strand of mono pr knotted to the braid.

I would recommend taking some stickbaits. We certainly got some results on these when things went quiet on the poppers. Also a range of sizes. Plus upgrade the hardware on the lures. You will find plenty of info on this forum regarding advice in this area. Squash the barbs! 

Take a good set of split ring pliers and heavy (300lb+) split rings. Decoy or Owner are the go. Pre make some traces etc as makes life that much easier. 

Get some practice in on casting. Distance is key while at times still needing accurracy. 

Last but not least if getting taxis around vava u use James. He is a local and couldnt be more helpful and most importantly honest. Ill try and find his number. Otherwise ask Kurt or Lyn.

Have fun, take sunscreen they charge a fortune for the stuff!

Posted By: Spearsniper
Date Posted: 16 Sep 2011 at 11:37am
On the taxi front in Vava'u- we used "The roadrunner". Easy to call up, as he has a cell phone and a VHF radio, so you can call him from the boat - call name "road runner".
If we were in town, we just walked to Mariner cafe and asked them to call.
$25 TOP from Vava'u to Talihau, so pretty reasonable.

I was freediving in Vava'u, so was not too sure about the fishing, however I was seeing large Barracuda, and lots of Skippies and Blue Trevally just off the beach at Kapa Island (next to the Otea village) where we were staying. Easy game on a speargun, but would be a handful on a fishing rod.

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