Vava'u September 2012

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    Posted: 01 Oct 2012 at 9:46pm
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Vava’u September 2012 Trip Report


I managed to break the missus out of retirement and sent her back to work earlier this year, part of the deal was that she would get an extra tropical holiday with all the extra dollars she would earn.


Whilst trying to suss out the destination we saw that Cascade Charters were advertising a deal in Vava’u


Essentially the deal was 3 days fishing, 4 nights backpackers accommodation and airfares for $1900.00.  You needed a party of 6 for the package.  I had a few other couples interested but their timing did not work with ours (post lambing) so we managed to negotiate a package with Jeanine from Cascade whereby we would sort out our air flights and have the boat to ourselves for 3 days at a price that worked for us.


Mike and Sam picked us up from the airport on Saturday afternoon and after showing us around town so we could get some supplies they dropped us of at the Backpackers in town which was to be our first nights digs.


Sunday morning Cascade picked us up below the backpackers and we had a cruise around the islands with a couple of stops for some snorkeling, whale watching and general touristy sort of stuff. I did get a sneaky cast with a popper at a submerged rock and managed a hookup on a GT which took me into the reef.  We managed to get it it out but as we were just getting it to the stern of the boat the braid which had been through the coral broke – bugger!


Monday we were out past Hunga with lures set heading down to the South Bank.  The morning was pretty slow with plenty of whale sightings, bird action but not much interest in the lures.  Early in the afternoon one of the lures finally found a customer and Jo wound in a nice Mahimahi for the menu for the next few nights.



There was a reasonable amount of bird activity on the South Bank and we had a small blue hook up and come out of the water toward the boat, but it threw the hook after about 10-15 seconds.


Later in the day as we trolled back towards Hunga we got another hook up on the shoot gun.  This little blue stayed attached and I had the luxury of winding in my first marlin for 10 years.  It took about 20 minutes to get to the boat and it was a small blue of about 60-70 kgs which was released with a tag in its shoulder.



Day three we trolled out to one of the FADs where we tried strip baiting and livebaiting, unfortunately the trigger fish stripped the baits off the hooks in no time at all.  I flicked a popper around and managed to raise 3-4 mahimahi and one of them hit the lure but did not hook up. 


We trolled down to the central fad where we hooked up on another mahimahi which Jo wound to the boat, this one did some aerial stuff next to the boat and managed to throw the hook.


Later in the afternoon it was my turn on the rod when we got a good solid hookup on another blue, after peeling a reasonable amount of line at a rapid rate out the back, it showed up on the starboard side of the boat and looked like it was going to overtake us.  Mike got the boat cranking and we managed to avert a cluster f**k.  We played the fish for 45 minutes and had it reasonably close to the boat when the hook pulled.


Mike and Sam where great hosts who went out of their way to make our holiday memorable, they operate as a slick crew and we would not hesitate to go out with them on Cascade again in the future.  Certainly fishing with Cascade was a pretty cost effective way to get into a good chance of tangling with game fish while getting a break from the poxy NZ winter.


We then relocated to Lucky’s Beach Houses where Lynn & Kurt made us welcome.  Before going down to Taliahu Jo had met some people at the wharf who had been fishing with Kurt the previous day and they had decided to cancel their next booking as they were sore and stiff after casting and winding in GTs which included one estimated at 35 kg.  This had me pretty amped up and keen to get out with Kurt for some popper fishing.  The weather was playing around a bit but we managed to get a gap and shot out for the day.


The fishing was pretty slow and I was pretty knackered from casting and working poppers by the time we finally got a hook up later in the afternoon.  Fortunately the fish stuck and Kurt managed to get us out into deeper water where I got the fish to the boat.  Kurt certainly goes the extra mile to get his clients onto fish, we worked both the reef systems and schools of bait that Kurt located in the area.


The weather packed it in for the next few days with strong winds curtailing any fishing activity.


On the final day of our holiday Kurt very kindly took us to the north of the island where we had a crack at land based fishing. I initially played around with soft bait gear while Kurt flicked around some poppers and subsurface baits.


Kurt hooked up to a nice GT from the rocks which was a challenge to land in the conditions (sharp volcanic rock and a reasonable swell).  After a few piccys the fish was released to grow some more.


I also managed to hook up to fish on a zest popper that turned out to be a reasonable bluefin trevally that provided great sport of the rocks and also proved to be a challenge to land.  Interestingly as soon as it was released and swam off another bluefin trevally of the same size turned up and swam away with it.


Kurt and Lynn go out of their way to look after you and Kurt certainly has the GT caper sorted.  They can be contacted at


If you are looking for a good holiday next winter, Vava’u has a lot going for it.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2012 at 10:00pm
Grunta View Drop Down

Joined: 17 Jul 2002
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Great report Farmer! Sure is a top spot for a holiday - lots of fishing options & a great bunch of people up there who are keen to make yr time there very special indeed.
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