Fishing for Marlin, Tuna, Grouper in Fiji


Having a day off and nothing planned I decided to travel to Ellington Wharf and join Safari Lodge for a days Fishing round the beautiful islands of Nananu-I-Ra, Nananu-I-Cake and Dolphin Islands. These islands are located off RakiRaki, so it was a really interesting drive from Nadi in the morning to get there. We drove through the famous sugar town of Lautoka, also a major export port. Ba town was next with its new bridge over the river (last one washed away in 1994 cyclone!), then onto Tavua - the Gold town as it has Fiji's largest Gold Mine only 10km inland from the town. I believe pay day in town is a fortnightly event not to be missed.

After driving through the scenic coastline countryside, sugar cane fields, steep mountain ranges fringing inland, and the cattle country of Yanqara, we came across RakiRaki. Famous as the largest export wharf at one point - Ellington Wharf, it has remnants of what life used to be like here. Large sugar molasses tanks are on the now disused Fiji Sugar Corporation land just back from Ellington Wharf and the new Safari Lodge.

The staff greeted us warmly and instantly we were friends. Nothing was too much hassle as we were shown inside the Fish Shop and the great wall of maps. Our trip options were all highlighted on the map and clear for everyone to see. Our driver unloaded the Van with our day luggage as we all enjoyed a cool iced tea or lemon drink. We met our guide and our other participants, all different ages with varied Fishing stories....

Fishing in Fiji - the saga begins

Our Fishing Boats were waiting and after a brief safety demonstration, we were shown how to board these fiberglass Yamaha boats. Our guide left nothing to chance and our support boat was checked for important stocks of chocolate, soft drinks and lunch supplies. We left at 10am and proceeded to plot our course for the day amongst the numerous Reefs available to fish on and around.

Our Fijian Guide knew the waters well and we were soon tempting the local fish with our hooks and lures....We had opted for the Sports Fishing option. You can also book Hand Line Fishing and Game fishing. Not expert fisherman - we opted for the Sport fishing and since we last threw in hand lines when we were teenagers, we wanted to try Rods and some BIG FISH (hopefully!)

The surrounding islands offered beautiful sandy beaches, amazing mangrove eco-systems and wooded forests, all untouched and disturbed. We could see Dolphin Island and its Sandy beaches, with Shady trees offering views back to the mainland and the mountains that rise up from the coastline to meet the small puffy clouds on the tops. Morning tea was served comprising of fresh cakes and cool drinks... hold the chocolate bars until later.

Deep Sea Fishing Fiji

We caught several Walu and Spanish Mackeral in the morning. We even found ourselves in a large school of Tuna, so although we hooked up about 6, they all found their way off our lines by the time they neared the boat and our net to bring them onto the boat. Next time we thought..but what excitement trying!..the guide kept joking and we were all soon laughing when the next one dropped off!

We made our way to Orney Beach -famous for its swaying palm trees over the waters edge, like all the movies, and white sandy beaches right to the waters edge, we were met with tropical vegetation and no sign of human life. There's something about being the only person there, about being the first to put footprints on the beach and knowing that your privacy is special.

Lunch was prepared for us on this tropical oasis, while we lied in the cool waters. We tried our hand at hand line fishing over the reef edge, and snorkelled in the many lagoons looking for that perfect shell to photograph. We were been advised about the marine protection policy of Safari Lodge, so nothing was allowed to be taken, only photographed. This seemed very fair and reassuring in the modern world, that others after us can see exactly what we saw with the same levels of excitement.

Snorkeling Fiji too!

Our guides soon also donned snorkels and took us on an amazing guided snorkeling tour of the Fiji reefs; pointing out to us the many different corals we had glossed right over. Small moving animal life seemed to play into their hands, as they hovered and gazed endlessly at the amazing array of sea life.

After lunch and a relaxing rest on the beach, we boarded our Fishing Boat and made our way out to the Reef again. This time we were determined to land even bigger ones! Fishing is all about talking, stories and generally having a lazy we were really content to listen to the stories from our guide and learn from his experiences...not just Fishing i might was also about their way of life here in Fiji.

We did land some big ones late in the afternoon and as we had caught sufficient we then kissed them and returned them to the waters - just like Rex Hunt! Safari Lodge encourages "Tag & Release" so although they don't have tags here...they do try to keep just enough for consumption preferring to restock the waters with tomorrows catch! We slowly trawled our lines all the way back to Ellington Wharf, content with the days catch.

A short trip back to Ellington Wharf saw the days adventures almost at an end. On our arrival the BBque was alight and the guide showed us exactly why the Seafood in this area is well sought after. Tastings of our catch were offered around and we spent a lazy 30 minutes swapping stories and recieving awards for the best Fish, the best Joke and the worst Joke....Fresh Fish is delicious and we loved it! Eventually we boarded the minibus on route to Nadi.

Fishing in blue azure waters had always been a dream I wanted to pursue. This was the closest I think I ever got (and got safely out the other end!). It offered some terrific fishing, some great stories on the way from the guides and the safety of knowing if it all got too hard, the guide would haul it in for you!

It was a great days adventure; really different to another day round the resort pool and something I would do tomorrow....I might too!