We left Paradise Resort on Taveuni Island at 0730 and headed northwest for Savusavu, a 45 mile trip.
At 1040, we had a hit on both fishing lines, again somewhat simultaneously. One fish seemed pretty big but managed to free itself fairly quickly. Monty brought the other in quite quickly, without much trouble. It was a skipjack tuna, not the top of the list of favourite fish amongst those we have met. Not bad fresh as sushi, and grilled, but it has a strong flavour.
Monty put the lines back out and was filleting the skip jack when we at 1110, another fishing line went “zing”! The fish pulled really hard on the line. Monty tightened the reel tension to the maximum to slow him down. Every time he got some slack, he swam below the surface, leaped out and tried for an hour to free himself, but he was well hooked! We could see he was a big fish and we did not want to lose him! Monty was able to gradually reel him closer to the boat. He kept flapping his tail and fighting hard. Finally he gradually changed colour from the striking green-yellow to a silver with blue markings. We knew he was done.
Monty got him close to the stern and gaffed him (thanks to Christian for the great fishing gear), carefully pulling the heavy fish up the back steps. He was a large bull mahimahi, definitely the biggest for us.
Monty bled and filleted him and he was in the fridge in quick order.
Monty just finished the cleaning process as we were rounding the point to enter Savusavu Bay. We reduced sail and motored as we came into the harbour. We had tried to contact the Waitui Marina by email to reserve a mooring but had no response. I had also emailed Russ on A-Train the previous day to ask him to speak to the marina for us, and he had. We called Waitui on the VHF as we came in to the harbour and they had a mooring reserved for us. So nice that Russ had done that for us as the marina was full up.
Waitui has new management and the old published email address that I used does not work anymore. We now have the new one and have met the new manager so we are prepared for another time.
We were pretty tired after all the fishing and cleaning the blood off the decks, but we quickly went ashore and picked up a few supplies, like a nice bottle of white wine.
On the way back to the boat, we invited Russ and Gwen over for dinner and, of course, enjoyed some more mahimahi, this time, marinated for an appetizer and seared for dinner. They thoughtfully brought some cheese, crackers, rice and beer.
We all sported long sleeves and pants, as the weather seemed to have dropped a few degrees. Monty even put on a sweater and we used a blanket on the bed!