Santo Diary, "Exceptional as Always"

Anthony & David,

What can I say, each year I can only thank you again and again. Our latest trip to Vanuatu organised perfectly and lived up to all expectations (again). You guys make sure all we have to do is turn up at the airport on time and from then on everything else is taken care of. The fishing side of things was great, the Moorings Hotel at Port Vila afterwards was sensational to unwind for a few days and of course the people of Vanuatu were as friendly as ever.

Fishing was exceptional, as always… John & Wendy, along with Josepho and Hudson made sure we did not want for anything on the live-aboard charter up at Santo. Each day bought something new and kept the adrenalin pumping for the entire 6 days. Picking the weather early in the week we decided to head out wide the 1st day (and I mean really wide) to a rarely fished seamount some 80 nautical miles from the coast. Rising from 2000 metres to 2 metres this was where we had hoped to get to at least once this trip and ‘wow’ the effort to get there was well worth it. We trolled lures all the way to the seamount arriving around 3.30 in the afternoon and within a couple of minutes a triple hook-up of Yellowfin. With only 2 anglers on board this was a lot of fun, after landing those 3, another double hook-up with some more little yellow terrors. Following the encounter with the school of Yellowfin to about 20kg we then landed some great Dogtooth Tuna to 30kg and some Wahoo to 40kg.

By 5.00pm we had landed 21 fish between the two of us and the decision to travel out so far had become very justified. With then headed back towards shore and anchorage arriving after 1.00am in the morning, a long yet very satisfying day.

With the wind up, day 2 and 3 were spent on some of the closer seamounts with Wahoo, Dogtooth and Mahi Mahi on the agenda and landed very regularly (and not too many small fry either), the quality and size of the fish were excellent all trip!

On the 4th day the good conditions had the skipper, John, itching to get back out wide (a decision that was well received by both of us anglers) so at 3.00am the next morning we were on our way for another shot at the seamount. Filling the day with more Dogtooth 20kg to 35kg, Wahoo to 35kg, Green Jobfish and some of the biggest Barracuda I have ever seen. On the way back into the anchorage the skipper spotted birds working and headed over with the result being a double hook-up on a pair of 40 odd kg Yellowfin. Not a bad way to end the day. Day 5 was back in on some of the closer reefs with more Dogtooth and Wahoo ending up with a 25kg Mahi Mahi and a 25kg Yellowfin on the way back to the overnight anchorage.

The last day on board started a bit rough with a couple of sore heads due to our last night celebration, however the cobwebs got blown out pretty quick with Tony hooking up, catching and releasing a Blue Marlin of around 230-250kg quite early in the morning. With some more Dogtooth and Wahoo to finish off the day, what can I say, what a trip. With a captain and 1st mate in John and Wendy, enjoying fishing as much as we do and great Deckies in Josepho and Hudson (and Robert on the last day), the trip was always going to be a success. I look forward to booking next year’s trip with Ocean Blue, knowing it will be just as good.

Cheers Calvin Rhodes

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Santo Diary, "Exceptional as Always"

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