Everyone here is fizzing at the bung about the forthcoming Ia Lapoa ('Big Fish') fishing tournament.
This year there are at least twenty coming from New Zealand, quite a few from Samoa, along with another bunch of local boats, adding up to the biggest tournament held here yet. Last year there were 125 captures, including 25 tagged marlin, 43 wahoo, 33 yellowfin tuna to 69kg, and numerous masimasi, sailfish and dogtooth tuna.
This was achieved with only 12 boats!
There are still many yellowfin being caught and enjoyed with chopsticks, soy and wasabi.
The delicious wahoo are here in numbers too, with the majority being caught at the outer reefs and structures.
We were out at East Bank last week, Sunday, and bought in a pretty good catch of the usual suspects. There was a lot of action and many sore winding arms on the boat, but a bit of disappointment as well. We were hit pretty hard by a couple of marlin, only to be cut off by sharks or wahoo twenty minutes into the fight. It didn't matter too much though, as the fish bin was filling nicely.
The billfish are not targeted much by locals and are here in healthy numbers.
Masimasi numbers are down, probably due to the calm weather. They seem to come onto the bite when the sea is white-capping; light winds make them boat-shy, but as long as they are still out there, eating lots and getting bigger, that's all that matters.
American Samoa by Peter Crispin
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