The 21st Tonga International Billfish Tournament was the highlight of the month, with the usual nail-biting last-day finish.
Despite the small number of participating boats, the fishing produced 47 confirmed billfish strikes, 38 hook-ups and 20 tagged fish. Mahimahi and yellowfin were hard to find and no wahoo were weighed.
The South Bank continues to shine, with a lot of blue marlin action and a good run of sailfish turning up. A few good blues were reported in the 200kg range, but the majority were around 100kg. Bait concentrations were found in the Hook and Squiggles area, and late in the month the Gap also started to fire. Most boats fishing the bank reported 4-6 shots a day from blues and a couple from sails.
The TIBT produced five sailfish, and the run continued throughout the month. One boat reported a double, then a treble, of sails in the same day - and to top it off, a treble and a double of blues!
The anticipated run of big yellowfin has not materialised, so we are all waiting with bated breathe. Mahimahi fishing is very slow still, with the odd fish in the 18-20kg range, but catches are poor compared to previous years. There are very few reports of wahoo being caught anywhere other than the shallows down the Bank.
The Tonga National Tournament will be held on Saturday, December 1, Monday, December 3, and Saturday, December 8.
Please Note the club's web address has changed to www.vavaufishingclub.com.
Tonga by Steve Campbell
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