6 Records, 10 Personal Bests

We’ve just completed our last live-ashore trip to Epi Island for the year and had a great time. The Musuino family who are expat Aussie’s living in Port Vila charter Shogun once a year for a family holiday and this year we went to Epi for a quick 3 day trip.
Day one proved very slow on the way north with a marlin bite early in the day however it didn’t stick. The cool beers watching the sun go down at Lamen Bay that evening was a consolation to a slow start.
Day 2 started out with a troll around Lapevi Volcano in dead flat perfect conditions looking for wahoo and dogtooth tuna. Just out to the east dolphins, pilot whales and a fast moving school of yellow fin was spotted. The yellow fin were a little elusive and hard to keep up with and only one was captured to get us on the board for the day. A few more skipjack tuna were caught and put in the bait bin.
The next stop was the top of Lapevi sea mound that comes up to 38m from 500 and from past experience we know this spot had great potential to turn on some tackle destroying fishing with big doggies, G.T’s and sharks making mince meat of jigs and baits on heavy tackle. Deck hand Tom had stitched up a couple of nice fresh skippy baits on arrival and one was dropped over the side by Maurice and drifted into the depths. Within moments the ratchet was screaming and Maurice calling he was on as he put the drag lever up to strike. A short time later the hard fighting doggy was along side the boat. This fish was later weighed at 43KG.

The action continued hard and fast with a couple of G.T’s in succession being caught, photographed and released for another day and Robyn successfully boating a nice doggy to take out a Vanuatu record. We began getting sharked so it was time to move on.
Within a mile east of the sea mound we ran across a F.A.D (Fish Aggregating Device) floating in about 350m of water. This structure was absolutely loaded with rainbow runners so it was decided to put away the 37kg tackle and get out the 4,6,8 and 10kg tackle and clean up a bag of unclaimed ladies records. Robin managed 6 records for the weekend. Well done Robyn.

Day three started with a 6am departure for the trip home. I normally steam 10nm south to hit deep water before setting the gear and has usually worked a treat and this day was no exception. Fifteen minutes after the lures were deployed the ratchet on the short corner was screaming and the sight of a blue marlin thrashing about 50 meters out the back with a pink and blue Zuker lure hanging from its mouth had everyone’s attention. Seventeen year old Sam Musuino, a regular Vanuatu angler hadn’t caught a marlin so he was on rod duty. Sam had the fish by the boat in 50 minutes on 37kg stand up where it was tagged. As the deck crew was unhooking the fish it was discovered it had sustained and eye injury so the call was to put it in the boat. A sad finish to a great battle.

Once again the trip along the marlin highway home proved slower than usual with only a mahi-mahi bite close to Tuki-tuk F.A.D.
All in all the trip was successful with some great fishing action, perfect conditions, 6 Vanuatu records and 10 personal bests.

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