Fish Species and Seasons

Spanish Mackerel (walu)
The narrowed barred Spanish mackerel is the commonest of the large predatory species around the Mamanucas. A fast striking, superb eating relative of the kingfish and wahoo, the walu averages 5–10kg, but we have taken fish up to 29kg. They readily take trolled minnows and feathers, with the bigger ones falling to big, slow–trolled dead baits, and are common through–out the year.
Trevallys (saqa)
At least 10 species of trevally (Pacific cousins of the Jack family) live in Fijian waters. The biggest is the fearsome giant trevally. The GT is the supreme opponent on popper fishing gear, but will also take deep trolled lures. Recognised as one of the toughest fish around, they use brute force to crash dive the reef and even a 5kg (10lb) fish is a handful. Our best (landed) is around 30kg (66lb), but they grow much larger. We uphold a strict catch and release policy on all GTs. The smaller blue fin and brassy trevallys are great fun on casting rods and light trolling gear, striking explosively and pulling hard. They are very good eating too! These species, plus other more unusual trevally, are resident on the reef through out the year.
Yellow Fin Tuna (yatu)
Particularly in the summer months big schools of yellow fin tuna enter the passages and breaks in the reefs. Most of them are relatively small in the 5–15kg range and are excellent action on light trolling tackle and spinning gear, and of course they make wonderful sashimi. Every now and then a pod of much bigger tuna comes through with fish in the 25–40kg bracket putting serious bends in even the heaviest rods.
Mackerel Tuna (yatu)
Another tuna species more evident during the warmer months is the mackerel tuna. Not fantastic eating but incredibly strong for their size, mackerel tuna can be found in open ocean but will also come on to shallow reefs. They love small Rapalas and Feathers but the most fun way of catching them is with small spoons on light spinning rods. They often feed in mixed schools with small yellow fin tuna and skip jack tuna.
Dog Tooth Tuna (yatunitonga)
The dog tooth tuna is an unusual tuna in that it generally hangs out close to the reef. It is probably the toughest fish to beat and more are lost than landed. They can allegedly grow to 150Kg (330lb) but the ones we have caught have been much smaller—up to 20kg (44lb). They will take deep trolled lures and also big deadbaits.
Mahi-Mahi (mai mai)
Also known as dolphin fish or dorado, the acrobatic mahi mahi has it all. Size, good looks, speed and it tastes great too! There seems to be no seasonal consistency to the mahi-mahi’s movements in this area but they prefer to stay in deep water and if you do hook one there are often more around. Most are caught trolling but there is scope for catching them on spinning gear.
Wahoo (wau)
Fiji is known as a top wahoo destination and although this area is not as prolific as for example Pacific Harbour, every year several good Wahoo are landed. Known as the fastest fish in the sea they strike with awesome speed, taking minnows, feathers and destroying dead baits.
Rainbow Runner (wakua)
A distant relative of the trevally family, rainbow runners are found both in open sea and around deeper reefs. Although they don’t grow particularly big they fight very hard and are one of the best tasting fish around.
Barracuda (sila sila)
Several species of barracuda live in Fijian waters. The smaller chevron and yellow tail barracuda can be a nuisance, as they like to shred carefully prepared dead baits, but the greater barracuda, which can grow to 2m (6ft) long, are great sport fish. They can be taken trolling but also hit poppers in shallow water. Unfortunately barracuda are not good eating, so put them back if you can.
Coral Trout (damu)
A colourful table fish, coral trout will take trolled lures but also love poppers. Not necessarily the strongest of species, they nevertheless use the snaggy coral reef to full advantage, crash diving straight back into a favorite cave.
Scad Mackerel (moli)
Scad are a small member of the mackerel family. They can be caught casting and cannot resist baby Rapalas. On very light tackle they fight well, but more importantly they make superb dead baits and they are tasty if somewhat strong flavored.
Bill Fish (sakuvorowaqa)
Blue, black and striped marlin, and Pacific sails are all resident in Fiji’s waters, but they are scarce in this area. We are always keen to try for billfish, but there are no guarantees! We uphold a strict catch and release policy on all billfish.