Friday, January 27, 2023

DAIWA MAVERICK SPINNING REEL

 

Daiwa, Australia, has recently announced the Maverick line of big game spinning reels.  The Daiwa Maverick comes in sizes 8000 to the massive 20000 which are capable of handling big saltwater brutes such as Giant Trevally and Dogtooth tuna.  The 20000H model is equipped with a G1 Duralumin drive gear which is the same that sits inside the 20 Saltiga.  This is big enough to handle the heavy drag of   20 kg.  It also is built with the famous Daiwa MAGSEAL which prevents saltwater intrusion.  It also comes with the Daiwa lightweight ZAION air rotor.  The 20000H model has a gear ratio of 5.8.  It has a large spool holding 300 meters of PE10 braid.  In my opinion the Maverick sits in the middle of the line of Daiwa Saltwater reels just a step below the Catalina series.  The 20000H will cost somewhere in the $600 to $700 USD range.  Like many reel companies this model will not be available in the USA so one will have to look to Australia or Japan to order.  Daiwa also makes top of the line saltwater reels including the Dogfight, Saltiga, and Saltiga Expedition all of which cost around $1100 USD.   They also make a few lower cost models such as the Daiwa Saltist and Daiwa BG which cost under $300 USD.  So, if you are looking to add to your arsenal of reels for Giant Trevally, consider the Daiwa Maverick.  

Sunday, January 15, 2023

POPPING FOR GIANT TREVALLY


 Catching monster fish on the surface is perhaps the exciting technique of tempting bites.  There are numerous types of poppers which we used on my recent trip to Papua New Guinea.  Without a doubt my go to popper is Skipjack model in Kolohe coloration.  The skipjack is a pencil popper which can easily cast into winds.  It is extremely easy to work thus saving one's arms and shoulders throughout a long day of popping.  I buy these poppers from www.gtfightclubs.com and from Kermett Adams of www.klures.com.  I normally use the 120 gram and 150-gram models. The key is to make extremely long casts so determine which size popper works best for you.  Every popper is different coming out of the package to make sure to precast to determine any flaws. 

After each trip many of the poppers are destroyed so I use woodfill, sandpaper, paint, rubber cement, and clear coat to repair them.  Other type of poppers is the Cubera style which are an hourglass shape with large, cupped mouths.

  I also have used the Fisherman long pen where a really fast popping retrieve is used and the Hot's Keiko Ocean Chugaya popper which is more or less a stickbait with a small, cupped mouth.  This is used with long slow sweeps.  I have been using split rings made by Decoy and BKK Raptor treble hooks.  So, make sure to check out all types of poppers and determine which is best for you.  Good luck!!

ROCK EXPEDITIONS/ PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2023-2024


Luke Wyrsta of Rock Expeditions, recently announced his 2023/2024 expedition schedule for the waters off of Misima Island, Papua New Guinea for giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, and numerous other species. The waters surrounding Misima offer endless possibilities.  Clients camp on numerous islands where fixed structures are built by the island natives.  The trips include guided fishing out of 23 ft boats, all meals, pick-up at the Misima Airport and accommodations.  The area one will fish during the expedition has most likely never seen a line.  There is no commercial fishing in the area nor any other agents fishing clients. 

Trips are offered in stays of 10 days or 15 days with safety being the #1 priority.  Luke has a satellite radio in case an emergency arises.  The main advantage of this operation is the ability of moving camp while you are fishing.  There are hundreds of islands within a 5-hour boat ride and hundreds of reefs so if the fishing is slow in one area, you will move to another. 

This is NOT an option with fixed lodges where you will fish the same area throughout your stay.  Laundry service is also provided so no need to pack lots of clothes.  If you like to camp under the stars, explore untapped waters, walk on white sand beaches, and catch huge giant trevally and dogtooth tuna then this is the trip for you.  If you want to be catered in a restaurant, sleep in a hotel, then look elsewhere!  This was my 4th exploration trip with Rock Expeditions and cannot recommend this trip enough and am planning on heading back for a 15 day exploration.   

The 2023/2024 schedule is as follows
10-day October 10 to 19, 2023
10-day November 23 to December 2, 2023
15-day December 5 to December 19, 2023
15-day January 2 to January 16, 2024
10-day January 18 to January 27, 2024
10-day February 3 to February 12, 2024

Soon, an announcement will be made on seeking Papua New Guinea bass in the jungles of PNG.  Watch this blog for future updates.  

Sunday, January 8, 2023

JIGGING EQUIPMENT FOR GIANT DOGTOOTH TUNA


During my recent trip to Papua New Guinea with Rock Expeditions, I was able to battle some huge dogtooth tuna while jigging.  One afternoon, our group of six, landed over 25 doggies in 2 hours with 2 pushing the scales into triple digits.  We were fishing about 100 yards offshore so am sure a few could have been caught wading from shore.  I am extremely happy with the Temple Reef Monstro 2-piece butt jointed jigging rod, 510S-XX.  The rod is 5ft 10 inch rated for jigs up to 800 grams and braid up to PE 10.  I teamed with up with a Daiwa Catalina 6500H which has a very powerful drag at 30 kg while holding up to 300 meters of PE 8 braid.  Williamson Abyss jigs weighing 300 grams were the ticket for me, landing multiple doggies and others.  

For conventional jigging, I used a BlackHole CapeCod Special 52B teamed up with a Daiwa Saltiga LD-40 2 speed.  The Saltiga has a 5:8 gear ratio in high and 3:1:1 in low.  It can hold lots of braid.  The BlackHole is rated for jigs up to 450 grams.

Eventually, I will start using a slow pitch jigging setup.  I have a Temple Reef Elevate E3 6ft 9in which can handle jigs up to 400 grams.  I also have a Daiwa Harrier HSP66HB which also can handle jigs to 400 grams.  I plan on teaming up with a Shimano Torium 16PG conventional reel.  
So, there are many options on jigging for dogtooth.  Make sure you have quality equipment to handle one of the strongest species I have landed.  

Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 IN REVIEW

 


2022 finally opened the doors for international travel due to the past covid lockdowns.  Many lodges already were booked full as clients had credits once the travel restrictions were lifted.  In January, I again returned to my home away from home, Argentina.  Here I would fish at La Zona for golden dorado for 2 weeks before heading south to the Patagonia region where Jurassic Lake Lodge sits.  I visited the towns of El Calafate

and El Chalten during my visit.  I once again toured Glacier National Park which should be on everyone's dream list!  The fishing at La Zona was spectacular in extremely low water conditions.  Friend, Etan Zimmet caught the potential IGFA all tackle record at 56 lbs.  Many monster dorado over 50 lbs. were landed during our stay.  Jurassic Lake Lodge is without a doubt the best rainbow trout fishery on earth!  The end of April is the last week of Jurassic season and the big rainbows come out to play.  20 lbs. rainbows are caught everyday here.  I have become a big fan of flyfishing which is extremely easy at Jurassic except when the winds are blowing in excess of 70 mph!!!
Once again, my July trip to Russia to the Tugar River in search of giant Taimen was postponed due to the war.  Hopefully peace comes soon, and Russia will again allow sportsmen to enter their vast country.  In August, my brother, Bill, and I went for bull redfish with Capt. Keith Kennedy out of Venice, LA.  The fishing is normally good, and Capt. Keith knows where the fish are biting.  Many good bulls were landed by Bill and me. 

Toward the end of September, I again visited Argentina for a few weeks.  I fished at La Zona and Jurassic.  September is the opening at Jurassic Lake Lodge, aka Lago Strobel.  The rivers are chocked full of spawning rainbows.  It is extremely difficult to describe on paper the abundance of rainbows here.  A few dorado over 50 lbs. and some rainbows pushing the scales over 20 lbs were landed.  Toward the end of October, I took at dream trip to the Seychelles in search of giant dogtooth tuna and other saltwater species.  Seychelles is located off the coast of Tanzania and offers once in a lifetime fishing.  I fished with YF Specialists. We stayed on a luxury yacht and went out around 100 miles offshore.  We were suppose to go further but had motor issues.  However, we able to land numerous dogtooth.  I had a great time casting poppers to Yellowfin Tuna.
After Thanksgiving, I went back for the 5th time to Papua New Guinea under the guidance of Rock Expeditions.  This is an extremely long flight through Brisbane, Australia then to Port Moresby, PNG. 

We then take a small plane to the Island of Misima to begin our adventure with Rock Expeditions.  During the trip I landed the dogtooth tuna of my dreams along with my personal best Giant Trevally.  I love the fishing, scenery, and people of Papua New Guinea and plan on returning year after year.  

2023 should again be an exciting season with trips planned to Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Louisianna, Panama, and possibly Finland.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to have good health and the finances to go on these adventures.  

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!  May everyone and their families have good health and prosperity in 2023!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

 


Papua New Guinea is located off the Northeast corner of Australia.  Here, a metropolis of fishing opportunities is endless for the adventure angler.  In PNG, there are thousands of waters both inland and offshore which have never seen a lure.  Anglers can fly into Port Moresby which is accessible from many international destinations to start their adventure.  Australia angler, Luke Wyrsta, had fished all the top Giant Trevally destinations worldwide.


  On a visit to Papua New Guinea, Luke saw the amazing potential PNG offered to adventurous sportsmen.  In 2013, Luke formed Rock Expeditions, which would offer anglers the opportunity to land huge Giant Trevally and other species while experiencing the PNG outdoors!  Luke would negotiate with local island tribes in the Louisiade Archipelago to provide accommodations to visiting anglers. 

So, locals would financially benefit with many hired as cooks, guides, etc. and clients would experience the most authentic trip offered on earth!  The goal would be to only leave footprints, to leave the island grounds as found. Luke's trips are not for everyone.  If high end meals are on your list, this is not the trip for you.  Expect lots of fish and noodles.  However, if beautiful untouched scenery, fantastic fishing, and having the opportunity to visit and stay with locals then this is the trip.  Fixed base camps offer fishing near the lodge.  I do not prefer houseboat trips as found them to be uncomfortable, hot, and expensive.  Camp base trips such as those offered by Rock Expeditions offer the ability to "pack up and move" within hours.  Most trips have been starting out of Misima.  The base camp on is Bouchy Island about a 1 1/2 hr boat ride.  The fishing here is normally outstanding. 

However, if new fishing area is on the list there are hundreds if not thousands of islands within a 6 hr. boat ride to move camp to.  We did this on my recent trip.  The locals have been outstanding with housing construction and more or less taking care of everything.  It is amazing to wake up in the middle of the night and look up at the millions of stars.  In the summer of 2023, the plans are in the works for an exploratory trip near the Fly River in search for PNG bass opportunities.  So, if triple digit Giant Trevally and Dogtooth tuna are on your wish list along with an outdoor experience, look no further than Rock Expeditions which I can highly recommend as being one the greatest experiences I have experienced in my fishing years!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Seychelles

 


During the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to fish the Seychelles.  The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off of East Africa.  I flew into Mahe from Abu Dhabi on Ethiad Airlines.  The fishing trip would concentrate on jigging for giant dogtooth tuna. 

I fished with Yachting Fishing Specialists (YFS).  Our adventure would be aboard the Michelle Rose which is a huge Catamaran.  We fished and slept off the Michelle Rose which I found very comfortable.  We ventured out into the Indian Ocean roughly 85 miles constantly moving destinations in the afternoon and night.  The six fishermen on board were international veterans living in the United States, France, Denmark, and Africa. 

We speed jigged in depths up to 100 meters.  Numerous dogtooth tuna were landed by all with a huge 160lbs brute being the largest.  An abundance of jobfish, trevally, grouper, and other species were landed by all.  A few times we spotted Yellowfin Tuna busting the surface so we casted large poppers and were rewarded with drag burning runs.  Freshly caught Yellowfin Tuna is hard to beat on the table, simply delicious! During the trip, I landed 2 huge sharks.  Also, I landed a huge ray which I had to give the rod to another as my arms could no longer handle the battle

.  Our Captain was Basil Larue and our guide was Guillaume Benoit both of whom know the waters around the Seychelles well.  In all the trip was a huge success.  This was my first adventure to the Seychelles.  I hope to return in the future possibly battling the huge Giant Trevally which were highly spoke of by both Basil and Guillaume.