One of the locals, Nounou, offered to take Matt and I offshore fishing. We were told that the locals harpoon mahi, and catch wahoo, tuna, and marlin between Maupiti and Bora Bora. We met Nounou a few weeks ago, got his number, and scheduled our outing. Nounou catches a lot of mahi – check out his Marlin Star Facebook page.
Nounou and his mate picked us up at 0900 with our packed lunch, beverages, and smiles. He did not waste anytime putting the pedal to the metal. We sped across the lagoon covering the 2.5 miles in 7-8 minutes. Gesh this is a rocket on water!
We said a prayer before leaving the pass. I prayed for safety and no sea sickness but I am sure the boys prayed for fish. It is a fishing trip after all. We exited the pass at 30-35kts with little effort – ridiculous. Then we started the bash toward Bora Bora.
Nounou came to pick us up in his superfast 35’ speed boat called Lady Kea. He has one turbo diesel engine with 340 horse power and a top speed of 40kts! He fishes daily during the week in this boat and takes his family out on this “faster” boat on the weekends. Lady Kea is a beautiful orange and yellow boat with logos on the side.
The captain / driver sits inside a well and moves a metal pipe or pvc tube right and left to steer. The throttle is where is right hand is and his left hand is on the steering mechanism.
Shots of our fearless captain, Nounou.
The boat is outfitted with (2) fishing rods each with 130 reels. These reels are monstrous. To put it into perspective, we have a 50 reel on our boat and that is huge for us.
There is a large assortment of lures on either side of the boat. They put the port line out really far and the starboard line closer.
To catch Mahi Mahi they search out the birds. We found several flocks of birds during the course of our trip. Our captain and crew would spot the birds several miles out and we would race toward them. Nounou would circle the mahi which swim near the surface while feeding. Then he would expertly throw the harpoon at the Mahi hoping for a catch. We unfortunately only had one opportunity to do this and he got away. Photo of harpoon.
Heading out to sea
We zoomed out about 18-29 miles toward Bora Bora which was into the wind, waves, and sea. Not a pleasant experience. Going 35-40kts, top speed, bashing hard while trying to hold on was difficult. I literally had a volcan death grip with both hands and both feet wedged wherever I could stick them. After about an hour of holding on we turned and went side to the waves. Slightly better.
The little bonito (tuna)
The first fish to catch our lure was a small bonito tuna. It was a relief to catch him as we had been trolling for over an hour and a half with nothing. He’s small, but will be tasty.
We would switch between looking for mahi and fishing for marlin and wahoo. They used the lures for the marlin and wahoo. They used the harpoon for the mahi.
After another several hours we landed a beautiful, fat marlin! With two people, a fast boat, and the perfect execution, they reeled in a 60 kilo (135lb) marlin!
Nounou will clean and cut the fish and give it to the local school to feed the kids! This baby will feed lots of kids for awhile.
We headed back to the boat around 1500. 6 hours later. Every inch of my body ached. Holding on, clenching every muscle, falling a time or two and being tossed around the fiberglass boat did a number to my body. With several bruises, bumps, scrapes and blisters we climbed back onto Sugar Shack.
A quick rinse in the lagoon to get the 20 layers of salt off us and then a fresh water rinse. Matt cleaned the bonito which Nounou graciously gifted us. We called it a day, took some advil, made a drink and crashed on the bean bags.
By the way, we never took a sip of our drinks or a nibble of food. We were too busy holding on, fishing, and looking for fish.
This fishing excursion happened on 31 August. Our blog posts run 6/8 weeks behind our adventures.