Bora Bora Fishing

It’s a well-known fact that if you want to catch fish you need to know how to find them, and to find the fish, you need to find the birds.  Birds have a great view from up above and have superior eyesight that helps them spot balls of baitfish.  When you see birds circling and diving in an area, you can be sure fish are there!  Finding diving birds means finding fish.


As we approached our last days in Bora Bora, I decided to take the plunge and hire out a 4 hour lagoon fishing excursion through the resort.  The calmer waters of the lagoon allow for excellent light tackle trolling.  A variety of fish can be caught from the lagoon, including jacks, barracuda, snappers, grouper and blue fin trevally.


I missed one nice hook set and didn’t see much action after about an hour trolling the lagoon.  Thirty minutes later, we were out in the deep blue South Pacific.  Almost immediately, we noticed a very large concentration of birds.  Had to be hundreds of them, circling, diving and feasting.  The deckhand quickly readied the lures and our lines were soon in the water.


Skirted trolling lures we used.  Today they were hungry for pink and black.


Spearfishing is huge in French Polynesia.  We saw quite a few that day.  Here is a great story on Heimata Drost, a 31 year-old Tahitian spearfisherman.


For the next 2 hours, it was on.  Fish after fish, all baby tuna (bluefin and yellowfin) were boated and iced.  It’s amazing how powerful these fish are.  What a fight.  I can still hear those screaming reels in my sleep.


My first catch of the day.  Baby bluefin tuna.  What a blast!  Tuna have pretty good eyesight so we used fluorocarbon leaders to reduce visibility.


Fifteen minutes later, another screaming reel.  Fish on.  Tuna tend to use their weight and muscle to stay down.  These fish can put up one heck of a fight.


My first yellowfin tuna.  I felt sad watching this little guy take its last breath.  Yellowfin tuna (Ahi in Hawaiian) are quite tasty and are probably the most commonly caught offshore gamefish.  Like all tuna they pull hard for their size.


After 2 hours of non stop action, the birds did eventually move on and the fishing shut off.  Time to head back.  On our way in, we found what appeared to be either bottlenose dolphin, pilot whales or false killer whales.


Not sure exactly what they were but they were cool to see.  This guy was real curious and came very close to our boat.


Tails up



Nine total fish caught, not a bad day.


The guides were both super cool guys who love to fish.  I can’t remember their names.  Not only did they make money on my excursion fee but they also made a few hundred bucks or so with the tuna meat.


The tuna weren’t huge by any means, but all saltwater fisherman know that pound for pound, tuna is one the hardest fighting fish in the salt.



Kissing the torpedo!

Of the 9 total tuna, I kept 1; the smallest bluefin.  We put it on ice and hand delivered it to the resort’s chef, who spoke with a heavy Australian accent, which makes this story even more cooler.  He willingly agreed to serve it to us for dinner that night.  How cool is that.  I have never caught a saltwater fish and had it ready for dinner on the same day.  After a hot shower, my wife and I headed to the main restaurant on the resort for dinner.


First up the appetizer.  Bluefin tuna, sashimi style with wasabi, ginger and cole slaw.  My wife was a little hesitant but I dove right in.  Simply amazing, even more amazing knowing I caught this tuna just 2 hours ago.


Main entrée, same bluefin tuna, seasoned and grilled.  I have to be honest, this came out a little dry and I enjoyed the sashimi more than this.  Still amazing nonetheless.


Thank you all for taking the time and reading my stories.  I already miss Tahiti.


  1. Pete says:

    Nice report and congrats on your catch. Hate to break it to you but those were not baby bluefins, they were skipjack tuna, you can tell by the bands that run across the belly. Still good eating and they fight well on light tackle.


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