This last week there was a 25 year old Aussie guy visiting the resort. He had been working in Suva teaching young kids how to play basketball for a year on an Australian work grant. His trip was coming to an end and he heard of Mai Dive from friends that had already been here and are back in Suva. On his last day, Petero took him and me spearfishing right in front of the resort.
We geared up in wet suits, weights, fins, mask, snorkel, and Fiji hand spears. The spears are long, thin pieces of steel with a sharp point on the end. And you use a makeshift rubber band/slingshot sort of thing to shoot the spear. It works very well and can catch a good amount of fish in a short amount of time. That day we went out with Petero was the second time I had been spearfishing in my life. I shot/hit 7 fish, all bigger than your hand, but only caught 4 because some of the fish wiggled off the end of the spear. When Pete brought the fish in, he lost 2 out of the 4 so, at the end of the day, I was only left with 2. Pete caught 2. I caught 2. Mark caught 0.
After that excursion, my spirits were high and I decided to venture out near some deeper water the next day. In front of the resort is a shallow reef marked by a 6 foot beacon. 100 yards to the south west, there is another shallow reef with an old beacon that is underwater. We’ve taken divers there and always see schools of Barracuda, a few Trevally, and a stack of Bat Fish. Naturally I thought it would be a great place to fish at. So I took the kayak out with all my gear, all by myself mind you…and spear fished near the “Bat Rock” as we call it at Mai Dive. I was going after some hand size Parrot fish with a little bit of luck.
As I drifted over the edge of the reef and out into the blue, I saw two big Trevallys swim 1 or 2 meters away from me. They swim a few meters down and come right up next to you to see what’s up. I had my spear gun loaded and safety off. Waited. Waited. One kick. Two kick. Held my breath. Dove down. Then BANG! I fired the speargun, but it grazed off the side of the head. DAMN! I yelled as I surfaced. If had brought that fish in–what a story for the locals. A white guy goes fishing by himself and pulls up a big Trevally. MAN! But no luck. No big Trevally.
Above is a picture of a school of small Trevally. The one I shot at was twice that size. In Kadavu, we get Giant Trevally and Bluefin Trevally.
All I know is that one day, I’ll get that fish!