spearfishing and bluewater hunting
It's all about warm blue ocean and endless marine life!
We have clear blue ocean and 100 metre coral dropoffs just 5 minutes swim from the Lodge. The Lodge is the perfect swim-in, swim-out, boat-in, boat-out base for spearing!
Plus, three wild uninhabited islands with precipitous dropoffs, loads of pelagics and reef fish, and world-class coral are just 5 to 20 minutes offshore in our longboats.
There are two FADs in 450 metre depth just off the lodge, and another 5 at depths of 1000 to 2000 meters within 12 nm from the lodge and at Matikai seamount.
water, the hot and cold of it
We're just 8 degrees south of the equator, so the sun here is powerful all year round, even on cloudy days. Covering up in the water helps to avoid sunburn and avoid coral scrapes too.
On sunny days in October through May, water temps are 29-31C. So long-sleeve and hooded heavier lycra rash shirts are the go for keeping the sun off your top half andavoiding the hassle of plastering sunscreen on every dive. O'neill's Ozone 8 rashy is perfect, complete with a handy pocket for weights.
Longer boardshorts are nice in the water, keep the sun off the backs of your knees and provide that tropical essential for the gents – ball room! But full leg suits are advised if you're sun-sensitive or want to spend long hours in the water.
Cloudy days and June through October when water temps drop to 27.5C, a light wetty is handy to keep warm on long sessions. Radiator full length, hooded wetty/rashy hybrids are the best thing, as they are warm and ultra-flexible.
There's a wood-fired hot shower at the Lodge and at each of the bungalows to get warm between dives if needed. Minimal rubber is the best to enjoy the clear warm blue ocean here and boosts your diving capabilities too.
guns, the long and short of it
Visibility ranges from 15 to 50 metres, and with the warm ocean and equatorial sun, fish hang deeper than they do on the Great Barrier Reef and equivalent latitudes. As well as this, most of the country we spear in drops precipitously away to thousands of feet. So you'll need a gun with range.
130 or 140cm railguns are the essential for Spaniards, doggies, GTs barracuda, etc. These are flexible enough to have a go at the big stuff out in mid-water, but maneuverable enough to hunt coral trout and the hundreds of other reef species we have here.
Currents can be strong on the pelagic spots, so the maneuverability of railguns helps here too. A few people have brought short railguns with them and have expressed uniform disappointment with the lack of range for pelagics, but they are a lot of fun for stalking reef species (the favoured foodfish in the village) during the day, particularly in the endless caves and swim-throughs of Bulo Island.
Properly tuned, the bigger 'bluewater' railguns with heavier shafts such as the Rabi Tuna Line provide extra range and punch for bigger pelagics in clear water without sacrificing too much manoueverability. Properly rigged sliptips result in fewer rip-offs than floppers on the softer-fleshed pelagic species.
Big Riffe and Alexander type cannons are obviously an asset for hunting big tuna, wahoo and billfish with their superior range and penetration. Anyone who has tried to dig a cannon-powered shaft out of the coral will agree they're not the go for reef species!
If you decide to bring a cannon, you'll want to shed some luggage weight in other departments as Solomon Airlines will charge excess over 20kg and offloading of heavier gear may occur on the domestic flights.
You should bring a:
- 140ish railgun or equivalent - essential
- Cannon - nice for bigger fish, ocean reef, and blue water work
- Short railgun - for hunting smaller reef species
- Stash of spare parts - the nearest shop is in Brisbane!
- Floats - absolutely essential as big fish can swim past you at anytime, anyplace, and also allow our boat drivers to know where you are
- new rubbers, bridles & shooting line
- Dive knife - essential for berleying which is effective for concentrating fish
- Flashers - work well in bringing up Doggies, Spaniards and Wahoo, they have also raised solid blue marlin on several occasions, whilst drifting in the blue out in front of the Lodge.
- Reflective freedive mask - our personal experience is the tint of the reflective coating greatly reduces bluewater vision in the early morning and evening and on cloudy days.
Please note we have plenty of dive weights here. Don't weigh yourself down unnecessarily by bringing your own.
To ensure you dont miss any fish-of-a-lifetime opportunities, and to make your holiday in this tropical blue ocean as fun as it should be, make sure all your gear is in tip-top shape before you leave home. Some things to check:
- Shafts are straight and sharp
- Sloppers properly tuned
- Trigger mech lubed and line release working properly
- Give it all a run in the water BEFORE you leave home!
Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, sailfish, rainbow runner, milkfish, barracuda, GT's, various species of trevally and a host of other pelagics are year-round residents. We also encounter blue marlin on most trips to the FADs.
There is an endless array of reef species, refer to marine species list for the full rundown.
There is no ciguatera poisoning here.
The Lodge is situated next to a subsistence-living Melanesian village whose sole protein source is fish. Spearfishermen (and women!) are welcome and surplus fish are eagerly shared amongst the village. There are a few local artisinal spearfishermen, who spear to feed their extended families and whose skills, traditional fish knowledge, and handmade gear are a real eye-opener to dive with.
The Sabbath is observed in the village from sundown Friday (approx 6:00PM) to sundown Saturday (approx 6:30PM). This means all boating, fishing, spearing, kayak and canoe use, and work in the village stops. The Lodge does not provide boat trips or transfers on the Sabbath. However, guests are welcome to swim, snorkel and freedive around the lodge area, and there's a range of walks and hikes to do, through the gardens, rainforest and along the coast.
Our boats currently available for charter are:
- 6 metre Yamaha longboat reconfigured & repowered for 2011 with 50 EFI Honda outboard. Suits up to 4 people spearfishing & bluewater hunting.
- 7 metre Yamaha longboat with 40hp Yamaha outboard. suits up to 6 people spearfishing & bluewater hunting.
In the cooler months of April through November, pelagics are generally shallower in the water column. Mid-April through mid-June, and early-October through late-November are generally the best weather windows within that period, though this close to the equator climate is highly variable.
The recent deployment of two inshore FADs in 450 metres of water just off the lodge, provides solid bluewater action even when the tradewinds are up. Reef species and photography, are great all year round. For more info refer to our climate page.
For bookings, packages and advice please contact our central booking office:
phone: within Australia 1 800 222 234 ~ international +61 2 9299 4633