Fishing At Uepi
We currently adopt a low-key approach to fishing around Uepi. The reluctance to become involved with large boats and the professional fishing scene is tied to the development of Uepi as a tourist resort in the Marovo Lagoon, where an attempt to grow at a pace which is in keeping with the local changes throughout the lagoon has been part of the Resort’s philosophy. We have deliberately resisted the lure of commercial gains from high profile game fishing. The resort development plans have not included fast tracking around the lagoon in superior looking boats while the Marovo people are using the traditional dugout canoes with paddles or fiberglass canoes with outboard motors.
The other issues are conservation of the fish stocks and protection of reef areas. We are actively involved in both of these areas and are currently working towards marine reserve status for Uepi reefs.
As a result of the above, fishing at Uepi is done from outboard powered aluminium or fiberglass boats. The resort provides good light game rods and reels. If you are very serious or particular about your equipment we suggest you bring it with you. The fishing areas are relatively untouched in terms of fishing pressure. Large schools of yellow finned tuna and bonito are still sighted, despite the pressure from professional fishing fleets. Wahoo, barracuda, trevally and mackerel are most commonly caught. Generally speaking fishing is done using the trolling method which provides a great opportunity to enjoy the magic scenery of Marovo Lagoon. We can also organise throwing “poppers” in the early or late times of the day usually with good results. We do not encourage line-fishing as it damages the reefs and is best left to those familiar with fishing amongst coral, the local fishermen.
The “Slot” which runs along the ocean side of Uepi, is a deep water (2,000m) canyon and in that amount of water virtually anything is possible, including sightings of sailfish and marlin. We do not target these species and they must be released if caught. Fishing parties may be fortunate enough to be visited by a small pod of orcas, Dolphins are regularly sighted and hump backed whales pass by on odd occasions. Wheeling groups of gulls and frigate birds indicate the presence of tuna.
The Resort policy is based on treating Uepi reefs as a sanctuary and keeping those areas as fish breeding zones so that the fishing potential of the surrounding areas will be increased. This has been proven in other parts of the world and is one reason why we are encouraging the catch and release style of fishing (which will not deplete fish stock) as a possible industry for local people. Such a plan supports our renewable resource strategy for development of local industries. We do not fish the reefs of Uepi Island itself.
The absolute adventure of going fishing can be experienced at Uepi because of the underdeveloped nature of the area and the potential of the waters to produce literally anything and everything. Slowly cruising along the jungle fringed barrier reef islands with 2,000m of water beneath and the sun either slowly sinking or rising is indeed a most satisfying experience. The thrill of sighting the birds, finding the school and watching the sharks cruising through is surely not easily forgotten. Watching the fisherpeople hook up and reel in a fish for dinner brings out the Family Robinson instincts and the excitement of the catch is no doubt something that every fisherperson can relate to.
The old adage of “spend the hours in/on the water and see the sights” is true anywhere in the world. Without putting their heads beneath the surface, Uepi visitors have seen dolphins leap, somersault & play, fish fly, rays bask and flip, sharks cruise and feed, and fish of all shapes and sizes boil in the water. Others have seen marlin tail walk, whales and orcas playing, fish synchronising tail stands. These are just some of the stories, which have been told.