For me there is nothing that compares with spending almost a week away on a live onboard expedition, to fish hard and recharge… Time is different at sea, you’re far away from land and all the details which manage your daily life…

When all things go as planned, the fishing available combined with such spectacular locations, result in incredible experiences that stay with you forever… Plus there is also the hope that fishing further into Vanuatu’s remote islands will deliver the jackpot in the heavyweight tropical sportfish stakes…

So we were 6 anglers bought together for Ocean Blue’s October live on board expedition, the last one planned for 2013. Nick, Rob & Peter fishing onboard Al Dente with guide Eric Festa and decky Tom. Leaving Conor, Vaughan and myself on Azzurra with Andrea Traverso at the helm and Tony in charge of decky duties.

Home was the 60ft Fontaine Pajot sailing catamaran ‘Rendezvous’ which for me is the type of benchmark vessel you need for mothership duties, spacious and beamy for guest comforts, sail power for economy and ideal for trips through the Pacific islands. Enthusiastic skipper Errol has spent years at the helm of superyachts across the globe, plus some fishing guiding himself along the way, and supported by crewman Kevin, they provide great hospitality and service onboard.

We fished a few days in the Maskelyne island group then worked our way down via Epi, Emae, Cooks reef, Matasso, Nguna and Port Havannah, where we were rewarded equally in all of these locations with great sports fishing.
Our boat mixed it up jigging, casting, down rigging baits and trolling between locations. We planned around the wind increasing through the week so we fished comfortably in the lee of many spectacular islands the last 2 days.

We had some epic sessions including double hookups on dogtooth on jig & GT’s on poppers & stickbaits, doggies on light tackle, soft plastics and smaller jigs. Tireless jigger Conor got done by big dogtooth after big dogtooth, Vaughan got some quality fish, a few nice doggie’s and his best GT to date, as well as some great wahoo and plenty of mahi mahi in between. Final morning just out from Trees & Fishes, Conor and Vaughan scored a nice double hookup on mahi mahi on light tackle, both landed. Then Conor lost the biggest dogtooth of the trip and donated yet another of his proven jigs to the depths.

The guys on Al Dente kept us on our toes, doggie’s on popper plus mahi mahi, red bass, GT’s, bluefin trevally, more wahoo & a small marlin for variety. They had some epic dogtooth sessions with fish around the boat responding to soft plastics and poppers, so the bulk of images here are from our boat & really shows only part of the trip through my lens.

Having done this trip and getting a handle on it first hand we are all itching to get back for a return trip!
The mothership expedition ticked every box hoped for and more, & with a top bunch of like minded anglers (and awesome crew) is yet another way to enjoy fishing the remote Vanuatu islands to the fullest….

David Noble

Footnote: Tackle used.
Rods: Carpenter Coral Viper, Hots Gipang 711MH, Hots Gipang 79XH, Shimano GT Special, Saltiga 63S, Jigging Master, M&W Ocean Star.
Reels: Shimano Stella 8000SW, 14000SW, 18000SW, 20000SW, Saragosa 14000, Shimano TwinPower, Daiwa Saltiga 6500

Surface, ASWB 130SS, Maria Loaded, Hammerhead Tobi 123, Heru Cubera, Halco Roosta Haymaker.
Jigs, Jigging Master Fallings, Patriot Design Cyber Edge, SevenSea Hooker, Saltiga Sacrifice Stick II, Ocean Attitude Tacko, FCL Labo

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Our third expedition to the remote islands was nothing short of spectacular. The gods were certainly with us during the trip, providing the 8 lucky anglers with perfect weather and hot fishing. Fishing World’s David Green was booked onto the trip having fished with us a number of times back in the 90’s. David teamed up with old friend, our guide Eric Festa for a week of popping and jigging. The team of 8 anglers, certainly experienced some bone jarring action. Dogtooth tuna were eating anything put in front of them, from poppers, stick baits, jigs and plastics. Jobfish, red bass and coral trout were all on the chew. Yellowfin and the odd marlin were also a welcome distraction while taking a break trolling in between islands.

I fished with Ocean Blue as a paying punter. I’d highly recommend the mother ship operation. Every variable that can be controlled was excellent, the food was great, the boats are awesome, the mood on board was relaxed and happy and the fishing was great! Dogtooth tuna are one of the toughest fish in the ocean on a jig rod, and after being smashed up, wiped out and destroyed by monsters we did manage a few hundred pounders, but I reckon there’s a few double that size that will need sorting out next year. I’ve been to lots of places but this trip was up there with the best of the best and the big cat makes a great mother ship. A five star operation that I have no hesitation recommending, and a totally professional operation. Hadn’t seen Eric Festa for 20 years and it was great to fish with him again!

David Green (Fishing World magazine)

For those who wish to experience these exploratory expeditions we have 3 spots still available on our next trip this coming October. Why not treat yourself to a great experience!

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Think back to your most memorable adventure experience. Who did you travel with? Where did you go?

Check out below some of their trophy catches below:

Regardless of destination or purpose, at Trees and Fishes/Ocean Blue we force you to step out of your comfort zone, experience our Vanuatu culture, and most importantly take time out for yourselves. Our adventures are all about you and this can only be achieved in a private setting like ours.

Thank you for delivering a trip of a lifetime. Memories are made of this, and stories for generations. Thank you tumas!

Bernie Garvey – Wodonga – Australia

We had the pleasure in hosting six corporate anglers to Trees and Fishes last week, Bernie Garvey, Greg Murdoch, Paul Kavanagh, Peter Palmer, Marc Lidgerwood and Andrew Ennis for four days of “Ballistic” sessions fishing with OB guide Stephen Moderan and Andrea Traverso.

A massive thank you for a memorable “Tick a Box” experience. Many memories made!

Paul Kavanagh – Australia

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Exploring new fishing territory is the dream of most travelling angler’s, so you can imagine the excitement of the 7 anglers that accompanied me on our first exploratory expedition. The week didn’t dissapoint, the exhileration of getting smashed time and time again was somewhat soothed by the more manageable fish bought boatside.

The plan was to fish new territory, grounds that looked promising on the map but have never been fished. The danger with this type of exploratory fishing is it could be hot or maybe not! We were heading to fish the west coast of Malekula. With a number of islands and reef systems that looked great we didn’t know what to expect.

Any reservations we had were soon dispelled within minutes of arriving where our first encounters on jigs ended in despair. The rest of the week aboard both our EW32’s were emotion packed from high fives to mammoth encounters ending in tears. When you fish a location where dogtooth launch themselves out of the water, popper in mouth and then bust you off in 8 metres of water, you know you’re in a special place. Check out some of the pics below.

Just got back from the exploratory expedition, my first time in Vanuatu.We had an amazing time from getting smashed by GTs, Doggies, Coral trout, so much fun. Not to mention living on board Rendezvous a great home to come back too a great time with a great bunch of blokes. Thank you Anthony, Andrea, Eric, Errol, Steve, Tom and Tony for a truly amazing holiday.

Nelson Dueza

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It’s been a busy month of celebs fishing with OceanBlue, first NBA star Jared Jeffries christened our first live on board expedition and more recently Aussie cricketers Brett Lee and Dom Thornely spent a week of fast fishing and indulgence at Trees and Fishes. Accompanied by good friend Josh Batterson, the guys managed their first dogtooth and GT’s as well as wahoo, red bass, jobfish and yellowfin.

“Having spent one of our best weeks fishing at the majestic Trees & Fishes retreat we were blown away by the service and tranquil surrounds the retreat has to offer. Ocean Blue Fishing delivered a range of options for us, we managed to get into some GT’s, Wahoo and the elusive Dogtooth tuna. A compulsory stop at the fads each day sent our Shimano gear into a frenzy as the yellow fin come screaming through, some of the best fun you can have on their amazing Edgewater 32’ boats. The staff are first class and having spent so much time on the playing field, our trip made us feel like we were in heaven. The food is simply amazing with only the freshest catch on the nutritious menu all under a log fire setting, amazing sunsets, glass of red and a few tunes. Where else would you rather be!”

Brett Lee & Dom Thornely

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Phil Sweet, Shaun Maxwell and two close mates recently spent a week at Trees and Fishes and what a week it was. After a few weeks of indifferent conditions, the weather co-operated and so did the fishing. Dogtooth Tuna and Wahoo were on fire. In between sessions of getting smoked, the guys managed some great fish.

“Thanks again guys for last weeks fishing, best experience ever, highly recommend to anyone thinking of doing this trip, fishing is amazing, the guides know where the fish are and the hospitality 10/10, all ready planning our next trip thinking it will be the live aboard… Not to mention i got the once in a lifetime oppurtunity to be swimming in the water with a whale circling our boat. Thanks again to all the Ocean Blue and Trees & Fishes staff you guys were amazing…”

Shaun Maxwell

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Pro NBA basketballer, Jared Jeffries recently returned to fish Vanuatu with Ocean Blue. Jared had a great trip popping and jigging with us up in the islands June 2012, and this time he returned with a film crew to capture all the action. When not playing in the NBA, fishing the world is Jared’s passion & he’s now taken it to the next level, starring in his new extreme fishing tv show during his off season – so this trip has been 12 months of anticipation.

Guide Andrea Traverso said they caught loads of dogtooth & GT’s in the 20kg bracket which didn’t even qualify for a photo. The biggest doggie landed was in excess of 65kg on a popper. (Jared stands at 6’11 so tends to shrink fish in photo’s!) Poppers & stick baits both did damage, with the quality West Coast poppers & ASWB series getting the big thumbs up from JJ. It wasn’t all glory however, they got decisively beaten, reefed, sharked & spooled. Every session had epic moments, we can’t wait to see the new show “Modern Fishing with Jared jeffries” to be aired in the US early 2014.

Jared rated the total Ocean Blue experience in his top 3 adventures anywhere in the world.

For anglers wanting to do this same frontier expedition to fish this pretty wild country with us, we only have 4 spots left on this October 2013 exploratory expedition. This is a trip of a life time, great value and definitely one not to miss.

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Ocean Blue regular Richard Balanson, Danish angler Thomas Ringstromm and Alan Croxson from Perth scored a mixed bag on their recent winter trip to Trees and Fishes. While the weather was not too kind we managed some good fish non the less. Winter in Vanuatu attracts a wide variety of species to our shores and the guys managed some nice dogtooth, wahoo, mahi mahi, GT’s and big barracuda. Richard managed a 25 minute fight on a monster dogtooth that ended in bitter defeat and vowed to return later in the year to exact his revenge….Good Luck!!!

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Victorian Angler Wade McCormack and crew enjoyed a week of big dogtooth action based out of Trees and Fishes. The dogtooth were on the chew as were the wahoo, yellowfin and mahi mahi. With a 60kg Dogtooth under their belt and numerous others nudging the 40kg mark the week was topped off by a nice 400lb blue marlin caught outside of the lodge.

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Live the dream and fish Vanuatu with Ocean Blue this winter. Stay at the superb Trees and Fishes Anglers Lodge and take advantage of this special offer. When you book a 5 day/6 night fishing adventure you will receive an extra days fishing and nights lodging absolutely FREE!. Fish aboard one of our EdgeWater 32 Sportfishers on an extreme GT and Dogtooth trip or chase pelagics on our sport or game fishing adventures. Beat the cold this winter, experience great fishing, superb dining and personalised local hospitality!

Check out below some of their trophy catches below:

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Extreme GT & Dogtooth Adventure

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BlueWater Sport Fishing Adventure

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Winter arriving means one thing, hot fishing! With the water temperature dropping from it’s summer 30+ degrees to 27, we’ve seen the arrival of wahoo and yellowfin. The dogtooth tuna have also awoken from a slow start to the year and GT’s are also on offer for those extremists who enjoy this back breaking passtime. Expect a few sails to show their pointy noses within the next month and marlin who are now chomping on those yellowfin. Check out a few pics from the last 2 weeks at Trees and Fishes!

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Extreme GT & Dogtooth Adventure

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