Ocean Blue Staff Spotlight – Kelly Mills

Introducing Ocean Blue’s recent addition to the guide team, 30 year old Kelly Mills from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, QLD! Borrowing the high 5’s concept from our brothers from The Mission Fly Magazine, here are high 5’s with Kelly.

What are the 5 best things about where you guide?

  • Vanuatu itself, insane tropical beaches and marine life, huge volcanic mountains.
  • The culture and history of Vanuatu.
  • The array species and range of sport fishing options from blue marlin out the front, brutal dogtooth tuna and even jungle perch in the gin clear streams up in the mountains.
  • The food! great local seafood and insane butchers, tropical fruits and vegetables.
  • The waves! I’ve been surfing since I can remember. Often overlooked from the surfing world there are uncrowded waves here for everybody with different swell directions year round and over 80 islands, there are some hidden gems I’m yet to explore!

What are the 5 items that you don’t leave at home before guiding?

  • Sun protection, hat, glasses, buff, zinc and sunscreen.
  • Camera! Every day there will be something that will blow your mind, whether it’s a big one for my clients or some whale sharks, orcas, dolphins etc.
  • iPhone! Tunes back up camera, and of course safety.
  • Tools! when I’m on the water being organized is crucial, so I make sure I have everything covered.
  • Food and water! More than what you think you would need being out all day and in the sun, keep up the energy and stay hydrated!

What are 5 bands you listen to when fishing?

I have a huge genre as not everybody likes everything so from keeping positive when its slow to during red hot bites.

  • Incubus
  • Motley Crue
  • Hayden James
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Ocean Alley and heaps more

What are 5 indispensable lures you use when fishing with Ocean Blue?

It’s not just the lures but how you use them:

  • Popper- Nomad Design Chug Norris 180
  • Stickbait – Nomad Design Riptide 200
  • Jigs – mostly anything 60-100g natural colors with beefed up terminals
  • Sinking Stickbait – Madscad 115-150.
  • Aloha Lures Smashbait

What are the 5 most difficult guiding experiences you’ve ever had?

  • Getting woken up at 2am to one of the most savage super cell storms I’ve ever witnessed, dragging anchor on our mothership towards an island with 4 of our boats tangled up around each other, no one seriously hurt but absolutely terrifying.
  • Getting a little bit close to a 5-6m Crocodile sunning itself on a floodplain, at the same height of the bow after 10 minutes of staying still for some photos, it decides to leap and push off our boat on reentry into the creek.
  • The most beautiful Barramundi fishery in the Gulf of Carpentaria, having a guest complaining that his fish weren’t all over a meter, trying to shake off high 90cm barra in disgust.
  • Mid-winter, 30-40 knots of wind, cold water, torrential rain and neap tides for 4 days straight. 5. Getting jabbed by a scorpion fish after trying to dis lodge a hook with my pliers, 2 hours from the marina, had a bad reaction and collapsed after excruciating pain and came to in hospital that afternoon.

Give us 5 fish species on your hit list?

  • PNG black bass, for the power, technique, remoteness and difficulty.
  • Yellowcheek Carp, you tube gong lei and you will see what this one is all about, found in freshwater in Eastern Asia and parts of Russia these things grow to 50kg and are unstoppable.
  • Golden Dorado, not the common mahi-mahi but a fish found in South America, can be targeted in hard running streams on a fly rod or lures, there are amazing to look at and the habitat is crystal clear streams in the Argentinian highlands.
  • Giant Tarpon, who doesn’t love these things, they are a never give up brutal fight and take to the air like a mako shark, they grow well over 100lb with the world record set at 286lb! They can be targeted sight casting too.
  • 1000lb+ Blue Marlin, the most psycho game fish in my eyes, I’ve been lucky enough to wire 2 Black Marlin at this size although I’m yet to see a proper Blue one and it’s probably the top of my list.

Give us 5 fishing destinations on your bucket list?

  • The Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal, India. Hosting some of the planets biggest GTs and a surface fishing mecca for a lot of species.
  • Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean, home to record breaking Blue Marlin and the biggest Yellowfin Tuna in the world.
  • Papua New Guinea, the place is outstanding with Black Bass and massive Barramundi in the rivers to huge GTs, Napoleon Wrasse and even a top shelf Marlin fishery.
  • The rest of the Islands that make up Vanuatu, who knows what’s going to happen in the hard to reach areas of the Northern Islands.
  • Florida, USA. Although easily accessible it has an awesome range of fish to target including peacock bass, striped bass, red fish, giant tarpon and sword fish.

What are your 5 ingredients for an awesome fishing trip?

  • The weather, it’s the biggest battle of this industry doesn’t matter where you are if the suns out with light winds you’re in for a great start to your trip, just add fish.
  • Good company, you’re on a holiday fishing in the tropics, no one likes fishing with sooks and whingers, be positive and be happy, trust me this will work in your favor!
  • Scenery, some of the places you get to fish just so happen to be very pleasing on the eyes, stop and have lunch on an island, jump in for a snorkel or just laze around with a cold beer.
  • Organization with rods, lures and tackle. You are coming to target your dream fish, make sure you do your research and ask questions as to what works and what doesn’t, nothing more annoying than turning up with gear that won’t even be bought out of your suitcase.
  • Boats, you may think you don’t mind if you’re getting wet or the vessel your on doesn’t meet your needs for the fish your targeting, having a nice solid platform to cast from and freely move about when fighting your fish and enough size to conquer some rough seas in safety.

What are the 5 common mistakes that fishing guests make?

  • Attitude and positivity, if you’re going to complain before even leaving the dock I’m going to ask what your here for. I wouldn’t book to go fishing somewhere if I didn’t understand the fishery or techniques, do your homework before locking yourself in.
  • Be stoked after catching a nice one. As a guide I have caught many great fish but I love nothing more than a celebratory high five after landing someone the fish they have dreamt about all their life.
  • Listen to your guide! We don’t care about how much your lure cost or where or how many times you’ve been somewhere. This is our back yard and we are here every day, we know what’s going to work and where and when, if we say it’s not a good option take it on board.
  • Booze, I love it when my clients are relaxed and sipping a few cold beers while fishing, but if you get carried away you become unaware of your surroundings and risks escalate, leaving us stressed.
  • Photos, for me I love a guest that can appreciate photographs of their fish they came for so when they get back home, they can show their friends and family. Please take the time and listen to the way we need you to hold your fish, so you maximize the memories of your experience

Name 5 people that you would like to guide/fish with?

I have fished alongside some pretty cool people in my time as a guide.

  • Julian Pepperel, he is the David Attenborough of marine life and has an answer for literally everything.
  • Bart Miller, who is no longer with us, he was a pioneer of marlin lures. I’ve heard some wild stories of this guy including the capture of a 1649lb Blue Marlin.
  • Hugh Heffner, not everyone can say they have fished with the playboy himself.
  • My Dad and my Pop, they are both passionate fisherman and haven’t travelled much, they started my addiction when I was young, and I want to return the favor to them one day soon.
  • Literally anyone with a good attitude and worthy of a laugh or two, I love the passion but don’t take it too seriously that you forget why you fish in the first place

If you are looking for a true sport fishing company that offers you more than just a Vanuatu fishing adventure, look no further than Ocean Blue Fishing. Call us now at (AU) 1300 564 616 or at (INTL) +61 436 020322 or you may also contact us through our website at https://oceanbluefishing.com/enquire

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Ocean Blue Staff Spotlight – Kelly Mills

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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