We had the pleasure in hosting Warren Keelan and his Wife Michelle for five days at Trees and Fishes recently. Warren who is a multi-international award seascape and ocean photographer spends most of his days alongside or within the ocean, interpreting what he sees through the medium of digital photography. A big thank you to Warren for sharing some of his amazing shots of Trees and Fishes with us and to Michelle for letting us look after your every needs.

Warren Keelan Photography

Seascapes & Ocean Art Gallery
84c Kembla Street, Wollongong NSW Australia 2500
Phone: (02) 4244 0347

p | PO Box 5070, Wollongong, NSW Australia 2520
m | 0431 070 877
e | sales@warrenkeelanphotography.com.au 

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A gang of Italian anglers, lead by returning guest David Lorenzato, father Ennio and good friend Bernard Komg (who surely knows a lot about Italians), experience incredible crash strikes and tough fights during their 7 nights, 6 days sports fishing adventure chasing GT’s and doggies.

Based out of our lodge, Trees and Fishes, located within Havannah Harbour on the north side. Nestled amongst a spectacular natural heaven which was used during world war II as a naval rear base by the entire US 7th Fleet.

Fishing with Ocean Blue guide, Andrea Traverso (also Italian) who believes that GTs generally feed at specific spots where current and a good amount of bait is present but by saying that it doesn’t mean they will be present and feeding on all those spots on any day and at any time. So the only way to be ‘at the right time, at the right spot’ is to keep on casting until you find them. GT’s along with dogtooth are one of the more challenging species and require consistency, persistence and no “No Weak Link”.

The week saw no weak link with father and son combo landing themselves some 30kg+ GT, doggies on popper, by catches of red bass on stickbait, job fish along with Bernard landing himself a nice coral trough and a doggie that could of been a beauty, had it not been for the shark feast.

Great effort to David, Ennio and Bernard. Having now a taste of what GT and dogtooth fishing is all about, maybe next adventure for your bucket list is one of extreme live on board expedition!

“Thanks for a great week here at Trees and fishes/ocean blue. Andrea, Tom and all the staff were fantastic.”

David Lorenzato – St Yves – Australia

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The Giant Trevally or Caranx Ignobilis inhabits a wide range of marine environments from shallow lagoons and reef plateaus to deep drop offs and seamounts. They can be targeted on jigs in depth to over 150m but the most impressive and fun way to get them remains on topwater where you can experience incredible crash strikes and tough fights.

GTs generally feed at specific spots where current and a good amount of bait is present but by saying that it doesn’t mean they will be present and feeding on all those spots on any day and at any time. So the only way to be ‘at the right time, at the right spot’ is to keep on casting until you find them. It may take 1 cast or over 100.

Andrea believes that GT’s are very lure sensitive and just don’t eat anything. He would recommend using a range of lures ranging from floating stick baits, sinking stick baits, big chuggers and pencil poppers. Most importantly Andrea explains that the weight of your lure must match the rod casting weight as 90% of the catch is in the cast.

Born and raised in Vanuatu, Ocean Blue’s Andrea Traverso and our team are passionate about fishing, well obsessed is the more accurate term.  As a professional guide he’s a great resource and understands their habits, patterns and locations. GT’s along with dogtooth are one of the more challenging species and require consistency, persistence and no “No Weak Link”. GT’s, more so than any other species he’s encountered, magnify and exploit any weakness or error of an angler (or guide), such as slack line, late strike, angle of line, drag settings and will often find their freedom.

Get him talking on the subject and you’ll hear it in his voice, see it in his eyes and learn how to find & land that next Vanuatu 60kg plus GT.

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The yellowfin tuna fishery here has been very much boosted in recent years with the placement of a number of offshore FAD’s ‘Fish Aggregating Devices’ some just 15 minutes from our base in perfect blue water. Fishing for Yellowfin Tuna used to involve trolling around the ocean in search of birds, current lines and looking for activity on the surface. Back then it meant trolling the classical spread of lures behind a game boat, picking off a few fish & sending the rest deep.

Below are some of the pictures from 2 recent groups, Mark Trevan & co and the May Join a Group adventure…

When the first FADs were deployed a few years ago it became much easier to locate the ‘fin as it concentrated them around the mark, as well as many other pelagic species such as mahi-mahi, wahoo & blue marlin.

The fish still move around a bit, often relocating FAD’s over the day. Now in Vanuatu we try all together to to keep an average of 5 FADs operational all year and deploy ourselves at least 3 of them with the closest one being only 15mins from Trees and Fishes.

Fishing from EdgeWater centre consoles we position the boat ahead of the fish and drift into range, casting poppers, stickbaits and jigging metals to get best results. Juvenile fin up to 10kg are resident year round and heaps of fun on light tackle, while fish up to 50kg tend to school & follow the warmer water from November to June. Big fish 50-100kg, tend to be solitary and can appear anytime of year.

“Basically you can be catching 50kg yellowfin tunas on topwater just after breakfast”

Andrea Traverso, Ocean Blue guide

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Micro jigging is simply using lighter jigs in the 20g -100g range and happens to be one of our favourite techniques here in Vanuatu, both for targeting a wide variety of species as well as having loads of fun. The method is pretty self descriptive, consisting of dropping and raising the rod tip quickly as the line is being retrieved in order to impart a lively & erratic action into the shiny metal jig as it’s yo-yo’d vertically through the water column. The style works equally well for schooling pelagic species offshore such as yellowfin tuna, wahoo & mahi mahi, so multiple hookups and hot sessions are common.

Vanuatu is volcanic, meaning we have steep islands surrounded by deep water and the underwater terrain is full of seamounts, underwater bommies, shallow & deep reefs aswell as plunging bluewater. A good sounder is essential, and having all our boats equipped with Simrad sounders to mark fish, sharp drop offs & seamounts accurately means we’re in the zone all the time.

We also carry our own Ocean Blue micro jig range, these are designed to have the centre of gravity either at the top, bottom or in the middle of the jig, and determines how the jig will glide and swim at time of retrieval. On the sink, jigs tend to glide off or get a wide circular spiral happening, which helps dictate where and when these different styles should be used. Swapping down to light jigging gear not only means faster retrievals & more hook ups on a wide variety of species, it’s also less rigorous than heavy jigging or popper casting.

Andrea Traverso and his team use PE 2 to 3 (20 to 30 pound) outfits with Shimano 5000 to 6000 size reels, and generally jig between 20 to 60m with jigs often from 30g to 60g. It is the perfect method to get a big variety of reefies with coral trout, bluefin trevally, scaly mackerel, longnose emperor, gold spot trevally, coronation trout and of course dogtooth tuna love small jigs worked fast.

No need to stress about which gear to bring on your next fishing adventure with us, as Ocean Blue offers a wide range of tackle at Trees and Fishes including stickbaits, poppers, terminal tackle and micro and deepwater jigs, including Maria jigs. If not sure on what to bring feel free to email us directly.

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Extreme GT & Dogtooth Adventure

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BlueWater Sport Fishing Adventure

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Join this tour for a great week away, targeting the schools of sailfish which congregate off Kuala Rompin, a unique fishery offering shots at dozens of sailfish each day!

Calm waters, a plentiful fishery and an adventure suitable for anglers of any experience. The fishing is during peak sailfish season and offers anglers the opportunity to catch these visually spectacular, acrobatic speedsters! Our join a group program is ideal for solo’s or a few mates to join a crew, making it a great value and fun trip for all.

The number of sailfish you see working the surface is incredible, but the bite often comes from the fish you don’t see. Casting lures, drifting baits, missing strikes and pulling hooks is all part of the fun. Rompin is a destination with plenty of opportunities to refine your angling skills.

Itinerary October 12-17th 2015 – Hurry limited spots!

12th October 2015

Arrival into Singapore, after the group meets at the airport, our team will accompany you on the journey up to Rompin, making it an easy and stress free trip. Depart Singapore approx 1pm departure for 4 hour van transfer north. Accommodation is at Lanjut Golden Beach Resort, Kuala Rompin, Malaysia, for 5 nights stay, twin share rooms.

13-16th October 2015

4 days guided sportfishing for Rompin’s famous sailfish. Each day you will be collected from the resort and board your vessel for the run out to the grounds. Here you will use techniques including live baiting, trolling and popper casting to target numerous sailfish in the calm, warm waters.
The abundance of sailfish available is such a drawcard to fishing this Kuala Rompin Sailfish Adventure. It’s common here to have multiple hookups, free jumping fish, and dozens of shots at fish each day.

17th October 2015

After breakfast our team will transfer you back to Singapore, stopping for lunch en route. Arriving back to Singapore for an evening flight or overnight stay as required.

Trip Inclusions

  • 5 nights twin share stay at Lanjut Beach Resort, Rompin Malaysia, with breakfasts
  • 4 days guided sports fishing
  • Lunch, drinks and snacks whilst on board
  • Experienced guides
  • All transfers ex Singapore

Package Price: AUD$2750.00 per angler (based on 3 anglers per boat)

Package Price: AUD$3990.00 per angler (based on 2 anglers per boat)

*Prices are a guide only and may be subject to change. Terms and Conditions apply. All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars AUD.

**Rods, reels & tackle are not provided.

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After a year of planning, preparation and hype, good mates Jimmy, Han, Okta, Darren, Kenny, Jack, Greg & Winston finally arrived at Trees & Fishes geared up and ready for what ever was thrown at them! The boys hit jackpot landing some quality dogtooth including a few over 30kg. During the week the guys also fished offshore for pelagics landing some wahoo, mahi mahi, a nice sailfish and 42kg yellowfin tuna on popper! Despite a few aching muscles from battling doggies, the guys had enough in the tank for topwater GT’s, again rewarded with some nice catches. Another highlight from the week was a stonker coral trout caught directly infront of Trees and Fishes one afternoon when the crews were washing down the boats!

“Thank you to the Ocean Blue team. We had a blast and cheers to the all the crew we had a trip of a lifetime. Best fish caught, 30kg dogtooth, 42kg yellowfin tuna and GT’s. The team at Trees and Fishes made our stay comfortable and assisted us with all our request professionally. Nothing was ever a problem. We will be back!”

Han, Okta, Darren, Kenny, Jack, Greg, Winston & Jimmy Sow – Australia

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What a week for Ocean Blue regular Sean Tieck & good friends, accomplished anglers Mike & Hayley Bonnici. For the Bonnici’s it was their first time fishing Vanuatu with us, and travelling baby free meant they could focus on five days of hard core fishing & relaxing at Trees & Fishes!

They had some unfavourable weather to work around but came up with the goods all landing very nice doggies to 35kg, plus numerous bust off in between. On top water the team raised and landed some nice GT’s, red bass and reef fish, while offshore the new FAD doing it’s magic with some nice Mahi-Mahi.

“Just back from a pretty epic trip to Vanuatu with Ocean Blue for a few days. Wind didn’t play the game and left us fishing in the lee’s of the islands, but we fished hard from start till finish. Big highlights were we all got our best doggies which were top of our list. Big thanks to Andrea Traverso and the Ocean Blue team for going well out of there way to make our trip such a memorable one.”

Michael Bonnici, Sydney, Australia

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Ryan MacDonald, Chris Watson, Chris Webster and Brad Chard started planning their Ocean Blue adventure some 18 months ago, so it was quite a countdown & exciting lead up for the boys! Finally that day became a reality, when they arrived at Trees and Fishes, and to typical glassy summer conditions for their week long popping and jigging adventure.

Fishing wise, the boys missed a few trophy fish in the 50kg plus bracket, as you’ll what’s left from the tax man. They landed some personal best GT’s and doggies, while Brad’s Reef Master range of poppers deliverd on some quality coral trout, getting the big thumbs up from Andrea!

“Back on home soil after a great trip with Ocean Blue. Thanks to Andrea Traverso, Jeanine and the rest of the crew at Trees and Fishes for everything”

Brad Chard

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Nam Vuong, Dave Chung, Nic DosJantos & Jason Crossly discovered what fishing Vanuatu was all about this summer. Their adventure included the opportunity to fish for our almighty doggies. Having never fished for them before, the guys surely got they fair share of bust off, broken rods and soon discovered what aching muscles was all about. Nic best described our doggies as “monsters of the seas & way to strong”. After learning and experiencing some incredible fishing alongside Andrea Traverso, those four mates surely knew how to host the best party eva!

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