Upon arrival in Samoa, Aussie angler Jonathan Jones quickly discovered the local orange juice, and could rarely be found without a bottle nearby.
Mean-mugging their way through the shallows, these GTs, a glorious gamefish, refuse everything Jonathan threw at them, once again proving they’re on their own program.
Apia Harbor, full of stories and well-traveled ships.
Fatu, a local with a small boat, tells us in no uncertain terms he knew where the fish were. Ignoring a looming storm front, we head out in search of blue water fish, then move inshore to the reef in hopes of GTs.
When the dockside GTs snub your first few attempts, time to change it up.
The local open-air markets proved to be a riot of color, even if the stalls were not busy in the midday heat.
Night time means the rush of the surf doesn’t abate, but the day’s heat gives way to a less-oppressive sky of stars.
Bring on the storm. Jonathan celebrates a respite from the heat and sun.
A promising underwater drop-off reveals no fish, and I spend much of the time in the water working to get the right perspective on the boat with the small island behind.
Island time… where the tides dictate everything.
Jonathan and Aidi eagerly wonder what the day will bring as we head out for the first day of offshore angling. Five hours later, we’d been treated to one rather nasty squall and one wahoo.
To Sua Ocean Trench, a giant swimming hole connected to the ocean by an ancient lava tube, rests a massive 100 feet in the earth. Those who brave the slick, steep wooden ladder down are rewarded with cool water and an other-worldly jungle experience.
Samoa: a land of volcanoes, jungle, heat, and salt.
Samoa exists solely on island time, and evenings are for laying out in fales, the open-air huts that dot the island, spending time with family, and lounging.
Agelu Hale BBQ becomes a favorite stop of ours. Nine tala — roughly $4 U.S. — buys a massive plate of mystery meat in a delicious sauce, green bananas, and, on the rare occasion, rice.
Barely escaping Apia Harbor just before a torrential rainstorm, we begin the hunt for giant trevally. These whales offer a friendly welcome as we cruise past.
Locals in dugout canoes ride the swell while divers are in the water collecting various fish and edibles. In an hand-to-mouth economy, the ocean provides much of the island with food.
Sunsets are a blaze of color, and as darkness falls the stars pop out, but the day’s heat remains.
From volcano to rock to sand to sea… Samoa in a nutshell.
When new-found friends offer to give Jonathan a new tattoo, it’s a hard proposition to resist. Four children, several dogs, and one plucky chicken later, and Jono walked out with a trevally etching on his thigh.
From the jungle to the ocean. We explore small creeks flowing into the flats, hoping to catch a fresh water fish species.
The basics. A shady place to sleep, water right out the door… doesn’t get much better than that.
Swells above, fish below. Several colorful mahi-mahi come to play while we dodge thunderstorms in the channel between Upolu and Savai’i, the two islands that comprise the country of Samoa.