Paradise at Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay Beach House
Holiday House Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Fishing & Spearfishing Espiritu Santo
Get ready for world class fishing & spearfishing Espiritu Santo thanks to huge drop offs and deepwater channels within throwing distance of inshore fringing reefs (Vanuatu has no continental shelf so the water goes deep very quickly very fast). Add to that incredible visibility, a multitude of easily accessible seamounts, deep canyons and 30+ offshore islands and it all adds up to fishing and spearfishing heaven on your doorstep!
Every type of big game fish is on offer when you fish or spearfish the waters around Espiritu Santo. There are black, blue and striped marlin (peak season Sept – March), wahoo (peak season April – Nov), sailfish June to Nov), Spanish mackerel, giant trevalley, dolphin fish, albacore and yellowfin tuna. In fact, for anglers and spearos looking to push the boundaries and explore new frontiers, Vanuatu’s infamous giant dogtooth tuna, GT’s and mahi mahi provide the ultimate fishing or spearfishing challenge.
There are a range of fishing operations on Espiritu Santo to suit every budget – from small local operators in banana boats with minimal or no gear and a 30hp on the back right up to professional outfits with powerful motors and top of the line fishing gear that can get you out to the offshore islands and seamounts. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Island Fishing Santo
Located at Suranda Bay, about 15 mins north of Luganville and run by French native Fabrice Moderan, Island Fishing Santo does both fishing charters and snorkelling/dugong tours or a combination of the two. Fabrice grew up on one of the outer islands just off Santo and knows the surrounding waters of the east coast like the back of his hand. He will tell you some fascinating stories about the history of Santo while you cruise around the beautiful reefs, fishing snorkelling and dugong/turtle spotting (keep your eyes peeled for the very friendly dugong Porcupine!).
Choices include 8 hours fishing: 67,000VT, including fishing gears, lures, jigs, popper lunch and transfers. 4 hours fishing: 42,000VT, including fishing gears, lures, jigs, and transfers. 3 hours fishing, 1 hour snorkeling: 37,000VT, including fishing gears, and transfers. 2 hours fishing, 1 hour snorkeling and 1 hour dugong spotting: 32,000VT, including fishing gears, and transfers. These are per boat prices not person charges.
Pacific Reef Charters
Pacific Reef Charters is a premier gamefishing boat currently based out of Turtle Bay. If you stay at Turtle Bay Beach House in Turtle Bay you have access to this boat on your doorstep as well as some great fishing right off the dock out front (see the photo of the giant GT below). Pacific Reef Charters is owned and operated by Ru Robertson. who has more than fifteen years boating experience. His boat is a brand new custom designed 27ft centre console powered by a reliable 225HP Mercury Seapro 4.6L V8. The boat is decked out with the latest Sonar technology with Simrad NNS Evo 3 paired with a powerful Airmar TM275LHW transducer.
Ru operates both half day and full day fishing charters. All trips are based out of the east coast and include a run to some prime GPS markers, as well as forays to various reef ledges, seamounts, drop offs and FADs. Ru utilises a range of different fishing techniques throughout the day – trolling open ocean, jigging and live baiting on one of the many seamounts, or casting poppers over the shoreline reef – and his crew generally go above and beyond to maximise the Vanuatu fishing experience . Expect to encounter species such as Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin, GT, Mahi Mahi , Jobfish, Dino Trout and many more. He is probably the most expensive charter on Santo but also the most professional.
Bob’s Game Fishing & Boat Charters
Bob’s Gamefishing and Boat Charters operates out of Barrier Beach about 15 min north of Luganville on the east coast (look for the signs). Bob Cottenham, the owner, is a long time fisherman and knows the waters of the east coast well. Choose from a half-day or a full-day charter, with all fishing gear included, along with drinks and food supplied, depending on your charter of choice.
His boat, the “Bobalong” is a 6.4m Stabicraft, set up with outriggers for trolling for pelagic fish, as well as jigging. Fish caught in these waters include wahoo, mahi mahi, dog-tooth tuna, yellow fin tuna, and GT, along with marlin and sailfish. He can be contacted on 678 560 1645 or email email@example.com
Dropcast Fishing Vanuatu
Although Dropcast Fishing Vanuatu is based in Havannah Harbour on Efate Island, it does do occasional overnight and extended fishing charters to Santo and the northern islands. It’s also the only live aboard charter available from Santo. Dropcast Fishing provides anglers with the ultimate sportfishing experience. Andrea Traverso, the captain is a very experienced local guide and his custom built 46ft Sportfisher vessel Amalu is designed for extended charters in comfort. The wide flat front deck was modified with plenty of space to allow 5 anglers to easily cast simultaneously from the front of the boat. Railings have also been customised for easy access all around the vessel.
The boat is fully equipped with the best SIMRAD electronics technology, covering all fishing necessities and features cabins containing 3 Rooms (8 Berths) and 2 Bathrooms. Amalu is air-conditionned throughout its entire Interior and can accommodate a Maximum of 5 Anglers and 4 Crew members.
Local Fishing Boats
If you are lucky enough to stay at Turtle Bay Beach House in Turtle Bay you can organise to do fishing trips with the local boat operators from nearby Riri Village and Mavea Island. Usually this will cost you between 4000-6000vt for a half day per boat. The boats are generally banana boats or small dinghies with 15-30hp on the back so the fishing is mainly around the nearby islands. You will need to supply your own bait and fishing equipment and be responsible for your own safety while you are out there. Try Quenster on 7604136 and Johnny Riri on 7358478 at Riri Village or Danny Livo on 7673608 at Mavea Island. In Luganville try asking some of the local taxi boat drivers at BP Wharf (behind Santo Hardware) for a boat charter while in Port Olry trying asking at Chez Louis restaurant.