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First Time Popping and Jigging

Keep casting and success follows

Fishing days 10 to 18 Feb 2020

For the last week we’ve had all our three boats running. The group from the UK led by Chris Adams has been planning this trip with us for close to two years now. Chris was accompanied by his fishing buddies Steven, Owen, Dave, Tim, Geoff and Conrad (aka Tiny), and they were fishing off the Reef Raider and the Tropical Star. On the Rampage we had a group from South Africa comprising of a father son duo Vijayandra and Prinesh, with their good friend Louis. All the anglers were going to be popping and jigging for the first time.

While the guys from South Africa had the right kit in terms of rods and reels, the group from the UK were a bit off with the jigging rods and lures. However, this was not a problem as we managed to convince them to try out our jigging combos, and this is what we had the most fun with on the trip.

The trip started out a bit slowly for Chris’ group as they had to get used to casting big lures and jigging on a rocking boat. The windy conditions did not help much either, with the lures pulling out of the water quite often. Much to everyone’s relief, the windy conditions eased, and we started to get more and more bites as the week progressed. The South Africans managed to get into the rhythm much faster than most others.

Prinesh and Vijayandra had a great first day, landing several GT’s of up to 25 kilos. They also lost 5 lures to bust offs, which just goes to show how much you need to rely on your tackle, as any weak link will be immediately be exposed. This includes straightened hooks on the lures, and in some cases, the fish are just too strong to land. On the third day at one of our jigging spots Vijayandra had a big bite and a strong heavy run. A good battle followed, with a large GT coming up that weighed in at 42 kilos. There was plenty of action at times, and we landed a quite a few good fish in the 20-25 kilo range with poppers as well as jigs. For them, the highlight was packs of big GT’s chasing the lures multiple times, till one of the fish finally grabbed the lure.

Chris had a huge GT take his lure (a popper made by a friend) right next to the boat. This fish unfortunately ran right under the boat and before we could turn around, the fish found its freedom on the jagged reef below. Heading to one of our offshore reefs, Geoff was about to give up on his Nomad Chug Norris popper, when suddenly everything went tight and the fish made off taking the angler to the back of the boat. Geoff had never experienced a fish that could put so much pressure back on the angler, and a real tug of war transpired. Finally, we put into the net an awesome black GT that weighed in at 30 kilos.

Moving over to a jigging spot, everyone was immediately into fish. All the guys in Chris’ group wanted to catch a shark, but we did not really want one on the boat. Anyway, on jigging up came a bonito which was immediately followed by a white tip shark which pursued the desperate bonito and ate it in front of everyone. Two drifts later Owen hooked onto what he said was the bottom, which took line off his reel. He was fishing with one of our light jigging PE 3 setups, and we had to use the boat to assist in keeping him on top of the fish, as we followed its long run. On the lighter gear a proper battle ensued which was close to 15 minutes. Owen brought up an awesome GT that weighed 32 kilos – the biggest for the group from the UK.

All the guys in Chris’s group wanted to catch GTs, and this we did for all of them. Chris even got 7 in one day while Geoff managed 5. Both Steve and Owen landed big Barracudas which was a first for them, each over the 20 kilo mark. Tim was really unlucky when he had his hook straightened out by a big GT.

It was a week of lots of laughs and good company. All the anglers were relaxed and open to suggestions, as well as learning and trying new techniques. Plenty of good fish were landed and many more missed. We have surely converted a whole lot of new anglers into the radical world of tropical extreme fishing and are sure to see all the guys back to fish with us again in the near future.
Till our next trip report enjoy the pictures..

Tight Lines!


Rods Popping:
Saltywater Tackle Racepoint 200, 150, Temple Reef GT Explorer, Temple Reef Ronin

Rods Jigging:
Major Craft PE 1-3, Shimano Trevala Jigging

Shimano Stella 14k, 18k, Shimano Saragosa 25000, Penn Slammer III 7500, Shimano Saragosa 6000, Daiwa Saltiga 6500Z, 4500Z, Certate 3000,

Temple Reef Ballista Bull, Kokari 130, Nomad Chug Norris, Halco Roosta Haymaker, Noebe

Major Craft Jig para 80, 100, 120

Species Landed:
Bluefin Trevally, Bohar Snapper, Bludger Trevally, Giant trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Coronation Trout, Cats Eye Grouper, Tiger Grouper, Trumpet fish, Yellowfin tuna, Garfish, Wahoo, Barracuda, Fingermark Snapper, Green Jobfish, Maori Perch,