The fishing is exciting, as there is no encircling reef. There are drop offs to very
deep water within 50 metres of the rocks. Gamefish use Niue as they would a FAD for both feeding and as a point of reference. Kites and balloons can be used to deploy baits out over the drop off on game gear where the big fish cruise, and spinning gear with poppers and metal lures can be used to catch a range of coral hugging species such as Blue Fin Trevally, Red Bass, Queen Fish, Long Toms, Pike and other species.
The fish that are mainly targeted on Niue are Wahoo, Tuna and Mahimahi because of their excellent eating quality. The Wahoo, or Paala as its known locally, are the speedsters of the sea and have been timed at 78km per hour when striking the bait. Their jaws are very tough with teeth forward mounted and razor sharp. They mesh in such a way that they are almost identical to pinking shears so wire traces are essential.
From an “anglers” point of view, hookups must be instantaneous as the wahoo have the ability to both cut down and then reject a bait or lure in a split second so hooks must be very sharp to cut into the hard tissue of the mouth. Pusher lures trolled fast or flying fish baits are very effective during the new moon and lead-up to the full moon periods.
Tuna are often caught just on daybreak but can be enticed to strike at anytime of day when they are on the bite. Mahimahi are delicious eating fish but can be difficult to land and control in the boat. They usually hunt in pairs of male and female or in small schools around floating objects such as FAD’s.