Samoa - Fishing

Ladies Tournament © Troppo Fishing AdventuresIf you're angling for a spot of adventure in a pristine tropical setting, Samoa’s clear waters are making a name for themselves.

Famous as the home of the great Scottish author and adventurer Robert Louis Stevenson, Samoa has a habit of seducing its visitors with its astonishing natural beauty and gentle pace of life. Samoans gave Robert Louis Stevenson the name 'Tusitala' – meaning 'teller of tales' – but these days, as Samoa's fledgling gamefishing industry begins to gain international recognition, the tales are more often about ‘the one that got away’.

Just a three-hour flight from New Zealand, this idyllic Polynesian nation effortlessly captures everyone's ideal of a ‘Treasure Island’. The main islands of Upolu and Savai’i are fringed by magnificent coral reefs and lagoons, overlooked by craggy bush-clad peaks. Inland, the rugged interior hides virgin rainforest, tumbling waterfalls, steep gorges and spring-fed pools and streams. Traditional villages and coconut plantations lace the coast, with its white sandy beaches and ubiquitous palms.

Offshore, Samoa is an equally impressive paradise for anglers, and if you've ever imagined yourself reeling in a huge king of the ocean as the rod bends in your hands, then this is quite possibly your perfect Pacific destination. Samoa has recently been recognised as one of the top gamefishing spots in the world, and that's no mean feat for an attraction that’s still relatively new on the scene. Anglers in search of deep sea action won't be disappointed with the huge variety of gamefish – the waters of the surrounding reefs are a playground for masimasi, marlin, albacore, wahoo, sailfish, giant trevally, dolphin fish (mahi mahi), barracuda, dog tooth tuna and yellow-fin tuna. Combine that with the attraction of crystal clear waters, a pace that's decidedly laidback, and some of the Pacific's most picture perfect scenery, and you'll be hard-pressed to resist the lure.

If you're planning ahead, the best time to go is the dry season between May and October, when the weather is perfect and the events calendar is action-packed. The Samoan International Game Fishing Tournament takes place in May, drawing some of the world’s best anglers for a week of serious game fishing.

Of course, there's plenty of chance to have a crack at setting your own personal record. Marlin Alley, just beyond the reef from Apia, is a favourite hot spot for sports anglers.

There is a range of game fishing charters, the most extensive at the Sa'Moana Surf Resort and at Maninoa Beach between Coconuts and Sinalei. If you've not done much fishing before, experienced crew can offer lessons for beginners and will give you all the help you need to get started. They also have the local knowledge of the best spots for more advanced anglers.

When it comes to swapping stories over a drink or two, there's no better place to head than Apia's legendary landmark, Aggie Grey's. Founded by Samoa’s ‘mother’ of tourism, this rambling colonial hotel made its name as a meeting place for war-weary GIs during World War II. As you sit down for that ice cold drink, you'll be in good company. Over the years, Aggie's shady verandahs and poolside bar have entertained a host of stars, including Marlon Brando, Raymond Burr, Denholm Elliott, William Holden, Bond girl Tia Carrera and Charlie's Angel Cheryl Ladd.

Before you depart Samoa's shores, set aside some time to visit to the lovingly restored home of Robert Louis Stevenson. The famous author settled in Samoa in 1890, building his home, Vailima, in the hills above Apia. It was here that Stevenson finished his archetypal Pacific novel In the South Seas, writing in a room with a view of Mt Vaea. Now an evocative museum, the two-storey villa contains many of his belongings including old photos, travel mementos and part of his library. Stevenson died of a stroke just four years later, and the steep, half-hour walk to his tomb atop the summit of Mt Vaea is well worth it for the breathtaking views over Apia.


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Images courtesy of Troppo Fishing Adventures.