Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seafood in the Solomons

The Solomon Islands have rich seas that offer a variety of seafood.
Shellfish can often by obtained by trading with villagers.  These include lobster and mud crab, which are caught at night using a waterproof flashlight (perhaps loaned by you).  Other shellfish include Mangrove oysters, mud oysters (a kind of cockle), coconut crabs (not recommended- they are endangered), and freshwater prawns.  In the western provinces there are areas of 7th day Adventists, who do not drink alcohol or caffeine, or eat shellfish or sharks.  These areas are therefore underexploited and good fishing grounds.
A great variety of eating fish can be caught, and the Solomons are generally not plagued by ciguatera.  Toothy characters include Great Barracuda, Kingfish (Spanish mackerel or Tanguige), Dogtooth tuna, sharks, and sailfish.  Also present are Giant Trevally, Dogtooth tuna, Coral trout, Red Seabass, Mangrove Jacks.  A great variety of Grouper, Jobfish, Emperor, and Snapper can be caught best by bottom fishing with bait at anchor.  Squid hanging around the boat can be caught with a squid jig or even a simple length of light nylon line teased in front of the squid until they grab it and are pulled in.
For awhile we didn’t bother putting a line out while making passages, as we thought 5 knots+ was too fast for trolling.  However, since Espirito Santo we’ve put out a lil 40lb test line with a purple squid lure every time we run out of fish, and have had great luck catching bluefin tuna, Spanish mackerel, and one whopping sailfish- 8’2”! 

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