I finally took out my fishing rod in Raja Amapt after being discouraged by the overfishing I saw going on in Thailand and Northern Sulawesi. On Mansuar it was either fish, or eat rice and veggies. I didn’t complain all that much, but the few people I met in Raja were completely turned off by the meals. Even though large areas of Raja’s coral reefs have been subject to dynamite fishing, the stocks of fish were still quite healthy. However, when I went night spearfishing with a local one night, I saw the locals try to spear every single fish. Spearfishing at night in the strong currents of Raja was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve done, knowing that there are many sharks lurking in the waters and that no one will be there to help me when I do get into some sort of trouble. I am not too worried of the fish stocks if the locals stick to line fishing because the time I went out with them, I quickly knew their techniques were very unproductive in some of the most productive waters in the world.
Freediving with hundreds of big-eyed (above), blue, and giant trevallies, schools of yellow-tail barracudas, dozens of tuna, spanish mackerel, and black-tip reef sharks (below), while running into bumphead parrotfish, turtles, and jellyfish was quite spectacular despite the shitty visibility around Palau Mansuar. I don’t believe anywhere compares to Raja in terms of biodiversity. As I said before, I wasn’t even close to being in the nicest parts of Raja Amapt.
Check out this beautiful Giant Trevally (definitely my favorite fish):
But, my fishing career came to a quick end when my $250 St. Croix fishing rod snapped like a twig while fighting a fishing…Definitely the most expensive fish I’ve caught:
I actually wasn’t happy about catching this trevally, despite my enthusiasm in this photo. It wasn’t even a Giant Trevally–it was a blue one and it costed me my fishing rod. Alright, enough complaining.