Pack your bags there bitting Time to pack your bags and exit Auckland's winter for a warm, exotic, fishing location. Add bug repellent, sunblock, 20kg of tackle, an over length-excess baggage rod tube, and you're good to go. Our seasonal sales calendar says that overseas popper fishing season has started. This is the time when Kiwis take to the tropics in pursuit of GTs, wahoo, tuna, and other big, toothy critters. Toothy being the optimum word. I've got a 300g lead jig on my desk that has been cut in half by a dogtooth tuna at Chesterfield Reef (in the Coral Sea, between Australia and New Caledonia), and seen poppers of wood, foam and resin varieties absolutely demolished by the razor gang. A wire leader sometimes helps, but it's more about luck. Fish will bite at the swivel, the knot and even a bubble trail, leaving you with that "light rod" feeling. In general, lures for the tropics come in in bright ,"come bite me" colours. Big faced poppers and big stick-baits, 190mm long, weighing up to 130g are typical. Poppers loaded with big treble hooks (Owner ST66) and #11 split rings that have a breaking strain of 230lb. Crush the hooks' barbs for safety. For casting, use braid 80lb minimum, 130-150lb leader, and a 20000 or 6500 sized reel. When trolling, monofilament line still prevails, often with a wire tippet, as wahoo are the "sharpest" fish in the sea. Shore based, small lures seem to be the key, particularly in a lagoon, and micro jigs and inchikus work well, again in bright colours. Shore based saltwater fly fishing is also popular but that's a whole different story. Local boats and expat Kiwis adorn the pacific so it's not to difficult to find a charter. On a culinary note, eating reef fish can be a dicey business with toxic ciguatera a potential hazard, so check and research before you tuck in.