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Interview with Steeve Chan Chu!

Couple a days ago we posted a great clip from Steeve's fishing trip for a Sunday lunch for his family.

We were impressed by his video and decided to contact him and he was kind enough, to answer couple of our questions. You can read the interview below.

How long you’ve been fishing? And how did you get into fishing in the first place?

I have been fishing since as far as I can remember. But as a kid I use to fish only in small rivers and streams to fill my aquarium. Grown up I got into shore fishing and big game fishing with friends who are boat owners. In fact I remain fascinated with the vastness of water bodies like our ocean and with the gift of food that it provides to man. And I got into kayak fishing after seeing a documentary and after following my friends from Hawaii.

Is there a big fishing community in Mauritius? Are there are a lot of people fishing from kayaks?
There are 3 main types of fisherman in Mauritius. The first one is the sports fisherman who generally is a big game fisherman. He rents or owns a big game fishing boat and sports fish. The second category is the professional fishermen who lives out only of his catches. The third one is the shoreline hobby fisherman, who enjoy fishing as a hobby and who is always happy to bring some fish back home. Finally, I also need to mention that we also have a fishing industry in Mauritius, which provides employment to many people in Mauritius and also positively contributes to our local economy. Kayak angling is quite new in Mauritius. I would say that we have around 50 avid kayak anglers. We will host our first kayak competition in March and we have around 40 participants. Also the Facebook group (Mautiyak Kayak Fishing Group Mauritius) which we created a year ago, has around 900 members. Apart from the known anglers our members are also other fishermen willing to get started, local followers and foreign followers. We have members from all around the globe.

What do you think is the main advantage of kayak fishing over a boat fishing?
Kayak fishing has the following advantage for me:
• You really feel being part of the sea world when you venture at sea in your kayak seeking your fish (and this is my main point). It’s a fair battle where both the angler and the fish have equal chances. The angler who’s a paddler and not a peddler, needs be a physically fit predator if he wants to have a chance over his prey.
• You get to approach your fish more easily than on the boat.
• You remain an ecologic and reasonable fisherman. There’s no fossil fuel burning, no excessive fishing, etc. Generally you catch just enough for yourself.
• It’s a good physical and calorie burning activity. Much healthier because you are not in a polluted environment and less risky than cycling a bicycle, because we do not have bicycle lanes in Mauritius.
• We can reach places not accessible to anyone like too deep and too far for shore fisherman or too shallow for boat fisherman.

Why did you choose FeelFree as your main fishing kayak?
Feelfree is not my main fishing kayak. Feelfree is my fishing kayak! I have been using the Moken 12, 12.5, 14 and now the Lure13.5. Its stability, ergonomic and style are just what I like and need and I found it hard to find those features elsewhere. Also I found the price very reasonable as compared to others. Really good value for money.

What kind of fish you get the most? What was your biggest catch?
The type of fish changes with the season. I do not try to catch the biggest but the biggest of each species. I have caught tunas, wahoos, dorados, barracudas, trevallies and many more reef fishes. The biggest in size being my Giant Trevally of 45.7lb recently caught (watch the video here). My wish for this season is to get one of the big tunas and my first billfish.

What kind of equipment do you use when fishing? Cameras, fish finder, rod holders – does this help you in becoming a better angler?
We do not have lots of rigs locally since kayak fishing is quite new. Also being far from everything, kayak equipment is often quite pricy for us. After proposing to share my passion of kayak fishing to others, I was lucky to have been partly sponsored to get better equipment. I am equipped with Garmin and MUVI cameras – this is mainly to share and extent the feel of being out there fighting your fish. I also use a fishfinder/GPS, mainly to guide me on the depth and to find my way to offshore spots with no visual indication or reference. I usually use only one line at a time. But I bring several rods to be able to change technique quickly. Other very important things:
• Pocket knife anGiant Trevally fishing kayaksd diving knife for security and for other onboard cutting needs.
• Gaffs (straight and reversed gaff are required to immobilize large species).
• Flashlight and headlamps for early morning start.
• VHF radio and telephone (in a waterproof pouch) for communication.
• Pliers to remove the hooks.
• Fish bat to tranquilise your catch.
• Crate (I use an improvised one as we do not have proper ones locally).
• I use a bucket as an improvised fish tank (since it’s not available locally) I would also mention that our local weather forecast is also an important tool that is vital to our safety.

What are your plans for the future?
Kayak fishing remains a hobby for me apart from providing me and my family with quality fish. My main objective this season is to introduce kayak fishing to my fellow local anglers and get more adherents to this activity. I also plan to work with other stakeholders to use kayak fishing as a platform to introduce our beautiful island, Mauritius, to the world.