Page 1


Ocean Explodes w/ Tuna 34,138 lbs. of AHI

Ahi Fever Tournament Page 28

Audy Kimura’s Tribute To Mike Sakamoto


Lawai‘a Magazine


CATCH THE FISH AT THESE TIMES: • Sportfishing with Dan Hernandez Monday & Tuesday 7:00pm

• Saltwater Ventures Sunday 1:30pm

NEW ON CHANNEL 349: • Aquahunters

(Kayak Fishing Local Style)

• Spear The Menu

(Dive Fishing)

• Guy Harvey's Portraits of the Deep

(Fishing Adventure)

Bringing You the World of Water. The Ocean Network. Oceanic Digital Channel 349 See for show times. issue three 2009


I ssue nu m b er t h ree 2 0 0 9

ahi fever photo by sterling kaya

SECTIONS what’s this [pg.6] inside [pg.7] e hoike mai [pg.8]


kimi’s corner [pg.10]


shoreline tech [pg.14]


fish stories [pg.16]




KELA A ME KEIA [pg.38] NEW GEAR [pg. 40]


Lawai‘a Magazine

issue three 2009


w h at ’s t h i s u n u s ua l c atc h e s

Lawai‘a Magazine Sterling Kaya > Publisher Design Darin H. Isobe > Art Director Director of Marketing + Sales Marc Inouye > Sales & Marketing VOICE Graphic + Environmental Design Clifford Cheng > Visual Consultant Contributing Writers John Clark, Brian Funai, Kimi Werner, Brian Kimata, Douglas Lum, Lance Takamiya, Cheston K. Holt, Louie Gamiao, Russ Inouye, Dean Sakamoto, Leland Nogawa, Clarence J. Adams, Clayton C. Y. Yee, Sean Niesz, Audy Kimura, Roy Morioka and Stan Wright

17# Mystery ulua caught by Bryson Imasaka at Portlock, June 29, 2009

This 2-tailed Palani was speared by David Bello and Staffan Skallenas at the Gene Higa Tournament on May 16, 2009.

ON THE COVER: Lur-Ker’s Winning Ahi at 2009 Ahi Fever Tournament

Letters and Comments Send to: Lawai‘a Magazine 1733 Dllingham Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 Or email: Lawai‘a Magazine 1733 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 T: 808.843.8182 > F: 808.848.5539 Every attempt is made to publish Lawai‘a 4 times a year. Printed by Lotus Printing Hong Kong. 6

Lawai‘a Magazine


Many times we forget how much things have changed, even though we have lived through the times and have seen them transform before our very eyes. Sometimes it’s because they are things we can’t wait for to change, like the creation of a brand new subdivision where we have a new home awaiting or a new sports complex for our children or roads and transportation conveniences that relieve traffic and make our trip to the mainland faster. In the last issue of Lawai’a, courtesy of Chris Cramer and John Clark respectively, we brought attention to the once great fish ponds of East Oahu and the Waikiki of old. Both areas saw tremendous changes over the last century that made our island life what it is today. You don’t have to be a malihini (or newcomer) to the islands to overlook the effects of change as even those of us born and raised here almost always have no idea of what our island environment looked like just a few decades ago. We all just take for granted that it’s always been just so. Yet if we are able to compare time periods side by side, it really is shocking. Keehi Lagoon, Oahu, has also seen tremendous change and it is the area where John Clark writes about shark riding in this issue’s Kela a me Keia. Once known as a one of Oahu’s greatest fisheries when it was owned by the Damon family, Keehi also had a vast supporting fish pond system. Today it exists as background to the State’s central hub of transportation and commerce. The accompanying photos illustrate these changes to Keehi and surrounding areas over a 57 year span. One obvious change is the addition of Honolulu International Airport. But study them carefully and you may notice what happens at the boundary formed by what is today known as Nimitz Highway / Dillingham Boulevard, visible in the lower left hand corners of each photo. The most striking difference in the 1931 photo is that water reaches beyond the mauka (or mountain) side of Nimitz Highway and extends all the way into the base of Ahuimanu / Salt Lake / Moanalua. People watch media reports of flooding in Mapunapuna during extremely high tides in disbelief today but many don’t realize the area was originally under water. In the lower left hand corner of the 1931 photo, you can also make out Salt Lake when it was really much more like a lake. With the shoreline in its original location less than a half mile away, stories of ulua caught in the lake are suddenly much more believable as you could easily imagine a lava tube connection. Without knowledge of how different things were, that same story today is often simply dismissed as urban legend. Our time here on Earth is merely a snapshot in time. Ironically, we depend on snapshots like the two above to help us remember what it was like before ours. In issue Number One of Lawai’a, Brian Funai wrote about photographic images and how important they are for documenting our life and the very world we live, work and play in. To many of us in Hawaii, the very definition of “living” is our culture and heritage of fishing and eating seafood. Over the years, however, much of our heritage has suffered due to changes that we made and, sadly, we have ignored shapshots of those changes. Here, we present some snapshots of just Oahu’s Keehi area for

Inside Editorial Staff

These aerial photos from 1931 (above) and 1978 describe a drastic transformation of the shoreline and its man-made shift in boundaries from Keehi Lagoon to Diamond Head.

you to consider: - When we take off or land in a plane on trips to Las Vegas, many don’t realize what the reef runway was built on despite its obvious name. - When we flush a toilet, it goes to the sewage treatment facility on Sand Island, which many don’t know is the result of dredging and a coral reef reclamation project at the Diamond Head-side of Keehi lagoon. - When our airfreighted overnight packages arrive, they are processed at the Keehi Lagoon Drive commercial area built on land filled over acres of former fishponds and estuaries. - When we go to have our car fixed or to pick up building supplies in Mapunapuna, we visit warehouses and business that stand on what was once a vast wetland that once reached the foot of Fort Shafter. Although this has been about Oahu, every major island has or will have its own “Keehi” on some smaller scale. We live our lives and do things to assure a future for our children where they can do the very same things we revel in today. But as we do that, we should stop a while and take a good look back to see and understand what things were like and how they changed to bring us the life we have today. And, realize that it didn’t just happen around us but it happened because of and for us. Perhaps with a clearer view of the past and an understanding of just what and how much we actually changed, we may have a clearer vision of what we need to do for a better future.

Photos courtesy of State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Airports Division issue three 2009


Garrett Akamine Kahala

Chad Naito white Ulua

Bradley Lastimosa 58.9 Ono

e ho-‘ike mai

Matthew Taboniar 50 Ulua Derek LeVault Knifejaw

Everett Yu 12.1 Oio

Brian Bautista 24.7 Ulua

Jason Field Paopao

Gavin Aholehole

David Chon 21 ulua


Jaison Lee 1.69 Blue Stripe Chub Lawai‘a Magazine

Riki Yu 8.5 lb Mu

Teru Kono 40 Ulua Jaren Luke

Jason Field 13.61 Paopao

Jesse Jones 106 Ulua

Go Digital

send us your pics

Kekahi Arakaki Moi

Alan Pascua 60.7 Ulua

Kimi Werner Munu

Email digital photos as jpg files. Please take pics at your highest setting possible. Email jpg photos to Incude all info please. All pics sent become the property of Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine.

Kyle Chung Mu

e ho-â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ike mai

Lance Kimura 1.67 Munu Pete Taylor 18 Omilu

Hugh Horio 26 Ulua

Kawika Chang 6.5 Moi

issue three 2009


kimiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corner

Katsuo Tataki with ponzu sauce and garlic chips

Oyako nigiri

Shima Aji

Mentaiko, quail egg and ika

Hirame with crispy bones

Big Island Big Eye Ahi Chutoro


Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine

Zen Shu, the name says a lot, especially to restaurant owners Ryuji Nurayama, Jon Tsuda, and Wilson Chan. The three friends came up with an idea to open a restaurant together about three years ago. Each of them had their own strength going for them in the restaurant world. Wilson was a dining room manager at The Banker’s Club, a high-end private restaurant of First Hawaiian Bank.  Jon had bar and front of the house experience, and Ryuji was a well-known chef at the popular sushi restaurant Yohei. Jon and Wilson enjoyed going to sports bars but found that good service and high quality food were not always present in that scene. They saw an opportunity to do something innovative. “I thought it would be nice to open a sports bar that is a little more high end and upscale,” said Wilson on the original idea, “but when Ryuji came aboard and joined the team, the idea evolved even more. We decided to incorporate authentic Japanese sushi and contemporary Asian fusion.” Thus Zen Shu was born.  Zen is a harmonic feeling of peace. To Wilson Chan, it is the definition of achieving the perfect balance of contrasting elements. The theme seems very symbolic of these three friends themselves and their idea of fusing high-end food and service with the casual fun vibe of a sports bar. The second part of the restaurant’s name Shu simply represents sake and they sure have a lot of sake to offer their customers. With over 25 different kinds to choose from, everyone can find something they like and even try special sakes that are offered nowhere else in Hawaii. My friends and I started our night at Zen Shu with a sake sampler and everyone agreed that each sip was satisfying and smooth.  Though the sake sampler seemed like a hard act to follow, the food that came next was even more impressive. My party chose to sit at the sushi bar and we all knew we were in for a treat when Chef Ryuji asked us if we would like to order for ourselves or have him prepare a menu for us. Naturally we let the chef do the choosing and the whole experience became an exciting adventure. I made sure to hint to Ryuji and let him know what some of my favorite sushi items and flavors were just so that he’d have a basic understanding of my palette. This really made receiving my food a fun and unique experience because I could tell that each dish was prepared especially for my own taste buds. 

The first dish he served was Shima Aji, Japan ulua.  Served as two pieces of sashimi, the ulua meat had been salted and garnished w/ lemon rind.  The skin was left on and charred ever so lightly. The taste was exquisite. The silky saltiness coated my mouth first and I then started to taste the zest of the lemon. As I chewed I really appreciated the texture; it was firm yet tender. I could feel each bite to the tooth and still savor all the fattiness in between. Shima Aji has much more oil than one would expect from an ulua.  The next dish was Katsuo Tataki with ponzu sauce and garlic chips. This instantly reminded me of an upscale version of Ethel’s famous tataki from Ethel’s Grill. The main difference I noticed was the size of the fish used for such a cut. Ryuji explained to me that he hand-selected this prized Otaru and that he does that with all of his fish. If the Hawaii fishermen aren’t catching nice fish or if the fish from Japan aren’t in their peak season, he simply doesn’t serve such items. The quality of this nice aku was apparent from the moment I saw its deep ruby red color. Tasting it only confirmed what fishermen always say about tuna “the bigger, the better!”  It’s flavor was so distinct and robust that I understood why such strong flavors such as garlic, onion and ponzu sauce had to be paired with it, and as I ate it, I was reminded all over again of the word “balance” and how this restaurant strives to create it for each and every customer.  I had mentioned to Ryuji as a hint that the mentaiko he had in the refrigerated display case looked really good. Mentaiko is something that I recently discovered and absolutely love. It’s the marinated roe of a pollack. It comes with the casing still intact and is usually bursting with flavor. Ryuji told me he buys the mentaiko from Kyushu and that he favors it for its creaminess. The mentaiko was served as a nigiri style sushi. The rice was topped with a scored piece of ika, the mentaiko, and a raw quail’s egg. I must admit that when I saw the two yellow yolks of the quail eggs staring up at me I heard a voice inside of me say “uh oh.” Though I know it’s common in Japanese cuisine, I’ve never been much of a raw egg fan and hoped that it wouldn’t interfere with the great flavors of one of my favorite delicacies. I found that it only enhanced

issue three 2009


Godzilla Beautiful layers of raw oysters, ikura, scallops, tobiko and uni looked more like a colorful piece of art than an actual shot.


Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine

About the Sushi Chef:

it. The egg yolk broke and turned into pure silk as I chewed and mixed it with the spicy mentaiko. It really intensified that creaminess that Yuji had told me about. The raw ika was also a little slimy in texture but contrasted from the other ingredients because of its chewiness.  The chewy texture seemed to give this otherwise weightless dish, a nice sense of gravity. The next two dishes defined balance and really made me appreciate how much thought goes into each dish at Zen Shu. There was the oyako nigiri which means “mother and child”, very appropriate because the two main components were Salmon and Ikura (salmon roe). The dish that came after that was hirame (flounder) served on its own bones.  The bones were fried to a crisp and looked like a potato chip, completely different from the soft slice of hirame flesh that blanketed it. I believe that the harmony in dishes like these exists

because the ingredients, no matter how distinctively diverse, are all related because they came from the same source. We ended our night of sushi with what Ryuji calls the “Godzilla”. It’s a shot glass filled with all of my favorite things. Beautiful layers of raw oysters, ikura, scallops, tobiko and uni looked more like a colorful piece of art than an actual shot. Ryuji instructed us to shoot it and eat everything at once, but the colossal size of the shot and the smirk on his face told me something different. Though I know that all of these ingredients would have tasted heavenly together, and I also realize that I’ve been preaching fusion and balance throughout this whole article, the Godzilla conquered me at first sight. I realized, along with the rest of my party, that in this case it was perhaps best to pick each of these fine ingredients out with chopsticks and simply enjoy them one at a time!

Ryuji Nurayama has been living in Hawaii since the age of three. He attended Kaimuki High School. His mother noticed early on in his education that though he was not a very good student, he had many respectable skills and characteristics. Rather than forcing him to become more of a scholar, she gave him a different type of motherly advice, “My mom told me that if I grabbed a knife, I could go anywhere in the world. Why waste time in school if you are not a good student? Everyone has different skills. She told me that I had people skills and that I was very obedient and humble. She said that because of that, people would want to teach me things and that I could expand my knowledge that way.”  So Ryuji listened to his mom and dropped out of high school and began working at the restaurant Sada at the age of 15.  “I was hungry, and my mom could sense my hunger.  She was right. From the moment a chef grabs a knife it is his dream to open his own restaurant. Everyone has a dream. Mine was to one day have my own castle, my own restaurant- just like a doctor might dream to have his own office.” Ryuji’s hunger and his mother’s advice served him well, as he eventually landed a job in the highly respected sushi restaurant, Yohei. “Yohei is a part of me. It always will be. I trained there for 15 years,” says Ryuji. He credits Yohei as being the pioneer of bringing in seasonal fish from Japan to the tables of customers in Hawaii. “It will always be my job to make sure that what I learn from Yohei still goes on,” he says. “I learned from Mr. Obara, the sushi, and from Mr. Fuji, the kitchen. They give me their recipes and tell me not to copy them but to change them and make them better. But it’s hard to beat the masters.” While working at Yohei, Ryuji often found himself changing many recipes and adding many twists to traditional dishes. “The Yohei style was from the olden days of you eat what I make you. I found that people in Hawaii liked having a choice even if it wasn’t traditional and I enjoyed changing it up a notch and adding a twist to it, whether that meant adding ponzu or mayo or sesame salt.”  Ryuji’s contemporary flare and modern twist on things made him stand out and become very popular with customers. “I remember the first time a customer requested a sushi shooter.  We weren’t supposed to use shot glasses, but I made the exception.” Soon Ryuji got the attention of Wilson Chan and Jon Tsuda, his present business partners. They instantly became regular customers of Ryuji and soon the three became friends and started golfing together as they contemplated the idea of opening up a restaurant.  “I guess I have a newer generation style, where I mix a lot of things together, authentic with modern. I feel that I take the Yohei style and add my own modern style to make Zen Shu.” “My mom still cries and says, ‘Finally you got your own castle.’ It took a while but I am happy.”   issue three 2009 13  


By Brian Kimata

Question: My Newell S454-5 feels pretty rough when I crank it but is smooth when in free spool. Am I going to need new gears?

<<Worn pinion gear

Answer: Well, the roughness is probably from the gears but there is a small chance that the bearings are involved. You failed to mention if the roughness is under a load as in say, retrieving a slide with bait. A corroded bearing may only feel rough under load, but my guess is that this is probably not the case. Your gears are either corroded, worn, or both. Disassemble your reel and strip all the grease off of the pinion and main gears. Black or brown pitting [corrosion], may be removed with a small steel wire brush if it isn’t too bad. Try to get as much of it off as possible. You’ll next want to inspect your pinion gear, the smaller of the two gears. A new pinion is actually flat at the end of each tooth. As the pinion wears, the teeth begin to sharpen. Check this by running your fingers over each tooth. If the teeth are as sharp as or sharper than a butter knife, your pinion is worn and should probably be replaced.


You’ll also want to inspect the yoke, the metal piece that supports the pinion. Yokes are stamped out of a flat piece of metal and should have a uniform thickness throughout. If it is dished or worn where it contacts the pinion, it’ll have to go too. A worn yoke causes the pinion gear to float excessively as it spins causing excessive wear and less than a smooth cranking effort. The main gear is probably OK, but check it just the same. The pinion gear rotates 5 times faster than the main gear and gets the majority of the abuse. Main gears usually last the life of the reel. Hope this helps.

Today’s Tip: Ever sharpen your hooks to perfection only to force them into a tough bait and spoil the tip? Try punching a hole through your bait first by making a simple hole maker. A broken screwdriver or similar item sharpened to a point is ideal. Now you can force a hole into an eel or other difficult bait first and have your hook glide in after, saving the point. 14

Lawai‘a Magazine

Question: I just learned to wrap my own ulua poles. My Ozone came out OK, but I got a huge bubble about the size of a BB and my finish is hard. What now? I can’t bear to leave it like that.


• Rod & Reel Repairs • Bait • Bulk Ice • Beer • Sundries • Novelties

Answer: This one’s easy! I’ll bet that the bubble is either along the side of the bell holder or at the base of the guide. I’m sure you would have seen it and popped it otherwise. Air gets trapped at these two places because of the pockets there and may “sneak up” on you after you have inspected it. The best solution is of course not to get one in the first place so be extra careful and observant of these areas while glassing and flaming. This however, won’t help your situation.

thread pick>>

Your solution is to get a thread pick, which is very similar to a dental pick used to clean your teeth. Heat the pick with a propane torch and get it pretty hot. Stick the heated pick into the bubble and move it around turning it into a small hole. The heated pick should penetrate the hardened glass easily. Try not to leave too small a hole as you will have to glass this area, The resin is quite viscous and may not fully flow into the bubble if it’s too small. You’ll also want to get a fresh razor blade and slice off a little off the top of the opened bubble. This is a precaution to remove a raised rim you may have created which will stand out above the next layer of glass. Do not use a cigarette lighter to heat the pick as this will cause the pick to soot with carbon and leave black blemishes on your work. Now, all you need is another layer of glass, paying particular attention to filling the hole. You will notice that the bubble will still be quite visible immediately after glassing but the hole will blend in as it hardens and will be totally invisible when fully hardened.

A Place Where Tails Come True

(808) 247-0938

Brian Kimata is the owner of Brian’s Fishing Supply. Send your Shoreline Tech questions to him question may appear in our next issue!

issue three 2009


f i s h sto r i e s

h u mongo u s O milu This is NOT a fly-fishing story. It will be quite short because everything happened so fast... Randy, Chad and I decided to go spinning this past Sunday, March 29, 2009.  The day turned out to be rather cloudy and windy and the fishing was slow.  Not a hint of a fish at Black Buoy.  Same story at Blinking Buoy.  Chad caught a barracuda at Neck and I got cut off when a barracuda bit through my main line (Randy and Chad “theorized” that I must have had a nick in my line and got cut off when the fish pulled - NOT!).  Then, Randy caught a barracuda on Kipapa Flats. I motored Omilu Edge, hoping for some barracuda action, but all we saw was one papio chase. As the evening approached, we were hopeful that we would find one of the schools of white papio that usually appear every spring. We tried Breakers - nothing. Next, we tried Three Poles (aka “Old” Buoy 12). Nothing on the front edge so we drifted down the right edge. About 16

Lawai‘a Magazine

By D o u g l a s Lu m

halfway down, a large explosion erupted behind my Spit’n Image plug as I retrieved it off of the reef into the deep. Fish on!! The wind was pushing the boat towards the reef so Randy and Chad asked if they should start the motor. I estimated the fish at around five pounds so I said, “Nah, I think I’m OK.” (I was using my “big game” outfit:  8’3” Fenwick HMG rod, Team Daiwa Advantage 4000A reel spooled with 150 yards of Gamma 17 lb. copolymer line, and a Heddon Excalibur Spit’n Image outfitted with stronger split rings and treble hooks.) As the boat drifted nearer to the edge, a sliver of concern crept into my mind so I applied heavy pressure on the fish. In spite of my very tight drag, the fish was able to make a few, albeit short, runs. Maybe this fish was bigger than five pounds... Now, the boat was almost to the reef edge so Chad raised the motor to improve the drift angle. I was confident that the line would

hold as long as the fish did not make it into the coral so I pumped even harder. The fish finally approached the surface and Randy exclaimed, “Wow, that fish is huge!”  Chad grabbed the net and scooped for the fish; it saw the net and made a quick, short run out of Chad’s reach. On the next attempt, I raised the rod to lift the fish’s head out of the water and guided it into the net. As Chad struggled to lift the fish into the boat, we all gasped at the size of the humongous Omilu. After a moment of reflection, we realized that the blue beast had been landed exceedingly quickly; the general consensus was that the fight had lasted approximately two minutes!  Yes, two (2) minutes! Thankfully, the fish had hit the “big game” outfit. We figured it probably would have cut off if it had hit one of the other lines (Randy and Chad were using their standard setups with 7’ rods and 10 lb. test line.) Back at the dock, the fish weighed in at 12 lb. 12 oz.

U LUA by CHESTON K . H o lt

m o n st e r m o i

by L a n c e Ta k a mi ya

Caught this monster moi this morning! Here’s the fishing story that goes with it since I’m on vacation. It was pitch black and I had forgotten to bring my glow lures. So I used a regular lure, with one glow bead. I lit up the glow bead with my head lamp and casted several times in different directions; using a fast retrieve to keep the lure from snagging the rocks. About the 5th cast, it hit. I was pretty sure it was a papio as it made a long run. When it stopped, I could feel the line rubbing on the rocks. So I loosened the drag a bit and extended my arm as high as possible, holding the very end of the G Loomis 8-1/2 ft pole with the tip pointing towards the stars. It seemed to work as the 8 lb test line didn’t lock up on the rocks. Each time it made a run, I would tilt the pole down so the drag would release. When it stopped, I would extend the pole straight up, again, holding just the end of the pole. I would pull back to retrieve some line but I could still feel the line rubbing on the rocks. The long runs and the constant rubbing on rocks sure felt like a papio but there was something different. A papio normally makes more dashing runs. This one gave steady long runs and I could feel the tail bumping the line as it ran, similar to how a mullet fights. Knowing this, I paid special attention to ease up during the runs and be patient when taking in line. After fighting the fish for quite some time, the line seemed to free up from the rocks, so I tried to boost it up with each wave. This works like a

charm for the normal sized moi, but this one didn’t budge. It would pull drag when the wave surged out, but when the wave came in, it hardly moved. It gradually started to move into shallower water. When I turned on my head lamp, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not a papio, but a big fat moi with a red eye. I quickly grabbed the scoop net as it tried to make another run out with the outgoing wave. Then I saw a wave coming. As it engulfed the moi with white water I used the surge to pull it in closer. I lost sight of the monster. The line went slack, there was no weight on my pole. Was this going to be just another fishing tale? Not to be... There it was, lying in a pool nearby. As the surge began to pull it back out again, I quickly ran down the rocks to scoop it up. I was amazed with its girth as it filled the entire scoop net. No others would bite this morning, but I expected that. After this long fight it likely scared off the rest of the school. The moi weighed in a little over 4 pounds, not even close to the 7 or 8 pounders I heard old timers talk about... but this one is my personal best, and after moi fishing for quite some time, I know that catching one this size or larger may never happen again in my life time. This was a perfect early Christmas present as it was the first day of my vacation and the next day was our annual Christmas get together at Uncle Wayne Takara’s house. We fashioned a special steamer to fit the whole fish, brought it to Uncle Wayne’s and steamed the moi right there, Chinese style. It made an impressive and mouth watering dish!

June 25, 2009 was the first time using my new Nitro pole that I got from my girlfriend for Fathers Day. While bait casting on the West Side of Oahu I hooked a 127.6 pound Ulua. Something that I thought was cool was that in the mouth of this ulua was an old rusty hook and fishing line in his throat had limu growing on it. He got away once before but not this time.

Special Mahalo to Leighton (Kaika) Coast, Alan Holt, all the gaff men you know who you are, Dutch and Richard


issue three 2009


f i s h sto r i e s J et s k i ahi

By Lo u i e G a mi a o

My name is Louie Gamiao and this is my story. I have always been interested in fishing my whole life. I started off diving with my friends for tako, papio, uhu and other reef fishes. Then I started accompanying my girlfriend’s brotherin-law, Edgar Nacnac (Ed) on his boat to troll. I became more and more fascinated in fishing. One morning my family and I were at Sand Island eating breakfast. We parked right in front of the water and watched people ride their jet skis. My son, Christian watched in amazement and said to my girlfriend, Madeline and me, “I want to try and ride a jet ski someday Dad, can you buy one for us?” Two weeks later, I drove to South Seas and bought us a jet ski. I started hearing about guys using their jet skis for fishing. My co-workers, Jessie and Reed, who are skilled fishermen, kept on giving me advice as to what I should do, what lure to use, and where to go. Reed was generous enough to make me a fishing lure. Now, I had the jet ski, new reels, new poles and a new lure. I still had to do something to make it easier for me to hold my fishing poles on the jet ski. I asked my friend, Lincoln if he could help me weld some pipes together to make a pole holder. Everyday after work I worked on the pole holder, painting and doing whatever it took to make it work and trying everyway to avoid drilling it down into my jet ski. With all my hard work, I was able to do it. On the night of June 13th, 2009, I stayed up late to prepare for an upcoming day of fishing. I woke up early Sunday morning and headed down to the West side of the island. I remember feeling ashamed when I arrived at the harbor, seeing all the bigger boats there compared to my little jet ski. I set my shame aside and unloaded my jet ski and fishing gear into the water at exactly 7:30 am. I decided to head straight to the barge. When my fishfinder read 100ft, I let out my two lures and started trolling from there. To help me stay on the same speed, I usually stick a scissor in between the throttle. After 20 minutes of trolling, I had double strikes and unfortunately nothing hooked up. I kept on going and a couple minutes later I heard one of my reels screaming! I got very excited and at the same time started to panic. As I turned around to start reeling it in, I had accidentally pulled the kill switch off the jet ski. I then realized that my reel was getting spooled. I remembered what my friend had told me that if that happens, I can always choose to chase the fish. So, I took his advice and was about to chase the fish, but my jet ski wouldn’t start. As excited as I was, I was even more concerned about being stuck in the middle of the ocean than landing the fish. I decided to lock my drag all the way to stop the fish from swimming 18

Lawai‘a Magazine

further even though I knew that by doing so the fish might break the line. Then I remembered the scissors in between the throttle. I immediately pulled it out, turned on my jet ski and started chasing the fish. I noticed the fish diving down and thought to myself that the fish I am fighting may be a Tuna because of the stories I’ve heard. I turned off my jet ski and started reeling in the fish. I was getting very exhausted and knew that it was “A BIG ONE”. At times, I thought of giving up. The back part of my jet ski was even going into the water. I kicked back, took a break and started talking to myself and prayed to God for help. I looked around hoping to find someone nearby to help me, but not a boat in sight. Then, I started to hand line with one hand, reeling in with the other and took a few rests in between. After about 20 minutes of doing that, I finally saw the leader line and was shocked as hell to see a massive Yellow Fin Tuna circling under my jet ski. I was stoked and couldn’t believe my eyes. I took my gaff and pulled the leader, wrapped it in my hand pulling the fish towards me. The fish kept on fighting and its tail hit the main line causing it to snap. Luckily, the leader was wrapped around my hand. I had to act fast! I wrapped the leader around the pole holder and when I had it secured, I pulled the leader line towards me bringing the fish closer so that I could

kill it. I stabbed it 5 times in its head. There was so much blood I was getting terrified that sharks might be nearby. I acted quickly, tied the fish to my jet ski and headed back towards the harbor. I still couldn’t believe what I had just been through. I called my girlfriend to share the good news and she was in doubt. I told her that I caught a yellow fin tuna possibly weighing 100 lbs. She advised me to call her sister, Rona and her husband, Ed to come by and help me when I docked at the harbor. They came immediately and was there waiting for me when I came in. I was feeling very proud with my fish in tow. As I got nearer, I noticed other fishermen I had seen earlier that morning looking at me and talking about the fish. I really liked the attention I was getting. Edgar was cheering me on saying, “Yeah, you the man, Louie! That fish is an ANIMAL!” We both tried to get the fish out of the water and into my truck. But, it was so intense. Luckily, there was a boat that came in behind me and asked if we needed help. It took 5 of us to carry the fish into my truck. “Thank you, Dr. Jon and crew for your help and the blocks of ice.” The Yellow Fin Tuna weighed 174.7 lbs. – A BIG BOY! My dreams had finally come true!

Ninja Shoot out Fishing Tournament

Shawn Lopez Steven Berndt

Ninja Shootout Fishing Tournament Ulua 1. Shawn Lopez 53 lbs 2. Daniel Chamizo 13.9 3. Wesley Imamoto 11.9 Smallest Ulua: Kirk Akasaki 11 lbs Oio Jason Todt 7.10 lbs Wade Hamamoto 6.65 Joshua Tamayo 6.15 Jason Todt

Papio Steven Berndt 7.12 lbs Bryson Imasaka 6.54 Corwin Tam 5.71 Womens Rina Ching Oio 3.6 lbs Summer Aona Oio 3.48 Chae Ching Oio 3.06 Jamie Hamamoto

Keiki 9-12 years Jamie Hamamoto Oio 4.14 lbs Makaio Ganitano Enenue 3.38 Ashlyn Kanai Lai 1.72 Keiki 4-8 years Chandler-Tyrell Esdical Oio 3.23 lbs Taryn Kanai Kawalea 2.74 Shane “Pono” Dela Cruz Enenue 1.93 queen Tiffany Calpito of Ewa Beach

Rina Ching

Chandler-Tyrell Esdical issue three 2009


Kevin Ho




Eric Imasaka

Garret Akamine

The winner: BERT OSHIRO


Lawai‘a Magazine

Jay Ogata

second: lance takeuchi

Myles Kaneshiro

6TH ANNUAL EASTSIDE INVITATIONAL TOURNEY ULUA 1. Bert Oshiro 2. Lance Takeuchi 3. Lance Hookano 4. Kevin Ho 5. Jason Castro 6. Eric Imasaka 7. Garret Akamine

48.0 lbs 43.8 42.6 40.3 40.2 36.0 33.7

Other Game Myles Kaneshiro

22.9 lbs (Kahala)

ULUA closest to 25lbs. Lance Takeuchi 22.9 lbs third: lance hookano

smallest ULUA Jay Ogata

10.7 lbs

QUEEN Kawena Chun

issue three 2009


2009 Gene Higa Memorial Spearfishing Tournament ( t h e l at e G e n e H i ga )

Wayde Hayashi/Kalei Fernandez

Kalani Lundgren/Wayne Kamikawa

Tyler Nishioka/Deo Rhoden


Lawai‘a Magazine

The 4th Annual Gene Higa Tournament was held on May 16, 2009 at Puuiki Pavilion in Waialua, Oahu. This Tournament was created in honor of Spearfishing Champion Gene Higa and all of Hawaii’s Fallen Divers. Gene passed away while competing in the 2004 US National Spearfishing Championships in Haleiwa, Hawaii. “Gene Higa is to Spearfishing what Eddie Aikau is to surfing. He was already an iconic figure, but in his death became a legend,” states tournament organizer Sterling Kaya. “We hope to use Gene’s namesake tournament to influence generations of future spearfishermen in a couple important ways: To serve as a reminder to dive safely. The Gene Higa Tournament has no individual awards. Participants are required to dive in pairs, thus greatly improving diver safety. To promote conservation and responsibility. The tournament is a ‘Largest Fish’ meet. Divers are only allowed to weigh one fish each, which is the least impact a tournament could possibly have. Plus, it increases the luck factor, giving all participants a better chance at winning.” “When we first conceived of the tournament we weren’t sure how well it would be received,” Sterling continues, “We weren’t sure if divers would come out just to weigh one fish and then have to share their victory with another diver. But, the tournament maxes out every year, so that is a testament to Hawaii’s dive community.” The conditions were perfect for this year’s event and

the catches reflected it. Upon witnessing the weigh-in it was easy to forget this was a “swim-out” event. The team of Andy Tamasese and Davin Aki impressed the crowd with mahimahis weighing 48.2 and 15.7#. After an unsuccessful approach on an ulua house, Andy and Davin headed out for the blue water. After about 20 minutes a school of mahi approached. Andy dropped down targeting the bull, but when it veered off he decided to take a cow that was at the tip of his spear. Andy yelled to get Davin’s attention and told him, “My shot is good, don’t back me up, shoot the bull!” The bull was now following the already speared mahi and heading directly to Davin, who promptly dropped down and placed a perfect shot right in it’s middle. Andy subdued his fish, reloaded, then put the kill shot into the bull’s head. Cheers and high-fives…….. The second place catch in the speargun division was equally impressive. The team of Wayne Kamikawa and Kalani Lundgren surprised everyone with a 32.8# shibi. They too started the day checking ulua houses to no avail and decided to head out to the blue. After a short time chumming in 80-90ft. of water a shibi appeared and began eating the palu. Wayne dropped down and waited until the shibi came within range and got a good shot with his 50” Yokooji Reef gun. He grabbed his partner Kalani’s gun and put in a second shot. It’s Primo Time….. Another outstanding catch was landed by Charles Ah Nee and Levi Archuleta in the 3-prong division. Charles turned around after stringing up a kumu and saw three Kagami uluas. He descended quickly in 20-30ft. of water as the uluas headed off. And to his surprise the Kagamis spun around to check him out when he hit the bottom. One came within range and he hit it right behind the pectoral fin with his Seahorse 8’ Graphite 3-prong. The ulua sped off but soon began spiraling to the bottom. Charles swam down and shoved his spear deeper, then shoved his hand into it’s gills. The rest is history….. The Gene Higa Tournament also featured a competition between Iron Chef Kimi Werner and Challenger Terrence Takahata utilizing fish caught during the tournament. The two chefs entertained the crowd as they prepared the secret ingredients of Mu, Tako, and Primo Beer. It was a close decision for judges Eric Batalon of Lanikila Catering and Erin Bunda, representing Tournament Sponsor Primo Beer. But in the end Kimi Werner successfully defended her title. Non-divers were also able to participate by entering the HSD Fantasy Spearfishing Contest. Entrants were able to compete for prizes by picking the winners of the Speargun and 3-Prong divisions online at

Charles Ah Nee/Levi Archuleta

Jeremiah Hull/Zach Waterman

Davin Aki / Andy Tamasese

4th Annual Gene Higa Memorial Spearfishing Tournament May 16, 2009 - Puuiki Pavilion, Waialua, HI Speargun Div. 1. Andy Tamasese/Davin Aki 2. Wayne Kamikawa/Kalani Lundgren 3. Hanalei Adric/Calvin Lai 4. Steven Pacyau/Terrence Basug 5. Kurt Chambers/Derek LeVault

63.9 lbs 37.5 33.1 24.9 24.3

3-Prong Division 1. Charles Ah Nee/Levi Archuleta 2. Lane Tsujiguchi/Henry Blas

16.8 lbs 12.7

Largest Mu 1. Deo Rhoden/Tyler Nishioka

8.0 lbs

Largest Uku 1. Kalei Fernandez/Wayde Hayashi

8.6 lbs

Largest Tako 1. Jeremiah Hull/Zach Waterman

3.6 lbs

Thanks to our sponsors: Primo Beer, Hawaii Skin Diver, Hana Paâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;a Fishing Co., Kai Clothing, Outback Steakhouse Waipio, Service Printers, AQA, Maui Sporting Goods, Red Sea Ocean Adventures, Hatch Custom Guns, Menehune Water, Hammerhead Spearguns, Lance Ohara, Kawabangas, Shane Hamamoto Fish Prints, Andrea Kawabata, Ryan Ujimori, Island Silver, John Johnson issue three 2009


GT Masters Cup By Russ Inouye

Francis Ganitano Des Matsuno

The question came up: How does a shoreline fishing tournament help educate the fishermen? The GT Masters tournament was a way to directly educate the fishermen who entered, so we set a goal to raise the bar on this fishing tournament by incorporating education with the tournament. With the help of Izuo Brothers Ltd. and Atlapac fishing club we really feel the goal was accomplished. We would like to turn fishing tournaments into being viewed as a “Sport,” rather than just a weekend leisure activity, in which we could increase awareness with the fishermen. Our motivation in a water sport that has accomplished this goal is surfing, and we used surfing and golfing as our outline on how we promoted and ran the tournament. All entries of the fishing tournament received quick  informative  information on fishing in their participant packets. This approach put education and information that they might not have known prior to the tournament right in their lap. In addition, the GT Masters tournament did not have a papio  category but instead included an “Omilu”  category, which was decided after speaking with Kurt Kawamoto from NOAA fisheries services. He informed us that the “Omilu” reproduces at a younger age and smaller fork length size. So by limiting it to the “Omilu” it would encourage the entrants to release the other types of papios to fight another day, and the fish would have another chance to 24

Lawai‘a Magazine

Greg Fritz   

grow bigger so they can continue to reproduce. This in turn would benefit our kid’s future recreational fishing. This category in the tournament gave us the opportunity to share what we learned about the growth cycle of the papios every time someone asked why there was NO “Papio” category. We hope one day all the fishing clubs can come together to make the “Fishermen’s Voice” be heard, so that when issues on fishing rules and regulations come up we as fishermen have a unified say. By doing so, the fishermen would have a voice that is organized, professional, and respected by the people and politicians who are making the rules that directly affect the fishing we love to do.

1st annual Hawaii Ocean Expo By Russ Inouye Here in Hawaii, we are surrounded by the most beautiful natural resource, the ocean. We are blessed to be able to live in Hawaii and we often forget how lucky we are. The Hawaii Ocean Expo and the GT Masters Cup was created to remind us how vital the ocean is to the people of Hawaii. The idea for the expo and tournament came to me one night when I started to think about how little I know about the ocean that I use regularly. The wheels went into motion when I was watching a television show in which a family went on a weekend fishing trip together to a man made  reservoir  to catch farm-raised fish. The family was happy but oblivious to what they were doing. They were trained to think that that was the way people fished on the weekend. I thought to myself how sad that would be if I had to do that with my kids. That night I had an extreme dream of taking my son to Wal-Mart to buy a pole and walking across their giant parking lot to another building which was a catch and release fishing establishment. We paid our admission, bought the bait and a hot dog and soda from the concession. I think I woke up in a cold sweat! It was the worst dream I ever had. Yes it is extreme but not unrealistic if we don’t pay attention to our ocean. The reason I know this is that it is happening on the mainland as we speak! So at 11pm the next night I was on the phone with my partners, probably still frantic from my bad dream, initializing the first annual ocean expo. From that point on it was all about making the Hawaii Ocean Expo and the GT Masters Tournament a reality. It was a grueling 6 months of organizing and creating the events for the expo. The VJ Entertainment crew and Eastside Outkastaz did an awesome job putting everything together.  The goal on both events was to educate the people of Hawaii to be more ocean minded and aware. We didn’t want to limit it to just fishermen, divers or surfers, but open the doors to all people that use the ocean. I myself, surf, fish, dive, and boat and I knew that I wasn’t the only one who did multiple activities related to the ocean. For the expo we set up an area called the “Ocean University” which was up front and center to give non-profit organizations a platform to reach out and educate the public on all the good things they are doing for our waters. The plan was to get ocean minded people to the expo and maybe their curiosity would encourage them to ask questions or volunteer with some of these organizations. The ocean university was a huge success! The agencies

Miles Madijanon

were all able to spread their message of ocean awareness to everyone who attended the expo. 12,000 patrons attended and I’m sure more than a few left the 1st annual Hawaii Ocean Expo more aware and educated about issues that concern our oceans.

GT Masters Cup Largest Ulua Francis Ganitano     67.9 lbs Des Matsuno            55.7 Greg Fritz                 23.2 Del Saldajeno          20.3 Stanley Bennett Jr.  17.6 Largest Oio Miles Madijanon      7.8 lbs James Inouye          7.5 Harvey Shima          7.4

James Inouye

Harvey Shima    

issue three 2009


2009 Hana Pa‘a Shootout By Dean Sakamoto

The winners: Kristen S


Lawai‘a Magazine

The 1st Annual Hana Pa‘a Shootout was held on April 18, 2009 at the Keehi Boat Harbor. This tournament is a “Winner Take All” format, so this year the boat with the Largest Fish was awarded $17,700.00 in cash. “I noticed many offshore tournaments were getting smaller,” observed Tournament Organizer Reid Yamashita, “so we wanted to create a tournament that would draw a larger crowd. The basic premise of the Hana Pa‘a Shootout is to ‘give back’ to the fishing community. The entry fee is minimal with a 100% return of the prize money. And with the addition of some awesome prizes, participants get back more than they put in.” This year, the Largest Fish was a marlin caught by the Kristen S. of Kaneohe. Here is the story in Capt. Dean Sakamoto’s own words: It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and no wind. I was thankful the weather had changed from the high winds and rain we had in the months before. On board the Kristen S. were Lance Matsubara, Andy Mau, Todd Motonaga, and myself. As we made our way to the starting line it was impressive to see 59 boats waiting for the shotgun start. At 6:30 am we were off with boats racing in all directions. I had decided to start trolling as soon as we got to the 40 fathom ledge in hopes of catching an ono. After trolling for some time, I realized that my plan had backfired as we approached HH buoy without a single bite. The buoy looked like the starting line all over again as I counted 21 boats already fishing there. I decided to bypass the buoy and head out to the 1500 fathom ledge. The next thing I knew we were 22 miles out and still nothing. Suddenly I saw the outrigger bend and waited for the reel to start screaming. As we reeled the fish in we thought it was a small ono, but were soon disappointed to see it was a barracuda. Who would ever think of catching a barracuda at 22 miles? The day progressed with us running on the 1500 all the way to Barbers Point without a bite. It was now 12 noon and we decided to run to the Waianae pinnacle. After working the area for another 2-1/2 hours, we were desperate and needed to make the right decision. We decided to run in toward Kahe Power Plant and run back to BO Buoy on the thousand fathom ledge. After 9 hours of fishing we were feeling depressed and resorted to praying for a bite. At that moment, the outrigger came crashing down and soon we had a 20 lb. Mahimahi in the boat. Now we felt a lot better even though we knew it wasn’t large enough to win. We then proceeded to the BO and made 2 passes to no avail. I told the crew I was going back to HH buoy and it would be close to stop fishing when we got there. There were shibi there so we could secure with the tournament base and at least try to catch dinner.

We started on our way and luckily came up on an open school. We set up to bait the fish but they disappeared before we could get a pass. With just over an hour to fish, we reset the lures as we proceeded to HH. Lance was letting the corner out and decided to run it a little further. The next thing I knew Lance and Andy were yelling and, to my astonishment, I looked back and saw the corner pole bent over with line smoking out of the reel. Suddenly, I saw the back of a marlin break out of the water! I thought, “It’s a small one but I’ll take it.” All of a sudden the marlin erupted out of the water and danced across the transom! At this point we realized it was a big one. I immediately called in our Hook-up as Todd and Lance cleared lines and Andy jumped on the reel. I couldn’t believe this was happening; it was 4:06pm and we were fighting a big marlin that could be the winning fish. After fighting the stubborn fish for 45 minutes, we finally brought it to leader and subdued it with a bang stick. In 2 good pulls we had the fish in the boat and we all celebrated with high fives and cheers. I then ran up to the bridge and excitedly called in our fish at a modest 300 pounds. It was now 4:56 pm with 4 minutes left until

“Stop Fishing.” We had to cross the Keehi head buoy before 6:00 pm in order for our fish to qualify; it was no “do or die” so we had to go! As every minute passed we got more nervous as we tried to calculate our time and distance. Lance and Andy were actually sitting on the bow to help the boat plane better to get more speed! We were extremely happy with smiles from ear to ear all the way in, although we were still worried that we were cutting it too close. After 45 minutes we could finally see the head buoy and crossed it at 5:50 pm. Yes! We made it! As we pulled up to the scale we were happy to see a lot friends waiting to see our fish. It was quite overwhelming. The fish was hoisted onto the scale and we waited in anticipation for the official weight. Uncle Larry called out the weight at 529.6 lbs! We all congratulated each other and celebrated as I couldn’t believe this was happening. My crew deserves the credit for this fish as I could never have done it without them. I’d like to thank Hana Pa‘a Fishing Co., especially Reid Yamashita for all his hard work in coordinating an excellent tournament and for all his help and advice.

Largest Fish- $17,700 Cash Prize Kristen S. (Captain Dean Sakamoto) Marlin 1. Kristen S.     529.6 lb. 2.  Wild Bunch   313.7

Mahi 1. Yoshimi N.    41.0 2.  Shari I.         37.9

Ono 1. Kekahi         36.9 2.  Kekahi         31.9

Thanks to our sponsors: Shimano, Penn, Da Kine, Primo Beer, Corrosion Technologies, Island Rodwrap, Fishing Rods of Hawaii, McCully Bike, B&E Petroleum, Shane Hamamoto, Paradise Beverages, Haleiwa Joes, POP Fishing & Marine, Renny Muraoka Lures, Sh-Bite Lures, Matsu Lures, Leroy Lures, Polukai Lures, Futa Lures, Keehi Boat Club, Service Printers, Donald Freitas

Kekahi Yoshimi N

issue three 2009


Ahi Fever 2009 Lur-Ker

(Winner Largest Ahi of The Tournament)

By Leland Nogawa It was Sunday, the second day of Ahi Fever and things weren’t looking very good as we started getting LurKer ready. The weather forecast called for winds of 20-25 knots and wind waves of 8-10 feet. When we got to the harbor, the wind was gusting. We were all still sore from the beating we took on Saturday so as we got the boat ready, Lane, Lon, and I were trying to figure out where to go. We wanted to head to C.O. bouy and then go out from there, since we got some good advice from our friend Ryan on Saturday which paid off with a 148 pound Ahi. We finally decided to go straight out as far down as we could go, then work our way back to calmer waters in the afternoon. Around 6:30 we saw a nice bird pile with Ahi busting at the surface. Our spirits were high as we made our first pass. After about a minute, the center rigger slammed down and our brand new Shimano 80 started screaming. We looked back and saw the ahi busting behind the boat and a huge sickle behind our long rigger. Unfortunately our center came off and the long rigger never set. Bummed that we lost both fish, we continued on our way to Ka‘ena Point, extremely discouraged. We thought we lost our only


Lawai‘a Magazine

chance at catching an Ahi for Day 1 because we began experiencing the all too familiar pounding you get when you turn the corner at Ka‘ena Point. We decided to turn around and slide back down on the 1,000 towards calmer water when we saw another nice bird pile. We followed it for a while and saw other boats around us hooking up, but we couldn’t even get a knock down. It seemed our best option was to go back and look for the fish we saw earlier in the morning. We were all by ourselves in the middle of nowhere and the water looked pretty dead, so Lane decided to take a nap as Lon and I tried to figure out where we were going to go. At about 8:30, the center rigger with a 12” Futa straight runner came crashing down again and the beautiful sound of the ratchet got Lane up from his nap. Lon jumped on the pole as Lane and I cleared lines. We decided to clear all the poles and put them on the roof since we didn’t want to take any chances of getting tangled. We were all very thankful for the custom rocket launcher that Garret had made for us the previous week and it worked perfectly. By the time we had all the poles cleared, the fish had run out over half the spool on our Shimano 80. We began to slowly bring the fish in. Lon hand-lined as Lane and I took turns cranking and driving the boat. About half an hour into the fight, the fish settled under the boat and we couldn’t get it to come up. After another 15 minutes of circling around the fish, we began to see color. Eventually the fish got to about 20 feet from the boat and got stuck again. This stale mate lasted for about 5 minutes as we all prayed the hook wouldn’t pull. We still had no idea how big the fish was. Lon said it felt bigger than yesterday, but it came up in about the same amount of time as Saturday’s fish. Lon finally grabbed the leader as Lane and I stood ready with the gaffs. As the fish surfaced I gaffed the fish and held on with everything I had until Lane got his gaff in. Lon placed a third gaff in and then we made several attempts to pull the fish in before finally getting it into the boat. We were laughing at ourselves that it took three of us to pull an Ahi into the boat. After celebrating we tried to estimate the weight of the fish. We knew it was big, but no one wanted to say anything. Lon, who was part of the crew on the Sweet Kimi II that captured the tournament record 224 pound Ahi, said that the fish came up to his chin. Lon is the biggest Japanese guy I know at 6’ 3” and 2?? pounds, but when he stood next to the fish, it didn’t seem as big as he remembered the 224 caught on Sweet Kimi II. When the fish came into the boat, it got wedged between our engine box and gunnels. It didn’t come close to fitting in the 6 foot fish bag, so we had to empty our fish box out and again, none of us said anything. The three of us somehow got the head into the fish box and the rest of the fish went crashing down with the tail portion still sticking out. Lane managed to force the tail portion in and we iced the fish. When we got in and saw the leader board we were just hoping to place. The leader at 229 lbs seemed untouchable and there were a lot of 200+ pound fish on the board. When it was our turn to weigh our fish, the crowd watching got a good laugh. When Lane and Lon tried to pull the fish out of the box, they struggled. They put two meat hooks in the head while an Ahi Fever volunteer helped with the tail portion. Their first attempt to lift the fish out of the box made the crowd burst into laughter. Lon fell down onto the engine box causing Lane to almost fall out of the boat. Upon further inspection, we all noticed the two meat hooks had bent. By now, we heard snickering in the background. Lon and Lane tried again and only could get the head portion of the fish out of the box. The crowd became silent as the fish was raised to the scale. I saw the scale quickly jump past 200 lbs and eventually come to a rest at 232.4 lbs. The official made the announcement to the crowd which caused them to errupt. The three of us couldn’t believe it. We caught an Ahi over 200 lbs. We would like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors at Ahi Fever for making it such a great tournament to fish in. A special thanks to Garret Noguchi for making our custom rocket launchers, Ryan Koga for the great information of where the fish were, David Shim for getting us hooked on trying to catch Ahi, and to all of our friends who helped us with the boat and gave us good tips. Also thanks to Dave Futa for making a spectacular Futa lure and Naoki Hayashi for going out of his way to print our prized catch. Most of all, thanks to our understanding wives, Ann, Lureen (Lur), and Kerri (Ker) who not only allow us to go fishing, but also give us their full support.

Nalani Kai II (Winner Total Weight Ahi of The Tournament)

By Clarence J. Adams The day started at 3am in the morning. Fishing on the Nalani Kai II that morning were Sean Moromisato, myself and my son captain Clarence Jr., better known as Kimo. Kimo started fishing with me at age 3 and Sean from 6. Both of these young captains own and fish on their own boats. I couldn’t ask for a better fishing crew to go fishing with. We launched the boat at about 4:30 am and waited at the starting line for the signal to start fishing. While we were waiting, we checked our lures and talked about the good old days of fishing. We also discussed the areas we would be fishing. When the start signal was given, about 85% of the boats went south or straight out but we headed out to C.O. bouy. At about 6:30 - 7:00 am the radio started buzzing about fish being caught. I could tell that Kimo wanted to turn the boat around and head back to the south where the other boats were hooking up. Kimo asked if he should turn the boat around to the south. I told him, when you go fishing you fish with your heart and not your ears chasing the radio. He stated that his heart told him to go south and I told him that my heart and knowledge of fishing said to go to C.O. buoy. When we reached the buoy, there were three other boats already there. We made our first pass by the buoy and nothing happened. We started heading out and down seas when we noticed that two of the three boats were stopped and fighting fish. We turned and started in the direction of one of the boats when all of a sudden three

of the reels started screaming. Kimo and Sean quickly jumped into action, working each of the fish. My job was to set-up the gaffs and keep the lines tight on the other reels. After about 45 minutes, we boated all three fish. With three fish aboard, Kimo turned the boat around and started back to the buoy while Sean and I reset all the lines. We had just finished setting the lines when the starboard outrigger took off. Kimo and Sean quickly went back into action. After about 15 minutes, we had ahi #4 on board. We worked the area for a while after but the fishing had slowed down. At about 11:30, Kimo went down to rest and I headed the boat back south towards Waianae. An hour later, Kimo got up and checked the lines. He found that two of the inside lines were tangled and set out to straighten them out. He had just finished straightening them out and was about to put the rubberbands on the line when the center reel went off. After about 10 seconds, the fish came off. Kimo was in the process of cranking in the line when another fish took the lure. Simultaneously, three of the other reels also took off. We ended up boating three out of four ahi. With the two iceboxes filled and no more room, we decided to call it a day and head back to the harbor. Thrill Seeker


Mainey B.

Maggie Joe f o r C o mp l e t e R e s u lt s C h e c k O u t



issue three 2009


B y C lay to n C . Y. Yee a n d S ea n Nies z 30

Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine


ly tiers have long used epoxy resins in innovative ways to mimic natural fish prey. Done correctly, epoxy can give a fly a transparent look that cannot be achieved in any other way. There are several desirable attributes of epoxy that make it perfect for use by the fly tier. Epoxy is extremely durable and can make a fly virtually indestructible. Epoxy can form a clear, smooth body on a fly that is both appealing to the angler as well as the fish. Epoxy can also be used as head cement or to coat stick-on or molded eyes. Just about any streamer or saltwater fly can have epoxy added to it in some way to give it a different look or add durability. There are two main types of epoxy that are widely used in the fly tying, and a new product which has taken the fly tying world by storm in the last year or so. These three types of resins have very different properties but ultimately create the same effect for the fly tier. These three epoxies are fast curing epoxies, slow curing epoxies, and the relatively new epoxy resin called Tuffleye. Fast curing epoxy, commonly referred to as “five minute” epoxy, is probably the most widely used in fly tying. This epoxy can be applied to a fly and rotated by hand until it sets up. Because of its fast curing time, it is a good choice for the fly tier who ties only a few flies at a time, or ties flies that will be used in the near future. The main drawback of this type of epoxy is its tendency to take on an amber tint or “yellow” quickly. This can make the fly less desirable looking to the angler. If it is important to the angler to have crystal clear epoxy flies, the tier should not epoxy too many flies and store them for long periods of time. The short cure time also means a short working time, so tiers using this type of epoxy must work quickly once the epoxy is mixed. The tier should also be careful not to mix too much epoxy at once. Mix only as much issue three 2009


as is needed for one fly if hand turning, or three to four flies if an electrical turner is used. In addition to “five minute,” there are also many other slow curing epoxies. These epoxies’ reaction times can vary from twenty minutes to four hours, and are often used in rod building. To prevent sagging or dripping while the slow curing epoxy sets, fly tiers must use an electrical turner to rotate the fly slowly. A fly turner is a slow rotating motor with an attached wheel of cork, foam, or a metal spring to hold the flies in place while they dry. Slow curing epoxies are an excellent choice for tiers who tie many flies in one tying session. Flies can be tied in bulk and epoxy applied to all of them at once. Slow curing epoxy flies will remain clear for a much longer time than flies tied with fast cure epoxy and are just as durable. When using two-part epoxy, either slow or fast cure, there are a few tips that can make the work go smoother. First, when mixing two-part epoxy, be sure to mix it on a surface that is nonporous like aluminum foil. The nonporous foil will help prevent air bubbles from forming while mixing. Mixing tools should also be nonporous and made of plastic or metal. Second, make sure the epoxy is mixed in equal parts. If the epoxy is not mixed in equal parts, it will not cure properly and the surface will remain sticky. Finally, epoxy can be messy stuff, so be sure to keep your work area organized and clean. Wipe up errant epoxy drops immediately using alcohol. To keep epoxy flies from yellowing for as long as possible, minimize the amount of sunlight the flies are exposed to while in storage. Tuffleye is a new fly tying product, but is fast becoming a favorite among tiers around the world. This type of resin is different from the usual twopart epoxies. Tuffleye is a one-part, light activated resin, and cures almost instantly when exposed to high-intensity blue light. The desirable attributes of Tuffleye resin for the fly tyer are its ease of use, and its ability to remain permanently clear. The resin’s quick curing time also makes it the perfect choice for tying flies where the epoxy is used to 32

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hold materials in a certain position and not just evenly distributed around the fly. Tuffleye’s main drawback is its inability to cure without exposure to a strong light source. Flies must be cured in direct sunlight or with a high-intensity blue light. Even after curing, the surface of Tuffleye remains tacky, so a top coat must be applied to finish the fly. Tuffleye is also considerably more expensive than two part epoxies. Fly tying is all about creativity and the epoxy itself can be altered in ways that add to the already limitless possibilities available to the fly tier. Glitter

can be mixed into the epoxy to give the fly extra flash and sparkle. A drop of model paint or nail polish can be added to give the epoxy a tint of color. Permanent markers can also be used to color materials under the epoxy, or to color the epoxy itself if a top coat is used. Epoxy is an everyday item which many fly tiers have successfully adapted to their craft. Many more anglers have fished epoxy flies with great results. Epoxy flies are durable, easy to make, cool looking, and extremely effective. Isn’t it about time to give epoxy a try?

Let’s tie one up!

Step 1 - Starting near the bend of the hook, tie white Super Hair to both the bottom and top of the hook shank. Use fine monofilament thread, which will disappear when the epoxy resin is added. Step 2 - Add pearl mylar flash material (Krystal Flash, Polar Flash, Flashabou, etc.) on top of the Super Hair. If the material is long enough, fold the material over the thread before lashing it to the hook. This prevents loose strands from pulling free. Step 3 - Add chartreuse Super Hair on top of the white/pearl base. At this point, alternating between chartreuse colored flash and solid colored materials like Super Hair, Fishair, Fluoro Fiber, etc. will add depth and complexity to the finished fly. Step 4 - After tying in all the colored material, add a few strands of pearl Flashabou to each side of the hook. This will simulate the lateral line present on many baitfish. Step 5 - Tie a few strands of peacock herl to the very top of the fly. Step 6 - Finish the fly with a whip finish or several half hitches.

be fished on a fly rod, whipped behind a bubble floater, or trolled from a boat or kayak. It’s made of synthetic fibers and epoxy so it’s very durable, even when toothy fish are your target.

Step 7 - Trim to create an evenly tapered baitfish shape. Step 8 - Affix stick-on eyes to each side of the fly. Many anglers like to use big flashy eyes to give predatory fish a target. Step 9 - Apply epoxy (or in this case Tuffleye resin) to the head of the fly. Coat liberally over the thread wraps and eyes. If using 5 minute epoxy, turn the fly a few times in your hand to prevent from dripping or sagging. 30 minute epoxy will require a turner to cure properly. Tuffleye will require a strong UV light source to cure. In this example we used one of our favorite papio colors, chartreuse green. You can easily change the color of the materials used to match your favorite fish catching lures. Mixing color combinations and experimenting are all part of the fun when tying your own flies!

Tieing Photos by Stan Wright

This Flash Fly is simple to tie, and can

Nervous Water will be happy to assist you with any questions you have on making your own flies or lures. Please stop by 3434 Waialae Ave. or email issue three 2009




Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine

Whenever I heard the familiar theme song and Mike Sakamoto’s signature phrase “Fishing Tale!” I stopped whatever I was doing for the next 30 minutes. It was my escape from work and it instantly took me on a mental vacation. If I couldn’t be there, it was the next best thing. When I first met Mike over 20 years ago I thought “Here’s the guy with the perfect job.” Getting paid to go fishing seemed like a dream job, so when he invited me to join him I jumped at the chance. During those plane trips, boat rides, while waiting for the fish to bite and over meals we became fast friends. I admired Mike for his work ethic, creativity and resourcefulness -- as well as his seemingly endless supply of energy. He shared his family and a new circle of friends with me – something I will always treasure. There was never a shortage of jokes, stories, laughter and jibes. I can still hear him saying “Yeah, right.” when I teased him that he had to “be in touch with his feminine side” to create such stunning watercolor paintings. Although he was recognized everywhere he went, Mike was completely unpretentious and never expected to be treated differently from anyone else. Instead he used his knowledge and celebrity to be an advocate for responsible fishing practices, conservation, to promote “catch and release” fishing and to guard against unreasonable legislation affecting fishermen. I soon recognized that he was also a meticulous researcher and planner with unswerving determination which served him well as a fishing show producer. Fishing Tales raised the standard of excellence in fishing shows by including educational content and promoting conservation as well as improving production quality. Most of all, Mike proved to be a loyal and trustworthy friend to so many of us. Early in our friendship, a buddy named Paul accompanied him everywhere – even on business trips to Honolulu. I assumed he was an associate but soon discovered that he was a dear friend who was going Fishing Tales raised the standard of excellence in fishing through a divorce. As busy as he was, shows by including educational content, promoting Mike wanted to keep Paul occupied conservation as well as improving production quality. during this painful time in his life and worried about him being alone. Over the years I discovered that Hawaii’s most famous fisherman was a man of many interests and talents; an accomplished painter, author, teacher and craftsman who enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others. I’ll never forget how he patiently coached me as I took 45 minutes to land my first mahimahi, a 25

issue three 2009


lb. bull, on 20 lb. spinning tackle from a boat off of Moloka‘i. He urged me “Take your time – don’t force it.” When we landed it, the hook was starting to bend open – Mike was right. Whether we went prawning in the mountains of Oahu or diving off Moloka’i – and whether it was from shore, in a boat or under water, Mike knew how to do it all well. He made it look so easy and like so much fun. What most of us didn’t see were the endless weeks of work, travel, planning, editing and writing it took to produce the weekly half-hour show we enjoyed so much. Eighteen years of producing the program -- and especially selling commercial air-time -- wore on him. Mike was never afraid of hard work but longed to spend time with his beloved wife Kathleen, son Paul, daughter Stefanie and their family pets. In the summer of 2008, just months before he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Mike told me “I’ve never been happier in my life. I have a wife who’s my best friend, great kids and grandchildren. I’m doing what I love and I couldn’t ask for more.” He was truly happy and enjoying life while also teaching painting at the Kamana Senior Center in Hilo, teaching an adult education class in fishing and having time to write and paint. Stefanie recalls being awakened by his rummaging through art supplies at 3:00 a.m. to sketch an idea in a moment of inspiration. If there is any comfort to be found in his loss, it is in knowing that Mike spent the last part of his life with those he loved, doing what he loved most. A TV show host, artist, fisherman, author, teacher, mentor and friend, Mike Sakamoto was all that and more. That’s the Mike Sakamoto I’ll always remember. Note: A Mike Sakamoto Scholarship is being established by PIFG in Mike’s memory. For more information, contact Pacific Islands Fisheries Group at Audy Kimura 36

Lawai‘a Magazine

He was one of Hawaii’s most beloved sons. A conservationist, artist, advocate, leader among leaders, mentor, teacher and passionate student. A man who had a zest for life, Mike Sakamoto strove for perfection in each and every undertaking. What kind of person was Mike Sakamoto? Perhaps this question is best answered by this short story. Several years ago, while still producing Fishing Tales with Mike Sakamoto, Mike was approached by a couple of military veterans. The Gentlemen asked him if he could help one of their friends, a war veteran who had lost an arm in battle and was now fighting

depression over his condition. Disabled themselves, the two asked Mike if he would take them fishing, hoping that this would lift their friend’s spirits. He had secluded himself and they were deeply concerned. “Bring him by, and I’ll talk to him” Mike replied. Upon their meeting, Mike spoke quite frankly. “How you going fish with only one arm? You gotta be able to tie your own gear. You gotta pull your own weight if you want to fish with us.” The veteran was stunned. Expecting a little more sympathy, the vet left, determined to prove his worth. About a week later, the wounded soldier returned. He had learned to master a knot and hurriedly tied it before Mike. “ There, now you gotta take me fishing! “ he bellowed. Mike smiled and did just that, filming one of his most memorable episodes in the process. It was a turning point in the soldier’s life. Mike not only demanded the best in himself, but the best in his fellow man. He was a positive influence in those fortunate enough to be touched by him. It is the greatest legacy anyone can have. There will never be another Mike Sakamoto. I know that he and I will fish together again someday. Till then, I shall miss him dearly. Goodbye my friend. Brian Kimata  

“My Dad had many an occupation listed on the resume of his life: artist, teacher, fisherman, television producer, businessman, salesman, writer, golfer, crafter, history buff, and tailor. We always said that Dad would kick ass if he was on the TV show, Survivor, as he had this uncanny talent for finding something edible, anywhere we went. We’d be playing golf, he’d disappear into the bushes, and emerge with oranges or mangoes. It was a running joke that Dad believed bananas would cure anything. Me: “My throat hurts.” Dad: “Eat a banana. You’ll feel better.” Me: “I have a sprained wrist.” Dad: “Eat a banana. You’ll feel better.” That guy on Survivorman has got nothing on Dad. It pains me to know I’ll never again hear him teach me about the reasons for World War II, or why the sides of the boat are called port and starboard. He won’t be around anymore to pinch my ears until they turned red. But I am thankful that he was able to meet my son, that he was around for my biggest “Fishing Tale”, that I got to go fishing in the bay with him, was able to share countless meals and golf rounds with one another. I know he was forever proud of me and my brother, and felt so blessed to have led the life he did. When my Dad told me he had cancer and I started to cry, he told me, “Don’t worry, I not going die. Pilau guys don’t die early”. I laughed then, but inside I knew that he was the least “pilau” guy, the most likely to go out of his way to thank those who were kind to him or his family, the guy who lived his life selflessly and passionately. The good die young, they say, and it was true for my Dad. He leaves behind an amazing legacy that my family and I are just beginning to realize. Now that he’s no longer with us, my only hope is that his passion for fishing and the ocean will continue to resonate for generations to come. Dad, you always inspired me, and so many others. Thanks for everything, and I’ll see you in my heart.” stefanie sakamoto

issue three 2009


By John Clark

Talk to anybody in Hawaii who fishes, whether they use a net, hook, or spear, and every one of them can tell you a shark story. If they lay net, sharks have ripped huge holes in their nets to get at fish that were caught. If they use spears, sharks have pulled fish off their stringers or even come straight for a fish that was still on their spear. If they cast from shore, sharks have munched their ulua; if they troll, sharks have left them only the head of a 200-pound ahi; or if they hand-line, sharks have grabbed every opakapaka on their hooks before the fish ever reached the boat. We’ve all been there and had it happen to us, and if not, we’ve heard the war stories from friends who lost their fish. In all these stories sharks have had the upper hand on us, but 150 years ago a popular activity took place on Oahu where Hawaiians were on top of the sharks and used them in a unique sport. It was called shark racing. In 1933, Star Bulletin reporter Urban Allen interviewed Moses Punohu, a 72-year-old Kalihi Kai


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resident who lived on Waiakamilo Road. Punohu, who would have been born about 1861, had been a shark jockey and described the sport in detail. According to Allen, “(Punohu) recalled with a great deal of pleasure the days of his youth, when he, with other boys of the Kalihi district, used to compete with rival groups from Moanalua and Palama in shark races.” Prior to the races, the boys caught hammerhead sharks and held them captive in pools on the shoreline. On Kamehameha Day (June 11) or some other festive occasion, they moved the hammerheads to another pond where the water was about waist deep. Chieftans, friends, and families would line the shore, while four or five riders mounted their sharks and raced across the pool. Before a shark could be ridden, the riders made a punuku, a rope halter, for each shark, placing a loop of rope over each of the protruding portions of the shark’s head. The punuku allowed the jockey to control his mount. Another piece of rope placed under the shark’s neck joined the reins coming from the halter. Then the rider sat astride the shark,

pressed both knees against its sides and pulled back hard on the reins. For protection again the shark’s rough skin, the jockey bandaged his legs. At the start of the race, the rider relaxed the pressure of his knees just enough to let the shark lash its tail to move. At the same time the jockey pushed off the bottom with his feet and bounced forward. Punohu said, “It was just like a sack race.” According to Allen, “Punohu made it clear that the sharks were not ridden in the sense that the shark carried the entire weight of the rider’s body”, although in deep water the sharks were strong enough to dive and take the riders with them. Punohu said that shark racing then was to the boys of his day what football and baseball are to the kids today. Losing teams would treat the winners to a luau if it was a big event, otherwise, there were smaller prizes for the winners. Shark racing continued until the turn of the century and then faded into obscurity, but taking a look back at this unusual sport tells us a couple of interesting things. For one, it shows the popularity

“During the early 1930s, Filameno Patacsil moved to Mokauea Island, where he built his home and made his living as a fisherman, selling mullet and limu to the markets in Chinatown. One of his favorite fishing grounds was the reef off Fort Kamehameha, and one morning he found an 800 pound tiger shark tangled in his moemoe nets. Patacsil freed the shark, tied it up, and taken with him sitting on the shark’s back.”

photo: Rudy Tulongharia

towed it back to Mokauea Island, where this picture was

of horseback riding that swept the Hawaiian Islands during the 1800s and the creativity of a group of Hawaiians in applying the techniques of riding a horse to riding a shark. For another, it shows that Hawaiians weren’t worried about physical contact with sharks. And finally, it tells us that hammerheads were plentiful and easy to catch in the Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon areas, which is not the case today. Hammerheads are still found in our bays and harbors, especially after females give birth and juveniles are near shore, but not in the numbers that were common 150 years ago. One of the main reasons for the decline in the hammerhead shark population and many other nearshore species has been the loss of marine habitat. Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon were dredged extensively and the tidal lands surrounding them heavily land-filled, destroying fishponds and some of the most productive fishing grounds on Oahu. The biggest project in Keehi Lagoon was the construction of three seaplane runways. With a $5 million appropriation from Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers started dredging them in October 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Corps intensified its efforts with as many as nine dredges working at once, but the project was so massive, it was not completed until September 1944. During that three year period, the dredges removed more than 10 million cubic yards of coral reef from Keehi Lagoon, pumping it onshore between Hickam Field and John Rodgers Airport on Lagoon Drive, into Fort Shafter Flats, into Mapunapuna, and into other shoreline areas nearby. George Clark, who graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1938 as a civil engineer, was part of the seaplane runway project. During an interview in 1984, he related the following:

“In 1941, I was working for Standard Dredging. We were land-filling in the Mapunapuna and airport areas, dredging the inner reefs in Keehi Lagoon and pumping the fill material onshore. The Damon family controlled the fishing rights in the lagoon- no one could fish there without permission- so those were some of the most productive reefs I’ve ever seen. All kinds of crabs- especially white crabsand slipper lobsters would come up with the fill material, and there were mullet by the thousands. Lots of hammerheads, too; we’d see them chasing the mullet into the shallow water. At the outer edge of the reef, fish like ulua, papio, and nenue swarmed around Mokauea Island. “Our dredge, the Jefferson, worked like a brace and bit. The bit rotated and cut the coral. A big pump behind it pumped the fill material onshore through a steel pipeline supported by pontoons, and the fill material went into a levee where the water was allowed to drain through spillways back into the ocean. After the war broke out on December 7, the Army Corps of Engineers contracted Standard Dredging to use the Jefferson to dredge the seaplane runways in the lagoon that are still there now.” Today, the shoreline from Pearl Harbor to Diamond Head is almost entirely artificial, forever altered by the dredging of the seaplane runways, by reclamation projects such as the Reef Runway, Sand Island, and Magic Island, and the dredging of deep-draft and small boat harbors and the channels through the reefs that support them. In spite of it all, the hammerheads have survived and still populate our bays and harbors, but in far fewer numbers than when they served as mounts for Hawaiian shark races. So the next time one of them steals your fish, remember they’re just trying to make a living, too, in a marine environment that’s not the same as it was before.

issue three 2009


Gear reviews by e d wata m u r a

Lucky Craft Live Pointer 95MR

The Cavalla Reel by Okuma The Okuma brand is now known for very high quality and innovative designs, due to a merger with Tiburon. The new top of the line Cavalla reels are the evidence of this collaboration and the fishermen are raving about its performance. Some of the features include a lever drag, two speeds, one piece forged aluminum sideplates specifically designed for the high torque that Spectra lines put on reels, and due to the unique and innovative heat treated stainless steel helical-cut gears, the Okuma has some of the smoothest feeling gears you’ll find on a 2 speed reel. The superior drag system is due to USA made carbon fiber washers and a collaborative effort with Cal Sheets. His legendary 2-speed grease is an important component that makes the drags tough and reliably consistent. The Cavalla line also sports an ergonomic T-Bar handle to make it easier to reel in the big one. The 303 stainless steel drag cam, double thick anodization on all external parts, and forged aluminum reel foot and clamp contribute to this reels toughness and sustainability. The Cavalla comes in 4 sizes--15II -holding 310 yds. of 30#, 20II -holding 400 yds. of 40#, 30II- holding 400 yds. of 50#, and 50II -holding 420 yds, 0f 60# test. The merger with Tiburon and input from Cal Sheets has combined to make Okuma reels a strong competitor in the fishing world.

Totally redesigned and improved from the first generation Live Pointers, these extremely life-like baits are the next generation of Live Pointer technology. The jointing in the body of the bait has been changed to allow an air pocket in the tail section. This new feature allows the bait to suspend in a perfectly horizontal position. The action of the new Live Pointers has also been modified. It now has a tighter side-to-side action, which accentuates the swimming motion for a more life-like appearance. This is just another example of Lucky Craft’s continuing mission to produce the most technologically advanced lures on the market. Various styles, sizes, and colors available. Available at POP Fishing & Marine 1133 N. Nimitz Hwy (808) 537 2905.$15.95 – $25.95.


Line Pusher How many times have you been bringing in a fish and it runs toward your props or under your boat and cuts the line? I personally have experienced it more than once and wished there was a way to push the line away. Enter the Line Pusher. This unique tool is such a simple solution and yet I have yet to see one in Hawaii. This tool is also designed to reach out and pull in lines, ingenious. 40

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Ethanol!! Just the mention of the word makes many of us boaters cringe. Ethanol’s water attraction properties has the potential to damage engines and fuel tanks. Marine Development and Research Corp. has developed a product to help combat this potential problem. Their product called E-Zorb disperses and emulsifies water and ethanol back into the fuel allowing both to burn safely. One ounce E-Zorb treats 20 gallons and effectively prevents condensation buildup. the price for a 16oz. bottle is $17.99. Call 516-546-1162 or visit



Featuring “He Mele Pana I‘a”, the new hit song about the pleasures of spearfishing

Kellen Paik & Lïhau Hannahs

Available now at Hanapa‘a Hawai‘i and

100% Local  100% Original

And soon 100% HD

Join Cindy, Dave and Margot as they bring you a full hour of the best in local fishing each week. issue three 2009


speak AN O P EN LETTER TO HAWA I I ’S F I SHER M EN F r o m R oy M o r i o k a

Congress reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act at the end of 2006 and subsequently it was signed by President Bush. The key to this legislation was the creation of a NATIONAL REGISTRY of recreational fishermen who fish in saltwater to improve catch and effort data that in the past has primarily focused on the commercial fishing industry. The National Academy of Science advised that the eight regional fishery management councils, including the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC, aka WESPAC) needed this data to more effectively manage sustainable fisheries in the United States. The current Marine Recreational Fishery Statistical Survey (MRFSS) and the Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishery Statistical Survey (HMRFSS) were found deficient in such data gathering as the current random digit dialing contact process would not identify the universe of those who fish in the saltwater, and shoreline data gathering was most incomplete. The NATIONAL REGISTRY would be a directory of those who fish in the saltwater within the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone or 3nmi-200nmi) of the United States of America. This directory will essentially be a telephone directory identifying the number of fishermen who could be contacted to gather catch and effort fishing data on a random basis. It would also identify the number of those who fish recreationally in the U.S. EEZ. The 42

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REGISTRY provided for exemptions for qualified indigenous fishermen and others including those under age 16. The registry was to begin January 1, 2009 and a fee to register was to be introduced on January 1, 2010. States would be allowed to request “exemptions” from this federal registry if they believed that their licensing or current data collection programs fulfilled the data needs of the registry. However, in order to give States without such programs or processes and to have their respective legislatures approve such programs or processes, the federal government delayed the dates to January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011 respectively. The State of Hawaii was one of those states without a program or process such as its own licensing or registration program with a data collection capability, but to date the State has not requested such an exemption. There were many fishermen including the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) team who were invited to St. Petersburg, Florida to participate in the national MRIP program workshop of which I am a member, who understood the impact this REGISTRY would have on our State where saltwater fishing has not required licensing or a registry (except for the current Bottomfish Registry). We therefore, met with DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) Chairperson Laura Thielen and members of the HDAR (Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources) to recommend an alternative that would request and exemption from the REGISTRY by limiting the number of registrants to those who own boats. This recommendation was thought to be a common sense approach to fulfill the federal requirement and limiting the number of those who would be impacted to those who have the ability to fish within the federal EEZ (3nmi-200nmi). Those in attendance were advised that the State’s Boater Registration Data Base could not be used since boaters who registered, did not authorize such release of information to the federal government. We suggested that those registered be contacted via letter advising them of the NATIONAL REGISTRY requirement, and whether

they would authorize the release of their vessel registry information to be Hawaii’s Directory that could be contacted fulfilling the REGISTRY requirement. The current HMRFSS program would be then structured to only intercept boats returning from the sea to gather catch data and eliminating their current shoreline intercept effort since it was the most difficult task for the data collectors as many fishing locations are inaccessible or dangerous for surveyors to access fishermen. To date the State has not requested an exemption nor considered our recommendation. I have recently learned that the State is waiting for this legislative session to end (May 15, 2009) before considering an exemption program or process. This raised a RED FLAG as this may indicate that the State may be considering a saltwater licensing program for ALL who fish in the saltwater and not only those who fish in the U.S. EEZ. Interesting and potentially devastating to residents who fish as the DLNR/HDAR would use the Chapter 91 process to promulgate rules and the legislature would not be available to discuss a policy that would affect a great many of our state’s residents. I personally support a licensing or registration program to gather critical information to effectively collect and process catch and effort data to sustainably manage our fishery resources. I may be in the minority of those who fish for saltwater species, but I strongly believe that the state should make every effort the comply with the federal law first (those who fish the 3nmi-200nmi) and hold off on a comprehensive licensing or registration program that would affect all saltwater fishermen and women and conduct listening sessions to determine what the mindset of our fishing community is as prescribed by the Chapter 91 process. I may be criticized by the department as I have been taken out of context as having spoken out against the use of public input in fishery management decisions but this is simply NOT true. My message is that the DLNR/HDAR needs to consider all impacts to our marine resources and simply not target

Lawaia Ad for Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council



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Funding support for this ad provided by the Hawaii Seafood Council, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA Hawaii Seafood Project and Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council

issue three 2009


“Fishermen, your voice has been long absent in the decision making process of the sustainable management of our marine resources. If you keep silent, fishing will continue to be the only target of regulations and all other impacts to OUR marine resources will never be investigated or monitored to the disadvantage of the marine resources entrusted to the DLNR/HDAR.” fishermen as being THE cause of real or perceived decline in fishery resources without having conducted a science-based analysis of what is causing the impact to fish stocks or a fishery. For example, to declare at a recent public hearing that size limit for jacks (papio and ulua) be revised since “little kids” cannot catch papio is simply ludicrous! Kids will still hook and catch them but what a great opportunity to teach our keiki that to take undersized juvenile papio may affect their future abundance and ulua catches and it is good to release them. Has anyone correlated population growth to catch rates by individuals? Could it be that there are more fishermen competing for the fishery resources so that individually we may be catching less than in years past but the overall catch is the same or better? This is the kind of data that is needed to effectively manage our limited marine resources sustainably. Has habitat loss contributed to the decline of certain saltwater species? I for one have watched the demise of Maunalua Bay since the 1950’s with the construction of subdivisions above the bay and the loss of the Kuapa Pond to the Hawaii Kai development. Additionally, the increased recreational boating activities in the bay could be the reason for the absence of traditional fishery resources there. You may have also heard discussions that current studies on Maui indicate that the use of injection wells where effluents are being pumped into underground wells may the cause of algal blooms along Maui’s shoreline met with a statement from an HDAR official as it is not absolute that these wells are causing the problem, nor is it the DLNR/ HDAR’s responsibility but the State Department of Health’s. I have always believed that the DLNR is the state agency responsible for the protection of our state’s natural resources and the advocate for the voiceless natural resources it is entrusted. Am I wrong? Fishermen, your voice has been long absent in the decision making process of the sustainable management of our marine resources. If you keep silent, fishing will continue to be the only target of regulations and all other impacts to OUR marine resources will never be investigated or monitored to the disadvantage of the marine resources entrusted to the DLNR/HDAR. I have been asking for years that the DLNR/HDAR do its job properly and I am not a fisherman lobbyist who advocates unregulated fishing, but because I believe that only regulating fishing will not restore the health of our marine resources when all other impacts to the marine environment are ignored and left unchecked, and that it is the DLNR/HDAR’s responsibility to comprehensively protect our marine resources. If you think that the grounding of the Navy ship off the Airport Runway was a disaster, just wait until the new channel is dug to provide ocean access to the Hoakalei Marina in Ewa. The DLNR/HDAR needs to hear your voice too on these critical matters! If their current activities and actions are okay with you, then I have tried and failed to garner your support of common sense principles advocating for the comprehensive protection and sustainability of our marine resources and I apologize for wasting your time. 44

Lawai‘a Magazine

issue three 2009


tribute M i c h a e l R . Sa k a m oto 1 949 - 2 0 0 9

I received a call from John, who caught tag # 3928, a peacock bass (16 inches 2 1/4 pounds) at Mikimiki Flats on April 14, 2009. It’s the same fish I tagged on Mar. 24, 2008 at Mikimiki Flats (13 1/2 inches 1 1/4 pounds). I reported the catch to Annette Tagawa at Aquatic Resources. This is her email reply... “Stan, this was the same fish that Mike Sakamoto recaptured on November 27, 08. It grew another half an inch since then. This fish is doing quite well at Mikimiki Flats. I guess this is Mike’s way of saying


Lawai‘a Magazine

hello to you. Thanks for the data. Annette” Little did we know that would be  Mike’s last fishing trip. It was one of his better days. We just took our time, enjoying the beauty of the lake and sharing fishing stories.  But after less than an hour he was all worn out. Mike just relaxed in the seat and went to sleep as I headed back to the boat ramp. He had good reason to be tired, he out fished me by 5 to 1. S ta n W r i g h t

issue three 2009





I know where the monster lIves. h I d d e n . wa I t I n g . e t e r n I t I e s d r I f t p a s t. t h e n , b e n e at h g r e y s w e l l s , a s h a d o w m o v e s . a lIghtnIng surge of scale and teeth. I t I s o n ly m e a n d t h e m o n s t e r .

a g a I n s t w h o m I w I l l p r e va I l . PMS 540 C

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PMS 193 C

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This is the third issue of Lawai'a Magazine. Enjoy!