Page 1


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contents

sterling kaya

I ssue nu m b er t w o 2 0 0 9

> SECTIONS

4

> FEATURES

inside [pg.5]

FLY TYING 808 [pg.24]

MESSAGE [pg.6] e hoike mai [pg.8]

FISHING WITH DADDY BEN [pg.32]

kimi’s corner [pg.10]

MARLIN’S MARLIN [pg.44]

TOURNAMENTS [pg.14]

JIZO IN HAWAII [pg.50]

EVENTS [pg.56]

HOTEL MANAGO [pg.54]

KELA A ME KEIA [pg.58]

MAUNALUA BAY’S LAST FISH PONDS [pg. 61]

Lawai‘a Magazine

FISHERMAN, ARTIST, FATHER: MIKE SAKAMOTO [pg.38]


<

Inside Editorial Board

Hawaii Kai Marina and the community of Hawaii Kai (Kuapa Pond), Oahu 2008

In the last issue, John Clark wrote about the anae holo, or the annual migration of mullet around the island of Oahu. People remember the fantastic sight of huge travelling schools of mullet from the days of their youth or heard of it in stories like John’s and today ask “where have the mullet gone?”. But maybe the question should really be “where can they go?”. Sadly, too many blame their disappearance on overfishing in spite of the fact that every year, for hundreds of years, the Hawaiian people waited in locations all around the island and caught them in astounding numbers and amounts enough to feed villages. Every year the mullet ran this gauntlet around the island and every year, they returned in the same numbers. Towards the end of John’s article, however, one of the most significant but yet way too overlooked causes of the mullet’s decline is mentioned - the loss of the mullet’s habitat. In 1900, the island of Oahu had a total of 100 documented, working fishponds, providing thousands of pounds of fish for the community throughout the year. One of the main harvests was mullet because the combination of freshwater and shallow sand or mud flats that the ponds created were ideal for growing the limu eleele and other algae that mullet fed off of. Data from that same time indicates thousands of pounds of various fish, in addition to mullet, were Kuapa Pond, Oahu 1940 harvested from these ponds. However, in addition to the actual loss of the areas, the concept of interconnection between all of the interests. The same fate occurred with ancient fishponds and estuaries has also been lost. Each fishponds and natural springs that once dotted pond or area around the island, especially the large the shoreline from the Leeward Coast (Ted expanses, had a role in sustaining the life cycle of Makalena Golf Course, spring fed sinkholes the natural fish population. Also in some cases in the Ewa Plain) to the North Shore (Waialua, there were said to be underground connections Haleiwa) and around to the Windward side (Laie, between the ponds. Fish warden Kanae noted in Kahana, Kualoa). Most notable of all were the the 30’s that there was an underground lava tube series of large individual fishponds within the connecting Kaelepulu Pond and Kuapa. When the protected waters of Kaneohe Bay, which made mullet would disappear from one pond, the pond up 30% of all Oahu’s ponds in 1901. Most of keepers noticed that the awa or milkfish would them and many other smaller ponds were filled reappear and vice versa. in for homes, their names remembered only If you take a drive around the island today, in Windward streets such as Ka Hanahou and starting on the east end, you will pass by Mahalani Circles and Miomio Loop. And finally, countless former fishpond sites, starting with the area formerly known as Kaelepulu was also what was once one of Hawaii’s largest, Kuapa dredged deeper and reconfigured to create the Pond. The original name of this pond was communities of Enchanted Lake and Kailua. Keahupua-o-Maunalua, for the heiau or shrine With few exceptions, all of these areas which that was dedicated to the baby mullet. At one were once working fishponds or natural estuaries time 523 acres, most of what was the shallow that provided spawning and nursery grounds but expansive pond is filled in today and a for fish like the mullet have been permanently marina was dredged to make up the community removed or altered. Today they are places where now known as Hawaii Kai. Continuing west, people call home and conduct their business or you will find the subdivisions of Niu Peninsula play. They have all been filled in and built on. Of and Wailupe Peninsula, both former fish ponds the few that do remain, most were left untended filled in with coral dredged to create boat for years, overgrowing with mangrove and channels around each. Along Oahu’s south producing far below their potential. Fortunately, shore, immensely large expanses of man-made two in Kaneohe Bay are being restored. ponds and naturally formed estuaries stretching Less known is that many of the fishpond from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor were all filled in to locations were selected for their natural accommodate the attraction of seaside living freshwater spring and stream outlet features. for residents, the tourist industry and military There is no question that these freshwater

outlets provided the basis of the unique Hawaiian ecosystem, starting with elemental water chemistry that sustained various types of limu and fish that people remember in abundance not so long ago. Yet, not only were these pond and estuary sites filled in but the springs and outlets, the very lifelines of our Hawaiian ocean, were also carelessly cut off without any understanding of their role. The native green limu started to disappear and so did the fish. Today, high nutrients flowing from runoff and siltation go directly to the ocean through channelized streams that all developments used for drainage. This has given various species of alien algae a foothold and the ecosystem is very different from what it once was during the days of the anae holo. In this issue, we hope to bring a better understanding of just how important the connection of fresh water and the ancient Hawaiian fishpond system was to the island ecosystem. John Clark brings you another compelling article on the subject of the loss of our lifeline, the freshwater springs and outlets that once existed in Waikiki. Chris Cramer of the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center is also featured and writes about a more recent loss of the spring which once fed 200,000 gallons of freshwater a day into Maunalua Bay. The natural underground river that fed Kalauhaehae Fish Pond in Niu, Oahu was damaged during widening of Kalanianaole Highway to a 6 lane highway in the early 1990s. Chris also explains that while they are working to ensure the pond stays in the public trust for future generations to enjoy, their ultimate goal is to restore the spring flow to help bring back some of the habitat and, in turn, some of the life that once was. With the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center’s efforts, we have a chance in our lifetime to reverse some of what was destroyed. Without question we think it is absolutely necessary to give them our full support and ask that our readers do too. Issue Two 2009

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Message > The figure on the Guardian of the Sea t-shirt is Jizo, a well-known Japanese Buddhist deity. During the early 1900s, issei ulua fishermen in Hawaii put up statues of Jizo to protect themselves and others who fished in dangerous shoreline areas. The gyotaku-style images of Ojizosan, as he is known in Japan, the ulua, and the fishing poles represent this story, which is told in detail in John Clark’s book Guardian of the Sea: Jizo in Hawai’i. The shirt sells for $15.00 in M, L, XL, XXL. White or Black available at Hanapa‘a Fishing Supply. Coming soon, the details for the 2009 Lawai‘a Fish of the Year Contest. Prizes and awards will be given out for the largest shoreline Ulua and Oio and for the largest trolling Marlin, Ahi, Ono and Mahi. Launching soon our website www.lawaia.net. Interested in a subscription to the magazine? Send us a check made out to Lawai‘a Magazine for $14 and you will receive 4 issues a year in your mailbox.

Lawai‘a Magazine Sterling Kaya > Publisher hanapaafishing@hawaii.rr.com Design Darin H. Isobe > Art Director darini@hawaiiantel.net Director of Marketing + Sales Marc Inouye > Sales & Marketing lawaiamag@gmail.com VOICE Graphic + Environmental Design Clifford Cheng > Visual Consultant voicedesign@hawaii.rr.com Contributing Writers John Clark, Chris Cramer, Brian Funai, Mike Sakamoto, Stefanie Sakamoto, Dean Sensui, Sonny Tanabe, Kimi Werner, Ben Wong, Nicole Wong, Toni Wong, Clayton C.Y. Yee,

ON THE COVER: 33RD Annual Hilo Casting Club top 5 finishers

Letters and Comments Send to: Lawai‘a Magazine 1733 Dllingham Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 Or email: hanapaafishing@hawaii.rr.com 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.

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Lawai‘a Magazine


Bryant Baldonado Ulua

Brad Lastimosa 69 lb ulua

e ho-‘ike mai

Brandon Yamashita 240 lb Ahi

Bruce Honjiyo 84 lb Sailfish (au lepe) Bert Balecha 6.1 lb Sponge Crab (papai olu)

Brenden Hashimoto 53 lb Speared Ulua

Philip Heileson Table Boss (ea) Jaren Luke Panunu

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Lawai‘a Magazine

Edison Yagin 16.2 Lb Omilu 11.6 lb Uhu

Josh Tamayo Papio

Chris Tyler 59.1 Lb Ulua Dean S., Reid & Lance Marlin (au)

Ivan Honda Marlin (au)

Shay M. Kumu


Wendell Ching Squid (muhee)

Larren Tang Sailfish (aulepe)

Riki Yu 8.5 lb Mu

Less Walker & Kealii Cummings 160 lb Marlin (au)

Michael Billena Ulua

Todd Helenihi Flounder

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Richard & Am Cozzo, Luigi Dilernia 186.6 & 193.2 lb Ahi

Kealii Cummings Ono

Reynolds Calma Ulua

Ryan Oshita & Rod Yoshikawa Ahi

Milton Cunningham Ulua

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

Jarrett Gabriel Forst 45 lb Ulua

Kekoa Seward Omilu Gilbert Rarogal 64.5 lb Ulua

Brad Marumoto 33.8 lb Ulua

Kenneth Kea Sr. 13.32 lb Tako (hee)

Clint Nahina Ben Forsyth Dana and Aiden Sato Manini Lai Marlin (au)

e ho-â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ike mai

Nestor Matas oio

John Nakajima 11 lb Ulua

Kumu

Issue Two 2009

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Kimi’s > Corner

Ethel’s Grill

232 Kalihi Street Tel 808-847-6467 OPEN-Mon.-Sat. 5:30am-2:00pm CLOSED-Sundays & Major Holidays

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Lawai‘a Magazine


Ethel’s Grill is a gem of a restaurant serving up

affordable and delicious home-cooked food. The casual interior of the restaurant has collage-like walls covered with hand written signs of daily specials, lots of photographs and tons of sumo décor. Though many refer to the lady in charge as “Ethel,” her real name is Ryoko Ishii. She can be found working hard both in the kitchen with her husband David and out on the floor with daughter Minaka. Hard work has been a huge part of Ryoko’s daily routine ever since buying and taking over Ethel’s Grill 30 years ago. Ryoko realized when she moved from Okinawa to Hawaii that since she didn’t speak English, she might have a hard time finding a job. “Though I spoke no English, I knew that I could work hard and that I could cook,” says Ryoko. -Oh yes, she can. I had the pleasure of dining at Ethel’s for lunch and like everyone else in the restaurant, I left a happy and satisfied customer. The restaurant’s customers are regulars and no matter what they order, everyone takes advantage of Ethel’s Famous Tataki sashimi. At only $5.00 a plate, it’s a great bargain that no one can seem to resist. Usually the tataki is made from fresh island Ahi, though once in a while it will be either Aku, skipjack tuna, or Nairagi, stripped marlin. The sashimi is seared ever so lightly, sliced and then served on a bed of bean sprouts. The flavor of the fresh Ahi is distinctive and divine and is complemented perfectly with the saltiness of Ethel’s Secret Tataki Sauce. The ruby red ahi slices are also topped with paper thin, shoyu pickled garlic slivers, which add a robust flavor and a nice bite to this wonderful appetizer. Besides the tataki, all types of savory dishes were being ordered from the regulars. Big bowls of oxtail saimin and pig’s feet soup were being served along

E t h el ’ s F am o u s T ata k i s a s h imi

R y o k o I s h ii

By Kimi Werner • photos sterling kaya

Issue Two 2009

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The staff and customers at Ethel’s Grill know exactly what they’re doing and how to make the most of hard work and good island ingredients.

h ama c h i k ama

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Lawai‘a Magazine

g rille d s alm o n


with garlic pork chops and a hamburger steak- done Japanese style- with grated daikon and ponzu sauce instead of the familiar brown gravy approach. As tempting as it all looked, naturally I decided to indulge in more seafood. I took advantage of the daily specials and ordered the hamachi kama and the grilled salmon. I also ordered the island mahmahi from the regular menu. All of the plated meals come with miso soup, fresh salad, and a free drink. The fish dishes I ordered were all accompanied with one scoop of white rice, a lemon wedge, and a homemade special sauce. The hamachi kama is the collar section of the yellowtail fish. People who love hamachi for its succulent flavor and buttery texture usually find this cut to be the best for cooking. At Ethel’s Grill, it’s deep fried and served with a tangy ponzu sauce and a big wedge of lemon. The acidity of the ponzu sauce and lemon really cut through the fattiness of this coldwater fish, and added both great flavor and perfect balance. The outer skin was almost crust-like from being deep fried, which ended up being a splendid contrast to the silky white meat inside the kama. It practically melted in my mouth. Next up, a local favorite – Island Fresh Mahimahi. It arrived on a bed of shredded cabbage after being cut thin, heavily egg battered, and then grilled right on the flat top. The result of this preparation was a glistening omelet looking dish, yellow in hue with hints of buttery golden brown. It was served with a homemade tartar sauce and lemon wedge. When all of those flavors combined to form my first bite, I found it to be one of the moistest approaches to grilled Mahimahi around. The clean flavor of the Mahi surrounded by the buttery egg batter made this dish something I could imagine eating for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. The final seafood dish, grilled salmon steak, was plated a little more formally, lying in a glaze of butter sauce and gently covered with a blanket of sautéed snow peas. The rich salmon, with the belly and

skin portions still attached, went perfectly with the tender-crisp fresh snow peas, all sitting in a delectable savory butter sauce. The sauce coated the salmon with a velvety goodness and really allowed the naturally sweet and mild flavor of the fish to shine through. It was almost like I could taste those awesome omega 3’s in every bite. Needless to say, the staff and customers at Ethel’s Grill know exactly what they’re doing and how to make the most of hard work and good island ingredients. When asked why so much sumo theme in a quaint little restaurant, Ryoko explained, “When I think of the great sumo wrestlers from Hawaii, Akebono, Konishiki, and Musashimaru, and how they went to Japan to pursue their dreams, I see them as 1st generation people in Japan who had to work so hard, just like how I did when I came to Hawaii. So it’s a tribute to them! Ganbate!”

h am b u r g er s tea k

Issue Two 2009

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4th Annual

CLUB/TEAM Challenge Invitational Hosted by Hui O’ Ulua Shorecasters

O c t o b e r 3 - 5 , 2 0 0 8 • 1 6 T e a m s • 1 7 7 t o ta l e n t r a n t s

Davin Tong

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Lawai‘a Magazine


Reef Nigita

Jason Castro

Davin Pang

Francis Ganitano

Darrel Melemai

M Horii

Garret Kanai

Ulua 1. Davin Pang (52.0) 2. Francis Ganitano (50.0) 3. Garret Kanai (47.0) 4. Shane Dela Cruz (46.9) 5. Roy Vergado (46.1) Papio 1.Stuart Bailey (9.82) 2. Jaren Luke (9.28) 3. Ikaika Mollena (9.19) 4. Mark Morioka (8.89) 5. Jason Savella (8.73) Oio 1.Jason Castro (10.11) 2. Reef Nigita (9.37) 3. Darrel Melemai (8.42) 4. Nike Sonoda (8.06) 5. Jaren Luke (7.79)

Stuart Bailey

Other Game 1. Charles Tanabe (5.65 Awa awa) 2. Shane Dela Cruz (3.88 Awa awa)

Team Total Weights: Hana Pa’a Fishing Co. Jaren Luke, Michael Billena, Chris Maxwell, Daven Tong, Jeremy Nakamura, Mike Horii, Brad Marumoto, Kekahi Arakaki, Stan Bennett, Gavin Ching (284.15 lbs) Kahakai (281.42 lbs) Kolohe (120.59 lbs) Pole Bendaz A (101.80 lbs) Makapuu Boyz (95.69 lbs) Oahu (95.22 lbs) Roys Fishing (86.78 lbs) Hui O’ Ulua (83.93 lbs) Part-time Shorecasters (71.14 lbs) Rock Pounders (64.23 lbs) Pole Bendaz B (9.86 lbs) Proto-type (8.39 lbs) Issue Two 2009

15


Michael Billena

Shane Dela Cruz

100% Local  100% Original

And soon 100% HD 16

Lawai‘a Magazine

Ikaika Molina

Jaren Luke

Nike Sonoda

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

www.HawaiiGoesFishing.com


Chris Maxwell

B Yasumura J Nakamura

Tournament Sponsors/Donors: Hana Pa’a Fishing Co., Roys Fishing Supply, Nankos Fishing Supply, J. Hara Store Inc., Waipahu Bicycle and Fishing, J&E Fishing Supply, Kayas Fishing Supply, Talon Graphite Fishing Rods, Progressive Auto Sounds, MT Welding (Mat Takara), Pacific Ocean Producers, Clock & Trophy Shop, American Savings (Tammy Calma and Gail Velados), Shannon ‘Ulu’. Roy Vergado

What worked best for Hawai‘i in the past still works best for Hawai‘i today.

Support and understand the Aha Moku system! Revive the sustainable resource management practices that use the generational knowlege and wisdom of our island traditions. Contact your island's Aha Kiole Advisory Committee representative:

Vanda Hanakahi (Moloka‘i) Hanakahi@sandwichisles.net

Buttons Lovell (Hawai‘i) Pihi52@yahoo.com

Timmy Bailey (Maui) paulokealeioku@hawaiiantel.net

Winnie Basques (Lana‘i) Winnie@aloha.net

Les Kuloloio (Kaho‘olawe) Kulolo@clearwire.net

Charles Kapua (O‘ahu) Leea030@hawaii.rr.com

Sharon Pomroy (Kaua‘i) Pomroys001@hawaii.rr.com

Ilei Beniamina (Ni‘ihau) jeanilei@yahoo.com

Watch Let’s Go Fishing, Sundays on KHON at 5:30 pm, to learn more! Issue Two 2009

17


9th Annual

Shorecasters Invitational Tournament Aug 31, 2008

S Hayashida

shorecasters

RESULTS Ulua S. Hayashida (57.8 lbs.) J. Luke (51.8) R. Hayashi (34.3) Papio T. Takahata (9.9) W. Park (9.7) E. Torigoe (8.3) R Hayashi

B Murakami

Oio B. Murakami (8lb 12oz.) S. Okata (6lb 8oz) G. Hiramoto (6lb 7oz)

T Takahata

W Park

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Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine

J Luke & J Nakamura

G Hiramoto

S Okata


3rd Annual

Monsta Tilapia keiki fishing open Presented by Kai Clothing and Hana Pa‘a Fishing Co.

Cody Miyataki

November 8, 2008

monsta

RESULTS 5 & Under 1. Kailani Agricula 2. Trevan Murakami 3. Kai Lum Kai Lum

Trevan Murakami

Special Thanks to our sponsors:

Kailani Agricula

Menehune Water Co., Izuo Bros., AQA Watersports, Lance Ohara, Island Silver, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, Lawai’a Magazine

Kakaako Kasting Club Oio Invitational Tournament

Casey Kawano

Thanks also to:

Emcee Danny Dikilato, Weigh Master Larry Tang, Ryna Ordinado, James Yamada, Pat Ordinado, Jaymie, Randy and Neve Soriano

6-9 years old 1. Jonah Ng 2. Cody Miyataki 3. Gabriel Goya 10-13 years old 1. Dane Kawano 2. Jarryn Ng 3. Casey Kawano

33RD Annual

Hilo Casting Club Tournament

November 9, 2008

Oio James Inouye (9 lb. 4 oz) Reynolds Calma (8 lb. 3 oz.) Chad Aoki (8 lb.) Mark Morioka (7 lb. 7 oz.) Raymond Miyahira (7 lb. 6 oz.) Ulua Cliff Betonio (81.4 lb.) Daniel Chamizo (23.3 lb.) Ikaika Moilena (18.6 lb.)

Top 5 Finishers

Papio Lance Takeuchi (9 lb. 6 oz.) Ikaika Moilena (9 lb. 5 oz.) Honorio Madriaga Jr. (8 lb. 12 oz.) Cliff Betonio

Lance Takeuchi

James Inouye

Largest Fish 1. Jason Perez (111.7 lbs.) 2. Robert Texeira (105.7) 3. Reuben Llanes (103.8) 4. John Branco (92.5) 5. Glen Roxburg (77.6) 6. Richard Kaiawe (77.2) 7. Zach Campogan (63.4) 8. Kyle Otsuka (62.4) 9. E.Boneza (61.9) 10. Adam Harrison (61.6) 11. Ikaika Marzo (61.5) 12. S.Oshiro (56.4) 13. Mel Hirayama (55.1) 14. A.Rigor (53.7) 15. Keola Veloria (48.7)

Tournament’s Outstanding Fisherman (Governors Koa Bowl) Glen Roxburgh for his catch of 77.6, 62.7, 50.1 Ulua and 15.5 lb Omilu Largest Omilu 1. Ian Lundstrom (21.9 lbs.) 2. Bert Llanes (19.7) 3. Ricky Beaudet (18.6) Largest Other Fish Brandon Arraujo (32.9 Kagami) Smallest Fish Howard Yoshida (5.1 Pake Aawa) Issue Two 2009

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21st Annual

Jackpot & Wahine Tournament October 18 & 19, 2008

Kiyomi

Jackpot

RESULTS

Lady Bea

Marlin Lady Bea (237.0 lbs.) Amy C. (193.3) Keala D. (155.8) Keaholoa (138.5) Jessie J. (134.5)

Keala D

Janie Maru

Ahi Keala D. (111) Janie Maru (29.6) Jessie J. (13.3)

Amy C Six Annes

Mahimahi Kiyomi (35.2) Six Annes (32.9) Triple A (29) Ono Triple A (28.1)

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Triple A Lawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a Magazine


Janie Maru

WAHINE

RESULTS Ahi Pomaikai (139.5) Ikaika (8.2) Mahimahi Janie Maru (49.4) Mahinahina (29.7) Kiakahi (19.5) Nia J. (10.2)

Pomaikai Ikaika

Ono Nia J. (9.5)

Nia J

Kiakahi

Issue Two 2008

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It Was Meant To Be B y B ryson I wane

It was 6:30 in the morning on November 8, 2008 and the 11th annual BAD DAD’S Fishing Tournament was on the way. On board the Verna C that day was Nathan Kishimoto, Jason Alipio, Renny Muraoka and I. The game plan for the day was to start fishing at the T buoy and work our way out. When we got to the buoy, we noticed there were no birds there. We dragged the teaser around the buoy and a single Mahimahi came in and took the bait. After several more passes with no success, we decided to set the lures out and start trolling. As we passed the buoy, the center came down and we had a fish on. After a short fight, we landed a nice 23 Lb. Ono. A few more passes at the buoy produced nothing, so we decided to work our way out to the 1500 fathom line. As we got there, Renny turned the boat to follow it down towards Kahuku. There were no signs of life out there so I made some phone calls to see how everyone else was doing. Dean Sakamoto on the Kristen S said there were some open schools and small rubbishes on the inside. Renny decided to chance it and began heading in to the 500 fathom line. About one hour later, the starboard outrigger came down but the fish didn’t stick. Renny began free spooling the line to entice what ever it was to come back. To our surprise, it came back and hit the lure once more. This time it began pulling some line out but came off. With much disappointment we reeled in the lure to check its condition. There were a few bill marks on the head but everything else was okay. We continued toward the 500 fathom line and once there, we found an open school with a good size bull in it. We tried baiting it, but a dead Opelu wasn’t on his menu that day and he just swam away. We continued sliding down and in the low 190’s found a milk crate with three Mahimahis on it. Renny was able to catch two of them but the third one would not even

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Lawai‘a Magazine

come close to the bait. By this time, it was around 2:00 PM and we decided to head back up to Kaneohe along the 500 fathom line. Along the way, we found two more schools but they too didn’t want to bite. At 4:00 PM we decided it was time to start heading in. At approximately 4:13 PM, Jason’s lure on the port corner took a strike. As we turned around, a marlin poked its head out of the water and began thrashing side to side. Jason, Nate

Ekolu J

Verna C

and I quickly ran downstairs and started clearing the lines. Renny called into tournament base to notify them of the hookup. They told him that the fish must be boated by the 4:30 stop fishing deadline or the fish would be disqualified. He yelled down to us and said, “We only have 15 minutes to land the fish.” I pushed the drag lever to full and thumbed the spool to prevent more line from leaving the reel. This was a very intense moment because I knew there was a chance


DQ

Shari I

that the line could break or the hooks could pull out. To my surprise the line held and I began to pull on the line as hard as I could as Jason and Nate took turns picking up the slack. Renny began reversing down on the marlin, but could not go fast enough, so he spun the boat around to chase it down. Nate and I took turns cranking the reel until the line was straight down. Now came the hard part of pulling the fish up from the depths. I grabbed the line and pulled with all my might until we saw color. I told Nate and Jason to get ready with the gaffs. As the marlin broke the surface, Nate sunk the first gaff into the fish followed by Jason. We pulled the marlin’s head over the gunwale and Renny came down to bat the fish. Just then the fish stood up and almost speared Renny in the arm, but luckily it went through his rain gear and just scratched him. The next 1 to 2 minutes felt like hours as we tried to subdue the marlin. Finally we were able to pull the fish onboard and all of us dropped in exhaustion. It was 4:22 PM and I told Renny to hurry up and call it in. He got on the radio and told tournament base we landed the fish and it was around 250 Lbs. Cheers and high fives erupted in the boat as we throttled up and headed in. As we were waiting in line to weigh our fish, Nate noticed the fish started to quiver and a couple more swings put an end to that. At the scales the fish weighed in at 291 Lbs which eventually ended up taking first place. What an exciting way to end a great day of fishing and also a day the crew of the Verna C will never forget. We would like to say thanks to Uncle Bob for building a great boat and for waking up early in the morning to trailer us down to the pier. Aunty Verna for all the great meals she cooks for us when

Wailele Jam

we come home from a long day of fishing. Tiff for being such an understanding person and allowing Renny to take us fishing. To all our family and friends who helped us throughout the years and especially to Randy Marks and his Ohana for their hard work in putting together such a great tournament every year.

Bad Dad’s

Jackpot Tournament Heeia Kea Pier November 8, 2008

Marlin Verna C (291 lbs.) Ekolu J (111 lbs.) Bill Collector (93 lbs.) Bayside Too (DQ returned too late) Ono Bill Collector (24 lbs.) Verna C (23 lbs.) Mahimahi Shari I (39 lbs.) Wailele Jam (35 lbs.) Taylor B (32 lbs.)

Bayside Too

After the Verna C weighed in their 291lb. marlin they were clearly in the lead. However, the crowd on the Heeia Kea Pier was also anticipating the return of Bayside Too who had called in a 350 lb. marlin. As the clock ticked closer to the 6 PM return deadline everyone scanned the horizon for any sign of Paul Takemoto and crew. Once it became apparent they would not get back in time, concerned tournament organizer Randy Marks got on his cell and contacted the Bayside Too. Capt. Paul Takemoto, Archie Komai and Norman Murakami hooked up to the marlin at 12:10 in the afternoon while about 28 miles out. They worked their way in as they fought the giant fish and were about 16 miles out when they finally secured the fish at 4:15 PM. They knew the marlin was too big to boat so they didn’t even try. Instead they tied the fish to the side of the boat and headed back to the harbor. They calculated they would get back well before the 6PM deadline. But at 5:30, just 3 miles from the Heeia Kea Pier the rope securing the fish broke. They stopped to retie the fish, but it soon became apparent they would not make it back in time. Unfortunately, the team was disqualified, but spectators stuck around. When they pulled up to the dock it was obvious the fish was much larger than they had estimated, although the fish was never weighed. Issue Two 2009

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b y C l a y t o n C . Y. Y e e

Fly Tying 808

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Issue Two 2009

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Fly tying is not new to Hawaii. Fishermen of these islands have been lashing a myriad of materials to fishhooks since ancient times. Surprisingly, fly tying in Hawaii has progressed slowly compared to the explosion experienced by much of the world.

One reason for this is that fly fishing in general has been slow to become recognized as a viable way to fish in the islands. The other, and probably the major reason, is that the vast majority of fishermen here have not been exposed to fly tying. This article will hopefully clear up some of the mysteries behind fly tying as well as serve as an introduction to fly tying to all fishermen who have not yet been exposed to this way of creating fish catching flies. Clearly, the vast majority of fishing flies are created for use while fly fishing. This, however, is by no means the only application of the creations that can come off a fly tier’s vise. Flies can be used for just about any kind of fishing that is done with a hook and line. Bottom fishermen and akule fishermen have been using simple flies for decades. Many jigs and trolling lures are nothing more than heavily weighted flies. The dressed trebles found on the trailing hook of numerous plugs are nothing more than a fly tied on a treble hook. With the resourcefulness and creativity that island fishermen seem to innately have, the possibilities are endless. Fly tying can add a new and valuable dimension to the island fisherman’s “bag of tricks”. It is also a great way to be creative, relax, and keep in touch with our sport while not on the water. Fly tying is not difficult. With the proper tools and a basic set of tying skills, anyone can not only tie flies but can tie ones that catch fish!

The Tools There are several essential tools that all fly tiers must have. These include a vise, bobbin, and scissors. A vise is nothing more than a devise that holds a hook in a stationary position so that materials can be tied to it. Before the advent of fly tying specific vises, fly tiers used to hold the hook between their fingers while the fly was tied. Others would use a vise grip, bench vise, or devices that were designed for other purposes. There are still quite a few fishermen who still tie

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their jigs and damashis or sabiki rigs this way and although there is no doubt that this can be done, the fly tying vise offers the tier significant advantages. The fly tying vise holds the hook with the proper amount of pressure so that the hook will not slip while tying or weaken due to too much pressure, a problem with many vise grips and other types of vises. It also allows the tier to have two free hands instead of just one, as is the case with a hook held with one’s fingers. Both of these advantages greatly help with the ease of tying as well as the complexity and quality of fly that the average fly tier can achieve. A bobbin is a device that holds the thread used to tie the fly. The bobbin’s main purpose is to keeps tension on the thread during the fly tying process. When creating flies it is critical to keep tension on the tread at all times. With the spool of thread in a bobbin the devise can be hung from the hook to maintain thread tension again freeing up the tier’s hands. Having hands free allows a tier to stop at any point during the tying process to prepare materials, answer the phone, watch the television, or go to sleep. All of which, I find myself doing quite often during my tying sessions. Fly tying scissors complete the trio of absolutely essential tools. There is one rule when it comes to scissors for fly tying, they must be sharp. Tiers need to cut everything from hair to mylar as well as thread. Often, very precise cuts must be made; therefore most tying scissors have fine tips and are extremely sharp. The size of the scissors depends on its intended use. A 4” straight scissors is a good size for most applications and is often times referred to an “all purpose” scissors. There are numerous other tools used by fly tiers that are very important for specific applications, but at the core of it all the vise, bobbin, and scissors are the most essential.

Fly tying can add a new and valuable dimension to the island fisherman’s “bag of tricks”. It is also a great way to be creative, relax, and keep in touch with our sport while not on the water.

Fly Parts There are three basic parts to a fly that all tiers should be familiar with. These are the tail, body, and wing. The tail refers to any material that is tied to hang off the back of the bend or curved end of the hook. The body refers to material that is tied to the shank of the hook. Body materials on flies are usually tied in and wrapped around the hook shank to form the body of the fly. The wing of the fly refers to the material tied directly behind the eye of the hook. The material can be tied on either side of the hook or completely around the hook. It can be tied to represent part of the body of a baitfish or the back of a shrimp or crab. Regardless of what it is intended to represent, it is still referred to as the wing. Most flies will have a tail, body, and wing whether it is a trout fly or billfish fly. Flies may have other parts, but almost all flies will have at least two of the three basic parts. Most flies will also have a head. The head of the fly is nothing more than the build up of thread directly behind the eye of the hook. The “head” of the fly may or may not represent the head of the prey being imitated but it is still referred to as the head. Issue Two 2009

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Let’s Tie One Up! We’ll start with a very basic baitfish imitation. This style of streamer fly can be tied in different colors, sizes, and materials to represent any baitfish that swims. The fly works equally well on fresh or saltwater species. Locally this fly has proven itself to be very effective on papio, barracuda, peacock bass and a host of other fish eating species. It is great behind a bubble as well as slow trolled offshore for shibi and aku, especially when the fish are keying on smaller baits. I don’t think this fly has a name. It is more of a style than a specific pattern. The fly has a body and wing but no tail (although one can be easily added if desired). By altering materials, colors, weights, and sizes, this one pattern alone can be tied in an infinite number of ways and is a great jumping off point for the new tier.

Start by tying in the thread behind the eye of the hook. To start tying any fly the thread is anchored by taking five or so wraps around itself. Advance the thread to the bend of the hook and back forward again. This will create a base of thread on the hook shank. Materials should always be tied on a base or thread rather than on the bare hook shank. The thread base helps grip the material and makes it easier to control the placement of materials.

Step 2

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1 photos stan wright

Step 1

3

Step 4

Tie in a piece of diamond braid. Gold, silver, or pearl diamond braids are good color choices here. Cover the diamond braid with thread up to the bend of the hook. Advance the thread back to the point where the diamond braid was tied in.

Step 3 Wrap the diamond braid forward around the hook shank. Be sure to keep the wraps right next to each other. This is the body of the fly. Continue wrapping until the body reaches the hanging thread. Tie off the diamond braid with three or four wraps of thread. The diamond braid will represent the body of the baitfish as well as add a bit of flash to the fly.

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Select your winging material. Bucktail is popular but any synthetic or natural winging material will do. Tie in the wing at the point where the body ended. The wing should all be tied on top of the shank. To keep the wing from going around the hook when tied another basic fly tying technique must be used. This technique is called the pinch technique. To do this, hold the material, in this case bucktail, in place along with the hook shank. Pull the thread between your fingers and around the material. At this point you should be holding the hook, the bucktail and the thread between your fingers. Do not pull the thread tight. This is called a loose wrap. Make another loose wrap and then tighten. Do not let go of the material or the hook while tightening the thread. Instead just let the thread wraps tighten around the hook shank and material while you are holding it in place. If done correctly all the wing material should remain on top of the hook shank.


Step 5 At this point, the sky is the limit. Any kind of winging material can be added in the same manner as in step 4. In this case a darker color of bucktail is added on top of the first wing to give the illusion of the darker shaded back color that baitfish tend to have.

Step 6

(optional)

Tie in a couple of strands of flash material (in this case Electra Scale). Note that the flash is tied in with one strand on each side and tied at the midpoint of the strands. The strands facing forward are then folded back and tied down with a few wraps of thread. If done properly the material should extend straight back above the body and below the wing. This will represent the lateral line of the baitfish and add a bit more flash.

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Step 7

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Complete the fly by wrapping thread around the shank and building up a thread head. The head should cover the exposed materials that were tied in and taper toward the eye of the hook.

Step 8 Whip finish or tie about five half hitches. These knots are used to finish all flies and are really all you need to make a sturdy fly. Trim the thread close and apply head cement or nail polish. Although it is not necessary when a proper whip finish or half hitches are used, adding nail polish or head cement can add extra durability as well as a nice sheen to the thread wraps. Instead of tying the whip finish or half hitches a drop of crazy glue can be applied to the head before cutting the thread. This will work but it is more time consuming and, for me, far messier than the whip finish. Eyes can be applied as well as epoxy (for supreme durability) if desired, but are not necessary. The fly described in this article merely represents the entrance to the rabbit hole leading to the world of fly tying. Hopefully, it will serve as an introduction and springboard for those who have not yet had exposure to tying. Fly tying is a wonderful aspect of fishing that has for a long time gone underutilized by many local fishermen. It gives fishermen another extremely effective option for bait or lures. It adds an element of creativity to the sport we all live for. Catching fish is always fun. If you are anything like I am, fooling a fish into taking something that you madeâ&#x20AC;Ś well thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just borderline magical! Nervous Water will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this article, fly tying, or fly fishing in Hawaii. Just drop us a line at info@nervouswaterhawaii.com or visit us at 3434 Waialae Avenue. Issue Two 2009

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Fishing with Daddy Ben B y N icole & T oni W ong

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To me, there is no place on earth that Ben Wong belongs more to than Kaneohe Bay. Although he grew up in Kaimuki, he spent most of his weekends, since the age of 4, at the He‘eia fishing pond and in Kaneohe Bay. There, his love and respect of the ocean was nurtured by his father, who eventually moved to Kaneohe to stay.  In the bay, my dad grew up doing just about every kind of salt water fishing there is.  However, one of his favorites has to be throw netting. My dad learned the art at a very young age and taught us, his three daughters, the same way.  But, he grew up doing it the old fashioned way and tells us all the time, “how nice it is now that the nets are made with suji instead of linen.” Today, we are afforded the luxury of riding a boat around the bay, but my father spent his youth walking the many reefs.  Because of this, the reefs of Kanohe bay are like the back of my father’s hand and the road maps of his life.  Here there are glimpses of my grandmother sewing nets, my father and grandfather throwing nets, and us, his children, torching late into the night. Torching at night was one activity that was always fun for the whole family. My dad would always plan the best night for this when the tides were low, the ocean was calm, and the skies were moonless. The ocean was my giant aquarium on those nights. Walking along the reefs in Kaneohe we enjoyed looking at the baby squid, balloon fish, opihi, o’ama, and white eels in the ocean. As his daughters, we were very lucky.  My father taught us to love and respect the ocean and the way of the bay.  Some of my best childhood memories are fishing with my dad.

My father taught us to love and respect the ocean and the way of the bay

Fishing with Daddy Ben Living on Kaneohe Bay we got to experience all kinds of fishing activites. Spinning, throw netting, and spearing are some of the many types of fishing my dad would take the family out to do on his days and nights off. And let’s not forget all the fish we could eat! With my dad’s background in cooking, he knows how to cook all kinds of seafood. Fresh ahi, steamed moi, and fried papio are just some of the delicacies he would prepare for the family. But most of all, he taught us where we come from and that this will always be our home. Fishing was always a passion

of my father’s so it was great when KHON approached him about doing Let’s Go Fishing in 1998. Through Let’s Go Fishing my father has been able to share old and new Hawaiian fishing traditions with the public. His long fishing history has given him the experience to inform and entertain on the show.  My dad is the writer, producer, and director of Let’s Go Fishing and it has always been important to him that the show imparts concern for conservation.  He works hard to make sure that our future generations will be able to enjoy the same ocean resources we have today.

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Fishing with Daddy Ben

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Ben SPEAKS

There is a t-shirt that I’ve seen with these words printed on it: Fishing is Life. For many of my family and friends, those 3 words say it all.

I grew up in a family full of fishermen. On my dad’s side, his family was once the owners of the He‘eia fishpond, located on O‘ahu, near the landmark Hygenic Store. On my mom’s side, no less than three uncles encouraged me weekly to provide them with oama as bait for their weekend fishing trips in exchange for loose change and snacks. One of my grand uncles, Uncle James, prepared and placed in his dry boxes every fish I ever gave to him, not for bait, but for his daily fish and poi meal. And of course, all 3 generations of us spent our Sunday afternoons in front of the television to watch Bruce Carter, Hari Kojima, and later Stan Wright embark on fishing adventures on our favorite local program, Let’s Go Fishing! My fishing adventures with my father included trips to Wailupe for that sweet shrimp delicacy, opae lolo. We did overnighters with our extended fishing ohana at Castle Point in Kailua for ulua and oio. In Kaneohe Bay, white crab, samoan crab, omaka, and sweet butter clams are part of the treasured memories. My Aunty Eva showed me how to hook mongoose fish and not to be afraid of night tako, even though they could bite the heck out of you. And I still remember the first mullet I caught with my linen throw net, long since retired. Back in some shoe box in my closet is a picture of me with my first rod and reel and my first fish caught spinning: barracuda! Certainly life throws at you much

more than the challenge of catching a fish. Like most of us in Hawai‘i, I’ve worked at more than one job at the same time to make ends meet. I spent 30 years in the restaurant business, did television stuff, radio stuff, real estate stuff, etc... I enjoyed working double time, it paid the mortgage and got my 3 kids through college. But when the pressure of work got to me, fishing saved the day! In 1999, I became involved with the Let’s Go Fishing show on KHONTV. The amazing circumstances that

have brought me to this point of producing and hosting this nearly 40 year television tradition in Hawaii has been fun. My friend, Sterling Kaya, whose father Fred was also very kind to me, is, as they say, cut from the same cloth. He shares the same DNA that many of us have with regards to our love of the ocean that surrounds Hawai‘i. Most of you know Sterling through his fishing and tackle store Hanapa’a, his magazine Hawai‘i Skin Diver, and this magazine Lawai’a. Sterling has asked me to share a fishing story or two with you… I was with my video camera in this “secret” fishing spot of mine when an old timer who was diving for tako (octopus) in the area came by to talk story and see what I was up to. We got to chatting about the bait fish we call “jumping jacks,” the gobi that lives in the tidal pools formed by lava scoops. I told him that I always struggled when

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trying to catch these guys to use for ulua bait. So the old timer says to me, “Shut your camera, off. I don’t mind you telling people about this, but I don’t want this on camera.” So, needless to say, my curiosity was spiking, and the camera went off. Then this old timer showed me something I’ll never forget. In this tide pool, where 2 six-inch jumping jacks were hiding from me in the submerged cracks in the lava, the old timer placed his spear into the water. At the end of his spear he had placed one of the tako he had caught earlier. In his other hand he held a scoop net. It took only a few seconds and these jumping jacks were so frightened of the tako, they leapt out of the tidal pool, went air borne almost 2 feet, and were captured in mid-air with the scoop net in the old timer’s other hand. He caught almost 20 of these prized bait fish in the next 15 minutes. Right there and then, I realized how much I still had yet to learn.

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On another occasion, another memorable moment… My brother-in-law, Harrison Lai, was one of the parents at Kahala Elementary School, who organized the school’s Keiki Fishing Club. We were with the kids on the Kualoa Ranch property catching catfish. The usual environment of chaos and kids was taking place. Much of our time was spent untangling lines, unhooking fish, calming kids down, and looking at our watches to see how much longer this was going to go on. Then this young girl started shouting for assistance. She had a decent 10 to 12 inch channel catfish at the end of her line. One of the dad’s scooped it out of the water and had placed it on the bank. In this fish’s mouth was another smaller catfish, still wiggling! We pulled it out of the larger catfish’s mouth and could see that the hook, with the shrimp used as bait on it still attached, was in the smaller catfish’s mouth. This was right out of a cartoon. The kids and the parents were cracking up. I


Fishing with Daddy Ben

was thinking: They’re going to remember this for a long time! The fact that many of us in Hawai‘i have generations of history with our fishing lifestyle gives us both the privilege and the responsibility of participating in ocean resource management. What we love most in life, the ocean, deserves our full attention when it comes to policy making. In the parlance of government regulation, we, the “stakeholders” of our ocean environment need to be engaged with the policy making process. If we do not, well-funded organizations, some from out of state, some without the input from those of families who have lived for generations in these islands, will have the political muscle to impose their ideologies upon us. It is a complicated issue. Most of us would rather go fishing than have to deal with this issue, as discussions regarding fishing regulations often add another level of stress to our daily concerns. But if we don’t take on this thankless challenge, fishing as we know it, may become just a fishing tale.

Let’s Go Fishing is broadcast on local FOX affiliate KHON-TV, Sundays at 5:30 pm. LGF is also cablecast on TIME WARNER cable service, Oceanic, on the CW 93 channel, Saturdays at 5:30 pm. Nearly 30 episodes are available for viewing on line at www.benwongtv. com. Adventures include visits to O‘ahu’s neighbor islands of Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, and the Big Island. Fishing destinations beyond the islands include Alaska, Guatemala, Tahiti, Micronesia, Washington State, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and more. Email Ben: lgf@hawaii.rr.com!

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m

oto

saka Mike

As we were going to press: Michael R. Sakamoto 1949 - 2009 Our friend, Mike, passed away on January 14, 2009 in Honolulu while battling non-hodgkins lymphoma. We will all miss him dearly. Whether it was watching Fishing Tales every weekend or reading a new chapter in one of his many books, we all learned something new with every show and every page. What Mike shared with the fishing community and the people of Hawaii was immeasurable. In appreciation of everything he has done and meant to us, we will feature a tribute in the next issue to the man who truly was a fisherman of Hawaii, a Lawai’a. A Hui Hou, Mike, until we meet again. Editors of Lawai’a

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B y Stefa n ie Sa k am o t o

H

aving Mike Sakamoto for a father is not so different from having a regular, non-tv dad. He was strict, scary, and hated all the boys I dated. He made me scrub the kitchen floor, clean my room, and grounded me for grades. He’d take me to the beach during the summer, practiced tennis with me, gave me my love for writing, and caught me frogs that I kept as pets when I was a kid. One thing you might not know about him: he’s uncomfortable in front of a camera. Though you’d never know it from his eighteen years hosting and producing the Fishing Tales television program, Mike Sakamoto considers himself an artist, father, grandfather, and husband before a television personality. Talk to him about art, his family, or his miniature dachshund named Cappy, and his face instantly lights up; talk to him about the business of running a television program from the ground-up, and the expression becomes more serious. Not all fishing trips and fun, Sakamoto not only hosted the show, but served as editor,

cameraman, salesman, producer, grip, writer, and director throughout its lifespan. It was a tiresome, stressful, but ultimately rewarding job. “We had no regrets,” Sakamoto says about shutting down the production in 2005. Sakamoto, together with business partner and friend A.D. Ackerman of Kona, first came up with the idea for a thirty-minute fishing show because they believed that the market was ripe and the demand would be there. Making do with whatever video equipment available in Ackerman’s tv station Channel 6 in Kailua-Kona, the pair ventured off onto what would turn into an 18 year journey marked by memorable adventures and a lifetime’s worth of education. “He is the greatest friend a person could ever have,” Sakamoto says in reference to A.D. Ackerman, the man he attributes the success of Fishing Tales to. “Fishing Tales would never have happened if not for him,” Sakamoto says, “He held it together. I only hooked and landed the fish”. Today, Mike Sakamoto is retired from the television life. He now dedicates his life to two totally different

passions – art and recreational fishing preservation. Being faced with the possibility of near-total closure of shoreline to fishermen is the scariest thought for Sakamoto. “All I want is for the average person to be able to carry a bamboo pole and some bait down to the beach and have a great time,” he says, “There are now large groups of people with large sums of money who want that to no longer be possible”. In recent years, news and chatter of the overfishing of oceans and the strain on our ocean resources by pollution and the like has reached a level previously unseen, prompting the introduction of “closure legislation” which aims to simply close shoreline and oceans to fishermen and divers. Unfair loopholes such as ethnic exemptions and the targeting of specific user groups have sparked anger and disagreement among the community. Sakamoto’s take on the problem and its possible solutions are unique. Instead of bans and closures, he believes that the key to preservation lies in simple proper management, Issue Two 2009

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Mike prides himself in being self sufficient. He raises chickens for eggs. He fishes in Hilo Bay and hunts pig for meat. He grows fruits and vegetables in his garden and trades with neighbors for things he doesn’t grow. “If worse comes to worse,” Mike states, “all I would really need to buy is rice and flour.”

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which is what should have occurred all along. A member of both the Gillnet Task Force and the Bottom Fishing Task Force, Sakamoto was able to have a hand in creating plans for regulation on both fronts. “This was a good example of people getting together to create effective rules to govern themselves,” Sakamoto says, “It proves it can be done”. Unfortunately, in the case of both task forces, their reports filed with the State were ignored, fueling the distrust that now exists between the fishing community and the government. Eventually, only after concerns about gill nets became news, the state was forced to reexamine the rules and regulations put forth by the Gill Net Task Force and adopt some of them. With closure being touted as the only solution to environmental groups to control ocean resources, Sakamoto is quick to point out that there are many other avenues yet to explore. “Bag limits, closed seasons, slot limits, and maybe even a marine fishing license,” he says, listing other ways that the resources can be managed. When talking about the future of fishing, Sakamoto is both passionate and scared. The possibility of fishing one day being a thing of the past is his greatest fear. “I want to be able to teach my grandchildren to fish,” Sakamoto says, voicing a very common concern among those fighting yearly at the State Capitol to keep things fair for the community. Four years ago, it was difficult to imagine a group of fishermen, divers, and netters hanging out at the State Capitol, lobbying, testifying, and rubbing shoulders with politicians. Today, they have their own organization, a network of spokesmen, and have learned more about the legislative process than many learn in a lifetime. They write testimony, call their Senators and Representatives on a regular basis, track legislation, testify at hearings, and understand the grueling process involved in trying to get their own bills passed. “It’s hard work,” Sakamoto says of getting involved in the politics of fishing, “But we’re trying”. In addition to fighting for fishing rights, these days Sakamoto also dedicates his


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life to his art. Interested in the impressionists since he was a boy, Sakamoto studied painting since his days at McKinley High School, where Mr. Charles Higa first mentored him. Starting out mostly in watercolor, Sakamoto first began by painting waterscapes and fishing spots, places where he’d been and loved. One of my most vivid memories of Dad the Artist came very early one morning as I slept peacefully in my bedroom, only to be awakened by the sound of rummaging and the light on in dad’s

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office. I got out of bed to see what was going on at 3 a.m., and saw my dad painting away. “What are you doing?” I asked him, to which he replied, “I just had an idea!” with the happiest grin on his face. It was truly then that I understood art and passion. To be awakened in the dead of night and to have that need to rouse yourself from the warmth of your bed to put it down on canvas, well, if that’s not what defines an artist, I don’t know what does. Since shutting down Fishing Tales, Sakamoto has been able to paint on a full-time basis. His paintings have been featured in a number of shows and galleries over the years, and can be found for sale through the artist himself, and through an art gallery website, www.hawaiiart.com. He’s also started to paint portraits of dogs for fellow dog lovers on a consignment basis, a side business venture that has proven very popular. Sakamoto’s most famous dog painting in Hilo can currently be seen along Aupuni Street, on the wall surrounding the construction site of the new Hilo Judiciary Complex. To deter graffiti from popping up, the community decided to use the blank wall for murals by anyone who wanted to contribute, and Sakamoto’s contribution ended up being a mural entitled “Dogs of the Judiciary”, the beloved best friends of the workers at the Third Circuit Court. Sakamoto’s own dog is among


them, since his wife – my mother – works for the Court. Today, I can truly say that my dad is a very relaxed and happy person. He fishes for fun now, going out sometimes multiple nights a week on his boat to catch “whatever’s biting in the bay”, golfs with his friends weekly, and paints at all hours of the day and night. He spends time with my mom, his dog, my brother, and his family, and never stops fighting for fishing rights, sometimes emailing news and ideas back and forth with this fellow fishing fighters all day. Life is still busy for him, despite being retired. But, it is a different kind of busy now, one that he wholeheartedly enjoys. Still, many things remain the same about him: his love for fishing, his tireless work ethic, and his dedication to his family.

I’ve thought about the episodes of Fishing Tales that were exceptionally memorable... the ones that truly stood out. The problem is; after 480+ shows produced over a span of 18 years, I can remember them all in great detail, but can’t really say one was better than another. Yes; we got lucky and landed some monster ulua, big marlin and ahi on the show, but seeing a teenager’s eyes lighten up when landing a two pound papio can outshine any grander. In general, the “people who caught the fish”... made every show something special. Just the simple fact that they had a great time fishing and were delighted in hooking and landing some truly trophy fish or even just an average fish....made the show a good one. I was never one who looked down at anyone who landed a tilapia or taape....to me they were all good fish and deserved to be treated with great reverence and respect. And if the guest angler felt the same way and we got that message across to the viewers then that was a message more than worthy of sending. I guess that’s why we strived to release as much fish as possible. Yes; its a good conservation message, but the display of respect is a bigger and more powerful message. After all those years producing shows I really came away believing some people will always land good fish because of their attitude. On every show one angler emerged who hooked and landed most of the fish. And this could be the least experienced angler of the bunch. Some people call it luck, but I think it’s just a good person doing the best he or she can and not giving up. I’ve seen some real hot-shot anglers come away with absolutely no fish and get upset about this for the rest of the day. “This never happens to me!!!!.....I always land fish and always the biggest....” is what he’d say and be very serious about it. Sometimes the angler just has too big of an ego and is trying too darn hard. Sometimes having too big of a reputation consumes them and destroys them from within. I try to help them settle down and not take things too seriously. If this can be done, usually it’ll break the ice and fish will be landed. It’s all very strange in a way, but it happened all the time. On another note; I’ve met some anglers that are true “naturals” in fishing. They’re humble. They know what they are doing and they do it well. They are just extremely good and I’ve had the luck to meet one or two of those gifted guys in my lifetime. They could land a trophy fish in a plastic bucket filled with seawater if they had to.....and probably think nothing of it. So in summary; outstanding programs and trophy fish come from outstanding anglers with good attitudes. It’s all that simple. Our job was just to be in the right place at the right time with a camera rolling tape. -Mike Sakamoto

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Everyone already knows the obvious: catching any fish isn’t something you can ever count on. And after four years of being involved in the production of a fishing show, I know that catching someone on-camera catching a big fish is even less likely. You gotta be there when it happens and you gotta be paying attention when it does. Most of all it depends on luck. I’m not very superstitious, but for the show I tend to do stuff like knock wood just in case. 44

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photo Laura Aquino

B y D e a n S e n s u i C o - E x e c u t i v e P r o d u c e r H a w a i i G o e s F i sh i n g


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n 2007 I had a meeting with HIBT founder Peter Fithian and we decided that when Hawaii Goes Fishing went back into production, it would be nice to do a show about what’s probably one of the oldest fishing tournaments around. It’s certainly Hawaii’s oldest tournament and one of the few that doesn’t have a money prize. I covered the HIBT back in the 1980’s when I was a photographer for the Star-Bulletin and it gave me my first impression of blue water fishing. When we finally got back into production this year, Peter invited me out to Kona and asked public relations director Laura Aquino to help me get the access I needed.   Among the stories we planned was about George Parker. He caught the first Pacific Blue marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds and was the namesake for the George Parker award which is given to the angler who brings in a grander at the HIBT. The only fisherman to claim that prize was Gil Kraemer in 1986.    Laura arranged to get me on the Marlin Magic II, captained by one of George Parker’s sons, Marlin Parker. Yes, he was named after the grander that George caught in 1954, and he and his brother Randy both followed in their father’s footsteps.   The Marlin Magic II is a huge charter boat. Parker bought the 54-foot Allied as a run-down vessel and totally rebuilt it into a beautiful fishing cruiser. The only thing that remained from the original, he said, was the steering wheel. A lot of great captains handled that wheel, he said, and he wanted to keep its mana on board.  Crewing was Frank “Trip” Davis III. I thought Frank got his nickname because of an infamous moment of clumsiness. Turns out “Trip” stands for “Triple”, referring to him as the third to bear the name “Frank Davis”. Also on board was James Thackeray, who distributes Marlin Parker’s line of lures in Australia. He was there to observe how the lures were used and how they worked.   Monday was the first day of the tournament and my first day out on the

A lot of great captains handled that wheel, he said, and he wanted to keep its mana on board water. After getting the usual shots of leaving the dock, lures being sent out, and anglers settling in for the day, I got a nice interview with Parker. Carol Lynne, working hard in the galley, prepared snacks and lunch for the anglers and crew. In the afternoon, she baked chocolate chip cookies. I discovered that among the charter boats in Honokohau Harbor, Carol is famous for her freshbaked cookies. The Marlin Magic II might attract fish out at sea. But at the dock, it attracts other skippers. Monday turned out to be uneventful. Not good.   Some fishermen believe that having a camera around is bad luck. That’s not encouraging when you’re trying to produce a fishing show because having

very superstitious, but I didn’t like the possibility of having an adverse affect on someone’s fate. When Laura arranged to have me on the Marlin Magic II again on Tuesday, I jumped at the chance. At least Parker didn’t think I was bachi. I might be able to add to the interview about George Parker and hopefully get some team action as well.   On board was Team 2 from Laguna Nigel, including team captain Bob Dudley, Chuck Salinger and Chris Ross. Bob’s an accountant. Chuck’s a dermatologist and Chris a doctor. At the start of the day, they decided who was going to be in the chair first, and each hour someone else would stand watch. If a fish struck within that hour, the angler

captain Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II

a camera around is an integral part of that process. The team I was covering on Parker’s boat had nothing to show at the end of the day, and good-naturedly suggested tossing me over the side. At least they were considering doing it right outside the harbor. I’m not

of the hour would grab the rod. I worked out a system where I would put a wireless mic on the angler on-shift. At the shift change, the mic was transferred to the next angler. The wire had to be placed out of the way so it wouldn’t get kinked or damaged. But most importantly it had

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to be out of the way of the fishing tackle. Nothing could be allowed to interfere with the fishing. In this tournament the stakes were too high. When one of the reels went off the first time, Chuck was on it. Mahimahi. Didn’t take long for Trip to pull it in and turn it into slabs of fillet. A second mahimahi came in before lunch and Chris quickly boated that one. Even though there were other mahimahi lingering in the wake, Parker didn’t bother. It was weird seeing a school like that passed up so casually. This was a billfish tournament and mahimahi aren’t worth anything.   Bob was on standby now. And Parker started heading south, out of the rough water he was hunting in.   Then one of the reels went off again. Another mahimahi?   “That’s a real one,” Parker said. His usual low-key tones were starting to elevate and at that point I immediately knew we had something special developing.

Trip shouted, “Marlin! Marlin! That’s a big one!”   The Penn reel was buzzing loudly as dozens of yards of line rapidly peeled off. Bob grabbed the rod and got himself into the fighting chair. As soon as he got the line tight, Parker threw the 54-foot Allied in full reverse to slow the loss of line, and waves of saltwater poured over the transom. We were leaving a bizzarelooking wake off the bow!   Parker shouted a series of fast and sharp commands to Trip and Carol.  “Trip you stay with him on the drag!”  “Get these gaffs on the deck, man.”  “Get that rope put on the chair right now! I want the white rope to be the first gaff... We might take this thing real fast!”  Trip and Carol were moving quickly, as though there were trying to keep the boat from sinking. They’ve gone through these procedures countless times before but with a potential record marlin at the end of the line, making sure everything was done exactly right put a huge amount of

pressure on everyone. “James, have you ever gaffed a big one before?” Parker asked. James was on the bridge as an observer but today it was going to be all-hands on deck. No one was going to be allowed to sit back and watch when the critical moment came. Parker sent James down to the cockpit.   Chris Ross and Chuck Salinger were ushered out of the cockpit. Parker wanted no one anywhere near the fighting chair except for Carol and Trip. I didn’t dare go down there to get the usual close-ups of facial expressions. I could imagine the line suddenly swinging over me. The tightly tensioned monofilament clipping a sharp edge on my camera. The microscopic nick in the line quickly expanding into a wider cut and . . .   “Dean. Dean.” Parker was trying to get my attention but I didn’t want to take my eye of the eyepiece. So I turned my head slightly to the side and nodded.  “Dean look at me.” I told myself that I’d better not piss him off because he

Parker threw the 54-foot Allied in full M A RLIN ’ S M A RLIN reverse to slow the loss of line, and waves of saltwater poured over the transom

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might just throw me over the side. I was thinking at least I’m always wearing a compact PFD and my personal locator beacon is part of my outfit. Search-andrescue will know where I am in 25 minutes and the Coast Guard will probably pick me up in an hour, and the footage on the solid-state cards will be safe. Parker got my full attention. “Dean, if the line shifts over there, move to the other side so I can see what’s going on.” OK. Got it. He had to remind me only once. It was easy to get mesmerized by the silent drama of seeing the line move from one end of the transom to the other while my imagination started to run away. Maybe the marlin would lunge upward in a desperate attempt to get free of the hook and burst out of the water like a ballistic missile. Or perhaps angrily charge the boat and come crashing over the gunwale. Heaven forbid the hook should work its way loose or a piece of hardware fail. I kept those negative thoughts out of my mind as best I could. Just in case.  Then Trip shouted to Parker that the reel was making funny noises. Parker went to the railing on the bridge and listened. When Bob cranked the reel it made a loud, nasty squeak.  “Eek!” It was the only time I ever heard Parker say anything that wasn’t a firm directive. It also sounded like something bad was happening. Really bad.  Parker told Bob to set the reel’s gear drive down to one-to-one. And it worked. Apparently something in the reel’s gearshift system was malfunctioning. Better to retrieve slower than not at all.  For our show, getting good audio is a major concern in addition to getting good images. It’s often said that sound is at least 50% of what you see. I’m always monitoring sound for quality, along with making sure the shot is in focus and properly exposed. As soon as Chris and Chuck were sent into the salon my audio suddenly changed. My in-ear monitors were telling me that the other wireless mic wasn’t on Bob. Chris was still wearing the mic!  The Laguna Nigel team had a rotation going with each angler taking his shift each hour. After the first few shift changes, they did the mic swap themselves, so I only had to swap batteries late in the morning to make sure there was enough power to cover the rest of the day. However, as luck would have it, the short bait got hit right at the shift change and

I could imagine three hundred yards of gossamer line dragging down below, straining to maintain an increasingly tenuous connection between what might be a firmly set hook and Bob’s rod and reel there was never a chance to plant the mic on Bob! I switched over to the on-camera mic which provides excellent coverage but it can’t get that up-close sense of proximity which a wireless mic can get. But some sound is better than none, and everyone was almost shouting anyway. Except for soft-spoken Bob. Apparently Bob wasn’t the excitable type and wasn’t saying much at all. In fact, even Chris and Chuck kept quiet as they watched intently from the doorway of the salon.  I imagined it would be great if Audy were there to handle sound. Audy Kimura is the other exec producer of the show and is also a recording engineer. We could run a couple of Tascam P2 digital audio recorders with two more AT-1800 dual wireless systems and put wireless mics on everyone. Pick up every single comment in perfect crystal clarity. Maybe that would happen sometime in the future but right then it’s just me.  Note to self: next time wire the chair. That’s where the angler is going to end up anyway. Duh!  The initial rush of action subsided for now. The water that came rushing over the transom when Parker had the boat in full reverse was starting to evaporate off the deck. And the engines were

purring in idle. Bob Dudley kept the line tight while Trip calmly kept up the encouragement. Parker said, “You got some very rare footage. Not very many cameramen ever get to see anything like this.” I grinned and nodded. While I’m not very superstitious I’m not about to mess with fate. Don’t gloat unless it’s in the boat. So I kept my mouth shut.  I heard stories about people fighting marlins for hours, so that’s what I had to prepare for next. As Parker said, they might have boated the fish in the first several minutes of hookup if they were using 80-pound test. But the team preferred 50-pound test for the additional points they could earn for the lighter line. For now the marlin had gone down and was meandering somewhere below. There was plenty of battery power available for the camera but a serious limitation was recording time.  The high-definition cameras we use for the show don’t use tape. The Sony EX1 camera records everything to solid-state cards that are expensive. I had 2.5 hours of recording time remaining and I couldn’t just continuously shoot until the fish came in. I had to be a lot more selective if I was going to make it to the end.   I paid close attention to everything Issue Two 2009

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I could see and hear, with my thumb hovering over the “record” button. I constantly checked to see whether the camera was recording or on standby. You want to make sure the camera is recording when it should and isn’t wasting valuable recording time when nothing is happening. It’s easy to make a serious mistake either way. Odd noises, sudden moves, if Bob even twitched: anything like that would get me to start shooting (lucky I wasn’t holding a machine gun). I can always stop the camera. But if I missed a critical event, it would be gone forever. No backups. No one else to help cover. Screwing up wasn’t an option. As a veteran news photographer, that kind of vigilance is routine. I covered enough championship games and hostage situations to be comfortable when things get heavy. But filming is different from shooting stills. With still photography you need to get that one peak action shot. With film (or digital HD video) you need to cover the action as it evolves. That means keeping the camera trained on the subject. Unfortunately in this situation a tripod is out of the question. Even a monopod gets in the way and doesn’t allow the flexibility of shooting straight down to the deck below. So it’s all handheld. As the minutes ticked by the 13-pound camera kept getting heavier.   All the while, that IGFA-approved 50-pound monofilament was looking thinner. As the marlin kept leading us

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slowly in reverse, I could clearly see tiny ripples coming off the line where it sliced through the water. I could imagine three hundred yards of gossamer line dragging down below, straining to maintain an increasingly tenuous connection between what might be a firmly set hook and Bob’s rod and reel. The sun beat down relentlessly on Bob. In IGFA rules, only one person can touch the rod and reel. If anyone else handles the tackle, the fish is disqualified. The only time another hand can come into play is when the leader is up at the boat. Trip paid close attention to Bob’s comfort and got him whatever he needed, especially water. And at one point Carol wrapped Bob’s neck with a wet towel. Chris and Chuck gave Bob all the moral support he could use. As one hour became two, Bob was stuck in the fighting chair. The line gradually angled further away from the transom. The fish was steadily rising toward the surface. Then suddenly Parker called out, “There it is.” The marlin broke the surface and began thrashing furiously away from the boat. The line strained tighter, much of it still well beneath the surface. I was thinking how that must be multiplying the force on the line and I realized why anglers sometimes reduce the drag settings when fish are running for the horizon. I snapped the camera upward to catch the fish torpedoing on the water and snapped the zoom in tight. This thing was big! Bob maintained perfect pressure on the line the whole time. This wasn’t

his first big fish and, as it turned out, it wasn’t going to be his last in the tournament either. By the time the fish came up for the last time, two hours and eleven minutes had passed since the initial hookup. I kept the camera tightly focused on the marlin as it rolled over just off the boat’s port side. Parker and Bob worked together to get the prize fish to gaff. The diesel engines growled almost menacingly as Parker pivoted the heavy hull around before the fish got a chance to make a break for it. Before I realized it, Trip had wraps of the thick leader around his hands and was now dragging the beast to gaff. “Get it!” “Get in there! Anywhere!” Parker and Trip shouted. James rushed in with the first flying gaff and hooked it solidly near the pectoral fins. Parker ran down from the helm and quickly sank a second flying gaff as Trip held the leader tightly. I worked my way down the narrow, slick footholds on the side of the cabin as best I could with the camera still running, making sure I didn’t go overboard. By the time I got to the cockpit, the marlin was secured against the hull and Bob was sitting back in the fighting chair with a huge smile on his face. The game isn’t over until the marlin is aboard. And with the blood it was trailing, there was a risk of sharks taking valuable points off their prize. Parker, Trip, James and Carol struggled to haul a half-ton of monster marlin out of harm’s way as fast as they could.


Parker, Trip, James, Carol and the angling team were tugging hard at the marlin which wasn’t budging at all. The bill was partly in the salon. And the broad tail was till sticking out the door in the transom. It was almost a thousand pounds of dead weight and, despite everyone’s efforts, wasn’t going anywhere. Just as I was beginning to consider if I should step out of my role as a journalist, Trip apparently read my mind and said, “Dean. Put that ------camera down!” (I did catch that request on-camera, by the way). It was now allhands. Including me. Bob called his wife right after the marathon fight. From his subdued tone you’d think he was calling just to let Sally know he was going to be home late for dinner. As for myself, I knew we had something extra special. I’d photographed lots of large marlin at the scales, but this was the biggest damn fish I’d ever witnessed being brought to gaff. The difference was like someone telling you about the greatest play in the Super Bowl and actually being there on the sidelines watching it happen. 24 years of news photography experience had me remembering what it felt like to get a scoop. An exclusive. There were no other cameramen on the boat and the press boat was miles away. I was lucky. We were all lucky. I called Audy to let him know what happened. He passed the news to his media contacts. Phil Parker at

communications relayed to Laura Aquino that the Marlin Magic II had a possible tournament winner on board. Word got out to the news media right away. And before we got anywhere near the dock I got a call from Star-Bulletin columnist and long-time friend Ben Wood asking about the details. The crew and team aboard the Marlin Magic II arrived at the pier amidst a champion’s welcome, and the Laguna Nigel Team #2 had a wonderful moment in the limelight. With Bob Dudley’s 695-pound marlin two days later, plus tagged marlins by Chris and Chuck, they earned the championship title of the 2008 HIBT. It dawned on me later that week that my wife Mary and I had visited the remains of an ancient Hawaiian village the weekend before the tournament. There was stone which was described as a fishing shrine, and Mary suggested I leave an offering of some kind. So I rummaged around in my pockets for something appropriate and buried it at the base of the shrine. Hey. Maybe that might have had something to do with it. I’m not very superstitious, but I’m not about to mess with fate. Anyway, at least the thought of having a camera aboard wasn’t considered bad luck anymore. Writers note: Sadly, Chris Ross passed away after he got home, two days after the HIBT. Team captain Bob Dudley said that it was nice Chris had a great week of fishing right at the end.

The crew and team aboard the Marlin Magic II arrived at the pier amidst a champion’s welcome

Dean Sensui Executive Producer VP of Production He’s the cameraman, writer and editor who puts the shows together. Dean also plays an additional role as the company’s webmaster. With more than 25 years in the media business, Dean has long experience in the craft of telling a story through pictures and words. Audy Kimura Executive Producer VP of Marketing Audy is the composer who created the show’s musical identity but there’s more to him than a guitar and a microphone. Audy celebrated his 21st anniversary at Hy’s Steak House in June 2008 and call his performances there, “my therapy.”

Hawaii Goes Fishing Is Hawaii’s top-rated fishing show featuring a hour full of angling action, tackle tips and more each week on Hawaii’s all-local channel, OC-16. AIRTIMES: Mondays @ 9:00am & 5:00pm, Tuesdays @ 4:30am & 9:00pm, Wednesdays @ 3:00am, Fridays @ 9:00am Saturdays @ 6:00am & 5:00pm, Sundays @ 6:00am & 5:00pm

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By Brian Funai Journey Leads to a New Book Tadashi Fukunaga, Yasuhei Tsutsumi, Kaya and stone carver Sentaro Otsubo at dedication of replacement Jizo monument, Halona Point, Oahu.

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We walk by them every day; pieces of history quietly sitting by the roadside or buildings that we work and play in throughout our daily routine. Sometimes they are noted on occasion by historians for the role that they played in our society but most fall into obscurity, forgotten by each succeeding generation. Oftentimes the most well known are those that have some memorial significance but even then, memories and appreciation fade with the passing of time. One of the most unnoticed pieces of history, yet probably the most important reminders for fishermen, are the wooden warning markers many remember as the “make-man (dead man) poles” that used to dot the shoreline around the island of Oahu. Many were already gone when I started to fish for ulua in 1982 but the few markers left and a statue in the middle of nowhere always piqued my curiosity. Years before, my father had told me that they were put up as a warning and reminder of those that had drowned from being washed off the cliff at those very same locations. Seeing them standing silently along the shoreline, I would always wonder who made them and what the story behind them was. Maybe it was just too much idle time on my hands while sitting around and shooting the breeze with friends, patiently waiting for a strike. Something always in the back of my mind thought “It would be interesting to talk with someone who knew”. How do the warning markers, ulua fishermen and the Jizo statue at Bamboo Ridge, Oahu connect to each other? John R.K. Clark, retired Honolulu Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief and former City and County lifeguard, carefully and thoughtfully brings the story to life in his new book, Guardian of the Sea – Jizo in Hawaii. In addition to a timeline of events and narratives of media reports that illustrate the history, John also brings compelling and often heart-wrenching stories to life through interviews with survivors and family members who lived through the actual tragedies.

In 1999, while doing some research on shorecasting clubs in Hawaii, I contacted John about some information that he had included in his first book, Beaches of Oahu (John has also done many related books, including a series of books on beaches of each of the islands). The section on Sandy Beach mentioned a Honolulu Japanese Casting Club and their work to erect the warning markers and statue at Halona Point or “Bamboo Ridge”. John generously shared the additional information that he had gathered some 30 years earlier when talking with former members of the HJCC, Tadashi Fukunaga and Yasuhei Tsustumi. A year passed and I made no progress in gathering more information on my own, as many HJCC members and those John had talked to passed on. Then one day, out of the blue, I heard from a friend

who said “You have to talk to this guy I work with. He says he was one of the original guys to start fishing at Bamboo Ridge and all other kinds of interesting things.” My friend gave me his coworker’s name, Horace Sasaki, and I discovered that Horace was previously pointed out to me in a Capitol Casting Club photo that I had come across a year earlier. There would be many, many coincidences to follow - so many that I began to wonder if I was having some otherworldy “help”. I met with Horace several times over the next two years and learned that, besides being an avid ulua fisherman himself during the 1940s to 1960s, his father was one of the HJCC founders and knew Mr. Fukunaga and Mr. Tsutsumi. I introduced Horace to John Clark, who carefully documented in meticulous fashion all the details that poured out of

East Oahu.

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Mokichi Sasaki (L) and Kaichi Kaya (R) with warning marker along east Oahu coastline.

Horace’s memory of 60 years prior. Horace told us stories of his father, Mokichi Sasaki, and how he had been a charcoal supplier during the early 1920s, working out of the area formerly known as Alan Davis Ranch on the east end of Oahu. Through his business, he became friends with Kaichi Kaya, owner of K. Kaya Fishing Supply, a store still operating in downtown Honolulu at the corner of Nimitz Highway and Kekaulike Street. Horace’s stories matched up perfectly with family photos and oral history provided by Maurice Kaya, Kaichi’s grandson and current K. Kaya Fishing Supply owner. Mokichi also knew a Hawaiian man, “Mumu” Joe, who often stopped by his farm to pick haole koa branches that he used in his traditional Hawaiian “hang-bait” style of fishing along the coastal sea cliffs in the area. “Mumu” Joe showed Sasaki and Kaya, both 1st generation Japanese immigrants or issei, all of the ulua “houses” that today are the well known ulua fishing grounds of Oahu’s east end. As word quickly spread, many other issei friends took an interest in fishing for ulua with contemporary fishing tackle and modern-day ulua fishing in Hawaii was born. In 1929, tackle dealer Kaya, Sasaki and several others spearheaded the formation of the HJCC, one of the earliest shorecasting clubs in Hawaii. Two of the stories that Horace told were about the warning markers or “obelisks” and the Buddhist statue of Jizo that were put up by the club. Not only were members of the club avid

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Honolulu Japanese Casting Club members installing one of the warning markers.

JCCH members work hard to set a warning marker where a tragic drowning previously occurred.


fishermen, they had a civic responsibility in mind as well. Seeing many of their own members, other fishermen and visitors from the general public dying because of their unfamiliarity with the ocean’s hazards, the group in 1931 decided to place the markers at dangerous coastline spots around the island. Many ended up along the Ka Iwi coastline of Oahu. As more deaths continued to occur, the club commissioned in 1932 a statue of the Buddhist guardian god, Jizo, to be placed atop the trail to Oahu’s most famous ulua fishing spot, Bamboo Ridge. The monument was dedicated, with the blessing of the City Parks Department, as a monument to those who perished and as a future protector of fishermen and other ocean users. For an amateur historian of our shoreline fishing heritage, this has been a wonderful eight year journey. Along the way, it has led me to meet up with some very special people and allowed me to share in perpetuating and preserving our island fishing culture. I am honored to say that John Clark’s Guardian of the Sea – Jizo in Hawaii is a fascinating yet previously undocumented study of the life of the issei in Hawaii, including the significance of religion and recreation in their everyday life. Most significantly for fishermen in Hawaii, this book provides the definitive work illustrating early contributions that the issei made to the sport of ulua fishing in Hawaii. John Clark, former lifeguard and retired deputy fire chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, is author of several books about

Hawaii’s beaches. He also has a water safety and research consulting business. Guardian of the Sea – Jizo in Hawaii is available at most bookstores, online booksellers and at publisher University of Hawaii Press’ website: www:uhpress.hawaii.edu In addition to the book, John has also commissioned and released a T-shirt design featuring Jizo for fishermen and fishing enthusiasts. Other items are planned to be released in the future but the T-shirts are available now at Hanapa’a Hawaii.

HJCC members work hard to set warning marker where tragic drowning previously occurred.

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B y S o n n y T a n a b e ph o t o s s t e r l i n g k a y a

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More years ago than I like to count, when I was a little keiki and my father was the county treasurer my parents would travel around the island of Hawaii. We would stop at a wonderful hotel/restaurant owned and operated by the Manago Family that was located in Capt. Cook. The food served at this family style hotel/restaurant was always delicious. Today, the food, the service, and the friendliness of the Manago family and their staff remains much the same. The Manago Hotel and Restaurant started almost 93 years ago. Most everyone on the Big Island is well acquainted with the good food and home-style atmosphere found at Manago’s. Their reputation for serving the most ono food at a reasonable price is known by locals and visitors from the mainland, Europe, and the Orient. Europeans particularly enjoy the dormitory style accommodations at the hotel while mainlanders enjoy the private bedrooms. Locals enjoy both styles of accommodations. Although Manago’s reputation has grown universally, their best advertisement has come from word of mouth recommendations as well as the internet. In addition, this famous place has been written about in several mainland editions such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and Sunset Magazine to name a few. Next month’s issue of the Gourmet Magazine will feature the Manago Hotel & Restaurant. This family style restaurant serves fresh fish such as Ono, Mahi Mahi and Ahi daily. One of their specialties is Opelu. The local night fishermen regularly catch the Opelu for the Manago Hotel/ Restaurant. However, every month during the full moon the Opelu stops biting for about a week. During this time each month the restaurant is unable to serve this tasty fish. On occasion, the Restaurant offers Nabeta. If this fish is ever offered I suggest ordering it because this fish is truly a tasty treat. Akule is another fish that makes for a delicious dinner. In addition to the many delectable fish, Manago’s is famous for their home fried pork chops. They are the tastiest pork chops ever consumed. Add a little shoyu and a dash of pepper to spice Manago’s delicious pork chops up to even greater taste delights. I asked Dwight, the manager/owner and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Manago, what their secret recipe was in preparing their super, delicious pork chops. According to Dwight, their secret is the cooking temperature, the frying pan, and tender, loving care. He also added that they serve about 1500 pounds of pork chops per WEEK! Along with the entrée whether fish or pork chops or whatever, the style of the restaurant is to serve a large bowl of rice, macaroni/potato salad, and an extra side dish. That extra dish varies; sometimes it is beans or tofu; sometimes it is long rice or some other tasty vegetable dish. For just plain good food and good fun this is the place to visit….

Manago Hotel/Restaurant is located in Capt. Cook, Hawaii. Dinner reservations are recommended. Phone (808) 323-2642 www.managohotel.com

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Third Times a Charm

The 3rd Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival B y P I FG Bo a r d o f Di r e c t o r s P h o t o s B r a d Go d a

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The 3rd Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood Festival was definitely a family event many looked forward to in 2008. The event set another attendance record with over 22,000 people, surpassing all previous year’s totals. Clear sunny skies with light tradewind breeze made the outdoor event a day to remember. The 3rd annual festival saw several new activities that added popular attractions to the event. The Izuo Tackle Workshop featured several specialty speakers, who enlightened hundreds of eager spectators interested in topics such as the ika jigging, ABC’s of skin diving and the history of tako skirts. The main stage was the gathering place for many, which was moved from the previous years due to the United Fishing Agencies (UFA) building expansion. Main stage spectators were treated to various activities including taiko drumming, healthy seafood cooking demonstrations, keiki performances and music by Imua. The food vendors out did themselves with a variety of fantastic seafood and local dishes. Crowd favorites were Crab cakes, island fresh poke, salmon musubi’s and grilled Uku and Swordfish these were just some of the magnificent delights one could taste at the festival. “Everyone had good food,” said Chef Nico Chiaze of Nico’s Pier 38 after sampling a variety of dishes from neighboring food vendors. There were many new existing and activities along with traditional crowd favorites. Over 120 vendors lined the docks and along side buildings at Pier 38, while attendees got to meet Hawaii’s fishing community clubs, agencies, media and retailers. Keiki games headed by the Castle High School Band brought loads of smiles with a mix of fun, education and prizes. You could cool off with shave ice or jump in a bed of snow ice donated by Hawaiian Ice. If you were still too hot,

then the UFA fish auction area was the perfect place to cool off and see fresh locally caught fish. Organizers, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and the countless others who helped make this event successful came together to celebrate fishing, seafood, family and fun. Many left with great bargains, satisfied appetites of delicious local seafood and hopefully a much better appreciation for our ocean resources. Organized by PIFG the events purpose is simple, to support the tradition of fishing in the islands. To accomplish this PIFG promotes and supports responsible fishing. For those who may not be familiar with PIFG (www. fishtoday.org) they are a promising non-profit group that helps facilitate communication among fishermen about issues of fishing and marine conservation. PIFG encourages people who are interested in supporting this mission to join its growing number of supporters (over 2,000) through their annual projects and programs that benefit the future of fishing. PIFG would like to thank everyone for their participation, help and support for making the 3rd Annual Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival a huge success. Special thanks to Hawaii’s fishing community, The New Fishing Village @ Pier 38 and major sponsors HMSA, Hawaii Seafood Promotion, Hawaii Longline Association, and Izuo Brothers. With continued sponsorship, PIFG is looking forward to making the 4th Annual Fishing & Seafood Festival an even bigger success in 2009.

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Enoch Wood Perry, Jr. (1831-1915) BISHOP MUSEUM archives

( T h i s a n d T h at )

By John Clark

When Liholiho (Kamehameha II) visited Kaua‘i in 1821, he was treated with great respect by Kaumuali‘i, the king of Kaua‘i, and one of the specialty items he was served was laulau ‘o‘opu. Kaua‘i with its many streams and rivers was famous for ‘o‘opu, and in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Nupepa Kuokoa of February 1, 1868, historian Samuel Kamakau made sure to mention them in the following article about Liholiho. Kaumuali‘i abandoned his honor and high ali‘i status and he made himself a humble servant to serve the food of the King, and all the chiefs and royal families of Kaua‘i among them were servants of food and the armories of the chiefs and whatever the king wished to be provided; whether it be fire-starting sticks or coconut husks, all this was provided first without hindrance and it was as quick as the flash of lightning, so too was the speed of the fire from that side of Makaweli to this side of Waimea for the cooking pits for the pigs, the dogs, the bird laulau, the ‘o‘opu laulau, and the desserts of King Liholiho. July 22, A.D. 1821 was the day King Liholiho arrived at Kaua‘i. ‘O‘opu, endemic gobies once common in every river, stream, and estuary in Hawai‘i, are not seen very often today. To understand why their populations dropped so dramatically, we need to look at their unique life cycle. ‘O‘opu

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live and reproduce in fresh water, laying their eggs on rocks in stream beds. When the eggs hatch, the larvae ride the stream waters into the ocean where they spend up to six months developing into juvenile fish. The juveniles, known to Hawaiians as hinana, then school and return to the streams, swimming up-current and even climbing up waterfalls. Back in the day, schools of hinana numbered in the thousands, and they were just as highly prized for food as the adult ‘o‘opu. Easily caught with nets, hinana were soaked in salt water for three or four days, dried, and eaten. During the early 1900s, historian Theodore Kelsey interviewed Annie Kamakakaulani Harris who was born in Manoa in 1874. Mrs. Harris recalled the running of the hinana from the beach at Waikiki to the upper reaches of Manoa Valley. Prior to the construction of the Ala Wai Canal (1921-28), three streams crossed Waikiki Beach: Kukaeunahi at Ohua Avenue and Kalakaua Avenue, ‘Apuakehau between the Moana and the Royal Hawaiian Hotels, and Pi‘inaio in Kalia, where the ‘Ilikai Hotel is today. The hinana reached Manoa Valley through ‘Apuakehau Sream. In Manoa there is a rock for the fish observer to stand on. It’s name is Kukalia. It is here that a fish observer would watch for fish when fish entered ‘Apuakehau, a stream between the Moana and the Hawaiian Hotel. Then the fish observer would show this by waving a flag. This was to show that the fish were entering ‘Apuakehau. The flag was a white tapa on a

stick. One wave, the fish were entering into the ‘Apuakehau Stream. Two waves, the fish were moving upward as far as Mo‘ili‘ili. Three waves at Puahia below the University. Four waves, the fish were at Makawiliwili below St. Francis School. Then the fish were coming up to enter Kaumeke. This was five waves of the flag. Then the fish had come to Hipawai (six waves). It was here above Manoa [Housing] below the bridge. Then the fish would go up, mountainward, without being seen by the fish observer, but fishermen saw the fish going mountainward as far as Naniuapo. Although it’s hard to imagine now, Waikiki was not only a great area for surfing, but a productive place for fishing with the annual runs of hinana as only one example of its wealth of marine life. In 1985, the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducted oral history interviews with dozens of people who lived in Waikiki before the Ala Wai Canal was constructed. Written State of Hawaii, DLNR-DAR

If someone asked you to name your favorite fish in Hawai‘i, it’s probably safe to say your list wouldn’t include ‘o‘opu, but these fresh water gobies were once a prized delicacy among native Hawaiians.


copies of their interviews are available in our public libraries, and the information that follows is a sample of their comments about the marine life that once existed in Waikiki. Harold Minoru Aoki, whose family owned Aoki Store at the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Ohua Avenue, was asked if there used to be lots of good fishing in Waikiki. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Lots of. Because the water comes down, the food comes down from the mountain, eh? And where the food comes down, the fish come up from the ocean looking for that food, eh? Then when they covered that- when they made the Ala Wai Canal and covered all the rivers, the fish migrated somewhere else. Because nothing- no food come down. n Ernest Steiner: All the mullet from Pearl Harbor would pass through Waikiki from December to February. n John Ernstberg: Limu manauea, limu lipoa, and limu wawaeiole, and big schools of manini were found at Kalia. n Fumiko Nunotani: Aama crabs and black oopu were found in Kukaeunahi Stream. Opae

and pipipi were found on the rocks at Kuhio Beach. My dad went night fishing for upapalu. He also caught haole crabs, lobsters, octopus, and big kala. There was plenty of ogo [limu manauea] by Fort DeRussy. n Fred Paoa: We lived at Kalia, where my dad was a net fisherman. He caught kala, mullet, and weke. He also caught squid [octopus]. There was limu eleele where Pi‘inaio Stream entered the ocean. Towards Fort DeRussy there was limu manauea and limu huluhulu waena and a lot of wana. We caught lobsters using nets at night. We used to catch a lot of kala. Where the stream entered the ocean, there was a lot of mud, and there were clams in the mud. We caught opae and oopu in the stream. We fished for papio and white eels. We caught two types of crabs, aama and alamihi. On the reef my dad dived for uhu and kumu, and we did torch fishing at night for mullet, uhu, and kumu. I caught oio in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. n Nani Roxburgh: [At Kalia] we had the best limu eleele. People used to come from town to

pick. We had ogo, too. We used to catch sand dabs [sand turtles] in the sand. Hawaiians called them paki‘i. n Wilbur Craw: When Apuakehau Stream was flowing, moi, oama, mullet and even manini would come into the stream. There was a lot of limu there, too: manauea, lipoa, huluhuluwaena, wawaeiole, and kala. Waikiki was very famous for it limu and it brought in all kinds of fish, kala and even big ulua. n Rebecca Kapule: We got black oopu and alamihi crabs from Kukaeunahi Stream. n Mary Paoa Clarke: Outside the Ilikai Hotel was noted for akule. My dad had a canoe and surround nets to catch them. We picked limu palahalaha and caught kuhonu (white crabs) and alamihi (black crabs). n Mervin Richards: The area around Paoakalani Avenue was all rocks. We used to get pipipi and alamihi crabs there. We got limu eleele near the Queen’s home and limu lipoa was common. On a full moon we’d hook menpachi. n Lemon Wond “Rusty” Holt, Sr.: My grandmother and Queen Lili‘uokalani were great friends, close friends. Occasionally, Lili‘uokalani came to visit my grandmother. And when she came, it meant climb a couple of trees, get the haohao coconuts down. You know what that is? Haohao? Means a coconut with meat just right that you can eat it with a spoon. That’s haohao. I got to be an expert. Anyway, she liked the

Good decisions depend on good data. Improvements to the collection of marine recreational fishing information are underway across the country. In Hawaii, these improvements will do more than just help us better assess our fisheries - they will help protect a lifestyle that defines our islands. By participating in this effort, you’ll be helping future generations of fishermen enjoy recreational fishing and maintain Hawaii’s tradition of providing fish for their families.

Share your ideas and be a part of the solution. Contact one of our local MRIP representatives today.

Nicole Bartlett - NOAA Fisheries, nicole.bartlett@noaa.gov, 808-944-2151 Josh DeMello - Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council, joshua.demello@noaa.gov, 808-522-8220 Jeff Muir - Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, jeff.a.muir@hawaii.gov, 808-587-0093 Roy Morioka - Pacific Ocean Research Foundation, moriokar001@hawaii.rr.com, 808-348-9297

www.fpir.noaa.gov/mrip.html

NOAA-Good Data Lawaia 1

10/1/08 7:04:00 PM

Issue Two 2009

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coconuts from two trees, and nobody dared touch those two trees. It had to stay there so that when she came, there would be coconuts for her. Well, I had to husk the outer wrapping, and give it to her. Also, I had to go out to the stone wall, in the front of the stone wall at Kuhio Beach, dive and catch three or four, or five or six manini. You know what a manini fish is? She liked manini. She ate them raw. I also had to go out to near Queen’s Surf and dive for wana there, bring that home and then go back to Queen’s Surf and dive for lipoa, limu. She liked lipoa! And my grandmother in the meantime would be cooking Hawaiian stew. When we had the Kona storms, and they were really big storms, it used to bring in, at that time, schools of fish. That’s when the mullet came from Pearl Harbor, ran along Waikiki, Diamond Head, and out to spawn. That’s also when the papios, about, oh, four-inch sized papios, also came in schools. That fish, the papio, the young ones, liked brackish water. When they came along Waikiki, they went up into the streams. Makee Island streamwater emptied into the ocean. A fellow by the name of Henry Kia and I used to fish, if you can call it that, for papios. What we did was we took buckets and made holes in the bottom, tied (a) rope on top and let that bucket down, pulled it up, the water would pass through, and inside that bucket would be all the fish you wanted. n Louis Kahanamoku: Mullet was the main one [fish at Kalia]. Mullet and ‘o‘opu. We call it ‘o‘opu way back. That was good. Yeah. They was the two Hawaiian fishes. n Emma Kaawakauo: That part of Waikiki [off Ohua Avenue] you could get either squid or wana or lots of limu because there was a reef all through there. n Sadao Hikida: The ‘Apuakehau Stream flowed past our back and front yards and emptied into the ocean between the Moana Hotel and Outrigger Canoe Club. The banks of the river were lined with hau groves and palm trees. The river was abundant with shrimp and fishes such as mullet, ‘a‘awa, aholehole, papio, manini, and ‘o‘opu. I spent many happy, relaxing hours fishing from the banks of the river or from the bridge which spanned the river. Fishes and crabs were plentiful in the ocean even along the shoreline. There were also edible seaweeds. During the moili‘i season one could see thousands of them and with every wave that washed toward shore, many times they were stranded on the beach and we could pick them up. There were also two piers which protruded from shore about 250-300 feet- one the Queen Lili‘uokalani, or Kuhio, Pier, and the other the Moana Pier. I spent many happy hours fishing from both piers, and used to dive for coins from the Moana Pier as the visitors tossed coins into the ocean from the pier. The dredged material of mud and coral [from the Ala Wai Canal] was used to fill up hundreds of acres of ponds, fields and marshlands in Waikiki, Mo‘ili‘ili, McCully, Kapahulu, and Kapi‘olani Park. They also filled up the ‘Apuakehau, the Kukaeunahi and other small streams. Construction of the Ala Wai Canal in the 1920s completely changed the dynamics of the fresh water flowing into Waikiki by trapping the stream runoff from Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki Valleys and channeling it into the ocean at the west end of Waikiki. Since the completion of the canal, ‘o‘opu larvae going into the ocean and hinana returning to the valleys have had to pass through the canal, and over the years that single, polluted route has contributed to a severe drop in the ‘o‘opu populations. Stopping the fresh water runoff into Waikiki also impacted all the other marine species that were once so abundant, including the fish and seaweed that the kupuna from Waikiki knew as children. While no other canals like the Ala Wai have been built in Hawai‘i, irrigation ditches and other projects have reduced stream water running into the ocean in many areas, impacting other ‘o‘opu populations and marine species. In recent years, community groups have formed to clean watersheds, while others have lobbied for the return of mauka waters to our streams. Perhaps with the success of their efforts, we will be able to say again: ‘Ai wale i ka hinana, ka i‘a kaulana o ka ‘aina. Eat readily of the hinana, the famous fish of the land.

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Maunalua Bay’s Last Fishponds B y C hris C ramer

The Role of Fresh Water While Kalauha’eha’e and Kanewai may have been forgotten recently, for Hawaiians of old these cold freshwater ponds played a sacred life giving role in the health of the fishery. A glance at a map of the area highlights this. Over and over we see the word “wai” used in such places as Waialae, Wailupe and Kawaihoa to name a few. Kanewai is literally the water of Kane. The god Kane is said to have caused numerous springs to gush forth between Hanauma and Le’ahi by striking the earth to save his companion Kanaloa from starving. The numerous prayers and chants Hawaiians issued praising the life giving waters of Kane were for good reason. The recently deceased waterman John Kelly described the excitement of witnessing the fresh water pour through a makaha or fishpond gate into Maunalua Bay. “I was fishing one day out near Coco (sic) Head. There was the biggest Hawaiian fish pond there, the biggest one of its kind in all of Polynesia. An old man Lukela, was the Hawaiian in charge of this thing. I was standing next to him, we knew each other, and I had my throw net. There was a big school of mullet right off shore and so he started to lift the gate that opens the passageway into or out of the fish pond. It was 500 acres. He started to lift it and I said ‘Papa Lukela, you going to lose all your mullet, the tide is falling’. ‘Oh no Keone’ he

says, ‘you watch’. He lifted the gate up and sure enough the water came out of the fishpond, strongly, but no mullet that were in the pond (millions in there) came out. The big school of mullet that was out offshore came in and swam against the current, right into the pond. So I said, ‘Wow, how come you know that? ’‘Because the mullet always swim against the current because they eat the stuff that clings to the Ele Ele (seaweed)’.That’s that green filamentous seaweed that grows about this long and half an inch wide and very thin. You see it at Waikiki and wherever there’s fresh water, you know. This Ele Ele seaweed has little things that cling to it, the mullets’ mouth is shaped in order that they eat those little things. That’s their food supply. The way they determine how to find the Ele Ele seaweed is they always swim against the current. They know where the fresh water is: you can taste the fresh water. So they swim against the current in order to find the Ele Ele seaweed where it grows in the fresh water.” Today this fascinating process still occurs on a smaller scale at Kanewai Pond located behind Paiko Lagoon in Kuli’ou’ou. Juvenile aholehole charge against the current from the pond gate in a time honored ritual while just inside the pond groups of large barracuda stealthily lurk. While this pond is currently closed to the public, if properly restored it could play a significant role in renewing the fish and limu of the surrounding bay. Keepers of the Ponds The ponds in Maunalua Bay were kept in perfect balance by legendary figures such as Joe Lukela, the most famous fisherman of the district. Stories abound of how he would predict each November when the mullet would arrive. He knew the ancient chants as well as how to read the clouds. When the fish were running he would navigate his sampan by the stars to Hana or Moloka’i without the use of a compass. Today Lukela Lane in Kalihi is named in his honor. While Lukela passed away in 1966, one of the great living pond keepers is Mr. Tad Hara. Now in his eighties, Mr. Hara was raised in rural Opihikao near Kalapana, Hawai’i. When his father died, he was hanai by his next door neighbor a one armed fisherman and Hawaiian kahuna. Upon moving to Niu Valley on O’ahu, he was drawn to a unique glass floored home built over the ancient Kalauha’eha’e Fishpond. “This was flowing fresh water. It was something special because it was spring water coming out. Lots of water, lots of water, constantly flowing to the ocean. So I figured if I owned it, that’s my kuleana”. Living over the pond, Mr. Hara became intimately connected with its rhythms and living creatures. Using a system of makaha and rock barriers he would carefully regulate the water flow into the pond. The pond connected to the ocean through a rock ‘auwai or ditch. At high

Horses drinking fresh water from spring on reef. Niu, Oahu, Hawaii. 1886 Issue Two 2009

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Photo by: Alfred Mitchell BISHOP MUSEUM archives

Gazing out from the Koko Head Lookout in Hawaii Kai, the ancient fishpond outlines are striking. Folks are always astonished when they learn these are actually filled fishponds. Towards Diamond Head juts the forty one acre Wailupe Fishpond now known as Wailupe Peninsula. Next you can see Kupapa Fishpond at Niu now commonly known as Niu Peninsula. The remnants of the former Maunalua Pond are what we know as Hawaii Kai Marina and the community of Hawaii Kai. If you listen to former pond men like ninety year old Tokio “Fishy” Jodoi, he will take you back to a time when massive fishponds and freshwater springs made Maunalua Bay a famous fishery. East Honolulu hosted the 523 acre Keahupua-o-Maunalua, the largest fishpond in the Hawaiian Islands. Mullet runs or ‘anae holo were a time honored event going back to the ancient legend of Kaihuopalaai.. “In 1944 or ‘45 after the flood we had acres and acres of four to five pound ‘ama’ama, as far as you could see” recalled Uncle Fishy. Fish would sometimes even cover the road, igniting a frenzy as motorists rushed to scoop them up. During the fifties and sixties, Kaiser and Dillingham filled the ponds with dirt for housing. Afterwards the fishpond era slipped sadly into obscurity for many years. Fortunately, the artesian fed ponds of Kalauha’eha’e and Kanewai were able to escape destruction. Despite their location along busy Kalanianaole Highway, few can guess that behind the blue government property signs and shady coconut trees lie the only intact shoreline ponds in Honolulu. These fishponds formerly combined to pump 400,000 daily gallons of fresh water into the ocean. After damage from highway work in the mid 1990’s the fish and limu or seaweed populations sharply declined.


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Lawai‘a Magazine

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

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tides sea water would flood into the ‘auwai and juvenile fish would gain access to the pond. “We mostly had a lot of aholehole and then you had mullet, awa, the prawn and some Samoan crabs in there too”. Although Mr. Hara often went whipping and poked squid (octopus) just outside, he saw the fish in the pond as his family and reserved them only for guests. “I have never eaten one fish from the pond” he said. His ‘aumakua was a specific balloonfish that would come to greet him in the ocean fronting the pond. Amazingly “It used to follow me up and down the beach” remembers Hara. Numerous carp were also raised in the pond. “There was three carp in there that were tame. When I go in the pond I just slap the water and these three would come. Especially where the makaha was going out and the water flowing. I would clean over there because had the snails and bits of rubbish so I would clean it to make the water flow. They would come and swim underneath and slide their back along my hand if I leave it over there. I believe that pond had some kind of spirit that makes me happy” recalled Hara. Today the ‘auwai that used to glow at night from the eyes of the ‘opae lolo is covered in sand. Next to the ‘auwai is a ragged piece of wood that used to stop the sand from entering the pond. The glass floored house sits silently with its paint peeling as tilapia quietly swirl beneath the surface. However this may not be for long. Spurred by successful restorations at He’eia and other ponds, a new movement is growing in the community to restore Kalauha’eha’e. The goal is to use it to perpetuate traditional knowledge and practices as well as the best modern science. Current negotiations are under way with the State which owns the pond to ensure that the pond is properly stewarded once again. The Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, a nonprofit organization comprised of long time residents, scientists and educators has been active in compiling the legacy of these fishponds. They are currently raising funds towards the goal of reopening the pond. The Center is also seeking companies or organizations to sponsor the costs of basic repairs. The organization can be contacted through its website at maunaluafishpondheritage.com.

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Lawaia issue 2  

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