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FISH STORIES Tyler Okimoto’s Tailgate Catch: 40 + 20 +4o

Display until September 30, 2016



The Alaska

HOOKUP Sign up for a 2 year LAWAI‘A Magazine subscription and be entered to win an Alaska fishing adventure for two. Courtesy of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Reel Adventures. Drawing will take place on January 1, 2017 for the summer 2017 fishing season.

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The Culture and Etiquette of Island Fishing

Publisher Pacific Islands Fisheries Group Editor Pacific Islands Fisheries Group pacificfisheries@gmail.com


Alaska Reel Adventure!

with all sorts of unwritten rules that govern our

Design Darin H. Isobe > Art Director darini@hawaiiantel.net

day to day lives, such as “never go to someone’s house empty handed,” or “don’t return that

dish empty,” or “let aunty and uncle go first,” or “family hold

Contributing Writers Carrie Asuncion, Gary Beals, Lou Carreira, John Clark, Scott Haraguchi, Danford Hong, Neil Kanemoto, Brian Kimata, Nitta Fishing Innovations, Paulo, Erik Parubrub, Ed Sugimoto, Ed Watamura




FISH STORIES ate Tyler Okimoto’s Tailg

know Hawaii’s culture and traditions, we now think of this as

them, hopefully at a young age. One might be casting your

Interested in submitting a story and photos? Send to: pacificfisheries@gmail.com


wear your slippahs into someone’s house!” As adults who

Hawaii’s fishing community is no different. There are many

Lawai‘a Magazine Every attempt is made to publish Lawai‘a 4 times a year. Printed by Journal Graphics Portland, Oregon USA


one of the most important – “HEMO yours slippers! NEVER

Catch: 40 + 20 +4o

lines in a particular order at certain fishing spots or HEMO

and its people so special. But, unfortunately, it is also the

your slippers when you jump on someone’s boat.

act of selfless giving that could be the demise of our local

In our boating community, one of the more notable practices is cutting up and sharing the first ahi of the season.

Salmon • Halibut • Black Cod • Rockfish Dungeness Crab • Alaskan Spot Shrimp Reservations & Info: Call (808) 551-1993 or email info@alaskareel.com

Display until

August 31,







traditions and culture. Today, the world seems to get smaller and smaller from

This tradition has now migrated all the way across the Pacific

population growth, development, technology and the ease

and continental U.S. to eastern shores! A transplanted local-

of air travel. More and more people compete for the same

boy and Hawaii fisherman found himself fishing bluefin tuna

space at the expense of our fishing community and local food

on the east coast after he was displaced from our local

security. Fishing spots are being impacted by competing

fisheries when the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National

water sports, tourist activities, restricted access, closures for

Monument was established by President Bush in 2006. Last

marine conservation (MPAs), closures for national defense

season, he and his local-boy, Hawaii crew landed their first

(Pearl Harbor), closures for security (Harbors) and closures

bluefin tuna of the year and took it to their fish broker. To

for Presidential legacies (Marine National Monuments). At

the brokers shock, it was not to sell, but to cut up and share

what point will all of these impacts extinguish our fishing

with the crew, family and friends. Fellow east coast fishermen

community’s ability to put food on our table and practice our

who received a portion of this shared catch stated that this

timeless tradition of cultural exchange?

was the first time ever…EVER, that anyone has taken a high-

As we go to press with this issue of Lawai‘a Magazine,

value bluefin tuna and shared their fish with others. He was

President Obama is considering whether or not to support

amazed to learn that this was common practice in Hawaii’s

the request from seven local Native Hawaiian residents

fishing culture and glad to see this courtesy had migrated to

to close up to 70% of the exclusive economic zone waters

his region.

around Hawaii. Fishing would be prohibited in the closure.

Customary exchange is rooted deep in our island culture


From a western perspective of economics and commerce, the concept of customary exchange has proven difficult for bureaucrats to grasp.

unwritten rules that you probably learned only by breaking

Letters and Comments pacificfisheries@gmail.com

• Anchor Point Lodge • Shelter Lodge

back,” or “no make waves,” or “no be kolohe,” and perhaps

common sense or at least common courtesy.

Advertising Inquiries pacificfisheries@gmail.com

Hawaii’s Premiere Alaska Fishing Destinations


rowing up in Hawaii, we’ve been programed

At some point, everyone must decide for themselves what

and heritage. From a western perspective of economics

is right or wrong. The Pacific Islands Fisheries Group has

and commerce, the concept of customary exchange has

written a letter to PO to say how important it is not to close

proven difficult for bureaucrats to grasp. The idea of giving

off Hawaii’s waters to fishing. If you’d like more information

someone a gift without expectation of return does not

regarding this issue, be sure to visit www.fishtoday.org. If

fit into established definitions of commerce, barter and

you feel compelled to voice your opinion in opposition to the

trade. But this act of selfless giving is what makes Hawaii

expansion, PIFG would appreciate your support.

ON THE COVER: Tyler Okimoto’s tailgate catch.

6 LAWAI‘A MAGAZINE ARA Lawai‘a Half-page Ad_FNL.indd 1

1/15/16 8:50 AM



Sheyla Yoshiki Omilu

Steven Kam Nairagi

Jessica and Jake Montoya, Ulua

Nympha and Ronnie Insong Awa Alina Quiton Kumu Brent Chung, Jr Oio

Nick and Michelle Cockett, Ulua

Chris Samson 30 & 27 lb Ulua

Steven Kam Moana Kali

Kapu Yasumura 25 lb Kagami Ulua


Neil Kanemoto White Papio

Billy Montoya Ulua

Jensen Kona Ulua

Email digital photos as jpg files. Please take pics at your highest setting possible. Email jpg photos to: lawaiamag@gmail.com Include all info please. All pics sent become the property of Lawai‘a Magazine.

Phil Quiton Jr. Mixed Bag

Weslan Kobayashi 77.4 lb Ulua

Colton Quiton Palani





From the Deck BY GARY BEALS

Basic Seamanship – 8 Navigation – Using a GPS on a Boat Most boaters in Hawaii, especially those that go more than a few miles offshore, should have a GPS unit on their vessel. This would not exclude kayaks or other small boats, due to the fact that you may end up offshore due to weather conditions or some other unplanned circumstance. Without getting into all the different types and the advantages or disadvantages in the many models available, we will focus on the most common error made by boaters when using a GPS. The most common error that you encounter is when the boater enters a position into the GPS while using the wrong format for the latitude and longitude. We will use an example to demonstrate how and why the error occurs and then a method you may use to prevent or correct the error. Example: A boater is leaving out of Haleiwa Harbor, heading for a State FAD (fish aggregation device), that is approximately ten miles offshore. The boater looks up the lat/long of the FAD, on a list provided by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Link (http://www.sportfishhawaii.com/html/ fads.html). The lat/long for the ‘II’ Buoy is listed as 21° 44.8’ N 158* 13.3’ W. This location is listed in degrees, minutes and tenths of a minute. The boater prepares to enter this location into their GPS, and here is where the error may occur. Not all GPS units are set-up to accept these units, so the boater may need to change the units using the menu of the GPS or change the units into those used by the GPS. If you do not use the correct units, when you reach your destination as shown on the GPS, you may be as much as several miles away from your desired destination. Note: The buoys have a scope (slack) in the anchor line and may move as much as several miles from the stated location, so don’t think that the buoy

will always be right where the chart indicates. To correct the units for the GPS that you are using, go to a conversion web site such as: link (http://www.earthpoint.us/Convert.aspx), determine which conversion is like the one on your GPS, and input the corrected lat/long. It would be best to do this BEFORE leaving on your trip so you have access to the tools you may need to get the correct information. The converted data for the example above would look like the data listed below.


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

Degrees Minutes 21* 44.80000’, -158* 13.30000’ Degrees Minutes Seconds 21* 44’48.0000”,-158° 13’18.0000” The exercise listed above may seem like too much of a bother, but many boaters –not just in Hawaii- make the mistake pointed out here and then blame the GPS or the people that put out the buoys for not providing the correct information.

Basic Nautical Terms - 8 Navigation Terms Latitude - The distance north or south of the equator measured and expressed in degrees. Longitude - The distance in degrees east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England. Bearing - The horizontal direction of a line of sight between two objects on the surface of the earth. Heading - The direction in which a vessel’s bow points at any given time. Abeam - At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat. Astern - In back of the boat, opposite of ahead.

A Place Where Tails Come True

(808) 247-0938


David Parry Feb. 6th, First Ulua Approx 50#

Lihue Fishing Supply • Tel (808) 245-4930 2985 KALENA STREET, LIHUE, HAWAII

We are OC16’s top-rated show for the second year in a row thanks to you!

Dedicated to Hawai‘i’s fishing community 10




What Is It?


Travis’ Wailoa River Monchong!


ne Saturday afternoon this past January, Travis Gillis and his brother, Troyce, threw their lines in at one of their regular spots near the mouth of the Wailoa River in Hilo. They’re used to catching weke, papio and palani, but on this day something out of the ordinary bit Travis’s line. They saw some papio coming around the palu so Travis cast his line, 8# test with a #10 AH hook and ahi scrap for bait, near the pile. He saw the line moving on the top of the water and jerked it back to set the hook. It started fighting and it fought like a papio, pulling out some line. As he got it close, his brother Troyce netted it and they brought it up on shore. Travis said, “We was tripping! We didn’t know what that thing was!” They didn’t wanna touch it at first cause it looked so weird but iced it in the cooler. Their grandfather, Brian, came down to pick them up and when they showed it to him, grandpa said, “I think this is a monchong!” They took it to Tokunaga’s to try and confirm its identity and weighed it there at 1lb. 12oz! This isn’t the only out of the ordinary creature Travis has hooked up to. He also caught a huge Samoan crab on 6# test! We’re sure that Travis and Troyce will have more stories for us in the future as his grandfather and mother say, they’re “fishing maniacs!” Right on! Mahalo to Peggy Tokunaga and Travis’s grandfather, Brian Simeona, for the assist with this story! Mahalo also to Bruce Mundy at NOAA who identified the fish as Brama dussumieri, the lowfin pomfret.

Hawaii’s premier fishing and diving Expo is back! The 2016 Hawaii Fish & Dive Expo will be held on October 29 from 12pm - 5pm AND on October 30 from 9am-4pm at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Expect to interact with close to 100 vendors from diving, fishing, boating, hunting, marine accessories, ocean-related apparel, fisheries education, and other outdoor lifestyle companies. Enjoy the best deals for early Holiday shopping, as vendors price to SELL and attendees come to BUY! Make sure to mark your calendars, because it only happens every other year. Vendors, reserve your booth today! CONTACT: 808.983.9883 + info@fluidmediahawaii.com VISIT: facebook.com/FISHandDIVE + www.fishdiveexpo.com





Aunty Kwong’s Kitchen

Lawai‘a- Gear Guys and Fine Vendors

Visit the following stores to get your next issue of Lawa‘a Magazine.

Poke Bowl Recipe Competition

BIG ISLAND J. Hara Store 17-343 Volcano Hwy. Kurtistown, HI 96760 808-966-5462

This month, Aunty Kwong took a break to attend the “Poke Bowl” recipe competition that took place as part of the 2016 Calabash & Cooks event at Kapolei High School on March 12, 2016.


tudent Chefs Jordan Cook and Karizz Roxas of Campbell High School took top honors as the winning team with their version of ahi poke using a unique and very unusual recipe. They have shared it with us below and Aunty Kwong says, “Try it out – ono!” Besides Campbell High School, also sending teams to compete were Waianae High School, Radford High School, Moanalua High School, Kapolei High School, Waipahu High School. Campbell High School Arts Teachers were Julie MoriharaItagaki and Lincoln Laforteza

Season ahi with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Heat oil in a heavy skillet until smoking hot. Sear ahi until golden brown on all sides. Cool. Cut into poke cubes.

Yield: 4 Servings

Kim Chee Watermelon ½ cup kim chee poke base ½ pound slab of watermelon *

Mix avocado with lime juice, making sure not to smash the avocado. Add the cucumber and onions. Season with ‘alaea salt and white pepper. Add shiso chiffonade.

Place kim chee base in a vacuum seal bag with watermelon, seal and immerse in a 155°F water bath for 40 minutes. Place watermelon in an ice bath for 20 minutes. Remove watermelon from the bag. Drain excess liquid from the watermelon by placing paper towels below and on top of it, changing the towels every 5 minutes and repeating 3-5 times. Once most of the liquid is drained cut watermelon into poke cubes.

Seasoning the poke cubes: Combine the watermelon cubes and the ahi poke cubes. Season with ½ teaspoon ‘alaea salt, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 4 teaspoons sesame seed oil,

Pepper Seared Ahi 1 pound ahi steak * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil kosher salt black pepper 14


Dean’s Drive Inn 45-270 William Henry Rd Kaneohe, HI 96744 (808) 247-1300

King Fort Magazine 1122 Fort St. Honolulu, Hi 96813 (808) 538-0266

Sawada Store 132 N Cane St. Wahaiwa, Hi 96796 (808) 622-4861

S. Tokunaga Store Inc. 26 Hoku Street Hilo, HI 96720 808-935-6935

West Maui Sports & Fishing Supply 843 Wainee Street #F3 Lahaina, HI 96761 808-661-6252

Ewa Beach Buy & Sell 91-775 C Papipi Road Ewa Beach, HI 96706 808-689-6368

McCully Bicycle & Sporting Goods 2124 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96826 808-955-6329

Tamashiro Market 802 N. King St. Honolulu, Hi 96817 808-841-8047

KAUAI Lihue Fishing Supply 2985 Kalena St. Lihue, HI 96766 808-245-4930

MOLOKAI Molokai General Store 301 Ala Malama Kaunakakai, HI 96748 808-553-3569

Mark’s Place 1610 Halekuhana St. Lihue, Hi 96766 808-245-2522

OAHU Brian’s Fishing Supply 1236 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96814 808-596-8344

MAUI All About Fish 3600 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Lahaina, HI 96761 (808) 669-1710

Cucumber and Avocado Relish 1 cup fine dice avocado * 4 teaspoons lime juice * ½ cup fine dice cucumber * ¼ cup fine dice sweet Ewa onion * 1½ teaspoons ‘alaea salt * dash of white pepper 3 shiso leaves, thin chiffonade *

Pepper-Seared Ahi and Kim Chee Watermelon Poke with Shiso Oil

New Maui Fishing Supply 1823 Wells Street #4 Wailuku, HI 96793 808-244-3449

Charley’s Fishing Supply, Inc. 670 Auahi St., #A10 Honolulu, HI 96813 808-528-7474

Hana Pa’a Fishing Co. 1733 Dillingham Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96819 808-845-1865 J. Hara Store 3221 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, Hi 96816 808-737-7702 Kalihi Pet Center 1199 Dillingham Blvd #101, Honolulu, HI 96817 Ph. (808) 841-5234 Kaya’s Fishing Supply 901 Kekaulike St. Honolulu, HI 96817 808-538-1578

Nanko Fishing Supply 46-003 Alaloa St Kaneohe, HI 96744 Phone:(808) 247-0938 Nervous Water Fly Fishers 3434 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, Hi 96816 808-734-7359 Nico’s Pier 38 Fish Market 1129 N. Nimitz Hwy Honolulu, Hi 96817 808-540-1377 POP Fishing & Marine 1133 N. Nimitz Hwy Honolulu, Hi 96817 808-537-2905

Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering 94-903 Farrington Hwy Waipahu, Hi 96797 808-671-3779 Waipahu Bicycle & Sporting Goods 94-320 Waipahu Depot St. Waipahu, Hi 96797 808-671-4091 SAIPAN Mariana Fishing Tackle & Sporting Goods Beach Road, Susupe P.O. Box 500726 Saipan, MP 96950 670-234-6320

Plating and garnishing: On the serving dish, create a base with the ¼ of the cucumber relish. Add ¼ of the poke. Garnish with bubu arare, toasted black and white sesame seeds, micro nori and shiso oil.

* indicates locally grown or locally-sourced ingredients ISSUE TWENTY ONE 2016


Shoreline Tech B Y B R I A N K I M ATA

While the rod’s weight is supported by your left, your right is still doing most of the work here since the rod is braced against your body to stabilize it.

most of the movement occurring at your wrist. Your right however, is not

true even on shorter boat rods equipped with the same reel. When you

only supporting most of the weight but, if you are like most of us, you

consider the weight casters have on the end of their lines, the distances

are actually moving the rod in a small, circular motion around the handle

involved on the cast and the speed needed to keep the tackle off of the

with your right side doing most of the work! You probably never noticed

bottom, your left hand isn’t going to be able to do the job. You’ll want to

this but you are moving the rod and reel around the handle. Test this for

use a reel with the handle on your right side.

yourself by switching the handle on your spinner to the right side. You’ll find it difficult to control the rod and awkward to spin the handle.

Regardless of which hand is your dominant one, you’ll still want to select a right handled conventional. Most conventional reels are designed with the

Now that we have established that a right handed person needs to

handles on the right and there are very few options when looking for one

turn a spinner with his left, let’s move on to the conventional reel. Your

configured differently. Searching for a left hand version will severely limit

casting outfit is certain to be heavier than your current spinner and it

your choices and you have probably noticed that even left handed casters

would seem easier to manage with the rod with your right hand. While the

have learned to adapt to a right hand crank. When you eventually purchase

rod’s weight is supported by your left, your right is still doing most of the

your reel, you’ll see that a right handed transition is near seamless and that

work here since the rod is braced against your body to stabilize it. This is

you have made the right choice.

QUESTION: I have been fishing for years using a spinning reel and plan to take up ulua fishing. I want to purchase a conventional reel but am confused by something. I am right handed and crank my reel with my left hand. Should I purchase a conventional reel that cranks with my left hand too? I notice that most of the conventional reels have their handles on the right side.

Answer: I get this question on occasion at the store and

hand and arm. That’s obvious. What’s not so obvious is that while

it is a very reasonable one. It would certainly seem logical to crank

you crank your spinner with your left hand, your right arm is still

your reel with the same hand as your spinner but tempting as it

doing most of the work! This is something that may be hard to grasp

may be to fly in the face on conventional wisdom, don’t do it. I’m

without picking up a rod and reel and giving the handle a few turns.

more than certain you’ll regret it and here’s why….. As a right hander, you hold more power in your right

Try it yourself and you will see this to be true. As you turn your spinner, you will see that there is very little motion on your left with

Today’s tip: Sometimes a reel that feels awkward to crank simply needs an adjustment! Many factory handles have two or even three attachment areas, allowing you to create more leverage as you turn the handle. Very often, a handle with too little leverage is difficult to manage and switching the attachment point may be the solution. Another option is to seek out an aftermarket handle that feels more comfortable to you. At Brian’s, we sell many options that are longer or lighter or simply have differently shaped knobs to customize your reel. Your comfort will add to the fishing fun!





Kyung’s Seafood

Picture your favorite Korean restaurant. Now add a seafood counter with some of the meanest poke and fresh fish around. If that weren’t enough, how about inserting happy hour with a bevy of adult beverages from suds to soju?


Sahimi Platter - Ahi, Salmon, Hamachi

Spicy Tuna w/ smoked Ahi inside



Hot Shoyu Poke


Seafood Jun (Pancake)




Rainbow Paint & Fishing Supply Inc Recover a Tagged Ahi? Call (808) 265-4962 Be prepared to provide the following critical information: 1. Your name, address and telephone number 2. Capture date, Island and fishing location 3. Tag number 4. Fork length: measure from tip of the nose to “V” in the tail

Salmon Skin


oo good to be true? Not a chance. It’s foodie heaven at Kyung’s Seafood on the corner of King and Birch. Opened in the summer of 2012, Kyung’s Seafood has become an underground sensation, satisfying all comers with their unique fusion of authentic Korean fare with the freshest seafood you’ll find this side of the Pacific. Behind it all is Kyong (Kyung) Cha, a warm and friendly Korean businesswoman who knows a thing or two about the longline fishing community. As the former owner of Keeaumoku Seafood, her strong ties

Kalbi with the Korean owned, 50 foot Firebird vessel gave her instant access to the best fish in the sea. As a result, she was able to build a loyal following with the “fresh never frozen” mantra for Keeaumoku Seafood that carries on today with the Tagalicod family, whom she sold the business to in the hopes of retiring. Destiny and chance changed that all. The space that Choon Chun Korean BBQ occupied became available and Cha was able to unleash her unique juxtaposition of food and flavors to Hawaii.

KYUNG’S SEAFOOD 1269 S KING ST HONOLULU, HI 96814 TEL 808-589-1144

Reward: In return for your valuable information you’ll receive a special t-shirt reward plus a recovery letter stating how much the fish grew, distance traveled and days at liberty.

For more information about PIFG and its programs, visit www.fishtoday.org/tagit

185 Akaula Street Eleele, Kauai, Hawaii 96705 Phone (808) 335-6412

North Shore Place Names: Kahuku to Ka‘ena Author John Clark’s fascinating look at Hawai‘i’s past, told through the stories hidden in its place names.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I PRESS HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I 96822-1888 www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/ 20




art of the evolution of fishermen is the tran-

“Definitely offer to wash the boat and clean up after,

sition from shoreline fishing or diving to boat

since you will be part of the crew for the day. Don’t be the

Bait! W

fishing. When this occurs, there is a degree

person who will just walk away as soon as they return to

available, but the next best thing would an artificial

of etiquette that one must consider as it is

the ramp.”

lure that resembles your bait of preference. For that,

Local Fishing Etiquette PART 1 O F A MU LTI -PART SERIES




whether nearshore or offshore, the first thing that comes to mind is: Bait! What

type of bait? Live bait would be the first choice, if

“Offer to pay for fuel at the very least. If captain does

the choice would be the new White Water Lures hand

mistakenly thinks they are bringing onboard a seasoned

not accept, then offer to provide lunch, snacks, etc. If you

made in Hawaii by an expert fisherman. White Water

veteran, only to discover that although they may be an ace

want to be invited again, just do all of the above anyway.”

Lures specializes in the “Opae” or shrimp lures that

the bane of every boat owner/captain who

shoreline fishermen/camper, they are totally unprepared

“Start work before your boss and stay until he leaves.”

come in various colors and sizes. They have also

when it comes to boat fishing! Complaints range from: “…

“Bring a lure or two as an omiyage [gift].”

expanded into a line of different fly patterns for near and offshore.

the buggah was useless - seasick and

“Pau hana after the boat is clean –

down ALL DAY”, to the “…nevah have

don’t overstay your welcome during the

Looking back to his childhood days, Michael Llanes

jacket, nothing to eat/drink!” and they

‘pau-hana’ as your captain’s been away

of Kauai remembers catching live opae in streams and

don’t stop there!

from his wife all day and, although she

rivers with his Uncle before each fishing trip. The opae

won’t say it, she wants him back!”

has always been the preferred bait for targeting many

So to prevent the first-timer/newbie from rookie mistakes and being barred

“Never EVER be late to the boat.”

species of fish. So Michael wondered, what if he could

forever from future boat-fishing trips

On the flip side of things, there are

make an artificial lure that mimics the opae, espe-

or being degraded by their captain

those who can be too polite! It can be

cially when live opae are not available. So one day

on social media, here’s a collection

as minor as, “Now what the &@%$^!??

he started with store bought lure materials that he

of suggestions from various Lawai‘a

I gonna do with all these extra spam

could get from his local tackle shop. The first attempt


musubi???” From my own personal

did not turn out well as even fish would not look at

experience: My first fishing trip out of

the lure. But each time he made a new shrimp lure

of guys don’t want your dirty shoes

(rough) Kaneohe waters, my cousin

it began to look better and better until he felt it was

or slippahs on the boat. Like entering

and I showed up at a friends house at

realistic enough that he would eat it himself. He also

someone’s house, take off your shoes,

4 a.m. to be greeted by the scent of…

wanted to make sure the lure was durable and would

then slip on zori or go barefoot. The se-

HIBACHI STEAK??? Turns out our friend,

withstand being eaten over and over again. After a

“Pay attention to their foot wear. Lots

rious (and safe) guys will put on boots or deck type shoes

the always gracious host, was churning out a hearty break-

few more attempts he began to fine tune his lure by

when they jump on the boat.”

fast of steak, eggs and rice for his crew. He and my cousin

adding a variety of colors and improved tail design to

scarfed it down while I, not wanting to be an ungracious

mimic a fleeing opae.

“You like particular ‘beverages’? Inquire with the captain on his rules.”

guest, silently consumed. I know my limits. If I know it’s a

From that point on Michael began selling his unique

rough day, I’ll just hydrate with some water and munch on

design at craft fairs alongside his wife’s jewelry busi-

some soda crackers to absorb the stomach acids. But lo’

ness. It wasn’t long before fishermen began using

“I prefer finger foods over bentos because if things get

and behold, the steak and eggs got the best of me, and by

the opae lure with great results. Fishermen began

hectic and the bento goes flying, you lose everything ver-

the time we left his dock and reached the head buoy (yes,

wanting more options, such as bigger sizes, bigger

sus losing a single spam musubi or chicken wing.”

the head buoy), I was down for the count! Not to say I was

hooks and even double hooks to catch pelagics! The

totally useless as I was on the rod for every hanapa‘a…

demand for the White Water Lures has grown beyond

and down again after the fish was iced.

the shores of Kauai and spread throughout the neigh-

“[Bring a] Ti leaf – never hurts and you can always use it to swat that rogue fly off the bentos.”

“Captain/crew likes a particular type of ‘beverages’? Bring some along and bring the right kind. Some captains are picky.” “Leave your work behind and make sure you’re covered to be away from the wife and kids all day!”


henever you think of going fishing,


But, at least I brought beer, ti-leaf, water, spam musubi

bor islands. Be sure to look for White Water Lures at

(appropriate amount), lures, soda crackers, raingear, and

your favorite tackle shops and stay tuned, as Michael

stayed back to clean the boat and the fish!

promises to develop more prototypes in the future.




Second Time’s a Charm AN O‘AHU ANGLER’S 2ND 100 LB+ ULUA


n April 14, 2016, me and my buddy, Kimo, decided to do a

last-minute fishing trip after work. We got home, packed all our gear and managed to get to the spot after a long hike, right as the sun was setting. Rushing to get our poles set up and cast, we managed to cast and set the lines just

area which is covered with boulders and

as it got dark. The moon was

reef ledges. Fearing the fish might cut me

a half moon with a rising tide

off, I put the pressure on and boosted ‘em.

building and strong winds

It managed to tangle itself in a small pile

blowing. Perfect conditions

of boulders for a few minutes. I immedi-

for uluas!

ately slacked the line and the fish became

We slid a few tako and eel

free again. At that point we were not sure

out and settled in. Early in the

if we had an ulua, shark or ray on and

evening, I took a good size

started to shine light to spot the beast.

strike with the pole and reel

We initially saw two large fins on the sur-

going off. Shortly after grab-

face and thought it was a shark, so Kimo

bing the pole, the fish had

started to walk back to grab the pliers.

spit the hook with the tako my slider leaning forward and screaming line! The

silver reflection and called out “Fish,

down right then. A few minutes later, Kimo’s pole went off! Kimo grabbed

bell had flown off the pole and the ratchet was peel-

fish.” Kimo ran back with the gaff and we

his pole and I saw the line peeling. I grabbed the gaff and helped shine

ing. I quickly ran to my pole and the fight began. The

brought the fish to shore and gaffed it!

light to keep the fish away from the papas. We brought it in and it was a

initial run was a blitz, non-stop, taking out about

nice size fish! Kimo wanted to release it so, instead of gaffing the fish, we

100 yards steady. The fish started swimming out to

sure because the fish was so short. We tied some ropes to it, carried it back to

lifted it out of the water by grabbing the leader line. Kimo took a few pho-

the reef heads, so Kimo and I started blasting lights

camp and then trekked the fish further back to the trucks. We got home after sun-

tos with the fish and threw the ulua back into the water. The fish weighed

to turn the fish. Inch by inch I reeled it in, followed

rise, cleaned up and rushed over to Nankos in Kaneohe to weigh the fish. It took

23 lbs on the spring scale that we brought with us.

by short and steady bursts of the fish running out.

three guys to lift the fish onto the scale and when the fish dropped, the scale read

The bite seemed steady and it looked like tako was what the fish

We got the fish to turn and it started riding the surf

100.3 lbs! I couldn’t believe it! I had caught a second hundred pounder! My first

wanted that night, so I jacked up one of my poles that I had slid Puhi

and heading to the shallows. I knew then it was get-

one was a 145 lb ulua back in April of 2012!

Paka on and recast the pole. I slid a whole tako head down right before

ting tired.

the peak high tide. The action was quiet for a while as we ate our dinners


The fish turned and I could see the bright

that I slid on it. Seeing that fish were hitting the tako, Kimo slid a tako

Going over the other lines, the fish kept swimming

When we initially saw the fish, we thought we might have a hundred but weren’t

The next day we took the fish to Naoki’s and got it printed. The images came out great! It was an action packed night and a fishing tale we will never forget! I was

and talked story. With the winds howling it made it hard to hear the poles

out and in. We cleared the other lines and the fish

lucky and blessed to have landed that beast and couldn’t have done it without my

and bells. All of a sudden there was a weird noise and we stopped our

refused to come in. It felt like a giant boulder swim-

good friend Kimo. Thanks to Tab at Nankos for weighing the fish and Naoki for the

conversation and checked the poles. I turned my headlight on and seen

ming in the water! It finally got into the inside reef

Gyotaku print!




Fish Stories B Y E R I K PA R U B R U B

A Lifetime of Family Fishing Adventures




y name is Erik, and I’m a third-generation recreational fisherman who’s lucky to be able to fish where my family has set its roots. My fishing story begins when my grandparents migrated here from the Philippines in the 60’s. They were able to buy a property very close to the water. My Grandpa Sergio immediately started fishing using the only technique he knew from the Philippines, lay-net. Fishing was a necessary means of sustenance for them when they first arrived. I never really got to learn how to fish from my grandfather (since he passed in 1993) but have a distinct memory of him taking me to Heeia Kea Pier with a bamboo pole to catch little reef fish when I stayed home “sick” from school. I loved the feeling of seeing the little fish biting at the bait and hoping one of them would get stuck to the hook. When I got one hooked, the wiggles of the fish on the light line bending my bamboo pole were exciting as I tried to keep it on and lift it out of the water and onto the pier. My grandpa loved sharing his catches and eating fish, and my grandma still smiles when we bring over her favorite Menpachi. Grandpa Sergio was a great storyteller and all the stories I remember from him were about the sea. My grandfather’s love of fishing was passed on to my dad (and his brothers) and I have developed a strong affinity for the sport too. My dad grew up in the house that my grandparents bought near the water and was taught how to dive for tako by a neighbor who had the “tako-eye.” He doesn’t display them, but I’ve seen my dad’s trophies from he’e diving competitions in storage. Being more keen and efficient in the water, my dad took to diving more than pole fishing. When I was in middle/ high-school my dad would take my older-brother and me to the beach. While he dove for tako (and the occasional fish) with his 3-prong, we body-boarded/surfed. He’d always invite us to dive while we were loading up by asking, “You guys diving or surfing?” Not sure if it was his passive way of asking for a partner or if he knew that pushing us to do something he loved might not result in a positive experience? Either way, I’m glad he didn’t push too hard. One day, I ended up saying, “Yeah, I wanna dive” and that was it. Once I learned how to spot tako and saw all the fish, it was “ON.” It became a little competition with my dad and we’d get stoked on each other’s catches. We made a competition out of everything: Who got the first, biggest or most tako. During my elementary through high-school years, my family

had a 1968 13’ Boston Whaler that was given to us from our Uncle Paul who used to set fish traps in K-bay. We’d seldom (maybe 2 times a year if that?) take out the Whaler in Kaneohe Bay, mainly due to time limitations and the old motor that only worked 30% of the time. But when we did, it was to dive with 3-prong and fish with bamboo pole off the papas. If we ever did any whipping style of fishing, it was from shore with lead and grubs when the tako was slow. After high school, I moved to the Bay Area of California for about10 years and surfed A LOT but only fished a little from a kayak. I was lucky enough to make some friends in Pacifica that would invite me to check their Dungeness crab traps and bottom fish for cod (when in season). When I returned home in 2012, my dad was on his 2nd deployment in Afghanistan with the Hawaii Army National Guard, 29th IBCT. I surfed a little but quickly became turned off by the crowds. Being drawn to the ocean but not wanting to deal with surf-crowds, I got back into diving and light whipping from shore. I’d dive my dad’s tako-spot, but because I had been away for so long, I was uncomfortable navigating his route without him. Whenever I’d manage to find any tako, I’d email him pictures of my catches and he’d congratulate me, give me tips and we’d look forward to diving when he returned. While Dad was on tour, our family was lucky enough to be able to purchase a new boat through my grandfather’s brother’s will. He was a retired naval officer and wanted to leave part of his legacy through the means of a family boat when he passed. We ended up with a “Brand-Used” 16’ Livingston, paired with a 90hp Honda 4-stroke. When my dad got back from tour in 2013, the sport of fishing



became very serious for us. Partly because of the new boat, which we named “S.S. Alfredo” (in memory of my late grand-uncle) and also because he purchased another boat that we keep at my grandmother’s waterfront property (the same one they purchased in the 60s). Between both vessels, we’re able to have the option of doing a quick launch (either solo or together) from the beach-house with the 14ft aluminum with 9.9hp tiller or going deeper/further with the S.S. Alfredo. It’s usually time that will dictate which boat we use, but we’re always prepared for some type of fishing. We mainly use the aluminum boat to do lightwhipping with poppers/grubs, light-trolling, tako-diving, net-throwing and cruising the sandbar/Kapapa/Mokolii. On the S.S. Alfredo, we troll heavy gear to the buoys, verticalspeed/slow-pitch/micro jig, bottom-fish (under 100ft.),



plug for ulua and take family on tours around the bay during parties. During the last 3 years our time spent on the water is about once-a-week and much of that on S.S. Alfredo. Since we’re fortunate to be able to fish so often, we’ve ventured all over the island to do different styles of fishing. My dad and I have come to know what style of fishing we prefer best. My opinion is that my dad chooses action and fish on the boat AT ANY COST. He is the type to bring LOTS of gear because he doesn’t like to be unprepared if a certain fishing situation/opportunity presents itself. He always jokes with me when we’re deciding the game-plan of our next fishing trip by insinuating he’s taking every setup and all the gear. However, if I had to guess, I’d say he enjoys bottomfishing between 45-100 ft., shallower-trolling, ulua-plugging and deep vertical-jigging the most. For me, I enjoy popping/

plugging over any other style of fishing. There is something about a predator fish attacking a lure on top-water that gets my adrenaline pumping like nothing else. I can cast and retrieve ALL DAY doing that style of fishing. I do enjoy deep vertical jigging and have been recently trying to get into micro-jigging too. Our main styles of fishing are a product of our boat size and time. Our weekly runs are a 4-6 hour window. Typically, we stay near to shore and like working lures (jigs/poppers/plugs) because we have short attention spans. We sometimes come in with nothing but love the workout and gaining more knowledge about our areas/ lures/techniques. Being lucky to fish as often as we do we usually yield some kind of action, though. Our catches have become more selective with regard to keeping fish. In order to keep the opportunities of fishing experiences available to the next generation, we mostly practice catch and release with ulua, and target invasive species when bottom-fishing. When we keep fish, we have a specific idea of its recipient. Grandma and family are usually kept in mind for kept-catches. Through social-media and the internet, I’ve become somewhat of an amateur or wannabe-cook. I like the entire

process of ocean-to-table. Yes, even cleaning the fish is a satisfying experience to me. My favorite dish to make is a simple ceviche-salsa. Throughout these last 3 years, our tackle has grown tremendously, our gear has become heavier and more expensive, our spots are honed-in, our Excel spreadsheets that document our catches for future trend-knowledge actually exist, and our time spent researching techniques/ tackle/knots/tides/winds/moon phases have been relentless. . . leading to. . . bigger fish, more bountiful catches, louder “CHEE-Hus”, heavier high-fives and stronger bonds built on deeper understanding. I feel blessed to have had my early fishing experiences. Without those fishing trips, I’m not sure I would have gained the passion for the sport and definitely would not have the knowledge I have today. My Grandpa Sergio, Uncle Paul, my friends in Pacifica, the S.S. Alfredo and my dad (Edwin) are to thank for my recent successes. My hope is to continue the sport of fishing in my family by teaching my 2-year old son, Darwin. In future articles I’ll be sharing stories of our catches, tips & techniques of plugging/popping, shallow-water bottom fishing, shallow-water trolling, and product reviews.




Monster Kahala!


uring a break in the March winds, Rodney Moriwake grabbed his regular crew of Craig and Chuck and launched out of Kaneohe for a mixed bottomfish/trolling trip. While bottomfishing, he has an Electramate Brute series reel on one side and the Henry Ching electric reel on the other. Of course Murphy’s Law exists everywhere, including out on the ocean, and a beast bit the smaller Ching reel! Rodney thinks he might have actually had a smaller fish on initially as he had hooked up something and started hauling it in, when all of a sudden – BOOM! The reel boom went down suddenly as either something huge whacked whatever fish was initially on his line and stuck or whatever was on to begin with finally figured things out! He thought it was a shark as it was so big he had to handline to assist the reel. Because he was using 200# superbraid mainline he had to let go whenever it started to run, as the braid was cutting into his glove. To make matters worse, they were all kinda skittish about handling the braid as earlier in the day, his fishing partner Craig got cut on the wrist by the braid while bringing up a smaller kahala. It only took about 15-20 minutes to bring the fish up and when it reached the top, they saw it was a HUGE Kahala and not a shark. They were like, “WOW!!!!”… But before they could react, the hook came out!!! Luckily the beast was either worn out or stunned so it just floundered for a moment – just enough time for Rodney to get a gaff hook into its mouth! Craig grabbed hold of the tail on the other end and they hoisted the monster onboard. They took a few pictures and released it back unharmed except for a toothache, so they were never able to get a weight. Some who saw the pictures think that this one might have been larger than the current state record! Rodney said this was at least 5’ long! Others including some of his friends still insist that he did a photoshop job but you can clearly see the strain on his face and that this was one heavy buggah! This wasn’t Rodney’s only experience with a monster fish, however, as back in the 80’s during his ulua-fishing days, he caught a





Recover a Tagged Bottomfish or O‘io?


Call (808) 265-4962 Be prepared to provide the following critical information:

1. Your name, address and telephone number 2. Capture date, Island and fishing location 3. Tag number 4. Fork length: measure from tip of the nose to “V” in the tail 5. Species: (The Deep Seven) Opakapaka (Pink Snapper), Onaga (Longtail Snapper), Hapu‘upu‘u (Hawaiian Grouper), Ehu (Squirrelfish Snapper), Kalekale (Von Siebold’s Snapper), Gindai (Brigham’s Snapper), Lehi (Silverjaw Snapper) and Oio (Bonefish).

Ehu Gindai



Reward: In return for your valuable information you’ll receive a special t-shirt reward plus a recovery letter stating how much the fish grew, distance traveled and days at liberty.


101lb. ulua off of an East Honolulu cliff and hiked it 400 feet all the way back to the top! And of course we have to mention the icing on the cake for the day: his reel motor was brand new, as he just had it replaced. Halfway through the battle, though, the motor started making some clunking noises. So this fish pretty much killed his new motor but at least he’s got a great story, pictures to go with it and a backup motor in storage!

For more information about PIFG and its programs, visit www.fishtoday.org



Fish Stories


Out of the Blue


y longtime friend and high school classmate, Mike Young, and his teenage sons, Daniel and Kevin, come to visit Hawaii from their home in Los Angeles every year, and whenever they do, I try to take them fishing. Nothing epic. Just easy stuff like hooking moana or whatever might bite a piece of ika on a hook. Mostly it’s for fun. During a trip a couple of years ago, I decided to change things up and try trolling. Along with the usual safety briefing, I gave them an overview of what we need to do if something big strikes. Of course, this was mostly for show. Nothing bigger than 35 pounds ever gets hooked. The plan was to do what I call the “buoy tour.” Head out to Sierra, then past Romeo and, if the weather was nice, out to Victor and then to Kaena for small game bottom fishing. Skies were sunny and the water was fairly flat. Good conditions for a 17.5 ft. McKee Craft, which can’t handle rough water at all. Trolling gear was pretty much makeshift: inexpensive trolling rods fitted with a pair of Penn 9/0’s and my dad’s ancient, reconditioned 6/0’s. The outriggers were actually cheap 15’ surfcast rods that my usual fishing partner, Steve Lee, got on sale at Sports Authority. They were way too flexible, but they worked well enough. Once we cleared Waianae Harbor, I had Mike take the wheel. I told him to aim for a group of clouds on the horizon since he wasn’t familiar with steering with a GPS or compass. Mostly, I asked him to keep the boat going straight. A random selection of lures were set out. The choices were based more or less on what was successful before. Keep in mind that I produce a fishing show and watched a lot of people do



this. It doesn’t mean I actually know how to fish. After a short ride, we arrived at Sierra buoy and did a couple of uneventful passes. Then we turned toward Romeo at 8 or 9 knots. We watched for birds and other signs of fish and passed the time telling stupid jokes. Romeo was also unproductive, although there were birds hanging around. Several passes and a change of lures didn’t bring anything up. Sea conditions remained calm as we turned toward Kaena Point to the usual fishing grounds. We were about a half mile away from Romeo when the portside outrigger went off. The roller troller didn’t unclip, but line was peeling off the Penn 6/0. It wasn’t slowing down much so I told Mike to take the wheel (and keep it going straight) and told the boys to bring the lines in on the other reels while I cleared the short corner on the starboard side. As I started cranking in that line, Mike said, “Oh look. It’s jumping.” I looked up. Holy crap. It was a marlin! I’ve filmed quite a few marlins being fought, but never was actually in charge of the process. And now three guys expected me to know exactly what to do. Right. “Get the lines in NOW!” I shouted, and cranked in what was left of the short corner. The outrigger roller troller probably didn’t release because the surfcast rod/outrigger was too flexible to provide enough resistance. I popped the line off the roller troller and handed the rod to Mike’s 15-year-old son, Kevin. “Keep the rod tip up,” I counseled Kevin. Whatever you do, don’t point the rod at the fish. Keep the rod bent. I was seeing parts of the 6/0’s spool that I hadn’t seen ever since I loaded that reel with 60-pound test.

The other lures were secured and I got back on the wheel. I kept the clicker of the 6/0 on so I could hear what the line was doing, and slowed the boat down while keeping an eye on how the rod was bending. The buzz of the clicker eased down a lot. Now to settle in for the fight. “Lift and crank down” is what Mike Sakamoto always used to say, and that’s what I was telling Kevin. Just keep working steady. Don’t rush. We got time. That’s what I was telling him, but that’s not what I was thinking, not after seeing how much line the marlin had taken off that Penn 6/0. It was more like, “Holy cow. There ain’t much line left!” Kevin would gain line, then the fish would run. Gain. Run. 10 minutes later, he was getting tired, so his dad Mike got on the rod. The same routine. Gain. Run. Gain. Run. The net result was a bit more line back on the reel each time, but there was still a way to go. After another 10 minutes, it was Daniel’s time on the rod. Then things changed. It ran. Then it stopped. And then it started to slowly sink. Oh oh. Was the marlin dead and slowly headed to the bottom more than a thousand feet below? I started thinking about what other skippers told me regarding how much a dead marlin can weigh underwater and how the line might not have enough strength to hoist it back to the surface. I told Daniel to hold on and don’t force anything. Just keep the rod bent and work slowly. But it was a stalemate. The fish wasn’t coming up. Time for Plan B. While Daniel held on, I told him that I would slowly move the boat forward, then slowly go in reverse. I told Daniel that as I backed down on the fish, he should take in any line he could. Even if it was just one crank. Forward, hold. Reverse, lift and crank. Gradually, the line began coming up at a shallower angle. The strategy might be paying off. I told Daniel to take in the line

as fast as he could, and I reversed the boat slowly enough to maintain tension on the line. Just when we started to see leader, the marlin came back to life and ran! Daniel held on and let it run. As soon as he had the chance, he took line back and kept it from piling up in the center of the spool. Didn’t take long for the marlin to slow down, and I was finally able to get my hands on the leader while Mike stood at the controls. This thing was probably around 250 pounds. “Hey guys,” I said. “We don’t have enough ice. I don’t really eat much marlin, and don’t have a place to put this. We’re gonna let it go.” Mike, Kevin and Daniel were ok with it. Mike wasn’t able to get the boat in gear to help the marlin swim forward, and I didn’t want to let go of it. The fish was suspended vertically next to the boat. The last thing I wanted was to have it suddenly rocket upward and skewer me or someone. I kept my hand on the bill and used a gaff to quickly dislodge the hook from its mouth. It came out easily. I pushed the bill away from the boat and the marlin slowly turned upright. It started swimming away. Woo hoo! On the way to our usual fishing grounds I told the boys, “If your friends ask why you released a 250-pound marlin, just tell them that in Hawaii we throw the small ones back.” High fives all around. It was a heck of a first-time experience for all of us. We were fortunate that I had the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced skippers on how to deal with fish like this. Especially when it comes to operating the boat to help out the angler. And now that I know marlin can be kept in good shape without ice for a little while, the next one is headed for the smoker. ISSUE TWENTY ONE 2016



One more for the Books!


t was a last minute decision to go holo holo. This was going to be a long weekend with family and friends at our spot, the Great Crack. After the last barbless ulua I caught, Charles bought me a Penn Carnage ulua pole. So since then I’ve been wishing to get lucky on it. On Saturday night I set up my small game pole and caught a few menpachi and aweoweo. Keeping one of the menpachi to slide on my new pole, I grabbed a 14/0 barbless hook that I got from the barbless folks, hooked the menpachi thru the back and held it on with a rubber band. We didn’t have much action throughout the night, so morning came along and at about 7am I boosted my pole up to check if I still had my bait on. And yes it was, so I decided to recast and slide the same menpachi back down. The waiting game was on. At about 12 pm we had just about finished cooking lunch and were just about to eat when, in the distance, I could hear my bell ringing and see the pole bending. I put my lunch down and ran to my pole, took off my bell, tie down, and started to boost my pole. Finally it came to the surface and I was like “it’s a barracuda” and Charles was like “no that’s a blue bone”. All of a sudden and just when I thought I had him, he spit the hook right in front of us, what a bummer. Charles was like “ahh set your pole back out, it might come back you never know”. So I did recast and sent out another menpachi from the live well bucket with the same 14/0 barbless hook. As we were cleaning up and almost ready to leave the spot, my pole started going off again. Charles was like “babe your pole”. In shock I ran and this time I told myself “I got it for sure this time!” It wasn’t much of a fighter, it was pretty much just chilling when I was first reeling it in. When I got it to the top of the water I was



We took it home, cut it up, and gave slabs of the blue bone to the family. It was very tasty and enjoyed by everyone.

like “look babe it came back!” Charles said “see I told you it might come back”. I was really happy he came back. Charles then guided me to the hoist from where we gaff our fish. When I finally got to the hoist and Charles slid the gaff down, that’s when it started pulling really hard. Charles was like “this is a small target to gaff”. It took him about a minute or so to finally get a good gaff in it. He finally pulled it up the hoist and got it on land. We took some pictures with my daughter and Charles to remember this awesome and memorable family fishing trip. As usual, we took it home, cut it up, and gave slabs of the blue bone to the family. It was very tasty and enjoyed by everyone. Barbless hooks work and will save a lot of fish and seals in our ocean for the next generation, so give it a try!!! Thank you for letting me share my story with you! Happy Fishing and tight lines!



Live Zip Bait Rig B Y N I T TA F I S H I N G I N N O V AT I O N S


he new Live Bait Zip by Nitta Fishing Innovations is the first bridle needle, zip tie and hook harness in one. It recently hit the market in May 2016, following NFI’s successful and original B-Zip bridle

zip tie. Gye Nitta, the inventor of the product, describes the process behind the design. “One of the driving factors behind our ideas and inventions is how to make things easier. When we think easier, we think speed and efficiency. I have been blessed to humbly learn from my father-in-law, Johnny Rivera, who is an “old school” fisherman in Hawaii. He taught me that speed is everything. When the bite is on, your window of opportunity can mean the difference between catching two fish or ten fish. I am grateful that he’s taught me his efficient methods and ways, but I know I still have so much to learn. My early years of rigging live bait were simple-- circle hook

The Live Zip is very versatile, allowing for various hook types and sizes as well as different hook angles to adapt to any style of fishing.

through the eye socket, circle hook through the dorsal fin and circle hook through the bottom jaw and out of the top jaw. Why? I simply didn’t know how. I was lazy or just intimidated by bridling techniques used by shore casters and charter boats. And the results were apparent-- many missed hits and runs that would shake the hook that was too shallow. I recently thought to myself, what if we use a proven





Our goal for the Live Zip is for fishermen to enjoy using live bait without intimidation by old bridling techniques.

technique of using zip ties to bridle live bait, but improve

exposed. The Live Zip is very versatile, allowing for various

the design? We found that one of the problems with cutting

hook types and sizes as well as different hook angles to

zip ties is that the method of cutting at an angle to create a

adapt to any style of fishing.

sharp point would result in the zip tie not entering the fish in



Our goal for the Live Zip is for fishermen to enjoy using

a clean fashion, if at all. Another issue we found with the zip

live bait without intimidation by old bridling techniques. We

method was that the hook would imbed itself into the body

created it with speed and simplicity of use in mind. We are

of the fish, which of course led to many missed hook ups.

thrilled that we can provide a product that is safer as well as

Our solution was to add a needle and a hook harness to

one that eliminates the need for rusty needles on the boat.

the zip tie. The needle provides easier penetration into the

The Live Zip is successfully being used by many, including

live bait and the hook harness keeps the hook secure and

trollers, kayak fishermen, slide bait and shore casters.




Oama season traditionally runs approximately from the beginning of July to the end of September. Last year the oama trickled in a little late because of all the El Nino induced storms but they continued to show up at certain spots through the winter. The effects of last year’s extended oama season on this year’s oama run are uncertain, but here’s what you need to know before the baitfish arrive.





What You Need

How to Catch Oama

• Short, straight pole. You could use a bamboo pole but I like the

• When oama are swimming rapidly from spot to spot,

cheap, telescopic fiberglass poles with the eyelet at the tip. Four to

they usually aren’t very interested in eating. To get

five feet is normally long enough. Tie 2 - 4lb test Mono or fluorocar-

these swimmers to start eating, you can palu (chum)

bon line to the eyelet.

with a mixture of sand and sardines/bloody fish scraps.

• Small hooks with the barb pinched down for easy release of oama

• When you see the oama sniffing around on the sandy

and net snags. Some fishers start with a number 20 J-shaped hook

bottom with their barbels, they’re looking for food. This

early in the season when the oama are small. I like to use the larger

is the best time to catch them. Drop your bait to the

number 17 hook, or a slightly larger Owner Mosquito hook. Small

bottom. When the oama swim to it and start nibbling,

hooks are harder to tie and harder to unhook.

lift the bait up in a smooth upward motion toward the

• The larger sized split shot, larger than a bb. One larger shot works

approaching oama. If you don’t hook one, drop down

better than two smaller shots since two shots tend to tangle easier.

and repeat the lifting movement every few seconds as

Pinch the larger shot on about 4 inches above the hook.

the oama are headed for your bait. Lift early, before

• Small scoop net. Spend a little more on a net with nylon netting. It will snag less than the common red cotton-blend type. • Polarized sunglasses.

the oama has tasted and rejected your bait. This takes practice; watch how the oama pros do it. • When the oama aren’t actively eating but are mildly

• Footwear to walk on pebbly sand and slippery rocks.

interested in your bait, you can try dragging it sideways

• Floating live bait bucket. I like the yellow Frabill Flow Troll with the

on the bottom. This makes the bait look more like the

spring-loaded door. • Bait. Opae, frozen shrimp, aku belly and oama flesh. There are a

critters they feed on and sometimes gets them to bite. • Oama tend to bite better when the tide is moving. If the

few “secret” baits people use that I won’t reveal. When the oama

oama are really not feeding, wait until evening when

are biting well, frozen shrimp legs dragged on the bottom work

they normally binge before looking for a place to sleep.

surprisingly well. Optional: • Hat

Handling of Live Oama

• 5 gallon bucket and live bait aerator/pump if you’re planning to

• Pinch down the barb of your hook so the oama can be

keep the oama alive.

removed quickly. This will cause you to lose quite a few but it’ll be less damaging to the fish.

Where To Find Oama • There are some fairly well known spots on Oahu to catch oama. Ala

where so you can guide the hooked oama into the net rather than holding the net with one hand and the

Moana Beach, Wailupe, Heeia Pier, Ka’awa, Punalu’u, Haleiwa, etc.

rod with the other. Unhook the oama in the net gently

You can drive by and check those spots from the car, looking for

and place it in your floating bait bucket with as little

people standing in knee to waist deep water of sandy areas, hold-

trauma as possible. Once in the bait bucket, the oama

ing short poles with floating bait buckets.

will calm down. You can place quite a few in the bait

• The less visible, less fished spots will have to be checked by foot. Generally oama will congregate in areas sheltered from wave action

bucket as long as there’s good water flow. • When pau fishing, transfer the oama in the floating bait

and at the shore end of a shallow protective reef shelf. The areas

bucket to your 5 gallon bucket filled with cool, clean

will be open with good visibility so the oama can see their preda-

sea water. You should not keep more than 15-20 in the

tors coming from far away.

bucket for more than an hour or so. A little sand on the

• Oama also seek protection in plant root systems and other structures but aren’t usually in a feeding mood when they’re hunkered down.


• If possible, tuck your landing net on your body some-


bottom of the bucket helps calm the fish down. Turn on your portable aerator and make sure there’s good



oxygenation. If that aerator stops, the oama will suffocate in a few minutes. • If you’re not planning to use the oama right away, take an extra bucket or two of water home so you can do a water change. The oama release ammonia which is toxic to them. • Keep the oama container shaded and covered so the oama are less traumatized.

Keeping the Oama Alive at Home • If you plan to use the oama the next day, they can remain in the 5 gallon bucket in a cool, shaded place. Make sure your pump will keep running over night. In fact, it’s worth investing in an electric pump which won’t cost much more than the battery powered ones. You can buy those at a pet store that has aquarium supplies. • Change the water daily. Remove any dead or dying fish. To get the most out of your sea water, treat the water with Ammo Lock, which neutralizes the ammonia the fish are releasing. You can also buy Ammo Lock at pet stores. • If you want to keep your oama longer than a day or two, get a large, black, circular plastic tub from a pet store or garden supply store. The darker background will calm the oama and the circular shape prevents them from running into a corner. Use an electric aerator that puts out a lot of bubbles. And if you really want to keep them happy, add a power head that circulates the water. The electric aerator and power head should be less than $40 together. The plastic tub could run you anywhere from $20 - $100 depending on the size and quality. • To keep the oama from fouling their water too quickly, you can add Stress Zyme, which contains live, good bacteria that consume the gunk produced by the fish. This can be purchased in pet stores. • If you want to keep your oama alive a long time, you’ll need

as possible, allowing it to swim naturally. Some fishers

damage. If you want to hook the oama as securely as

to add a filter. I use an external canister filter that extracts

walk out to reef dropoffs and “free line” their oama with

possible, you can hook it from under the lower jaw, out

freeze them for use later. First lay them out and salt them

physical waste and adds water circulation.

just a hook. Dunkers use a lead line and shorter leader

through the top of the head, but in front of the brain so

with Hawaiian Salt or rock salt. Let them sit that way for a

tied to a large MZ hook, or maybe a thin gauge circle hook.

you don’t kill it. Since I very slowly troll mine on my long-

few hours, in the fridge. The salt will draw out water from

I can now keep most oama alive for a few weeks, with some

Slow trollers, like me, hook the oama in the head with a

board or kayak, I hook mine through its nostrils so it can

the fish, which minimizes freezer burn. If possible, vacuum

living for more than 3 months.

second hook dangling near the last fin.

still gulp water.

seal the oama, then freeze. The oama will look a little dehy-

• It’s not easy raising wild, saltwater fish. After many die-offs,

Using the Oama for Bait • Ideally you can fish the live oama with as little terminal tackle



• If you’re able to make a soft cast, you can lightly hook the oama behind the dorsal fin to cause the least amount of

• Lively oama get bit better than sluggish oama, but even dead ones still work.

• If your oama die but are still in pretty good shape, you can

drated from the salt but will plump up when you use them in water. Or you can just fry ‘em crispy and eat ‘em!



barbless hook gallery CARRIE ASUNCION My first omilu, caught On Good Friday, March 25, 2016. Four hours later and I got my second one! It was definitely a GOOD Friday for sure!











tream flow tracks rainfall patterns. Although

the ocean where they feed on plankton, the post-larvae, or

year-round, topography-dependent rainfall is the

hinana, return to their adult habitat by migrating upstream

primary source of stream water, localized heavy

and climbing waterfalls by using a special suction cup on

rainfall and storms passing through the islands

their abdomen on the wet rocks.

cause frequent flooding. These flow spikes, often lasting only a couple of days, contribute to the flashy (as in flash

is the single most important requirement for protection of

flood) characteristic of Hawaiian streams.

Native Hawaiian stream animals. These natural flows keep

The isolation of the Hawaiian Archipelago in the Pacific

generate flash floods, and provide the gateway for native

but many species are endemic, found only in the islands.

stream animals to complete their life cycles. According to

Hawaiian streams have only five native species of fish (four

R. Nishimoto, retired, Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources,

endemic; one indigenous), two species of crustaceans (both

Hawaiian native stream life, like the Native Hawaiian people

endemic) and three species of mollusks (all endemic). Com-

who depended on the streams, embody the connection of

pared to about 2,000 species of marine fishes in the Philip-

“from the mountains to the sea,” or from mauka to makai,

pines, Hawai`i has only about 550. Many salt water species

the concept that defines the Hawaiian ecosystem.

changing salinity. Freshwater fishes are adapted to the rocky, steep, flashy

In a study of trends in stream flow characteristics at longterm gauging stations in Hawai‘i, the U.S. Geological Survey

gobies, or ‘o‘opu, for example, are able to maintain position

reports that year to year changes in stream flow are related

in areas of high flow and to more spectacularly climb large

to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, as

waterfalls. One species, ‘o‘opu alamo‘o (Lentipes concolor),

well as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Not surpris-

is known to migrate up the 420-foot high ‘Akaka Falls on the

ingly, trends in rainfall are also linked to these phenomena.

Big Island.

Hawai‘i tends to be dry during most El Nino events, but low

of shrimp, or ‘ōpae. The ‘ōpae kuahiwi, or mountain ‘ōpae,



Many salt-water fishes also depend on changing water salinity from stream runoff to maintain ocean habitats. .

flow of Hawaiian streams. The highly muscular freshwater

The native crustaceans are represented by two species


the stream mouths open, especially after heavy rains that

has resulted in a sparse fish population in its streams,

are adapted to changes in their surrounding environment of


Maintaining the natural patterns of water flow in streams

rainfall may also occur in the absence of El Nino. Similarly, rainfall tends to be low during warm phases

prefer the higher sections of the streams where there is

of the PDO, such as Hawai‘i experienced from mid-1970 to

abundant cool, clear and fast-flowing water. The other is

2001. The State was previously characterized by high rainfall

the prawn, ‘ōpae ‘oeha‘a, and is most common in the lowest

that lasted for 28 years in the preceding “cool” phases

stream sections in slow-flowing water.

through the 1950s and 1960s. ENSO and PDO are regional

There are three endemic species of river limpets, or

climate patterns that affect the distribution of rainfall in the

‘opihi, but the most common is the larger hihiwai (Neritina

Hawaiian Islands, and therefore exert important influence

granosa) which are active at night and are most common in

on the discharge of streams and on the recharge of ground-

the lower to mid-stream sections. The other two species can

water from one year to the next.

mostly be found at the mouths of streams.

Will these cycles repeat, or will Hawai‘i become drier

Most native Hawaiian stream animals share a unique

in the coming years? What will be the effects on stream

life cycle pattern. This is a specialized pattern where the

species and some of the marine species that are greatly

animals live in two different environments during different

influenced by the flow of fresh water?

life stages. Adult ‘o‘opu live in streams as adults, lay their

In this issue of Lawai‘a, the āholehole is considered. Fu-

eggs in the stream, and upon hatching, the larvae migrate

ture issues will discuss other species, such as akule, jacks,

downstream where they are swept out to sea. After living in

and native seaweed, or limu.



Cycles and Rhythms B Y PA U L O

AHOLEHOLE RHYTHM WHEEL The ability to “read” natural resource cycles and detect underlying “natural” rhythms in nature was essential for the survival of the ancient Hawaiians. The cycle of knowledge through generations assured not only the survival of humans but also that of natural resources surrounding our islands. A balance between humans and nature was essential for both to flourish and grow through time. Today, there is a great disconnect between human use of our natural resources and our survival. Often times, there is extreme conflict between usage and management of these resources. There seems to be no particular right or wrong, unless government management decisions affect the culture and traditions of the islands. So it is with utmost importance to understand our resources and the essential links or cycles that will help perpetuate these resources for generations to come. Two species of aholehole are now recognized by scientists: Kuhlia venture, which prefers less salty waters, and K. sandvicensis, which prefers more salty waters. Understanding the life cycle of “Aholehole,” commonly known as flagtail, is an example of the connection between species and their resources. These species interact with freshwater (stream/estuary) and saltwater (coastal shoreline) environments...... Aholehole is a common catch in Hawaii’s shoreline fishery. A kapu (prohibition) was not known. The fish were often used by ancient Hawaiians in traditional ceremonies.







s we move from spring and into our island summer here in Hawaii, keep an eye out for those annual runs of akule, halalu and oama that are coming to a shoreline near you! No one can really predict things but reports coming in from fishermen indicate that the

recent El Nino effects might be benefitting your fishing activity. Keep an eye out also for the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group and Lawai‘a Magazine to show up at many upcoming events related to fishing and the ocean. We want to thank you for your support so please come up and say “Hi!”

Spring Independent Survey Sampling Complete Big Mahalo to all of our PIFG captains, crews and observers for their time and effort in completing the Spring 2016 Bottomfish survey sampling mission PIFG1602. In a two month period from February 6th to March 23rd 2016, 5 vessels surveyed a total of 253 individual sites assigned by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, spread out amongst 4 Main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Niihau). They sampled some of the most remote fishing areas surrounding the Main Hawaiian Islands and in areas such as the north side of Kauai, around the entire island of Niihau and Hawaii (Big Island). Sampling such a large expanse of areas for the first time did not come without challenges, especially wind and sea conditions that made sampling difficult and at times impossible due to safety concerns for personnel and vessels. But thanks to experienced personnel, our mission was safely completed.





Main Hawaiian Islands Ahi Tagging Project

their initial allotments and send in their completed

PIFG has completed tagging workshops on

tuna tagging data. In addition, 3 bigeye tuna were

Hawaii, Maui, Oahu and Kauai, where fishermen

tagged with PSAT tags by the longline F/V Gusty

on these islands learned how to tag and identify

Lady 4 during their March fishing trip. Hopefully

small ahi. Many fishermen who were interested

data from these PSAT will yield some interesting

in volunteering to tag signed up and received free

findings on where these larger tuna go and what

tag kits at the workshops. A total of 63 kits were

their habits are. For the latest project updates go to:

distributed that contained a total of 350 tags.


Anglers can request more tags once they use up

Pacific Striped Marlin Tagging Project Striped Marlin tagging workshops have now been completed in the Main Hawaiian Islands, Guam and Saipan. 3 volunteer longline vessels captains and one charter boat captain from Kona have been contacted to start PSAT and conventional tagging of striped marlin in the Pacific. PIFG has also completed a project presentation at the recent International Billfish working group workshop on Oahu in January. Delegates from Taiwan and Japan were present and expressed interest in the striped marlin tagging project. For project updates go to: www.fishtoday.org/tagit/striped-marlinsatellite-tagging/





Gear Review B Y E D WATA M U R A

Creative Combo

As I was browsing around Brian’s Fishing Supply one day, looking for products to write about, I noticed a unique set-up that Brian had created. It was a bait rig that took two great products and merged them into an excellent solution to rigging live or dead bait. I wanted to show you a picture of it so you can see how easy this set up is, and by all reports, it works really well. The two products involved are the PREDAPRO BAIT FISH RIG #2, which is the improved version of a product that I previously

Clip it, Cam Jam It, Forget It

reviewed, and the NITTA N3 BAIT HARNESS, an innovative solution by Gye

This amazing little product is so easy to use. It’s cast aluminum construction

baits. Go check it out at Brian’s Fishing Supply.

Nitta. The Predapro is easy to use, solidly made, and strong enough for da big ones. The Nitta Harness allows perfect hook placement and angle for solid hookups, without puncturing the bait, which is the cause of “wash out,” the biggest issue with trolled

makes it heavy duty and durable. The CAMJAM XT comes in two sizes. The smaller has a 280 pound work load and an 837 pound break strength, while the larger has a 500 pound work load and a 1500 pound break strength. All you do is attach the carabiner end to a loop or fixed object, feed the rope through the

Walk Towards the Bright White Light

hole, pull and release. It automatically locks the rope at the desired tension and stays that way. The next time you need to tie something or someone down (nah, only joking), or lift and lock a heavy item, get a CamJam XT and make it easy.

No, no, no, it’s not that time yet. The light you see is from my NEBO CASEBRITE iPhone case. Whaaat? The flashlight integrated into your iPhone is one thing, but we’re talking about a 200 lumen light. That’s 12 times the brightness of your phone light and it has its own rechargeable lithium-ion battery, so it doesn’t draw down your phone’s power. If the light is too bright you can dim it. The case material is impact resistant, non-slip and has a screen protector lip. The NEBO CaseBrite fits the iPhone 6/6s standard and plus size and comes in black or white. There is a USB to Micro USB charging cable included, which allows you to charge in 3 hours or less. Us fishermen always carry a phone and flashlight, so now you have both all in one.

It Comes in Colors Everywhere For those of you that don’t get the reference, check out “She’s Like A Rainbow” by the Rolling Stones. Anyway, enough of that. Daiwa has just released their newest version of Braided Line, called J-BRAID X 8. This new line is made from 8 strands of tightly woven fibers, resulting in a perfectly round profile and a stronger, softer, and smoother line. The colors change every 10 meters and every 1 meter is also marked, allowing the experienced bottom fishermen to raise and lower the baits to the desired depths. J-Braid x 8 comes in 8 to 120 pound test. As an example of the slimness of the line, the 80 pound line is comparable to 20 pound test mono. The best part about this new line is the price, so go check it out and load ‘em up.

Clash of the Titans

Perseus vs. the Underworld or in this case the PENN CLASH vs. The Denizens of the Deep. Congratulations to Penn for designing this reel from the inside out, resulting in a first place prize as the Best Saltwater Reel at the ICAST New Products Show 2015. Penn used a new, computer controlled CNC gear technology system to machine a precision aluminum/brass main gear and a brass pinion gear meeting the highest standards and tolerances to provide the smoothest operation. The Clash also contains 8 plus 1 sealed ball bearings for added smoothness. The body and side plate construction are full metal, corrosion resistant anodized aluminum to insure durability and reliability. Techno balanced rotor assemblies insure wobble free winding. Another new innovation is the “Leveline” slow oscillation system that produces tight, near perfect line lay for improved casting. The drag has sealed oversized HT100 carbon fiber drag washers and a “wave spring” that produces more drag pressure capability when compared to coil springs. The spool is skirted and braid ready with line capacity rings. All in all a very innovative reel and well deserving of the Best Saltwater Reel in the Show.







t the end of May my family and I

highly prized. Unfortunately, the supply of hāpu‘upu‘u

were at Mid-Pacific Institute for my

caught in the Main Hawaiian Islands doesn’t meet local

daughter Sachi’s graduation. While

demand, so markets and restaurants also purchase

we were waiting for the ceremony to

them from Chile and New Zealand to meet their needs.

start, I mentioned to my older son, Jason, that I ran across a Hawaii

Lawai‘a found a photo of a giant hāpu‘upu‘u that Harold Yoshikawa caught in Kona on October 6, 1965.

State Record fishing list. Under bottomfish, it listed the

When he hooked it, he couldn’t bring it up the cliff

record for hāpu‘upu‘u as 563 pounds, a fish caught in

where he was fishing, so he tied it off and went to get

1989 by Russell Mori at Makena Beach on Maui, while he

help. Yoshikawa returned with his friends, and together

was shorecasting using a Penn reel with 60 lb test line.

they hauled up the 319-pound fish. After hearing these

I told Jason I was surprised that such a huge fish was

stories, I wondered if there were any articles about giant

considered a bottomfish, which I usually think of as one

hāpu‘upu‘u in the Hawaiian-language newspapers. My

of the snappers, like onaga or opakapaka. Jason dives a

search turned up the following:

lot, so I asked him if he ever saw a giant hāpu‘upu‘u. He said only once. “In 1992 I was diving with two friends of mine behind




-pu‘upu‘u / Kona / 35 min fight • Photo T. Togashi Harold Yoshikawa • 10/6/65• 319lb Ha

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 19 April 1884. P. 2. He I-a Hapuupuu. A Hāpu‘upu‘u fish.

the reef in Waimanalo between the Mokuluas and No

At 7 o’clock in the evening last Tuesday, off of Lae ‘Ahi

Can Tells,” he said. “I was down about 60 feet when a

[Diamond Head], a great fish with the name Hāpu‘upu‘u

large shadow passed over me. I thought it was a shark,

was caught fast on the hook of a fisherman named

but when I turned to look, I saw this scary, prehistoric-

Kaihe. This was a large fish with a length of 6 feet and

looking fish that must have weighted at least 100

8 inches, measuring 6 feet around at the stomach,

pounds. I realized it was a big grouper, so I started

and weighing 362 pounds. As for the hook and line

after it, but it made a fast turn and disappeared. I really

that caught this great fish, the line was small and fine.

remember its size, strength and speed.”

Despite the size and immense weight of this fish, it was

Many people in Hawaii consider hāpu‘upu‘u, which are

in fact placed upon the boat of the fisherman. This is a

also known as sea bass or groupers, to be just as good

famous fish among us, and quite sweet. Many people

eating as the snappers, and for this reason they are

went to view this fish.



Many people in Hawaii consider -pu‘upu‘u, which are also known as ha sea bass or groupers, to be just as good eating as the snappers, and for this reason they are highly prized.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 17 April 1914. P. 4. Nuhou Kuloko. Local News.

fish until it died. Since the size of that hāpu‘upu‘u was

Last Saturday a large hāpu‘upu‘u fish was

greater than his little boat, he towed the fish

sold in the market, at thirty cents per pound.

separately on the side, until entering Hono-

Over eighty dollars was received that day,

lulu, and when placing it upon the cart, that

with a portion of that fish still remaining.

fish was whole, truly heavy. When weighed, the weight was about

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 26 January 1917. P. 4.

seven hundred and fifty pounds, and when

Kuaiia He Hapuupuu No Ka Haneri Dala.

auctioned at the market, it was bid on by the

Hāpu‘upu‘u Fish Sold For A Hundred Dollars.

Chinese and Japanese fish merchants, until

This past week and also last Monday, several huge fish were seen arriving in the

sold, by the half-pound, within a short time

sold for a hundred dollars, that was last

it was all gone, and the Chinese who had

Monday, was a hāpu‘upu‘u that weighed

bought that fish profited, by receiving three

about 750 pounds.

hundred and sixty-five dollars. Last week, a huge a‘u [swordfish] of one

Mino Tatani, off of Mākua, Wai‘anae, and af-

thousand and five hundred pounds was

ter striving to achieve victory on his side, he

caught on the hook of a Japanese off of

killed that fish, within one hour, and it was

Mākua, and for an hour and a half he contin-

towed separately from his little fishing boat;

ued to battle with that fish until it died, and

that was how it came here to Honolulu.

when it was auctioned at the market, it was

That Japanese was in fact engaged in fishing for ulua, without realizing his hook

sold for the price of eighty-five dollars. Two years ago another large hāpu‘upu‘u

had caught a fish, but when he tight-

was seen, caught on the hook of a Japanese

ened the line, he felt the weight, with the

fisherman off of Diamond Head, but that fish

mistaken belief that it was snagged, stuck

weighed five hundred pounds, and it was

on something, and so he began to pull

less than this hāpu‘upu‘u that was caught

forcefully; at that time he understood that

last Monday.

something was pulling, and realized that it was attached to a fish. For one hour that pulling continued,

However, the number-one biggest fish caught in the seas of Hawai‘i, and brought to the market, was a hīhīmanu [ray] that

until finally the hāpu‘upu‘u floated up,

weighed almost two thousand pounds, and

and with a fish harpoon that was already

was indeed sold.

prepared aboard the skiff, he attacked that


However, when the pieces of this fish were

market; however, the huge fish that was

That hāpu‘upu‘u was caught on the hook of



it was sold for a hundred dollars.

[Translations by Jason Ellinwood.]

ISSUE TWENTY ONE 2016 4/29/12 10:14 AM




Profile for Lawai'a Magazine

Lawai'a issue 21  

Lawai'a issue 21