Always entertaining, fun and a pleasure to watch “Hey Gang, Hari here.”
Izuo Brothers Ltd.
Supporting Hawaii’s Fishermen for 62 Years
100 Years of the Personal Touch K. Kaya Fishing Supply
PIFG Wrap Up THE New NOAA Survey Values Recreational Fishing in Hawaii
issue seven 2011
contents Issue number seven 2011
SECTIONS 7 Inside 8 e hoike mai 10 gallery 16 the future 18 shoreline tech 20 fish stories 21 What’s This 46 KELA A ME KEIA 56 tips from MEC 58 GEAR reviews 62 Speak
FEATURES 28 Izuo Brothers Ltd., Supporting Hawaii’s Fishermen for 62 Years 32 100 Years of the Personal Touch K. Kaya Fishing Supply 34 Hari Kojima 40 PIFG Wrap Up 44 o‘io: Trophy or Lomi 46 New NOAA survey to value recreational fishing in Hawaii 52 Close Call
Clyde Sasaki’s 100.3 ulua
issue seven 2011
Lawai‘a Magazine Sterling Kaya > Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Design Darin H. Isobe > Art Director email@example.com Director of Marketing + Sales Marc Inouye > Sales & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org VOICE Graphic + Environmental Design Clifford Cheng > Visual Consultant email@example.com Contributing Writers Billy Chang, John Clark, Brian Funai, Justin Hospital, Ruby Jung, Ridge Kaneshiro, Renee “Fishergirl” Kester, Brian Kimata, Mark Kimura, Joel “Spyda” Kiyosaki, Ronnie Lagmay, Chris Maxwell, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, Paulo, Wes Suzawa, Tom Teruya, Nate Tsao, Ed Watamura, Stan Wright
Perpetuating Our Fishing Tradition
a Hari Kojim
ALWAYS NING, ENTERTAI A FUN AND PLEASURE TO WATCH ri here.” , Ha “Hey Gang
ON THE COVER: Hari Kojima, longtime host of Let’s Go Fishing. He pioneered the concept of the fishing/ cooking show. Photo courtesy Tom Teruya.
Ltd. Years others rmen for 62 Izuo Br Hawaii’s Fishe Supporting of the 100 YearsTouch al ly Person Supp Fishing K. Kaya
Up PIFG Wrap Study w NOAA Hawaii THE Neation al Fishing in
Letters and Comments Send to: Lawai‘a Magazine 1733 Dllingham Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. www.Lawaia.net
New Hope Hawaii Kai Keiki Fishing Tournament
common theme running through several articles in this issue highlights the importance of family and tradition in the fishing community. For starters, three generations of the Kaya family have run K. Kaya Fishing Supplies of Honolulu and this year it is their store’s 100th anniversary – a remarkable feat for any type of business in today’s economic environment. Fishing tackle distributor, Izuo Brothers Ltd., also has a third generation at the helm of their family run business. And as it turns out, both of these businesses have been working with each other for just as long and serving generations of fishing families throughout their many years in operation. Like these families that have passed down the responsibility to successive generations, the responsibility of taking care of our ocean resources and the communities that depend on them have been passed down through generations of our island population. But while there are certain individuals who have been quietly upholding this responsibility through traditional practices, we as a community have largely failed to learn to use the tools and perpetuate the knowledge that previous
generations used to manage a bountiful ocean environment. Instead of understanding, embracing and fostering our past as Island people, we have focused on growth, expansion and other goals while neglecting our ocean environment. We continue to make changes to the islands towards these goals failing to see the connectivity between the changes on land and resulting , unintended consequences that occur at the end of the line, the ocean. We continue to allow misinformed or sometimes intentional actions to take place that are detrimental to our nearshore environment — disrupting natural cycles, changing habitats, compromising water quality and impacting other aspects — but are often not so apparent to the untrained eye. This disconnection and inability to accept responsibility needs to be changed and we hope to help with this magazine. One vehicle for change will be to help fishermen be aware of current events, developing government policy and other activities that are increasingly impacting our island culture and heritage of fishing and eating seafood here in Hawaii. The other is through encouraging the fishing community to participate in scientific studies and research
Inside Editorial Board
that help manage our fisheries. The Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, a non-profit organization created by fishermen for the fishing community, has been working hard to do these very things. A two page spread highlighting their efforts in these areas will become a regular feature of Lawai‘a. Perpetuating and learning from generational knowledge is another way we can all help. One very special feature in this issue is “Hawaiian Practice and ‘Science’”, a piece about what it really means to understand what traditional Island fishermen did (and still do) to be “sustainable” before it became a modern-day buzzword. Many of the aspects noted by this article are missing in today’s modern approach to managing our island resources, but are critical to establishing successful management of sustainable resources. We know readers will find this article thought provoking and hope it can be taken to heart. Along the same lines of the importance of family in the fishing community, we would like to introduce two of our newest writers, Renee Kester and Joel Kiyosaki, known within the cyberworld crowd as fishing bloggers, Fishergirl and Spyda, respectively. Both have been contributing to online forums and blogs for some time now and have become very popular figures with their stories that resonate with all of us that live and fish here in the Islands. We are very lucky to have them aboard. Let’s strive to be Hawaii’s fishermen, Lawai‘a, and be responsible when using our ocean resources, not only by understanding and practicing resource conservation, but also by sharing our knowledge and showing others that being involved in its management is important. Lawaia Editorial Board
Fish or Blog? Why Not Both?
If you are like many in the fishing community these days, armed with cell phone and laptops, you might spend a few minutes of the day perusing or even participating in various online fishing forums and blogs devoted to fishing in Hawaii. But realizing that many are also too busy fishing to be surfing the web, we have enlisted two popular cyber-figures to join us as writers in Renee Kester and Joel Kiyosaki. We are very fortunate to welcome aboard Renee and Joel, who go by their alter-egos, Fishergirl and Spyda, respectively. Their regular online blog entries and forum postings can be seen at I Fish Hawaii Fishing Forums <www.ifishhawaii.com> and Hawaii Fishing Forums <www.ulua-fishing. com/hff/index.php>. We are reprinting their entries beginning on page 18 with permission from I Fish Hawaii Fishing Forums. Mahalo! issue seven 2011
Kawika Subiono 33.3 lb. Ulua
Ladd Yoshimura 18 lb. Ulua Denver Kaaua Uhu
Clyde Sasaki 45 lb. Ulua
Leilani Kaaua Papio
Brandon Lum 1.71 lb. Lai
Robert Shibukawa 108.1 lb. Ulua
Chris Paglinawan 87.2 lb. Ono Errol Nishimura 5.77 lb. Moi
Jason Murphy Tafity 10.73 lb. Uhu
Troy Maeda 1.71 Toau Gino Bell 408 lb. Marlin
send us your pics
Darrell Melemai 7.89 Oio
Email digital photos as jpg files. Please take pics at your highest setting possible. Email jpg photos to email@example.com Incude all info please. All pics sent become the property of Lawaiâ€˜a Magazine.
Ryan Nakagawa Kekahi and Richard Ahi
issue seven 2011
ga l l e r y
2011 Hanapa‘a Shootout
Thelma Lee Capt. Scot Morita 240.8 lb Marlin Largest Marlin
1. Thelma Lee Capt. Scot Morita 240.8 lbs. 2. Pompooh Capt. Ryan Moriguchi 126.1 lbs. Largest Mahi Mahi
1. Ah Tina Capt. Matt Kahapea 41.3 lbs. 2. Wailele Jam Capt. TJ Tejada 28.2 lbs. Largest Ono
1. Wailele Jam Capt. TJ Tejada 39.3 lbs. 2. Pompooh Capt. Ryan Moriguchi 35.7 lbs. 10
© Tsutomu Lures All Rights Reserved.
IN THE HANDCRAFTED
FISHING LURES MADE IN HAWAII
the “Lexi Ann”, to the crew of . Congratulations i overall: 221 lbs h the largest Ah wit up llet. g kin hoo es Fish Head Bu Lur u tom Tsu Taken on
AHI Weigh IN - 221 lbs!
EW ANN CRChamps! LEXI ver Ahi Fe
Available at These Locations :
Maui Sporting Goods
• Roy’s Fishing Supply • Alas Fishing Supply • 5 Oceans 7 Seas
issue seven 2011
Hawaii’s Most Wanted Invasive Tournament
Na Kane o Ke Kai 2011
ga l l e r y
issue seven 2011
Big Island Spearfishing
ga l l e r y
issue seven 2011
“Save Our Ocean” mural. My class of 23 first grade students and I had been discussing how Earth Day should be everyday. The ocean is a familair subject to the children so I wanted them to think about our ocean and how we need to protect it and not pollute it. We discussed many things that we should not put into the water and also talked about the animals that live in the water. They decided which animals they wanted to draw and used our class library books as reference. They worked collaboratively on it over a period of about two weeks (we don’t have much time in a day!) and I allowed them to organize the mural among themselves. We did have previous experiences with craypas and had learned how to blend colors. The children enjoyed working on this mural and this is an excellent learning tool for these young students as they become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. Please let me know if you have further questions, Ruby Jung Ma‘ema‘e Elementary School
issue seven 2011
shoreline tech By B r i a n K i m ata
QUESTION: My Newell reel’s spool is scraping the left plate. I think it is hitting the clicker. The plate has some small metal particles and the spool is showing some damage on the fins on the inner surface of the spool. How do I fix this? QUESTION: I just bought a new Newell spool for my 550 and it’s scraping the right plate. I tried to adjust it by backing off the right bearing and that works for a while. The problem is that I’ll have to constantly adjust the bearing a couple times each trip. What do I do to hold it in place? ANSWER: Both of these questions refer to the same problem and are one of the most common questions that I hear in the store. Both of these reels are suffering from a spool that is not quite centered correctly in relation the left and right side plates. Notice I said specifically in relation to the side plates. That is because ideally you would want the spool centered to the frame but often this is not possible. Yes, the reel would operate and cast optimally centered to the frame but on many reels this would cause the spool to collide with the clicker assembly on the left or the pinion on the right. In addition to this, spools sometimes need to be moved left or right to avoid scraping the inner rings. In question #2, this guy is on the right track but needs a different approach to the problem. By backing off the right bearing, he is indeed moving the spool to the right side of the plate. Remember the bearing is what controls how far the spool sits in either direction. The problem is, the right bearing cap needs to be tightened completely or it will continue to back off changing the tolerance until it is unacceptable. There is a better way… Newell reels are designed to have their spools adjusted so that they can operate optimally. This can be done in one of two ways or a combination of both, depending on the reel. Technique #1 involves what Newell calls a split ring. We refer to them as external bearing adjusters. If you back out your right side bearing you will notice a colored plastic ring
Today’s Tip: Adjust your spool tension, that side to side play, by always checking it in free spool. Spool tension is adjusted with the left bearing cap and a slight amount of play is necessary to prevent wear against the spindle ends of the spool. The amount of play will need to be adjusted while the reel is in free spool as the pinion gear will be pressing onto the spool while it is in gear. Because the pinion is pushed up against the spool with a pair of springs, this will disguise the actual amount of play involved. In free spool the pinion is backed completely away from the spool and the actual amount of load against the spool will be apparent.
sitting in a groove in the bearing cap. This controls how far the bearing cap and thus the bearing itself can move inward toward the right side of the reel. These split rings are available in 5 sizes ranging in thickness from .08” to the thinnest at .04”. Newell colors these rings so that you will be able to identify their thickness. They are, in order of thickness, black, white, orange, blue and red. If you need to move your spool toward the right, you would simply select a thinner ring. A thinner ring allows the bearing cap to screw in further before it bottoms out on the ring. Remember, it is the bearing that controls how far a spool moves. A thicker ring moves the spool to the right. Some older Newells have plastic bearing caps that sit flush to the plate and are not adjustable. This requires our second technique. Method #2 involves what we call under bearing shims. Newell makes two types in different thickness, again allowing you some degree of adjustability. Part # U-ILS is a plastic shim with a thickness of .030. Newell part # U-IRS is made of stainless steel and is .010” thick. Both shims work by being placed under the bearing within the bearing cap itself. This shoves the bearing higher in the cup and thus would move the spool right if placed in the left bearing cap and left if placed within the right bearing cap. At times you may need more than one shim or a combination of a different split ring and an under bearing shim to get that reel running right. For fine tuning, the plastic shims and split rings can be lightly sanded to the size that you need. This is sometimes necessary but rarely the case. Just remember that unlike the left bearing cap, the right cap needs to be tightened all the way down. A common mistake I’ll see in the store is to have an O ring on the right bearing right where the plastic split ring belongs. People make this mistake because there is an O ring that is used on the left cap and they will make the assumption that both caps use them. Well, we all know what happens when you assume. The right cap will have to have a split ring in there, one of the 5 sizes I mentioned before. No ring or an O ring will definitely cause a malfunction. One last word of caution. When you add a new split ring to your bearing cap and begin to tighten it, the split ring may bulge out preventing the cap from screwing in any further. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FORCE THE SPLIT RING IN. You will need to use a small screwdriver to push and compress the split ring while tightening the cap. Forcing the ring in will not be possible and if enough force is used, the plate will either crack or cause the threaded insert within the cap to break free and spin within the cap. Either would require a new right side plate. issue seven 2011
fish stories b y C h ris M a x we l l
,1 0 0 +
L B u lua
It was Monday, March 28th and after a long day of work, I was ready for some fishing. The week before, a few friends and I made plans to fish a selected spot on the south east side of Oahu. Unfortunately, the spot we had planned to go already had a bunch of guys fishing so we ended up going to our regular spot just down the coastline. Since I was working most of the day, I was one of the last guys to hike down the trail and get my poles set for slide baiting before the sun went down. After rigging up my gear and several casts, I got my lead stuck and was ready for the sun to go down so I could slide some bait down my line. Nightfall quickly came so I readied my two first slides with some fresh tako that I had brought with me. I walked out to my poles and slid down my bait along with the rest of the guys that were fishing. It was now about 8pm and everyone had their bait down. The only thing left to do was sit down, relax, and have a few beers and pupus while we wait and hope for an ulua to bite. Sure enough, around 9pm, we heard a bell going off. As we all shined our lights at the point we could see my friend Brandon’s pole dipping over and over. Brandon took notice quickly and jetted out to his pole. After taking his bell and tie cord off he quickly began to crank down on his reel. After a few boosts Brandon started to bring the fish in which seemed to be a small ulua. Unfortunately, half way in the ulua spit the hook and got away. Everyone walked back to their chairs and coolers and continued to wait in anticipation. At around 10 pm I was getting tired so I sat back in my chair and caught up on some much needed sleep. About an hour later, as I was dozing in and out of lala land and I heard a bell go off. I woke up and quickly shined my light towards the point along with everyone else and saw my pole bouncing up and down. As I ran to my pole I heard a little ratchet along with the bell and I thought, “ok, it’s on”. I quickly took my bell and tie cord off, grabbed my pole and gave a couple hard pulls to be sure whatever bit my pole was on. After a couple of tugs, line started ripping out of my reel. I soon realized that whatever this was, it was big! As the runs slowed down, I kept the pressure on and tried giving a couple of boosts. Whatever it was, it did not want to budge. So I kept the pressure steady and waited for its next move. As I was holding the pole I began to realize that this was probably a big ulua. I could feel my rod tip pulsing slowly and I had a hunch that this was an ulua and not a shark or stingray. After a couple minutes of pressure I was able to get a few boosts in. Immediately after, the fish took a couple more runs. I decided that this fish was not ready to come in yet so I let it sit outside the line up of poles and waited for it to tire out. Slowly, the fish would swim a little to the left, then a 20
little to the right, and then back left again. All in all the fish seemed to be content on staying where it was. As several minutes passed, I was able to gain some line back into my reel. At this point the fish was starting to tire. I tried to keep patient to make sure this fish was fully worn out before I brought it in closer to the other poles and rocky shoreline. I didn’t want the fish to tangle any of the other poles or take a run against the rocks. Slowly, as I applied pressure, the fish came in closer and closer. After a few more minutes I looked down at my Newell 646, filled with 100lb Trilene, and noticed there was only 30-40 yards left to go before this fish was in gaff range. At this point I knew I had to take control of this fish so I boosted with all the energy I had left in me. The fish then began to swim to the right towards a cove in the rocky shore line. I quickly scampered across the rocks to the right to keep my rod tip in line with the fish in case there were any potential rubbing points on the rocks. As I got to the cove and made one big boost, the fish surfaced. Sure enough, through the whitewash I could see a big ulua floating. With some big surges hitting the rocks it was a little dangerous to gaff in the front of the cove area. As I saw a big surge forming I thought to myself that this was my chance to land this fish. As the surge came in and picked up the fish, I boosted my pole as hard as I could. As I boosted I saw the fish just barely clear the ledge in the surge of water. As the water began to recede, I noticed the ulua was wedged on the ledge by only its gills and was starting to fall back in the water. Before I could say anything, gaff man Travis Lee came in and saved the day by sticking a pole gaff in the ulua’s head before it had a chance to fall back into the water. Travis then dragged the fish up on the rocks and away from the surging water. As our whole gang just stared in amazement at the size of this fish, we were thinking this could be a 100+ lb ulua. I had such a big adrenaline rush that it took a while for me to realize that I had sprained my ankle while chasing the ulua along the shoreline. So I guess you could say that I got the fish but the fish got me too! Once I caught my breath some of the guys started to take pictures. As I was smiling for the camera, I heard another bell on the point go off. We all turned and looked to see my other pole bouncing up and down. I couldn’t believe it! 5 minutes after catching the biggest fish of my life my other pole bites. I fought that ulua for a few minutes and one of the guys hand lined it over the rocks. The ulua weighed in at 19 lbs and I quickly threw it back so it could live to fight another day. ( Until we meet again my friend…..) So that’s the end of my story. I want to thank all of the guys who were fishing that night for helping me both on the point and on the trail hiking up. A special thanks to “Big Mike” for bringing a hand scale and a fish bag. That was a big help!
w h a t ’s t h i s u n u s u a l c a t c h es
Check this out. We caught this on our last trip 2 weeks ago on the Akaaka. Looks like the fish bit the French clip, popped it open and then got stuck on it. My friend, boat Captain Roy Matsuoka, swears he closed the clip. He is usually very careful and sets all the poles and lines himself. Aloha, Billy Chang
Kekahi Arakaki speared this off of Ewa Beach. Thanks to Bob Humphreys and Bruce Mundy of NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, we were able to identify it as a freckle driftfish (Psenes cyanophrys). It also shows up on page 454 of Jack Randall’s book, “Reef and Shorefishes of the Hawaiian Islands”. This is the juvenile stage that is sometimes seen at sea and associated with drifting objects. The adult phase is a mystery but apparently they occupy deep demersal habitats, out of reach of current fisheries.
/ My name is Ridge “Kaniela” Kaneshiro and I have a rare story to share. My family and I rented a beach house in Mokuleia for my cousin’s birthday. We arrived at the house on Friday and when I awoke the next morning my little cousins told me they had seen a squid outside. Thinking it was a tiny squid I rolled out of my bed and went outside to take a look anyway since they seemed so eager for me to look. When I looked out over the wall I was shocked to see a giant squid swimming right in front of the house. I watched in awe as it moved around in the shallow water and then in a couple of minutes it disappeared. I was amazed that such a big squid was lurking in such shallow waters. I told my little cousins to keep watch, and if the squid returned to call me. I walked around the beach house looking for a stick or something that the squid could grab onto. Luckily I found a three-prong in the garage that must’ve belonged to the owner of the house. I walked back towards the ocean side of the house and when I looked over the wall I was stunned to see that the squid had returned. I climbed a ladder down the wall
and touched down onto the sand. I walked towards the squid and slowly made my way into the water without changing out of my regular clothes. When I was waist deep in the water I reached out with the three-prong and the squid wrapped its tentacles around the prongs. I quickly pulled the squid closer and stabbed it in the head. I quickly tried to get the squid out of the water to deny its escape. I couldn’t believe the size of the squid. The squid was so heavy that I couldn’t carry it back up the ladder and instead had to walk around. The squid was nearly 5 feet long and had barbs on its tentacles indicating that it was a giant squid. The kind of squids that battle with sperm whales in the deep ocean. My grandpa, uncle, and dad who have fished their entire lives all agreed that they had never seen anything like it before. They are also the ones who encouraged me to send a picture to the newspaper. I hope you enjoy this story, it truly has been the most memorable experience of my life so far. Definitely a once in a lifetime catch. Mahalo, Ridge “Kaniela” Kaneshiro
issue seven 2011
fish stories b y R O N N I E LA G M AY
My 80 lb Ulua
still hard to believe It was a beautiful Easter Sunday morning and, since my brothers had taken my dirt bike up to Kahuku, I decided to go whipping. I packed my gear and headed out at around 8 am. When I got there, the wind was blowing lightly and the water looked kind of calm. I was thinking that I should have gone riding too but thought “oh well” and started walking to the spot. On the way in, I bumped into my friend, Kerry, who was already fishing. We chatted for a while and talked about how nice the water was for fishing. I continued to walk further in and got to the area that I wanted to try whipping. I whipped for about 2 hours and had a few bites but nothing to take home. So I packed up my gear up and headed back. On the way back, I stopped to see Kerry and he asked me “Why don’t you come back with your casting poles?” I told him I might come back and continued to walk out. I bumped into another friend, Willy, who was walking in and told him that Kerry was inside fishing. I also told him I might come back and continued home.
When I got home I took a short nap. I had some time before a family dinner so I started thinking that I should go back. My brother, Robin, encouraged me to go since I had time to fish. I packed up only one pole, a Nitro mediumheavy that my friend Travis had re-wrapped for me, my Daiwa sealine 50 loaded with 40lb test G-Force line, two 6oz lead and a wire set up with a number 24 maruto hook. The set up was for small game only. Thinking that I was only going be there for a few hours, I didn’t want to bring in too much stuff. I packed some skinned tako that my friend Jason gave me a few days earlier, packed my small fish bag cooler, loaded my jeep and headed back to fish with Kerry and Willy. I parked my jeep, made a good half mile walk to where my friends were and started to set up my fishing gear. My first cast was short because of a small bird nest so I left it there. Around half an hour later we checked bait but it wasn’t touched so I re-casted it back out. My brother’s friend, Myles,
and his crew drove past and mentioned that they were going to dive for bait. They stopped only about 200 yards from us. Ten minutes later, Willy’s pole took a hit and he brought up an o’io. Right after that, Kerry’s pole took a hit and it was another o’io. I was thinking “Yeah the fish stay biting.” Then my pole took a hit. I grabbed my pole and gave it a small yank to set the hook. As I was reeling it in, there was a big explosion around 30 yards out. I was thinking “What the hell was that?” and dropped my tip down since the pole was bouncing a lot. Then there was a second explosion but this time the pole was bending and the reel started screaming. The fight was on and, not knowing what it was, I started to thumb the reel to try and stop it. Bad idea - small kine’ burned thumb! - so I let it run. It only took half of the spool and the pole was bent pretty good but not too extreme so I thought “Wow, this fish isn’t big at all”. The fish started to slow down and I started to tighten up my drag. I could still see my bait on the main line and followed it as it started going left. My adrenaline started pumping but I still didn’t really know what it was. I turned around and saw that Myles and his friends were watching. I asked if they could see the fish from up where they were but they said “no” and I continued to fight it. The fish started to run back right and, at 20 minutes into the fight, my arms were starting to burn. It was a give and take battle. I finally stopped the fish from going out and started to pump it in. While watching where the fish was heading, I could see an o’io floating on the surface close to shore. “Wow!” I thought, “that must be the o’io I had on my line and this fish bit it. Unreal!” I tried to boost the fish in but wasn’t making much progress so I used the small waves to push it in closer to shore. It worked and I started to gain more line back a little at a time. When it got closer to shore, I asked Myles if they could see if it was a shark. They told me “No, it’s a fish!” and I started to get excited. But I was cautious since I had a lot of fish lost on this light gear and was hoping my line would hold after this long fight. Around 30 minutes in, I could see the fish on the surface but still couldn’t make out what it was. As it got closer and closer to shore, my arms were shaking from the battle. With the fish around 30 yards from shore I could see what it was and yelled “ULUA!” I asked Myles if they had a spear gun to shoot the ulua but they came running down with a three prong, haha. They were all yelling “watch out for the rocks! ‘Gotta turn it to the sand” but I couldn’t persuade it. Luckily, the fish was just as tired as I was and went belly up. Myles grabbed the tail and dragged it up the beach. The whole fight lasted about 45 minutes. We all started yelling, “Brah, this fish is big!” It was the biggest ulua that I’ve ever caught from shore! Everyone took turns trying to carry it to see how much it weighed. They guessed it was around 70 pounds. All this time I was thinking “How am I going to bring this fish out?” I asked Myles’ friend if he could drive me out and he said “Sure” so I packed up my gear, carried the fish up and lifted it into the truck. I called Robin and asked him to buy ice and bring the big cooler. He thought I was playing around but, when he heard me breathing hard, he knew I wasn’t lying. Robin was there when I got to my jeep. He was all excited too and said “This fish is not going to fit in the cooler.” Haha! No kidding. Special thanks to Myles for grabbing the fish for me, my braddah Robin for weighing it and bringing me the cooler, Leonard for printing my fish, and Nelson for bringing me a bigger cooler. To all my fishing partners: Robin, Leonard, Romy, Travis, Nelson, Kevin, Magoo, and Doc, thanks for always fishing with me. Sorry but this one I went by myself. And thanks to the man above for blessing me with such a big catch. I finally got my big one, an 80lb ulua. Mahalo much, Ronnie.
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issue seven 2011
fish stories B y J oe l “ S p y d a ” K i y os a ki
In The Beginning Although the beginnings of my fishing bug started when my Dad took us fishing for Aholehole off of the piers at Maalaea harbor on Maui, it really took hold here on Oahu when our family moved here in 1965. The first house we lived in was near the north-east end of Kawainui marsh in Kailua. There you could catch tilapia and Chinese catfish off the levee. Then just further north was the Kawainui canal where the Moilii would run now and then bringing in the predators like Papio and Barracuda. I got my first spinning outfit with 3 1/2 books of my Moms Royal Stamps. A “Red Devil” spoon purchased at Hughes Drugs fooled my first Barracuda. Funny how all fishermen can remember these things. We moved across town to Enchanted Lake in 1967, my Dad bought a house right on the lake. Talk about a dream for a pre-teen kid in love with fishing! The schools of Tilapia were so big that when you tossed a stone out into the lake half the surface of the lake would erupt with scattering fish! When heavy rains came the lake water level would rise. On such occasions they would dredge out the opening to the ocean at Kailua beach, this would bring schools of juvenile fish of all kinds into the lake. Barracuda, Papio, Awaawa, were great fun for kids fishing in the backyard! Into my teens motocross became my life and I fished only on occasion. The bug surfaced again when my sister’s boyfriend started taking me with him out to Kewalo Basin to fish off the piers behind the fish processing plants. Then surfing set fishing aside once again and we traveled all over the islands surfing spots that I now know to be great fishing spots as well. As the surfing became a daily thing we spent more and more time at the beach which led to many nights camping out at our favorite spots. What to do with all those nights? Fish! The bug hit hard this time as we quickly progressed up the scale of shore fishing equipment. Soon we were loaded up with conventional reels and long casting poles with Ulua on our minds! We still surfed but more time and money was being spent on the pursuit of Ulua. We toiled long and hard, many whitewash nights, big fish hard to come by. How long would it take, how many more nights? Papio, Oio, Kumu, etc…..not good enough….I even lost a brand new rig! 12 foot pole, extended 6/o out to sea on a monster strike at Mokuleia! What??? What’s it going to take? Finally, a breakthrough… Edmund brings our first ashore, a 24 pounder out at Laie Point. The ice is finally broken…I would eventually get my first, a 28 pound Kagami out at Moi Hole. We were on a roll! Some people pay more dues than others, we paid a lot!
Fishing on t h e B i g I s la n d Obsession? Call it what you want. I needed more; the desire for Ulua burned strong. Yea, we had broken through on Oahu, but how long would the high last? Speaking of “High”, life on Oahu was getting out of control the partying was never ending. Money burned quickly, paycheck to paycheck life was the norm. Had to find a way out. My fishing partner, Dean, left for California to look for work as a writer. For me, a chance to move to Kona came up so I went for it. The Big Island; home of the Hilo Casting Club and its renowned annual shore-casting tournament. It’s legendary high cliffs and deep water promised great fishing adventure. I had lived in Hilo for about six months back in 1976 but couldn’t take all the rain. Weekend trips to Kona had convinced me that was where I wanted to be. I packed my fishing and camping gear in my trusty old Scout “Ben” and put it on the barge to Kawaihae. The first few weeks after my Scout arrived I had nowhere to live so I drove down to the shoreline behind the airport and camped out every night! This meant a chance to get a line in the water. Red fish like Menpachi and Aweoweo were fairly easy to catch for bait or a quick pot of “Sabao’ on cold nights. It was all-good, except for one thing: where were all the big Ulua?
Catching a fish that doesn’t fit in the cooler is always a nice problem to have!
My rods praying to the Ulua gods.......
A friend at work told me he was a member of the Kona Coast Casting Club and, if I was interested, he would introduce me at the next meeting. I jumped at the chance figuring, if I got accepted into the club, it would be a great chance to learn and experience more of the “Big Island Style”. The club experience turned out to be all that I expected and some that I did not. It was a small club at the time with twenty or so members. I was surprised to see Kinney Louie of Hilo Casting Club fame there at the meeting. I couldn’t believe that someone would take the time to drive the two hours from Hilo to attend a small club meeting. The meeting was at Teshima’s restaurant in Honalo. I happened to be living in a studio right there next to the restaurant. I didn’t even need 30 seconds to walk there! I got accepted into the club, along with another guy whom I later found out was from Oahu also. We also had another thing in common; we were about the only ones that weren’t married or living with their parents. The three of us, Chester, my friend from work, Carl, the other new guy and myself became regular fishing partners. Besides the club outings, we started fishing together regularly. Club outings were fun and the chance to see other styles of casting, setup, baitcutting and selection was a big draw for me. Of course making new fishing friends is always fun. New friends means you can tell all your old fishing stories again just like they’re brand new! Of course I wanted to catch big ulua but seeing a few big boys never hurts. It just jacks you all up! Gives you the urge to throw line someplace! The first hundred plus ulua I saw was at the weigh in for a weekend club tournament. Two day quickie tournament and here comes Bernie with this big tail sticking out of his cooler! 127….holy cr#%!!! Sadly, on a recent trip back to Kona, I found out that the spot where that big boy came up is slated for a new resort construction…..too bad. The trail to that spot was a pretty gnarly one that kept the crowds and “part-timers” out of there. Over the years a lot of “hardcore” spots have disappeared under new construction. But, the Big Island is just that, BIG, and there are a lot of untouched or rarely touched areas that remain. Still, it’s sad to see another one bite the dust. This blog is dedicated to the late Kinney Loui who passed away in June of 2008. His great passion for the sport of Ulua fishing, kindness and willingness to share his knowledge will forever be an inspiration to me. Rest in peace Mr Louie!!
issue seven 2011
Photos by Joel Kiyosaki
T h e C lu b Sce n e
fish stories B y R enee “ f is h ergir l ” K ester
What makes a fishergirl? I think it all happened a long time ago. Maybe it was the pacific northwest, surrounded by all that water? Lake after lake, river after river, and lets not forget the pacific ocean itself! Or it could have been all of those brothers, four of them in fact, all older and not a sister in sight. They ruled the roost and it was either join in or get left behind and I couldn’t let that happen, oh no, not me… The barbie dolls that were gifted to a little girl sat dusty and neglected,
beautiful dresses perfectly pressed hanging silent in the closet, now those were gladly left behind. Always running to keep up and not afraid to get dirty, maybe… Maybe it was just being born into a family that loved the outdoors, especially summer with all the sun and water that you could possibly soak up not to mention the fishing, water skiing, hunting and motorcycles that were a constant swirl around my youth it’s no wonder I turned into…a fishergirl.
So. By now I’m sure you think I am some crazy lady who fishes way too much and you are absolutely right. But I’m guessing since you are here and still reading this, I may not be alone. I hope you enjoy this blog and my ramblings-on about all things fish and I’ll try to pass on some of the tricks I learn about on the way. What I really do hope comes out of all of this is that somewhere, someone gets inspired to go fishing and even better if they take their kids too, and remember, don’t leave the girls behind!
Photos by Renee Kester
Yes somewhere back then with all of those influences and with maybe, just maybe a natural love of it all, I know the seed was planted and took root. I LOVE to fish. I do. I love everything about it. The gear, the preparation, the fishing buddies, the adventure, the pursuit, the fight, the stories, the one that got away and even the days without one in sight, as long as I’m fishing. I can just imagine how I was plotting to catch those sneaky fish even here… So now I’m all grown up, sigh. Yes, a full blown adult. All is not lost though… The gear is better, the adventures wilder, the fish are bigger...and if that weren’t enough, I have been blessed with two of my very own minnows to take fishing and hopefully to impart this same love of fishing, one to last a lifetime. Oh I still go on big girl adventures of my own, but when I get the chance I take them along with me and they are turning into excellent little fisherkids! Now, I must mention the other family member you will hear about from time to time. Mr fishergirl. Yep, that’s him…He’s a corn fed midwest boy who is secure enough in his manhood to be referred to as mr fishergirl and was crazy enough to marry me and still put up with all of my fishergirl ways. Now before I get too gushy over him let me tell you one of his most redeeming qualities. Are you ready for this? He cleans every fish I bring home. Did you get that? EVERY ONE! What a man! Oh I can clean a fish, my dad made sure of that, but mr fishergirl, he knows the way to my heart…
issue seven 2011
Izuo Brothers Ltd., Supporting Hawaii’s Fishermen for 62 Years
Photos courtesy of the Izuo Family
We recently sat down to talk with Rodney Izuo and Raylene (Izuo) Nagai about their family run business, Izuo Brothers Ltd., a familiar name in Hawaii’s fishing community for generations.
Original Izuo Building (who would've known it looked like that before!)
What year did Izuo Brothers start doing business and who was its founder? (Rodney:) Izuo Brothers was founded in 1944 by our grandparents, Shurei and Mitsuko and incorporated in 1949 by Shurei and his brother, Tetsuo Izuo.
What does Izuo Brothers do? (Rodney:) We are a distributor of an assortments of goods today that include recreational fishing tackle, sporting goods and hardware. (Raylene:) Our fishing brands include Penn, Shimano & Daiwa and Texsport, Coast Cutlery, Maglite, Kershaw & CRKT Knives for sporting goods. We also distribute Rustoleum, Varathane & Watco for hardware throughout the state of Hawaii, Guam & the South Pacific. How has the fishing industry changed over the years? Left: Original Izuo Bros Staff - (L to R) Back: Aunty Clara Okamoto, Aunty Betty Furuya, Aunty Alice Yamanishi, Aunty Edith Horimoto, Uncle “B” Bunichi Okamoto, Uncle “Jimmy” James Yamanishi, Keo Izuo Front: Uncle “T” Tetsuo Izuo, Co-founder Mitsuko Izuo, Co-founder Shurei Izuo. Above: Raylene Nagai and Rodney Izuo
(Rodney:) The industry is today very competitive (many different manufacturers and sales channels) and highly regulated
(state and federal laws targeting recreational fishermen). (Raylene:) Over the last ten years, we have also seen many acquisitions, mergers and a general trend towards the consolidation of national brands in the fishing tackle industry. We can remember when Herbert Henze the President and owner of Penn Fishing Tackle would visit Hawaii and spend time with our father. Today Penn Fishing Tackle is owned by the Jarden Corp. along with Pure Fishing (which includes brands such as Berkley, Fenwick, Stren, Mitchell, & Abu Garcia) Coleman, Tilia, Shakespeare all of whom are notable names in the fishing community. Our industry has also been under fire within the last twenty years with many coastal areas closed (permanent and seasonal) to recreational fishing, which has made it more difficult for anglers to fish today. Have you noticed a change in the age of people most active in fishing? Have you seen a shift in genders involved? (Rodney:) Fishing is a sport enjoyed by people of all ages. issue seven 2011
(Raylene:) But locally, there seems to be a trend of the younger under-thirty generation getting more involved and doing the “ulua thing”, buying a boat, or going skin diving. In terms of gender, fishing continues to be a male dominated sport. That said, there is a definite push nation-wide to get the younger generation involved and marketing campaigns in place to attract young females to the sport. Almost every major brand of fishing rod manufacturers have introduced “female friendly” rods and rod and reel combinations. Shakespeare, Master Fishing Tackle and Zebco all offer rods and combos in pink. (Rodney:) We also notice that it helps to have positive female role models like Kimi Werner on television encouraging women to participate in fishing and diving. Do you see any future trends in fishing tackle? Where do you see fishing gear going?
In your grandfather and father’s day, fishing was a way of supplementing a family’s everyday meal. Today, fishing is considered a recreational activity by most with more of an emphasis on conservation. What kind of Keo Izuo and “Buster” Takayesu adjustments did you have to make in the way of doing business as the image of fishing has changed in society? Is there less catch and consume and more catch and release? Did you notice a certain event or point in time which caused people’s attitudes to change?
(Rodney:) The overall trend in technology in fishing today seems to be focused on building things faster, stronger or lighter than previously designed. We have seen new introductions and innovations across the board in every category (reels, rods, lures, line, etc.). Fishing reels have shrunk but hold more line. Fishing rods have become significantly lighter but exponentially stronger. Fishing lines are no longer only extruded plastics, they include braided Spectra®, and Dyneema® and fluorocarbon lines. There are new lures made of “Super Plastics” which are almost indestructible in the water. There are even lures which emit sounds only fish can hear and are supposed to make them hungry. Technology has definitely made its mark in the fishing industry.
Most all businesses are conducted very differently from even just a few years ago. How will the distribution element of the tackle business evolve as technology and use of the internet move forward? (Rodney:) We’ve turned into an instant gratification society. Fishing has ridden the internet wave along with all of the other industries out there. We can make purchases for almost all our needs or whims with the click of a button. (Raylene:) It’s become a fiercely competitive industry. The fishing tackle distributor is an animal that is almost extinct today. There are only a handful of distributors throughout the United States, including us. As a local distributor we’ve also had to change along with the times. (Rodney:) Today, Izuo Brothers is graded upon what we can deliver in addition to the product mix we stock. Having a good instock rate counts. If we are constantly out of stock there is a great 30
possibility that we could lose the business to one of our competitors on the mainland. (Raylene:) We are not the most technologically advanced, but if our Dad was alive today, we think he’d be surprised at our use of computers and our attempts to make our business process more streamlined and efficient. We’ve also been exploring new ideas to help our dealers through the internet - small things such as allowing them to check our inventory instantaneously without having to call us.
(Raylene:) Hawaii is still uniquely different from the Continental United States in terms of consumption. While there are more people advocating catch and release and fishing as a sport in the mainland, many people still feed their families and friends with their catch here. (Rodney:) As a business, we have never sold drift or lay nets. Our father never believed it was a sporting way to catch fish. We both feel the same way. It is not that we are against using these types of nets but, there is a specific way and purpose and a time to use these types of nets and more importantly, it is not something everyone should be using. (Raylene:) We also believe in and encourage taking only what is needed without over-fishing or wiping out schools of fish just because they are there. (Rodney:) Albeit slowly, Rodney has noticed an increasing amount of fishermen participating in catch and release especially at the various tournaments held island-wide. More and more fishermen are realizing the value of conserving our resources for the next generation. (Raylene:) We are also fortunate to have programs here in Hawaii such as the Ulua Tagging Project and the Barbless Hook Project, both of which have increased public awareness of the importance of catch and release. Much of the fishing gear we use here in Hawaii is unique to our island fishing grounds. How has the tackle evolved? (Rodney:) A good example of change would be something like the Penn Senator 14/0. This reel was primarily sold on the East Coast
and here in Hawaii. Here you have an oversized reel for maximum line capacity and oversized drag. Though very popular at one time, this reel is no longer produced. Though more than almost triple its wholesale cost, sales of the 14/0 have been taken over by the Penn International and Shimano Tiagra. Today these reels hold more line, have much improved drag systems, can take more punishment and have both high gear for high speed retrieve and a low gear for torque. Another good example would be the “Ulua Rod.” Going back to the 80s and earlier, ulua rods were these massively heavy 1-piece, bamboo, fiberglass or sometimes graphite constructed fishing rods. Diameter sizes were much larger than today’s rods and the worst part about it was they were very difficult to store and transport because they were so long (usually 12-13 feet). Today, most rods are of two piece construction meaning you have two parts, a top section and a bottom section which need to be joined in order to fish it. These rods have gotten stronger, lighter and smaller in diameter. Most importantly, you don’t need a truck or roof racks to go Ulua fishing anymore. These rods will fit in most vehicles today.
(Raylene:) It’s difficult to do business here in Hawaii and an enormous responsibility to shoulder as well. We don’t only support our families - we support our employees and their families. While we love what we do (which is to run Izuo Brothers), we don’t know if our children will have the same passion that we do - something very important that will keep the business alive and thriving. Every year, Izuo Brothers is heavily committed to supporting the non-profit Pacific Islands Fisheries Group. For all five of the Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festivals, you have been major sponsors, contributing merchandise and running the silent auctions and country store. In addition, Izuo Brothers provides many of the prizes for PIFG contests and events such as the Tagging Challenge and other tournament categories. Why is Izuo Brothers so involved? (Raylene:) While we are involved with many organizations, we think it is very important for all fishermen to support the efforts of the PIFG. It is a single cohesive group that welcomes people from all walks of life who care
You are the third generation to run Izuo Brothers, which is a milestone for any type of business in Hawaii. Is the next generation going to continue? Mitsuko and Shurei Izuo
about the future of fishing in Hawaii. The PIFG also helps the community through their outreach programs - from sponsoring catch and release categories for fishing tournaments island-wide or taking less fortunate children out to Ho’omaluhia for a day of fishing. The Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival (sponsored by the PIFG) is large scale public event that highlights the impact of the fishing industry and the need to keep it healthy and alive here in Hawaii. Fishing is so very important to all of us culturally as well as economically. (Rodney:) Throughout our nation there is a growing concern that fishing or fishermen could possibly face extinction. Fishermen in most coastal states in the mainland are battling area closures and are being denied their right to fish. The same is happening here in Hawaii. (Raylene:) If we do not vocalize our opinions through organizations like the PIFG, if we don’t make the general public aware of our industry and the future of fishing here at home, we will continue to be regulated to death and our fishing areas quietly turned into conservation areas until there will be no more fishing for anyone to enjoy. And, finally... do you actually go fishing? (Rodney:) Absolutely, every chance I get. (Raylene:) Still in training. issue seven 2011
100 Years of the Personal Touch
B y Bri a n F u n a i
Raine Nitta and Maurice Kaya
ot many establishments can say they’ve been in business for one hundred years, much less ten, but K. Kaya Fishing Supply, Inc. hit the century mark in their usual low key manner. Owner Maurice Kaya and trusted right-handman Raine Nitta celebrated the the businesses 100th anniversary in serving Hawaii’s fishing community through the store, located at 901 Kekaulike Street in downtown Honolulu. It is a noteworthy achievement that any line of business would be proud to speak of in today’s economic climate. K. Kaya Fishing Supply, Inc. was opened not long after the turn of the 20th century by Kaichi Kaya, an immigrant who arrived in June of 1899 from Yamaguchi perfecture, Japan. The store is run today by Maurice, the third generation of the family and Kaichi’s grandson. Maurice says the official opening date of the store is kept as 1911 since his father’s birth certificate lists the birth location as the store during that year. Maurice was told, however, that his grandfather began his business even earlier, selling general merchandise along the waterfront out of a pushcart. Kaichi also peddled “shave ice” and was one of the earliest here to use the Japanese hand tool specifically designed to create the 32
now familiar island treat. Eventually, he narrowed his goods to focus on the fishing community and established his business a few steps away from Honolulu Harbor. K. Kaya Fishing Supply, Inc. started out selling provisions for the booming commercial fishing industry but by the 1920s, it was already supporting the growing recreational fishing community. Fishing tournaments for regular customers were even held by the store. For one event which took place out at remote Kaena Point, participants were transported to the contest site via a chartered OR&L passenger train. By the late 1920’s, Kaichi had become one of the founding members of the Honolulu Japanese Casting Club, Hawaii’s earliest shorecasting club. A November 5, 1931 Star Bulletin article notes that the warning markers eventually put up around the island of Oahu by this club were to be donated by Kaichi and the store. Prior to moving in 1961 to its present location, now a landmark on the corner of Kekaulike and Nimitz Highway, the store was originally located at 116 N. Queen Street. Before the construction of Nimitz highway and when Queen Street ran down past what is now Aala Park, the location of the store’s first 50 years was the empty lot behind the present store.
Photos courtesy of the Kaya Family
With the family living behind the original store, the five Kaya daughters also helped at the counter at one time or another, typical of family run businesses. Each daughter eventually went off to start tackle businesses of their own or married avid fishermen and members of Honolulu fishing clubs. When Kaichi’s first son, Jack, took over the business in the late 1940s, shorecasting for ulua was quickly becoming one of Hawaii’s most popular pastimes. Like his father before him, Jack, along with his wife Lillie, continued to support the island-wide shorecasting community throughout the 1950s and 60s. He would also become close friends with Leonard Kea, Eddie Soong and other members of the Atlapac Fishing Club, joining them on many of their regular trips out to Kapapa Island in Kaneohe Bay. Sunday gatherings at the Kaya residence following a weekend of fishing with Atlapac members were frequent events. Jack also was an avid skindiver and an expert spearman who would travel to the South Kona area to dive in some very remote spots. He and his friends were some of the sport’s pioneer divers. Today Maurice, pronounced “Morris” by his friends and store regulars, still upholds the family tradition, having assumed the role of shopkeeper since 1972. Instead of focusing on shorecasters like his father and grandfather however, over the years Maurice devoted a lot of attention to the younger anglers that were attracted to his store. “We had kids from all over the island come down to hang out at the store, go to the piers to fish.” Every oncein-a-while, Maurice would pack up the whole gang into his truck and head out to the family property on the North Shore for a weekend of camping and fishing. “As a kid myself, we had a lot of fun doing things like that. But it was the kind of outdoors fun that kids miss out on today because of electronic games and organized sports.” He felt it was something these kids would never experience if he had not given them the opportunity. The attention
Warning marker at East Oahu. Kaichi Kaya 2nd from left. K. Kaya Fishing Supplies, All Oahu Tournament, 1920s. K. Kaya on right.
must have had some effect as one of those kids has become a regular in the business. Adopted in the local tradition, hanai son Raine Nitta has been a fixture behind the counter for almost 30 years now. The arrival of big box and volume retailers created a lasting impact on small businesses like Kaya’s but Maurice looks at things with the philosophy that hasn’t changed throughout his tenure. While fishermen might now make larger purchases at these bigger retailers, they still return to his shop to get terminal tackle that is unique to fishing styles in Hawaii and can’t be found elsewhere. More important, he feels that Kaya’s offers service with a “personal touch”. If there is something in particular that a customer needs and it’s not in stock at the moment, Raine and Maurice are on the phone to get it there in a hurry. Making an effort to spend time with a customer to explain how to tie up a special rig or just helping a beginner set up a bamboo pole is what makes customers return. No doubt, it’s still extremely tough as a retailer in Honolulu these days and owners of
small businesses like Kaya’s have to work extra hard these days. As with many other family run businesses, Maurice and Raine spend hours doing things for the store that make the difference in keeping prices affordable for customers. In this case it’s making their own familiar newspaper or manila envelope packages or making some of their own merchandise like the many different styles of lead, slide buckles or damashi. Where else can you find ring, coin or bottomfish sinkers in all sizes or 9-1/2 oz. egg lead? Many of these things were first made at the request of customers and ended up being popular with others. They are also known for hand-made specialty items like throw nets, decorative nets for glass ball floats and lei needles. Kaya’s is still a place jam packed with fishing tackle but it’s also a place where old and new customers alike are greeted as friends. They never hesitate to share the scoops on the latest fishing stories or help explain a certain rig. If you have not stopped by in a long time, give one of the oldest fishing tackle supply stores in Hawaii a visit and wish them a happy 100th anniversary!
issue seven 2011
Photo courtesy of Stan Wright
H a r I Kojim a 1 94 5 - 2 0 1 1
“Hey Gang, Hari here.” Whenever we heard “Hi Gang, Hari here….” on the radio or the TV on in the background, we’d immediately know Hari Kojima’s familiar voice. For everyone that enjoyed the Let’s Go Fishing Show during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, we’ll remember his sometimes long hair, ever present dark tan and “rubbah slippahs”, welcoming us into the studio every Sunday afternoon as if it were his own living room. We’d settle in to watch Hari share stories of someone making a great catch or take us along on a fishing adventure that many of us could only experience through the show. Beginning in the early 1970s and spanning nearly three decades, Hari Kojima went from doing fish-cutting demonstrations on the show for Tamashiro Market to becoming the show’s co-host and one of Hawaii’s most popular TV personalities. Many were just captivated by his downto-earth, Island boy personality. Some even liked to imitate him (and Hari may just have been one of the most imitated of Hawaii celebrities ever too). Whatever it was, Hari just connected with us. So it was with great sadness that the fishing community learned of his passing on June 8, 2011 after a very short battle with cancer. The outpouring of comments and memories in numerous online and print publications following news of his passing say much about what Hari Kojima meant to the people of Hawaii. In Hari’s memory, Lawai’a asked some of his “good friends” (as he always liked to say) to share some memories and thoughts on someone who was so much a part of our Island life for over three decades.
issue seven 2011
Goodbye My Friend! There are but a few special people that leave an indelible impression on all of us. In fifth grade of Mr. Tanaka’s class, on November 22, 1963, it was learning of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. On August 16, 1977, while driving on the freeway toward Kaimuki in my Cutlass Supreme, it was listening to a DJ over the radio mention Elvis’ death. Hari was one of that kind of enduring person too. Sitting over my computer and reading heartbreaking news of his untimely passing, for me, made time stand still. And almost instantaneously, I was overcome with grief along with a torrent of memories. Fond memories of a friend who treated me as his younger brother. A most generous, uncommonly kind and very caring friend who took me on journeys and to places most only dream about. Extraordinary journeys and faraway places I reminisce in wonder still and reflect on often. Odysseys I will cherish always and remember in appreciation, gratitude and thankfulness forever. However, aside from the fishing, traveling, fun times and many talks often before the sun would rise, the one quality I admired most was not his fishing/fish-cutting skills, gift of gab, on-the-fly recipes, leadership qualities, intellect, love for people, family & friends nor successful career spanning over many years. Rather, it was instead his unique ability to be Hari regardless. In other words, he was himself to anyone and everyone. In front the camera as well as when the camera was off. I believe this unique and rare quality, which so many pursue but few possess, was a key reason for his success. Perhaps it was why families from all walks of life throughout our Hawaiian Islands shared (and continue to share) a special bond with, an affection for and an attachment to him. And, it was also likewise why we all eagerly looked forward to spending “family time” with him every Sunday afternoon. Hari was family. Yours and mine! In closing, while mere words cannot fully express what is contained in my heart for or capture the complete essence of Hari, one thing is for sure, I will miss him
Wes Suzawa (Fishing buddy and frequent show guest) To see a short clip of video from the show and comments from friends and fans, visit Wes’ blog at: http://wessuzawa. wordpress.com/2011/06/25/a-tribute-to-hari/
Photo courtesy of Wes Suzawa
without doubt dearly!
My Friend Hari It has been more than a month since Hari left us and I am still recalling the wonderful experience and memories we had together. I met Hari in 1992 when he invited me to go fishing with him at Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. For the next 10 years Hari involved me in fishing trips from the Florida Keys to Okinawa and Midway and all over the South Pacific. Hari was truly ahead of his time in television. When he began on “Let’s Go Fishing”, there were few reality shows. Travel channels and cooking channels did not exist. Hari was curious about all of the places we visited, and he always included a cultural shoot along with the fishing to increase audience interest. As a result, his TV following was not limited to fishermen. It included viewers who marveled at the beautiful places where we fished, as well as the people and the wonderful restaurants and hotels in Hawaii. The sponsors of “Let’s Go Fishing” admired Hari and he found ways to mention then on TV. People everywhere liked Hari.
It was not
unusual for the airlines to upgrade our tickets to First or Business class. We often traveled with as many as 20 pieces of luggage filled with the equipment we needed for fishing and filming the show. It was always accepted cheerfully and loaded without charge. The side of Hari’s personality that was not as well known was his concern for the schools and people needing help. Hari helped raise funds for many causes. He was the primary fund raiser for Manoa Elementary School for a number of years. When a cyclone hit American Samoa and Western Samoa in the 90’s, he asked Marshall Island Air to fly in a large donation of Diamond G rice. Many of us were happy to work with Hari to make his many projects successful. Hari was a true and generous friend and he will be greatly missed.
Photo courtesy of Tom Teruya
A Hui Hou Kakou Tom Teruya (Fishing buddy and frequent show guest)
issue seven 2011
Let’s Go Fishing “When Hari and I were made co-hosts of Let’s Go Fishing, we just couldn’t imagine the show’s eventual success. It really took off with the new format and at one point, Hawaii was the only place in the nation where CBS’ 60 Minutes didn’t have the top rating for it’s Sunday afternoon 5:00 time slot. Let’s Go Fishing beat it out for many years. We never could figure out why so many people liked watching two guys nobody could understand! People just loved Hari and especially wanted to see him cook. At the end of the show, we’d always say: ‘If you’d like this recipe, mail in a self addressed stamped envelope to.....’ and if we had a good recipe, we’d get a ton of mail. Once we had a thousand requests! Poor guys were licking envelopes and stamps all day! We finally said if we get a good recipe like that, let’s not ever run it again!” “Hari knew his fish, especially if you could eat it. He knew the scientific name, the Hawaiian name, the haole name. And he knew how to clean every one of ‘um. It was the first time I learned about the two different ways to cut fish: the market cut and the home cut – if you were cutting fish to eat at home, he’d say you leave more meat on the bone to fry up. When he told me about fried aku bone, I said ‘what the heck is that!?’ “Hari was really shy, especially with people he didn’t know. Out in public, he was really uncomfortable but people didn’t know that and they would come up and say ‘Hey!
spur of the moment approach that people liked.” “Although he was spontaneous, it got to the point where I knew exactly when to feed him lines to keep things going. I’d ask him a question like ‘How do you keep from cutting yourself?’ and he’d just go on with so much more information! We were a pair. But we’d never be able to recreate that again today and I don’t think there will ever be something like that again.” “The running joke was ‘Feed the haole the raw stuff.’ Every once-in-a-while, I’d hold my nose and swallow. He’d get a real kick out of that! Hari’s mom had the BEST recipes and she was really shy, just like him. She was on the show just once to cook but she was also on a couple of our fishing trips, although she didn’t want to be on camera. Hari’s dad was too. I think it was on our trips to Christmas Island, along with Carol, Hari’s sister. “Hari’s dad had a lot to do with what you saw of Hari on TV and what people really connected with. His dad told him ‘Keep your feet on the ground and remember where you came from” and I think that’s what people liked about him he was an ordinary local guy. But I also think he felt a great responsibility to the people of Hawaii. He knew he was part of preserving our history so he took his job very seriously.“ “Oh we signed a lot of autographs and we had business cards to pass out. Hari would always sign everything “Love and Fishes, Hari” Stan Wright (Former co-host of Let’s Go Fishing)
Howzit going!’ because everyone saw his TV personality. point of him needing something from the store, he’d wait for someone in his family, his kids, to come home and he’d send them. And that was surprising because it seemed like he knew EVERYONE on the island. He’d introduce people on the show with ‘My good friend so-and-so….’. He’d have connections everywhere: you need a car, ‘go see this guy’; we making a party, ‘invite these people’, you need a plumber, ‘I play golf with this guy.’” “Kids, oh the kids loved him! We’d be out somewhere and out of the corner of my eye, I’d see them (pointing) and hear ‘Hey! It’s Hari Kojima and that haole guy!’ We decided early on that we’d pay more attention to the kids on the show. They’re the ones that are going to carry on fishing and one of the real reasons why we were successful.” “Oh, Hari liked to do things without a script. I would try to get him to follow one and he’d say ‘No, no, no! ‘goin ruin my spontaneity!’. That’s what he was, spontaneous and he was great at it. When we started out, Hari said ‘lets just go some place and see what happens, find people fishing on the side of the road.’ Well, it didn’t quite work that way but it was his
Photo courtesy of Stan Wright
But, yeah, he was extremely shy. In fact, if it came to the
Photo courtesy of Tom Teruya
From the people of Hawaii and Lawaiâ€˜a Magazine, Love and Fishes to you too, Hari. A Hui Hou.
H a r I Ko j im a 1 94 5 - 2 0 1 1
issue seven 2011
PIFG Wrap Up
Welcome to the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) koa where you’ll be sure to find the latest on what, where and when things are happening on the PIFG front. Mahalo to Lawai’a Magazine for providing PIFG a regular spot to provide information to our Pacific island fishing communities. Check out our calendar of upcoming events and activities. In each issue, we’ll roundup PIFG activities to get everyone updated and allow you to see where you can get involved. Finally, please pass on the message from our Fish Today for Fish Tomorrow column that promotes responsible fishing and taking care of your kuleana or responsibility!
2011Board sees new faces PIFG welcomes two new board member this year -- Debbie Takayama from Hilo, Hawaii and Mark Oyama from Kauai. Debbie just finished her term as the president of the Hilo Troller’s Club and is jumping into her PIFG role by engaging boat and shore-based fishing clubs to participate in the Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Tournaments and other PIFG programs. Mark Oyama is the owner of Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors Catering and also teaches at the Kauai Community College Culinary Arts Program. Mark is actively working with the Kauai fishing community to rekindle the Garden Island Trollers club and build new dive and other fishing community organizations. Other PIFG Officers: Marc Inouye, President, Kelvin Ching, Vice-President, Kendall Wong, Treasurer and Neil Kanemoto, Secretary. Cooperative Research A. Hawaii Bottomfish PIFG entered its second year
working with NOAA’s Cooperative Research Program (CRP) to build on efforts to collect scientific information on bottomfishing and bottomfish species in the Pacific Islands. The CRP relies on commercial and recreational fishermen to collect fundamental scientific fisheries information in support of fishery resource assessments and the development and evaluation of management and regulatory regimes. The Hawaii Bottomfish Tagging Project continues strong with 5,500 tags distributed to 24 bottomfish fishermen who caught and tagged 4,650 Deep-7 bottomfish throughout the main Hawaiian islands. Recoveries continue to mount with 80 bottomfish recaptured prior to the March 12, 2011 closure of the fishery. Of the 80 recaptures, 30 were opakapaka that were measured and re-released, which will give additional individual growth and travel information when recaptured. The highlight of tag recaptures has been the travel of four opakapaka that moved between islands. Two traveled from south Molokai to the southwest side of Lanai. The other two were tagged on Penguin Banks with one being recaptured on the south side of Oahu and the other on the North shore of Oahu. A major cooperative research study was completed in March of 2011 with three PIFG contracted local bottomfishing vessels working in close coordination with the NOAA research
vessel, Oscar Sette, testing new non-extractive techniques to accesses the abundance of bottomfish in Hawaiian waters. Traditional methods use catch and effort information and independent fishing research to assess stock abundance. Bottom fishermen have also been assisting NOAA scientists in the collection of Deep-7 bottomfish in order to complete ongoing life history studies. NOAA scientists are studying the age and maturity of bottomfish in addition to collecting samples for DNA and genetic analysis. This effort is important to understand stock structure and range of development of stock assessment models. B. Guam Bottomfishing As part of the NOAA Cooperative Research project, PIFG launched a new Guam bottomfish tagging program in January 2011. The goal is to capture, tag and release 500 bottomfish in the offshore waters around Guam. Participating fishermen started tagging in March and will continue tagging through the summer. Should you find a green tag in your Mariana Islands caught bottomfish, call the number on the tag (671-472-6323) to report recovery information and receive a special reward. C. Marianas Small-Boat Survey PIFG is working with NOAA Fisheries to conduct a small vessel economic survey in the Mariana Islands. The survey will collect participation and economic information from fishermen who fish from small vessels around Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. Information collected will include elements such as the frequency of trips, cost for outfitting of boats, spending by fishermen on gear, equipment, gas and ice and other socio-economic factors. Fishing is important to Pacific Island communities. It provides food, jobs and recreation to residents who live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Understanding fishing-related expenditures is therefore very important. You spend money every time you launch your boat, put a line in the water, or go out with your spear. All of this fishing-related expenditure enters the local economy and generates sales revenues, value-added benefits and supports jobs in the islands. This information will help everyone better understand the economic impacts of future regulations on fishing communities. The survey began in the spring and will run through 2011. For information call 1-855-944-2188.
D. Tagging Oio PIFG’s project to tag and release 3000 oio or bonefish off Oahu’s leeward coast was launched in 2010 through support from the NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program. This project has two primary goals: 1) to collect life history information on oio from Hawaiian waters and 2) to test a new a large scale tagging strategy for deploying tags. Another aspect of this project will be to document the difference between the two species of bonefish found in Hawaii – the round and sharp jaw. Previous to this effort, tagging has been done primarily on shallow water flats by the rod and reel fishing community. This project targets the offshore schooling portion of the bonefish population that has not been previously been targeted by past and current tagging projects. See full story on page 46. Sakamoto Challenge and Scholarships In January 2009, local fishing icon Mike Sakamoto passed away. In his honor, the Mike Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Fund (Fund) was developed by the PIFG. Mike Sakamoto was best known as host/producer of the Fishing Tales television program. He was a tireless advocate for the sport fishing and diving communities. Mike dedicated much of his time to the protection of fishing traditions and rights. This scholarship is intended to carry on Mike’s work and philosophy towards continuing Hawaii’s ocean dependent culture and sustaining Hawaii’s marine resources. To support and perpetuate the Fund, PIFG created an option for established shore fishing, diving, and boatbased fishing tournaments throughout the Hawaiian islands to add the Mike Sakamoto Memorial Fishing Challenge (Challenge) as a bonus category within their respective tournament. Winner of the Challenge receives prizes donated by PIFG. In addition, each participant in the Challenge recording a qualifying fish gets their
issue seven 2011
Calendar Of Events June 5, 2011 Hilo Troller’s Tournament Hilo, BI Sakamoto Memorial Challenge
June 9-12, 2011 S. Tokunaga Ulua Challenge Hilo, BI Tagging Challenge; Barbless Circle Hook
June 11, 2011 Garden Island Trollers Tournament Kapaa and Nawiliwili, Kauai Sakamoto Memorial Challenge
July 2-3, 2011 Wailua Boat Club Tournament – “Old Futs vs Young Punks” Waialua, Oahu Sakamoto Memorial Challenge
July 10, 2011 Hilo Troller’s Tournament Hilo, BI Sakamoto Memorial Challenge
July 12-16, 2011 36th Hilo Casting Club Tournament Hilo, BI Tagging Challenge; Barbless Circle Hook
August 19-21, 2011 C&C Hawaii 15th Annual Ohana Shoreline Tournament Honokaa, BI Tagging Challenge; Barbless Circle Hook
Sept. 5 2011 Family Feud Papio Trolling Tournament Kaneohe, Oahu Tagging Challenge; Sakamoto Memorial Challenge
September 6-9, 2011 Annual American Fisheries Society Meeting Seattle, WA PIFG presentation on bottomfish recompression techniques
October 5, 2011 Fishing Day with the Boys and Girls Club, Charles C. Spalding Clubhouse Kaneohe, Oahu Kids Fishing Day
October 9, 2011 Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival Honolulu, Oahu PIFG Hosts its 6th Annual Festival
October 28-30, 2011 “Atlapac” Obake Shootout III shoreline Tournament Honolulu, Oahu Tagging Challenge, Barbless Circle Hook, Sakamoto Challenge
December 2-4, 2011 Ninja Shootout Honolulu, Oahu Tagging Challenge, Barbless Circle Hook, Sakamoto Challenge
name added to state-wide drawing for free trips to Las Vegas or Alaska. Through this effort and other fundraising activities, PIFG in 2010 was able to award 4 scholarship recipients a total of $10,000 in scholarship funds. Scholarships are now being processed for 2011. Recipients will be announced at a later date. If you are interested in adding the Sakamoto Challenge in your tournament call PIFG at 808-265-4962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Recreational Fishing Fishing is important when you live on an island. Doing it for recreation can be serious business. However, figuring out how serious it is has been a problem for those who track and evaluate such trends. To better understand and engage the recreational fishing community, NOAA Fisheries has contracted PIFG to provide outreach to this important fishing sector in the Pacific Islands. PIFG has also been developing networks and databases to help bridge the gap between recreational fishermen and fishery managers. This effort culminated in the compilation of a fishing club directory, dissemination of information to Pacific Island anglers about the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) and collection of comments, concerns, questions and ideas related to recreational fishing, experiences and other qualities within the region. PIFG also
Fish Today For Fish Tomorrow
conducted a survey of the fishing community to better understand the attitudes and perceptions of how fishermen classify themselves. Preliminary results suggest that the high cost of living drives “recreational” boaters to obtain State of Hawaii commercial marine licenses (CML’s) to legally sell portions of their catch to defray operating costs. However, these “recreational” boaters, now classified as commercial fishermen per holding of the State CML, still view themselves as recreational and not commercial. The completed report will be made available soon on the PIFG website, www.fishtoday.org. State-wide Tagging Challenge PIFG’s Statewide Tagging Challenge was established in 2004 through the collaborative effort of the State of Hawaii DAR Ulua Tagging Project, PIFG and community papio/ulua fishing tournaments across the state. The Tagging category within Hawaii’s popular shore-based tournaments provides PIFG tremendous opportunities to support fishermen, raise awareness about science and management and demonstrate conservation in the fishing community. The Tagging category was created to encourage responsible fishing by promoting “take only what is needed.” PIFG provides incentives to participating tournaments to encourage anglers to tag and release papio/ulua during tournaments. This has worked well especially when papio/ulua are caught during tournaments that are under the minimum qualifying weights. Tagging and releasing larger fish is also commonly practiced by anglers who have already caught a potential tournament winner but can still compete for prizes in the tagging Challenge category. All in all, it is a win-win initiative for the tournaments, fishermen, scientists and especially our fishery resources.
The Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization established in 2005 to help organize and inform Pacific Island fishermen. PIFG supports programs that directly benefit Hawaii’s marine resources, enhance fishing community awareness and conservation practices and support government agencies responsible for managing and conserving our island fisheries. Our mission is to facilitate communication among and participation of all marine resource users to support sound resource use, management, research, conservation and education. Our programs (recapped in the PIFG round up) are created and run to support our mission. PIFG also seeks to challenge our community of fishermen to be responsible and do their part in maintaining our Pacific island fishing heritage and traditions while personally acting to promote sound resource conservation and ensure ample fish for future generations. Or as PIFG likes to say, “fish today for fish tomorrow.” If you’d like to step up and take personal responsibility, PIFG encourages you to take the pledge – the Fishermen’s Pledge for the Future. Whether you are an individual, family, club or organization, The Pledge confirms your commitment of responsibility for your fishing practices and activities. By signing on, you’ll be supporting responsible fishing through: 1. Learning and following fishing laws and regulations; 2. Taking only what is needed and practicing “catch & release” of fish that are unwanted or prohibited from being retained; 3. Practicing safe fishing principles and safety at sea; 4. Engaging in the rule-making processes; 5. Being respectful of other resource users; 6. Being knowledgeable about and respectful of all natural resources; 7. Properly disposing of opala or trash; and 8. Setting a good example for others to follow – “walking the talk” – as good fishing and conservation practices and fellowship are infectious. In each Lawai‘a issue, this column will feature an example of how fishermen like you are stepping up and doing their part to fish today for fish tomorrow. To read the full Fishermen’s Pledge for the Future, visit www.fishtoday.org. Or call or email a PIFG representative at 808-265-4962 or www. pacificfisheries@gmail. com to learn more about the Pledge or discuss how the Pledge can further benefit you and/or your organization.
issue seven 2011
Trophy or Lomi
Fish tagging programs are becoming more and more popular these days among Hawaii’s fishermen as people begin to understand the benefits and opportunities possible to learn more about our fisheries through these types of projects. The State of Hawaii, Division of Aquatic Resources’ Papio and Ulua Tagging Project in particular has become wildly popular with over 37,000 fish tagged, a 13 % recovery rate and over 3,400 participants statewide. Most importantly, valuable data gathered through the cooperation of fishermen has yielded critical information that can be used by managers to improve our fisheries. Second most important is that the program has instilled a sense of responsibility and ownership of the resource amongst many anglers. Adding to the various ongoing tagging projects in Hawaii, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group has recently started an effort to tag oio (also known as bonefish) in large quantities. This project is unique among other projects being run currently in the State of Hawaii as it diverges from the angler-based method of applying tags to fish with individual catches over a very long period of time. PIFG is working with volunteers from the recreational fishing community and commercial surround net fishermen to target and capture large schools of oio for tagging a large volume over a very short period of time. PIFG hopes that this will boost the recovery rate of tagged fish and, in turn, increase the opportunity to gain more information about oio. In this approach, which is the first of its kind in Hawaii as far as we know, cooperation between a myriad of different parties is crucial to success in the form of achieving a goal of 3,000 tagged fish. Look for future articles in Lawai’a Magazine, video segments on Hawaii Goes Fishing and various other media outlets to explain the complicated process behind putting tags into that many oio at one time. A very big plus to working with skilled fishermen who can employ a traditional surround technique is that there is typically a very low mortality rate during the entire operation. A school of oio that can run literally into sizes of 3 to 5 TONS can be safely contained, tagged and released in very good condition with less than 1% actually being caught in the surround net. What little fish that do end up getting caught are taken for otolith and gonad samples for future analysis and study of oio life history. As of this writing, the PIFG team already has two trips out to sea under their belt in which a total of 1,000 fish were tagged within an hour and a half on each trip. There were very few mortalities during the tagging operations and fish were in very
good condition when released. Weather and ocean conditions varied and these experiences indicate that 2-3 times as many fish can be tagged in a day under typically calm Leeward Coast conditions. There have even been several recoveries reported by various types of fishermen.
The project slogan, “Trophy or Lomi”, references the fact that, while recreational fishing is a very big part of our society, fishermen in Hawaii maintain our unique Island culture of fishing and eating what we catch. This tagging project is the fishermen’s way of being responsible and caring for our oio fishery. Let’s learn as much as we can about it as, make no mistake about it, there ARE literally TONS of oio swimming around out there. If you should catch an oio with one of the green tags shown in the accompanying poster, we are asking anglers to provide the following: 1. Your name, address and telephone number. 2. Tag recovery data (ie. date, island and fishing location) 3. Tag number 4. Fork length (measured from the tip of the nose to the “V” in the tail) 5. Whether Sharp Jaw or Round Jaw (see poster for key ID indicators) When done gathering this important data from your catch, remember, “Trophy or Lomi”; either way, enjoy!
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1. You red to pro vid r 2. Cap name, addre e the follow tu s ing cri 3. Tag re date, isla s, and tele tical in ph n nd, an fo 4. Fork umber. d fishin one numbe rmation: r. g loca 5. The length – m ti on. easure re are 2 spec from ti green ies p of /y glosso ellow dot u Sharp Jaw the nose to nder th donta “ A has no e pecto lbula virga V” in the ta ta il green ra /yellow l fins, and which has . Rewar a Round dot. Jaw A bright In retu d lb ula rn edition for your v alu tfisherm shirt featu able inform ri ati an Mik n e Sak g original a on, you wil amoto rtwork l receiv . (seen e above a free spe ) by art cia ist and l
For M o Inform re ation
To report your tagged fish, please call PIFG at (808) 265-4962 or email us at email@example.com. In return for your valuable information, you will receive a special edition t-shirt featuring original artwork by the late artist and fisherman, Mike Sakamoto.
150 H am Kailua akua Dr. P BN# 4 , HI 96 30 734
Ph: 80 8 Web: fi 265-4962 shtoda y.org
issue seven 2011
B y J o h n C l a rk B y J o h n C l a rk
Photo by John Johnston
Everyone who fishes in Hawaii knows that oama are baby weke and that halalu are juvenile akule, but probably few of us know the name for young aweoweo. It’s alalaua, which is also spelled alalauwa and sometimes shortened to alauwa. Aweoweo, a red fish, are night feeders and for the most part hide in dark caves or under deep ledges during the day. That’s where spear fishers usually find them, often with schools of menpachi, but occasionally alalaua, young aweoweo, gather in huge schools and come nearshore during the day. And when they run, people flock to catch them just as they do for oama and halalu. Alalaua, besides being good eating, have an interesting cultural connection. When they show up in large schools, some people say it’s a sign of change. Pukui and Elbert in the Hawaiian Dictionary offer this saying, “Pupu ke kai i ka alauwa”, or “The sea is congested with alauwa fish”, which they say is a sign of difficulties to come or even an omen predicting the death of royalty. Hosaka in 1944 wrote in his book Sport Fishing in Hawaii, “The old Hawaiians thought that when the young of this fish came in large numbers to the bays that one of royal birth would die.” The cultural tradition of connecting alalaua with important events in Hawaii continues today, and the juvenile fish have been used as a symbol during rallies and marches in support of native Hawaiian issues with participants often wearing red t-shirts. The articles about alalaua that follow were written in the 1800s and early 1900s in some of the Hawaiian language newspapers of the day. The newspapers are online and searchable at a website called Hoolaupai. Most of the articles are brief notes about schools
issue seven 2011
appearing and people fishing, often at a place called Ainahou, which is in Honolulu Harbor where Irwin Park and Aloha Tower Marketplace are now. But one article describes a tragic landslide that occurred in September 1866 on the shore of Kalihiwai Bay on Kauai. People from the neighborhood were standing on a lava terrace that borders the east side of the bay and fishing for alalaua when a landslide from the sea cliff above swept seven of them into the ocean. None of the seven survived. The articles are listed in chronological order and include the name of the newspaper that the article is from. The translations were done by Keao NeSmith, a Hawaiian language instructor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 29 August 1863. P. 3. Fishing for Alalaua. Everyone in the royal town is relaxing, enjoying themselves in these days of the shinning moon, fishing for alalaua on the ocean side of Ainahou and at the piers. There is a huge crowd of people, men and women of all types, enjoying this activity. Also, the King and Queen were there last Tuesday night. Ka Nupapa Kuokoa. 18 August 1866. P. 2. Last week Saturday, a small school of fish called alalaua came near shore and was seen at Ainahou. People pole-fished, but not many fish took the hooks. Lots of people flocked there and many returned emptyhanded. We also went down there last Saturday night and there were only two fish that took our hooks.
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 22 September 1866. P. 2. Alalaua. Some people in town are anticipating making their way down to Ainahou to fish for alalaua. Last week Wednesday, many people made their way down there with their hooks. When they let their hooks down into the water, they came up empty-handed and went home with nothing. This is how this song came about: You and I were out of luck. Afterwards something was caught in the net. Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 22 September 1866. P. 3. A terrible thing happened to some weoweo (alalaua) fishermen at the shore close to the cliff at Kapukamoi, Kalihikai, at 10 in the morning on an off-work day on the 8th of September. There is a narrow pass in the rocky shoreline, which has an opening at the base of the cliff. The cavern is perhaps 25 fathoms long and perhaps almost 3 fathoms wide and the water there is perhaps 4 or 5 fathoms deep where that cavern is. Lots of weoweo entered into this place, and there were lots of people who went there to fish. On Friday, the 7th, there were many people at that place fishing and picnicking at the bottom of the cliff, which juts out a little at an angle, and due to the angle, it acts as a cave. Had the cliff come down then, many people would have suddenly lost their lives. Had it come down at 8:00 on that off-work day, there would have been a lot of people there. When the day got hot, the fishermen went home at about 10:00. There were only a few peole remaining, sitting at the edge of the cave. At that time part of the cliff came crashing down and rocks hit the
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west side of the cliff and hurled seven of the fishermen into the deep cavern among the rocks, and they disappeared. Three of the people narrowly survived, but were injured by the rocks, and a few people escaped that were standing at some distance apart. Those that survived were busy assisting those that were injured, while some went to call people of the village of Kalihiwai. Many people of that place were distressed. The cries of the friends who died were heard. When we stood at the site of the astonishing incident, we were horrified. Ke Alaula. 1 November 1866. P. 30. “I am going to the eternal home.” This is what the students of the English School at Waioli sang. Among them was a boy student named Kimo. He was a boy who was loved by his teachers because he was well behaved and listened to the teachings. He was at school last week Friday, September 7. When the teacher announced that there would be school on Saturday, the 8th, Kimo supported that idea. However, that plan did not materialize, and so there was no school on that day. When his father went to Kalihiwai to fish for weoweo (alalaua) on Saturday morning, Kimo went along with him. It probably was not thought that this would be a trip without a return with their lives. They fished at the bottom of the cliff of Kapukamoi, where the deep fishing hole is. When the day got hot, most of the fishermen started going home, and only a few remained. At about 10:00, the cliff broke apart and came down. Rock fragments landed near the fishermen, and seven of them fell into the deep fishing hole. They all died, and the bodies were lost in the hole.
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Kimo was among those that were lost. His father survived as he was a little ways away at that time. There were two children of the Kalihi school and one of the Waioli school that died: Kuaiki, a boy, Henere, a boy, and Kealohi, a girl. There were three adults that also died: Kukuiehu, Paakea, and Aimoo. There were three that barely escaped with injuries. The beach was filled with loved ones mourning. Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 19 August 1926. P. 6. The alalauwa fish are schooling again at this time since lots of alalauwa were seen for sale at the fish markets last Monday. Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 26 August 1926. P. 6. Alalauwa fish are seen again in large numbers now at the piers. It has just recently started and lots of people are there fishing at this time. Kewalo is full of fishermen from inland all the way to the seaside. There was no open spot. The fishermen are cramped together. Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 9 September 1926. P. 5 Alalauwa fish are schooling at Kukuiula (Kauai) these days. The place is full of people of every race every morning and evening. The craving of the people for fish is satisfied. Large runs of alalaua also occurred in the 1960s and 1970s with the most recent one happening in 2003, when thousands of the little red fish showed up around Oahu at the end of August.
Join Cindy, Dave and Margot as they bring you a full hour of the best in local fishing each week.
www.HawaiiGoesFishing.com issue seven 2011
New NOAA study to value recreational fishing in Hawaii by Justin Hospital NOAA Fisheries
By the time you read this, the 2011 Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Expenditure Survey will be underway.
We know that fishing is important to you and fishing-related expenditures are also a very important contribution to the Hawaii economy. You spend money every time you launch your boat, put a line in the water, or go out with your spear. All of this fishing-related expenditure enters the Hawaii economy and generates sales revenues, value-added benefits and supports jobs here in Hawaii. The purpose of this research is to show the economic impact of recreational fishing to the State of Hawaii.
This information will lead to a better understanding of how these economic relationships may be affected by environmental factors, regulatory changes, or changes in the broader economy. NOAA Fisheries conducted the first national survey of marine recreational anglers in 2006. The 2006 survey collected information on fishing-related expenditures in each coastal state and was used to estimate the economic effects of marine recreational fishing on the economies of each coastal state and the nation. Many of you helped with this study. Results from the 2006 survey found US angler expenditures generated $82 billion in sales and $24 billion in personal income. Moreover, they supported over 530,000 jobs across the country. For complete 2006 survey results visit: http://www. st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st5/publication/marine_angler.html. As you know, the costs of fishing have continued to rise over the years and this 2011 survey will help us update our estimates of angler expenditures and the economic impacts to Hawaii’s economy.
You have many different ways to participate: • Throughout 2011, across the State of Hawaii, recreational fishermen contacted by the Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey (HMRFS) at boat ramps, harbors and shorelines will be asked about their expenses for that day’s fishing trip. Be sure to provide them with a mailing address so that you can participate in a short follow-up survey about your annual expenses. • If you have signed up with the National Saltwater Angler Registry http://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov, you will be invited to participate in the survey. • Several tackle shop owners across the State of Hawaii have volunteered to provide sign-up sheets for you to provide contact information and ensure that you are given the opportunity to participate. • Contact me at Justin.Hospital@noaa.gov and I will make sure that you receive a survey. You only need to submit your name once through any of these methods, and you have until the end of 2011 to participate. You will have the option to complete the survey online or through the mail and you only need to complete one survey. All personal contact information and survey responses will remain strictly confidential. All results published from the survey will be in summary form with no personally identifiable information used. If you fish in Hawaii, your response is important! Help us to show the economic impacts of recreational fishing in Hawaii. The more participation we get, the more accurate our results, and the stronger the voice for the fishing community.
15 How 15 minutes of your time Will support fishing in hawaii It is no secret that our right to fish in Hawaii is being threatened on many fronts. Increasing legislation, beach access, and zoning issues seek to place ever increasing limits on our rights to fish. One of the questions I am frequently asked is, “ What can I do to help support the fishing community? “. I can appreciate that many of you have busy lives and may not be comfortable in a vocal role. Well, here’s something you can do that is simple, and will take very little of your time. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is conducting a survey that is of great importance to all of us. Titled the ‘HAWAII RECREATIONAL FISHING EXPENDITURE SURVEY”, it attempts to determine the economic contribution fishing makes within Hawaii’s economy. This survey promises to be extremely empowering, as it determines the financial impact of your recreational fishing purchases. The study seeks to determine not only the value of your tackle purchases, but also includes expenditures on vehicles, fuel ,clothing, food and drink, club and tournament dues and other indirect but related purchases. It also considers how these monies are recycled back into the economy as other non related purchases. You may have participated in Hawaii’s last survey which was conducted in 2006. So, how does this affect you? Quite simply, it gives us a voice. Based on the 2006 survey results, Hawaii’s fishermen supported over 7000 jobs and generated $772 million dollar in sales and $380 million dollars in value added benefits. It is clear that any pending legislation to limit fishing would have to be weighed against these numbers. This survey empowers us and demonstrates our contribution to the health of our fragile economy. It is the easiest way to unify us as a political force. It can be a valuable weapon in our battles at the state capitol. I cannot impress upon you enough the value of this survey and your participation. I’ll say that again, participation! Without your contribution, the survey loses accuracy and with it, credibility. I maintain that it is your obligation to fill out this short 15 minute questionnaire. You can help by reaching the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center representative Justin Hospital at: (808) 944-2188 or Justin.Hospital@noaa.gov. Surveys can be mailed to you or taken online. Please help by doing your part in insuring the preservation of our sporting lifestyle. Mahalo.
Mahalo for your help with this important fisheries research.
Brian Kimata, Brian’s Fishing Supply issue seven 2011
close call By Rob White
palu (chum) from my palu bag and dropping it down. Suddenly, a 30+foot scuba charter boat passed between me and the shore traveling an estimated 20-25 knots in a southward direction toward the Honokohau boat harbor in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I could hear what sounded like an airplane engine about one second before I was sucked backwards under the boat then spat out the back in the prop wash. By the time I got my bearings and spotted the boat, they were already 75+ yards away and moving fast. I made it to shore and back to my truck within about five minutes after nearly being run over by the boat. Two guys on the shore asked me, “how did you make out?” Right away I asked them if they noticed a boat that just went by? One of the guys replied, “Ya, and man they cut that corner pretty tight.” I told them my story and that I thought I can find who it was. After checking three locations
I finally found the boat, the captain and his first mate. Now... I’m not religious but I understand “God works in mysterious ways,” and this was no exception. I was very emotional for I had, just a few minutes ago, almost died and I realized how very lucky I was and how happy I was to be alive. But the other side of me wanted to teach this captain a very serious lesson, one he wouldn’t soon forget. As I approached the vessel with clenched fists, I realized who the captain was. He was someone I know very well, and he knows me equally as well. He is a person I consider good and humble and who has been driving commercial dive boats as long as he’s been walking. I sat down on the wall next to the boat as the captain and his first mate continued to wash it down. I said hello in the usual way and we struck up a conversation. I asked them where they were today, to which they answered, “we went up north...”. So I asked if issue seven 2011
On Jan. 29, 2011 I was nearly run over and killed by a boater traveling at a high rate of speed and very close to shore. I am writing this article finding inspiration through this recent event and many other “close calls” where I was almost run over by boats. However, my story is unoriginal as all divers I talked with shared similar stories. More than simply stories, there are those who have met their fate in this very manner. So, in essence, this scenario you are about to read is not only about me, it is about all divers. I was diving at OTEC point hunting whatever might come up at the steep drop off. At the time of the incident I was floating on the surface in approximately 35-40 feet of water at a distance of about 30-50 feet from shore. I was using a Riffe C4X gun, a 75ft. Bungee tag line with a 11lrt. Rob Allen foam float with the standard Rob Allen dive flag attached. I had my float next to me as I was grabbing
they had passed OTEC point on their way home? The first mate exclaims, “Ya, and man were there a lot of (Humpback) whales out there today!” Immediately following, the captain continued, “I also saw your truck out there parked on shore. So I looked for you in the water but I couldn’t find you.” I smiled and put my head down for a second, took a deep breath, raised my head back up and calmly explained, that’s because by the time you can see my truck you have already passed the point itself, and I was diving right on the point. Their faces dropped as I told the two of them the whole story. They apologized many times to which I accepted but added, if you guys, who are some of the most experienced captains in Kona and are also divers and know to watch out for other boaters and divers, yet you still almost killed me, what chance do we divers have with less experienced boaters or any boaters for that matter? So, I guess God had other plans for the driver of that boat and me, as neither one of us was physically injured this day. To you my fellow readers, divers, family members, friends, this story is much larger than only my incident, it’s about all of us who spend time in the ocean. It’s about making the ocean environment a safer place. It’s about lowering the stress levels, which makes ocean activities more enjoyable. I would like to encourage conversation on this subject that affects all of us water people, and our families, so I ask two simple questions: • what do boaters need to do so they don’t run over divers?
• what can divers do to be more visible to boaters? Because in this science project, when two opposing objects collide, the smaller object always loses no matter who is at fault. What do I think should be done to help all of us? Currently, the Hawaii Administrative Rule #13-245-9 states that: 1. “A diver’s flag must be no less than 12” x 12.” 2. Maybe divers need to go larger, much larger, for better visibility? 3. “Divers are required by law to use a (diver down) flag when diving or swimming underwater... no more than 100 feet from their float... boaters are prohibited from approaching from within 100’ of a displayed divers flag, unless conducting SCUBA, snorkeling or freediving activities. These vessels may approach within the restricted area at a speed of slow-no-wake.” 4. First of all, there is one obvious issue here for me... at 100 feet the “legal” distance for divers and boaters is the same. Which means at 100 feet the diver and boater could conceivably come into contact with each other and BOTH would be protected by law under 13-245-9. Why isn’t there a buffer of “safe distance” to which a boater would not have to take out a measuring tape so they can precisely measure a safe distance of 101 feet from a dive flag. It seems a 100 yard rule would allow a safe buffer of 200 feet, it is also a more recognizable estimated distance because it is the length of a football field, which many people are familiar with, also familiar to boaters 100 YARDS has been the legal distance to
Traditional Knowledge to Guide a Sustainable Future GET INVOLVED! To learn how, contact the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council at (808) 522-8220, email info.wpcouncil@ noaa.gov.
Ecosystem-based management of fisheries in federal waters around Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Pacific remote island areas.
stay away from whales and other protected marine animals for many years. 5. Secondly, someone forgot that propellers are a huge issue when it comes to diver and swimmer safety, it’s not just being hit by the boat. So the “... vessels may approach within the restricted area at a speed of slow-no-wake,” is not taking into account a spinning propeller is as deadly as a white shark on a sea lion. Boaters need to identify all divers near a dive flag before entering the “restricted area,” as it is no fun when coming up from a dive and you see, if you are lucky, a boat slowly motoring a few feet above your head and you are out of air. I can go on and on about suggestions for safer boating and diving but for the sake of keeping this article at a reasonable length, I will say a few last things in closing. I am not only a diver, I am also a boater. I have witnessed first hand blatant violations of legal and “common sense” issues by divers diving without a float or flag even near harbor entrances. I have witnessed first hand blatant violations of legal and “common sense” issues as boaters knowingly turning at dive floaters taunting divers because they “don’t like divers,” or boats trolling lures purposely to hook divers, or boaters texting while driving at high speeds closely to shore. I will leave you with this thought: if we don’t do anything or change anything, then divers, swimmers and any potential water enthusiast will continue to get run over, which damages equipment, maims people and kills divers. As the saying goes, and I almost found out for myself, it may be your own life you save. I admit to everyone one major regret I have, that I didn’t make a bigger deal about this years ago. Maybe it would have helped guys like Keahi Lum (Maunalua Bay, Oahu, 2009) and Paulo Dominici (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 2009).
NOTE: As of the writing of this article, Monday February 21, 2011 53-year-old James Williams was swimming off the Mahukona coast of the Big Island and was struck and killed by a boat. From the details that were available at the time, the man was stated to be swimming with goggles, not a mask, and without fins approximately 300 yards from shore. He apparently didn’t have a float or dive flag. The incident took place around 11:17am. Sunday July 31, 2011 51 year old Alan Amoncio was spearfishing off of Lana‘i, near Kaumalapau Harbor. He was struck and killed by a boat. Reports indicated that he had a float and dive buoy attached to him.
issue seven 2011
Tips from the Marine Education Center by Mark Kimura, Honolulu Community College, Marine Education and Training Center
Have you looked at your trailer this season? So what are we looking for? Let’s start with the wheels and bearings. The rubber should not be cracking, the tread still needs to be fairly deep and of course, they should be inflated with the right amount of air pressure. A quick way to check the wheel bearings is to shake the wheel in and out. If the wheel hub has play, you may have to replace the wheel bearing. Or at least disassemble the hub and check all the bearings and the rear seal. I really like a bearing cap with some kind of spring loaded grease fitting that will keep a small amount of grease pressure in the hub. This will help keep out any water that may enter the hub while launching your boat. Take a good look at your springs and U bolts that attach them. The frame, bunks, rollers and winch all need to be in good shape. If you hit it with a hammer and it breaks, you need to replace it. Are your safety chains in good shape and big/long enough? Do they have good hooks or shackles? Does the ball coupler work well and still hold? Is the ball the correct size for the coupler? Hitch the trailer to the truck and jack the trailer up a little bit - it should hold and lift the truck up some. A well balanced trailer will have about 10% of its total weight on its tongue. This will make the boat trailer 56
How is your trailer and towing gear?
well and also help give the truck traction on the launch ramp. Don’t forget the trailer lights. A quick look at your lights may help keep someone from hitting the back of your boat. If you are towing off of your truck’s bumper, is it rated for the total weight of the load you are towing? Is it also in good shape? I really like the frame attached towing hitches. You can change the height of the ball by buying a different slide receiver. It also lets you turn the trailer to a much greater angle that a bumper mounted ball will allow. Getting your boat to the ocean is half the battle so take care of your trailer and towing gear!
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issue seven 2011
Photos courtesy of Ed Watamura
by ed wata m u r a
The Makau 23 I will be deviating from my usual “Gear Review” in this issue with a “Boat Review” of the Makau 23. I am quite intimate with this boat for two reasons. 1) because I own and fish on one and 2) I was privileged to take part in the building of it. So, I was witness to the high level of craftsmanship and commitment to perfection that is inherent in every Makau made. This level of perfection is in large part due to the owner, creator, and master craftsman Gary Brookins. He inherited his passion for boat building from his father who was a boat designer and builder and gave him his first lessons and the groundwork for his life as a master craftsman. His father was also the service and maintenance manager for Bertram Yachts and progressed to become the lead broker for this legendary company. Gary spent his teenage years building a sailing canoe, two dories, a fiberglass ski boat, control line airplanes, slot cars, gocarts, and a dune buggy. His high school summers were spent as a deck hand and engineers assistant on a 132 foot cargo vessel, which exposed him to ship handling, navigation, and ocean passage making. He was a cryptologist during his Naval Intelligence career during the Vietnam War and spent his spare time rebuilding boats. He ended up sailing the Pacific in one of 58
these boats, the STAGHOUND. He made landfalls by dead reckoning and celestial navigation during a 11,200 mile adventure that took him through 26 Islands, a typhoon, a hurricane, and across the South Pacific to Hawaii. Amongst his many accomplishments in Hawaii, he joined the Marimed Foundation where he taught life skills and boat building to abused teenagers. He also taught at the Marine Education & Training Center where he wrote the first year curriculum. His whole life has revolved around boats and the ocean,so to say he is passionate about it would be a gross understatement. After 25 years of repairing boats in Hawaii and talking to local fishermen, he concluded that to make a boat that is trailer able, durable, requires low maintenance with total accessibility to all parts of the boat, is able to handle rough water, and designed to fish for da big one’s, was a challenge he needed to take on. His first hurdle was designing a hull that was stable, straight tracking going up and down seas, and as dry as possible. The basic shape was determined by the need to slice through the chop and not pound when coming off of a wave. He accomplished this by starting with a sharp entry, graduating from 60 degrees at the drivers station to 46 degrees at the transom. To this basic shape he added wide inverted chines, deep running strakes and a bow flare unlike that on any other boat of comparable size. To keep the boat from rolling too much he rounded the bottom-vee at the transom. The stability of the
Makau becomes very noticeable when you are drifting or anchoring while bottom fishing. Another feature that aids in the stability is the creation of two sealed positive buoyancy air chambers that run the length under the cockpit work deck . I don’t want to get too technical here, so for a much more detailed description of all the design elements please visit the website www.makauboats.com/standard.html. Instead, I want to write a more personalized account of my experiences with the boat. When we took the Makau 23 out for a test drive, we drove over to Portlock, where we knew the ocean was like a washing machine because of the backwash effect of the coastline. The handling was great quartering up sea, but the shocker was when we were quartering down sea. The boat felt like it was tracking really well, so as a test, I let go of the steering wheel, and lo and behold, “ Look Ma No Hands!!” the Makau tracked straight as an arrow. I was beginning to think that the money I spent on an autopilot was a waste. I can also personally attest to how solidly the Makau is built, because I had the unique and distinct privilege of taking part in the making of my boat. I know exactly how many layers, thickness, and type of hand laid fiberglass went into the hull and every other part of the Makau’s construction. Virtually all the components in the construction of the boat have an accompanying mold. This ensures that every boat’s quality is consistent. To say it is overbuilt, is an understatement and the hand laying vs. chopper gun technique takes a lot more work, time, attention to detail and careful timing, but ultimately this boat will literally last my lifetime and beyond. Accessibility to every nook and cranny of a boat was a feature I was especially interested in, because as every boat owner knows, “stuff” happens. Even though I know that the problems I will encounter will be small, I want to know that I can get to the problem without any effort. The Makau definitely fits the bill, because it was designed with accessibility as a prerequisite. No matter if your problem is fuel related or electronically related you will be able to work on it with total accessibility. My Makau is powered by Twin 140hp Suzuki’s, which I have zero complaints about. They provide more power than I need and are so quiet that double starting is not uncommon. The engines are mounted on an Armstrong extension bracket, which is made of thick aluminum and adds length, buoyancy, and performance to the hull. It also clears the deck space for more work area. I’m not sure if it’s due to the motors or the hull design, or a combination of the two, but I am taking a lot more strikes on my short corner rods than with any other boat I owned. The Makau, as it’s name
implies, is definitely a fish attractor. This leads me to the fishability of the Makau. When a big fish hanapaa’s, it is imperative that everything that you need to bring that fish in is in the right place. The large gaff trays and generous storage allows you to have it all at your fingertips. Gaffs, fly gaff, hand gaff, meat hook, dead blow hammer, bat, line pusher, gloves, knife, everything you may need at a moments notice is at your immediate grasp. My large above deck fish box can be used not only for icing a few ahi’s but it also doubles as a kill box for mahi’s and ono’s. By the way, it also makes for a good seat when bottom fishing and a great bed when the day gets long or when night fishing. My boat is also outfitted with a below deck ikima that keeps my bait alive all day long. One of the factors in my decision to buy a Makau was that I wanted a “Hawaiian Style” fishing boat, that had lots of working space to catch and ice fish. A problem with the mainland made boats of similar size is that the size of the work area is small in comparison to the cabin and helm area. The Makau has been made to fit a variety of engine configurations. Outboards on an extension bracket, I/O diesel and gas, and inboard straight shaft are all options that have already been constructed. All of the add on components, electrical, plumbing, steering, hardware and virtually any element you see above and below decks is of first rate quality, installed with the mantra of easy maintenance and longevity. And now, Brookins is thinking “Outside the Transom”…yep, the Makau is now available with twin Yanmar I/O diesels that are literally installed in a Super-Sized Armstrong extension bracket, resulting in that bigger Makau 28.5 that many folks have asked about. At one half the weight of a fiberglass extension, and one third the cost, it’s a design concept that is long overdue. So if you are looking for a “Hawaiian Style” boat that’s made with a fit and finish that is uncompromising, and with awesome fishability and ride ability, there is only one-- the Makau 23. Check out this Hawaii Goes Fishing Episode: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCvWQ3vhJfs Or call Gary at (808) 216-2972 Brookins Boatworks LTD Kapalama Military Reservation, Bldg. 905 5 Sand Island Access Rd. #117 Honolulu, HI 96819 issue seven 2011
gear reviews by N ate Tsa o
The Van Staal 275: A Warrior
THE GUTS: The VS reels are built around a concept of simplicity and durability. When you open one up for maintenance there are very few parts to deal with (but they are heavily built); less ball bearings especially. From an engineering standpoint this means less failure and less maintenance. When comparing to other high end reels such as a Shimano Stella, however, this simplicity also means that it is not as “smooth” as operating of a reel. Having both owned and sold each of these reels in the past while working in a tackle shop, I have noticed a very distinct separation in the opinions of this “smoothness” issue. For me personally, I prefer the “all business” aspect of the VS as compared to the “all bling” aspect of my Stella. My VS 275 gets fished about 320-340 days per year (if only for a few casts) and has never needed any replacement parts in the five plus years that I’ve had it. Every so often I change the seals and grease inside the gearbox, and it performs as it did the day it was purchased. My Stella 18000 has been in action since July of 2010 and has also been a very good reel, but it already is showing signs of use. After fighting about 15 ulua, some of the bearings seem to have become a bit chattery. Nothing major as the reel works fine, but the wear is definitely there. I hate, hate, hate, unnecessary ball bearings when heavy duty bushings would be suitable. Also, there is the inevitable “play” of the main shaft that happens to almost all spinning reels which are driven by an oscillating worm gear such as Shimano, Daiwa, Quantum, and almost any other modern reel. A VS will never acquire this issue because the shaft oscillation is driven by the main gear itself via an overbuilt traverse guide (see photos) directly attached to the main shaft. SEALING: With a VS you can bury the thing in fine beach sand and let the waves beat on it, then pick it up rinse it in the ocean and keep fishing (proven this personally just to see if it was true)! Not that anyone would actually ever want to do this but sometimes things get dropped, and stuff happens right? I
Photo courtesy Van Staal
As shoreline fishermen, we are all faced with the constant search for gear that can perform up to our expectations. Whether you float for nenue, whip for moi, or slide for ulua, you want equipment that will stand up to the task year after year without headaches. Of all Hawaii style shoreline fishing, perhaps the most demanding on quality gear is the quickly growing sport of plugging for big ulua. Over the past five years I’ve fished many reels and have found one in particular that perfectly meets the demands of a demanding fishery. That reel is the Van Staal 275. Here is just this fisherman’s two cents concerning Van Staal reels on their pros and cons, and how they are relate to Hawaii style whipping, both good and bad.
am not willing to do this with any other reel I’ve ever fished with. The waterproofing of these reels is accomplished by use of heavy synthetic gaskets around all access points of the reel’s body. These areas include Handle Stem, Main Shaft, Drag Stack, and Body Housing. DRAG: The VS drag is not quite as powerful as the drag of other high end reels, but is still silky smooth and its maximum setting is still way too strong for me to fish with. Usually I have it set so that a fish has to be about 20lbs or over for it to pull any drag. Any tighter than that and my little Chinese okole would get pulled in the water! Both the VS and Stella drags are equally smooth, but the Stella gets crazy strong if you have the nuggets to fish with it. The boat guys and bigger guys have more use for the extra drag it seems. BAILESS: VS also makes all of their reels in a bailed model as well for the guys who think the bailess thing looks skeptical. Again, i feel that less equals more in
this case, as with no bail there are less moving parts. Instead of a pivoting bail arm the line roller is attached with a machined arm. Add onto that a solid machined titanium line roller and you have a bullet proof military grade unit! Learning to fish bail-less takes only about ten minutes, and is definitely a more efficient way of handling the line. Plus no more bail springs to break and accidental bail closings while casting! In the five years I’ve been fishing bailless, the line has never come off the roller, or hung up during a cast.
PRICING: VS reels are expensive, there’s no way around it; even ebay reels are still pricey. At $800 for a reel, you better fall in love with it right!? Just think, you could buy 4 Stradics for the price of one VS. Yes this is an absolutely stupid price for such a simple reel, but the way i see it, it’ll be around until I’m an old man or drown while holding it. I’ve got a growing pile of Shimano/Daiwa reels that have lived beyond effective cost repair after only a few years. ALL AROUND: This is just my own humble personal opinion based on having fished many different reels, and I’m not out to discourage anyone else’s preference of other reels. Because of its industrial grade construction and lack of moving parts, I think the VS 275 may be the best out there for all around Hawaii style shoreline plugging for omilu/ulua with 1-4 oz lures. For smaller reels however, I would not buy a smaller sized VS for everyday fishing just because they are too slow for most Hawaii style fishing applications. I’ll gladly stick with my Shimano’s for moi, o’io, and papio whipping, but, if I’m after big ulua, give me a VS 275 for no nonsense plugging performance any day of the week. Thanks for reading; hopefully this little review will help you choose the next new toy that is right for you.
Photos courtesy Nate Tsao
SPEED: This is the area where I feel that a lot of local guys shy away from the VS reels; they are SLOW except for the VS275. All of the VS reel sizes from the 100 to the 300 (again excluding the 275) have a slow gear ratio. The typically quick retrieve in Hawaii style whipping requires a highly geared reel, so fishing with a VS can mean tired arms at the end of a day’s fishing. For this very reason I stick with the 275 because of its higher speed retrieve which is about 42” per handle turn, depending on how much line is on the spool. So far it has seemed to be the perfect speed for working anything from swimming jerkbaits to skipping topwater lures. The Stella is still faster though, and it seems to fish the really big heavy plugs (5oz and over) a bit better than the VS.
issue seven 2011
H awa ii a n P r a ctice And “ S cience ” BY pa u lo
People who freely acknowledge the existence of native Hawaiian music, dance, art and history may somehow fail to comprehend and appreciate the indigenous science of Hawaiians. It is this science that originally guided the adaptation of Hawaiian resource uses to their island environments. Long-term use of available resources by many generations was critical for the survival and perpetuation of Hawaiian civilization. Traditional native Hawaiian ecological approaches fostered, in modern terminology, “sustainable use” of natural resources. Contemporary managers should not confuse the Hawaiian system with present-day preservation campaigns that discourage resource consumption. Traditional Hawaiian practices contrast sharply with contemporary management and the world of native Hawaiian practitioners is different from the world of scientific researchers. Practitioners are people who work on projects that are designed to achieve goals related to long-term consumptive use of natural resources. They conduct scientific experiments in the context of everyday living. Implementation is built into this research; ends and means are not separated. Unlike scientific researchers, practitioners are not neutral. They are similar to scientific researchers in having an interest in understanding the situation but, unlike researchers, practitioners’ interest is in improving situations and in avoiding repeating the same mistakes. For the Hawaiian practitioner, science is a system for adapting in a constantly changing environment. Subsistence practices involve a form of science that is at once a creative process (learning how to adapt to nature), a culturally defined expression (perpetuating traditional practices) and a problem-solving strategy (obtaining food). These practices emerged from traditional roots and have meaningful links with the past as they adapt to the present. In the real world of the native Hawaiian practitioner, resource conservation problems do not present themselves as givens. They must be constructed from problematic situations which are puzzling, troubling and uncertain. It is the work of practitioners to convert a problematic situation to a problem. They must make sense of an uncertain situation that initially makes little or no sense. Many of these problems are of modern origins and thus, were never addressed by the ancient Hawaiians. However, Hawaiian ways of thinking about nature are holistic, so this science is adaptable to dealing with many present-day resource issues never faced by ancestors. Unlike government agencies, native Hawaiian (and other) resource practitioners have flexibility and opportunity to test what works and what does not. They are in a position to actually practice “adaptive management” -- a cornerstone of ecosystem-
based conservation. Adaptive management is an approach that treats natural resource policies as experiments to foster learning, to improve imperfect understanding and to correct previous errors in management goals and directions based on what is newly learned. Adaptive management requires common sense but it is not a license to just try anything. Some of the essential elements for adaptive management include the following: • Lifelong learning. To be a community leader involves a commitment to personal mastery of skills and crafts over a life time. • Systems thinking. See relationships rather than things. See patterns in complex sets of relationships rather than just static snapshots. See not just linear relationships and detail complexity but the dynamic complexity of inter-relationships between resources and people. • Mental models. We make sense of the surrounding environment based on patterns derived through inductive reasoning; that is, reaching general conclusions from detail observations. Our sense of the world and our actions are based on these mental models. However, people observe selectively. They may take in the same basic sensory information but see it differently. This is no less true of objective observers, such as government personnel, than for people in general. • Shared visions of the future. Visions of the future combine what is ideal with what is feasible. They tell us what we really are relative to what we want to achieve. These visions have roots in the past and reflect responsibilities that have evolved into unwritten norms over many generations. The “rights” of individuals cannot be separated from these responsibilities. Group learning and mental model building is a way of negotiating between different visions and interests but group learning is very time consuming. • Leverage. Many large-scale and well-intentioned efforts fail to solve conservation problems because there is no opportunity for learning and adaptive management. Small, wellfocused actions can sometimes produce significant, enduring improvements through learning and adaptive management. However, timing is everything.
OCEANIC DIGITAL CHANNEL 349
CATCH THE FISH AT THESE TIMES: • Sportﬁshing with Dan Hernandez Monday & Tuesday 7:00pm
• Saltwater Ventures Sunday 1:30pm
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• Spear The Menu
• Guy Harvey's Portraits of the Deep
Bringing You the World of Water. The Ocean Network. Oceanic Digital Channel 349 See OceanNetwork.tv for show times. issue seven 2011
The largesT selecTion of skirTs in a man’s sTore
PIER HONOLULU 6438Lawai‘a Magazine FISHING VILLAGE