CATCH OF A LIFETIME KYLE HORIMOTO’S 81.1 LB SAILFISH FROM SHORE
Mark White Lures
Humble Beginnings: Lihue Fishing Supply
Loea o Ka‘Upena Kiloi MASTER OF THE THROW NET; UNCLE CHARLIE BLAKE ISSUE NINEPEREIRA 2012 1
Trophy or Lomi O‘io Bonefish
If you recover a tagged o‘io call 265-4962 Be prepared to provide the following critical information: 1. Your name, address, and telephone number. 2. Capture date, island, and fishing location. 3. Tag number. 4. Fork length – measure from tip of the nose to “V” in the tail. 5. There are 2 species - Sharp Jaw Albula virgata which has a bright green/yellow dot under the pectoral fins, and Round Jaw Albula glossodonta has no green/yellow dot.
In return for your valuable information, you will receive a free special edition t-shirt featuring original artwork (seen above) by artist and fisherman Mike Sakamoto.
For More Information
150 Hamakua Dr. PBN# 430 Kailua, HI 96734
Ph: 808 265-4962 Web: fishtoday.org ISSUE NINE 2012
contents ISSUE NUMBER NINE 2012
to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s fishing tradition and lifestyle and to create an attractive, informative and entertaining media resource. We urge people to fish responsibly, helping to ensure a sustainable fishery for future generations. We’ll introduce a human aspect to fishing, focusing on the practitioners who present a positive and realistic view of fishermen. We will showcase Hawai‘i’s thriving seafood industry, promote good stewardship of the resources through public service, preserve the integrity of Hawai‘i’s fisherman and to celebrate the past, present and future of fishing.
SECTIONS 7 INSIDE / 10 E HOIKE MAI / 12 KONA KAI / 20 SHORELINE TECH 22 FISH STORIES / 50 PIFG WRAP UP / 60 KELA A ME KEIA
/ 62 GEAR REVIEWS
FEATURES 16 HAWAII YACHT CLUB / 36 MASTER OF THE THROW NET / 40 MARK WHITE LURES 46 LIHUE FISHING SUPPLY / 56 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT 2012 Island Shore Casters Tournament
ISSUE NINE 2012
Star Bulletin Photo by Dean Sensui. September 1992
Publisher Pacific Islands Fisheries Group Editor Pacific Islands Fisheries Group email@example.com Design Darin H. Isobe > Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Inside Editorial Board
Director of Marketing + Advertising Marc Inouye email@example.com Advertising Suzanne Eugenio firstname.lastname@example.org Consultant Fluid Media Publishing www.fluidmediahawaii.com Contributing Writers Gary Brookins, Chucky Boy Chock, John Clark, Tyler Ciccone, F/V Alissa’s Pelican, Brian Funai, Brayden Heatherly, Kyle Horimoto, Neil Kanemoto, Renee “Fishergirl” Kester, Brian Kimata, Mark Kimura, Bruce C. Mundy, Jean Nakamura, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, Paulo, Meagan Sundberg, Ed Sugimoto, Ed Watamura
This month we bring a good variety of stories, including several brought to you courtesy of our good friends, the fishing community of Kaua‘i. We would like to thank our Kaua‘i-based contributing writers that include Chucky Boy Chock, Renee “Fisher Girl” Kester, and Jean Nakamura of Lihue Fishing Supply. A big Mahalo also to the people that invited us into their everyday lives to see a part of what life is like on The Garden Isle: netmaker Uncle Charlie Pereira, luremaker Mark White, and restaurateur Mark Oyama . And to top it off, we learn about the trials and tribulations of Masao Fujioka’s 100 lb plus ulua from Kaua‘i. Fishing is good on Kaua‘i if these stories are any indicator but, the community there has become heavily involved in several recent issues concerning their island. Residents are concerned about the proposed expansions of monk seal critical habitat and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. And rightly so as Kaua‘i has arguably one of the largest population of seals and the sanctuary expansion is proposed to encompass the entire island. A group of Kaua‘i residents obtained 6,700 signatures in opposition to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale NMS expansion and many others have participated in the public input process and discussion regarding the monk seal critical habitat revision.
CATCH OF A LIFETIME KYLE HORIMOTO’S ISH 81.1 LB SPEARF
ON THE COVER: Kyle and Kaci Horimoto and their catch-of-alifetime sailfish.
Mark White Lures
Humble Beginnings: Lihue Fishing Supply
Kiloi Loea o Ka‘Upena
THROW NET; MASTER OF THE 2012 1 BLAKE ISSUE NINEPEREIRA UNCLE CHARLIE
Letters and Comments email: email@example.com Lawai‘a Magazine Every attempt is made to publish Lawai‘a 4 times a year. Printed by Lotus Printing Hong Kong.
Images sent statewide from Kaua‘i of the widespread destruction caused by hurricanes Iwa and Iniki are still seared into the mind’s eye of many today. You did not have to go through the direct hit personally to realize the grave circumstances that Kaua‘i residents faced in the days and weeks after these terrible events. Some of us remember the tsunami of 1946 and 1960, even the dockworker strikes of 1949 and early 1970s. All of these brought our vulnerabilities and dependence on the outside world to light. Yet a good majority of the population today probably has not stopped to think about what WE would have to do after going through similar disasters. A good measure that will help is to prepare for these kinds of events to happen. Of course, we’re not talking on a fanatical level like some on the popular National Geographic Channel‘s Doomsday Preppers, but there are reasonable steps that can be taken. There is much talk today about “buying local”, “supporting local farms”, and “self-sustainability” in the islands and people are very concerned about the availability and production of our island soils. At the same time, however, there seems to be a total lack of attention paid to the availability and productivity of another resource, perhaps one with even more potential than what our island soils can provide. The Pacific Ocean is a big swimming pool to some, a view to others, and oftentimes a piece of real estate to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. But to those that know how it can sustain them, it is their “refrigerator”. In recent years, someone has left the door open to our “refrigerator”
and much of it’s contents has spoiled. Someone put some things into our “refrigerator” that don’t belong (un-natural runoff and ocean activities). The refrigerant has been squeezed off (spring and stream diversion) and we soon found that we have even less space to “store” our food (alteration of our shorelines and filling over reefs). More recently, someone told us we cannot use a big part of our “refrigerator” because it is not for us to eat from (creation of off-limits areas like marine protected areas, security zones, etc.). If we truly wish to be sustainable as islands, we need to look at what’s needed to restore our “refrigerator” and allow those that know best how to use and care for it to utilize it in a meaningful way for the island population. The Hawaiian people knew of times of famine and they didn’t have anyone else to rely on except themselves. In response, they developed one of the most comprehensive and complicated systems of fisheries management
The first step in that would be to recognize that the Lawai’a, fishermen, are not seen solely as the “extraction” part of the equation but a necessary component to balance it. in the Konohiki/Lawai’a relationship AND fisheries replenishment in the fishpond system. Today, our government managed system and our lawmakers fill in for the konohiki but it is too often that the Lawai’a are left out or not consulted. Our “refrigerator” can be full again given the right support with legislative and administrative attention and complementing strategies of land and ocean-based food sustainability. The first step in that would be to recognize that the Lawai’a, fishermen, are not seen solely as the “extraction” part of the equation but a necessary component to balance it. You simply cannot get any closer to buying local when you buy locally caught fresh fish. Longline, smallboat, and nearshore commercial fishermen not only bring fresh seafood to our tables but they have the potential to play a big role in our recovery from a natural disaster. In addition, many of us are subsistence fishers and we as individuals can well do ourselves a favor in re-learning things that we may have forgotten along the way, things that only a generation ago our parents and grandparents practiced: not wasting ANYTHING and recycling things, growing our own vegetables, preserving foods, being knowledgeable about our environment and what it has to offer. We are not suggesting that the entire population learn to live off the land, but there are many who can feed a large portion of that population because they have the skills to do so: the Lawai’a. Some of these people are extremely knowledgeable and know the ocean intimately enough to know where and when to find food, how much to take, and when it is “sustainable” to harvest again. The Lawai’a of today have been practicing “self sustainability” based on generations of knowledge gained centuries before it became a buzzword transmitted over today’s digital networks. 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. Lawai‘a Editorial Board
ISSUE NINE 2012
“I love the smell of
fresh ahi in the morning.”
While you’re waking to the smell of coffee, Nico’s checking fish.
Bringing it fresh from the auction to your plate, every day. Nico wouldn’t have it any other way.
Open Monday-Saturday: Lunch & Dinner, Now Open Sundays • Telephone: 540-1377 • Fax: 540-1376 • www.nicospier38.com ISSUE NINE 2012 9 1129 North Nimitz Highway (across from the Nimitz Business Center) • Honolulu, HI 96817
Kenny Kinoshita .71lb Aholehole
Bruce Ayau 87lb Ulua
Audrey Gould White Papio
Charles and Cameron Cintron 5lb O‘io
Jeff Villafania 46lb Ulua Darrell Melemai 7.89 Oio
Mathew and Dane Kobayashi w/ 3 O‘io 9.5, 5.5 and 3.5lbs
Jared Clapper O‘io
SEND US YOUR PICS
Andrew Gould White Papio
Email digital photos as jpg files. Please take pics at your highest setting possible. Email jpg photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org Incude all info please. All pics sent become the property of Lawai‘a Magazine.
Troy Quedo 57lb Ulua David Bello 1.56lb Taape Davyne 67lb Ulua Spencer Haskins 22.66lb Uku
ISSUE NINE 2012
After His Roots
Baby Calamari stuffed with Blue Crab
Kona Kai By Ed Sugimoto
Whenever I daydream about some of my favorite sushi experiences in Japan and right here in Hawaii, I usually envision a small, dark, packed-to-the-brim hole-in-the-wall with a certain “je ne sais quoi” aura.
Seared Canadian Tombo (albacore tuna) with ponzu
Behind the sushi bar stands a stoic, elder sushi master who earned that title of “master” by working his way up the sushi making ranks for decades. With an air of arrogance, he’ll take his time with your order, giving off the impression that he’s doing you a favor by serving his food. Local sushi chef James Matsukawa takes that visual and completely flips it on its head. Barely 30, he is the energetic owner of Kona Kai Sushi, a somewhat undiscovered sushi restaurant on Coyne Street, about to celebrate its 1 year anniversary. And although Kona Kai does give off
that appealing, hole-in-the-wall vibe, Matsukawa is anything but old and stoic. Matsukawa grew up in Kealakekua on the Big Island where his love for fishing began early when, at the ripe old age of 10, he started hanging out with the old timers, regularly fishing for menpachi, akule and papio. Years after moving to Oahu, he worked as a line cook at Kabuki Restaurant before moving behind the sushi bar under master chef Yoshio Kazama. He continued his practice at countless other Japanese restaurants like Kohnotori, Jimbo’s, 808 Kapahulu, Shigezo, and Sushi Izakaya Shinn until a stint at Sushi Sasabune changed his life forever. “It was like sushi boot camp.” describes Matsukawa. “I think it was the hardest place to work, both mentally and physically. Long hours at a frantic pace. I basically lived there, but it has been the most influential experience to this day by far.” Under master chef Seiji Kumagawa’s careful
Spanish Bluefin Sushi
tutelage, Matsukawa was taught to be extremely disciplined and to respect the fish. It was not about how to do things, but why. He then moved on to the popular izakaya Tokkuri Tei, which influenced him in an entirely different way. “Tokkuri Tei showed me a more casual way of doing sushi. The clientele atmosphere had a lively, easy going energy typical of an izakaya (in Japan).” After Tokkuri Tei, he felt that he was ready to open his own restaurant in the form of Umi no Sachi on 11th Ave in Kaimuki. Unfortunately, due to inexperience and poor business relationships, it closed after only three months. Matsukawa then took an 8 month hiatus, regrouped and was ready to sushi again.
ISSUE NINE 2012
Fluid Media presents a new book from Hawai‘i spearfishing pioneer Sonny Tanabe
Enter Kona Kai. Named after his roots (Kona) and his love for the ocean (Kai), Kona Kai brings the best of Matsukawa’s experiences and serves it to his highly targeted clientele. “We don’t advertise and we really don’t want to. Sasabune taught me that word of mouth (advertising) is the most important.” Matsukawa wants to create an atmosphere where his clients become his friends. His main goal is to continually top his customers’ last visit. Many of the dishes from our night were brok’ da mout’ amazing. Creative, yet fundamentally sound. If he is planning on topping that the next time around, sign me up! On a recent trip with the boys from Lawai‘a, we went omakase style and here is what we were served:
The Evolution of Freediving and History of Spearfishing in Hawai‘i
Two types of Washington Oysters: Baked and fresh with Alaskan King Salmon Caviar
In his second book, The Evolution of Freediving, Sonny Tanabe has created a definitive text for the sport. Fueled by a lifelong love affair with the ocean, this compilation of stunning photography, historic lore and modern information is sure to fascinate. With passionate detail, The Evolution of Freediving presents the art of apnea and spearfishing in concise and intriguing fashion. This book traces both the advances in dive equipment as well as the progression of the spearfisherman–from explorer to hunter to the current evolution as steward of the sea.
Red Snapper from Southern Japan (Kyushu) with Canadian Rainbow Trout Caviar with reduced shoyu
Shimaaji from Shikoku (background) & Golden Eye Snapper with Shiokara on top (foreground)
For a list of authorized retailers please visit:
Kona Kai Sushi 2535 Coyne Street Honolulu, HI 96822 Tue-Sat: 6pm-12am Sun: 5pm-10pm (808) 594-7687
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kona-KaiSushi-Izakaya/119034688183885 ISSUE NINE 2012
Hawaii Yacht Club BY GARY W. BROOKINS REAR COMMODORE FOR POWER HAWAII YACHT CLUB
hinking back, some fishing events will put a smile on your face ….stirring special memories that last a lifetime …for yourself and all who participated. The 29th annual Junior Fishing Tournament (JFT) sponsored by the Hawaii Yacht Club (HYC) and Waikiki Yacht Club (WYC) continues to be that blessing for me even after more than a half century. If you haven’t participated you just missed the 29th annual occurrence of this miraculous event. Looking back, I didn’t have a full blown tournament fishing opportunity when I was seven. But my kid brother Danny and I did have tournaments of a sort as we regularly competed to see who could catch the most or biggest of anything...goat fish, red snapper, or needle fish with hand lines. We didn’t catch a lot of fish, but we did collect plenty hermit crabs, sea horses, and minnows. That was way back when at the Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove (Miami, Florida) where I was raised as a live aboard from the age of five. What fond memories! …then ….and to this day as I continue to be blessed with memories old and new, by being one of many 2012 organizers, participant, and mentor of one of the greatest gifts we can give kids ….the Junior Fishing Tournament. Tournament History In the late 70’s, a few avid fisherman, mostly from the Hawaii Yacht Club (HYC), would take a few kids and go 15 miles out from the AlaWai, trolling for that proverbial “big one” ….marlin, mahimahi, or ono. The last HYC Deep Sea Junior Fishing Tournament was conducted in June ‘82 with seven junior anglers on three boats. Heavy seas, rolling boats, and mal de mere (sea sickness) ruled the day. It wasn’t fun, the fish were too big for the kids to reel in, they got sun burned, and the 2 - 3 hour passages to and from the fishing grounds was just plain grueling. Well! …while sitting and lamenting at the bar on the upper deck of HYC, two determined and highly motivated anglers, HYC member & organizer Jim O’Hara and WYC Commodore Stan Thornton looked out over the protected waters just beyond the reefs of Waikiki and the “light bulb” came on for Jim. “Why don’t we just conduct the Keiki tournament near shore with bottom fishing only? No more deep sea fishing for now …they’ll still “get hooked”
and go off-shore some day down the road.” This decision meant the tournament would never be cancelled again, and in December ‘83, the Junior Fishing Tournament as we know it today was born and the rest is history. Thank you, Jim! Thank you, Stan! Tournament Day - February 12, 2012 Spin the dial on the clock like the dollar sign on the gas pump … forward to 0700 Sunday, February 12, 2012. There are already wide eyed kids milling about on the grounds of the Hawaii Yacht Club. Start Fishing isn’t until 0900, but who cares? We got POG, flavored milks, sticky buns, and fresh fruit for breakfast. There are carafes of “high test” coffee for moms and dads who stayed up too late the night before. And there is no need for a morning walk …just drink coffee
while kids drag you around the perimeter seawall ….pointing out puffer fish, crabs, and tilapia. “Gim’me a pole Dad! …or a net! I can catch ‘em!” Look mom! ….a turtle! Oh the memories! We’re not just fishin’! 0730: You can’t see much real estate, as it is now teaming with kids, parents, aunties & uncles, and the volunteers conducting the many necessary tasks for a function of this size. There are the Angler Registration tables, Weigh-In and Documenting Station, Port Captain & dock hands to receive the many volunteer vessels showing up, the bait cutters, the rod & reel riggers, the PFD distributor, the snack & water bottle packers, the MC, and three special guest this year, not to mention the founders and Commodores of both yacht clubs. The names of the volunteers would fill up a page. We don’t have to seek them out every year. They “just know” and show up like bears coming out of hibernation …dozens of them! Thank you guys & gals! Good thing the cameraman has a digital camera ….thank you Ted Trimmer and all the documenters. 0800: This tournament isn’t just about kids catching fish. It’s about fishing, water & boating safety & handling skills, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and sound fisheries management attitudes. It is also about the future, people, fishing, and Hawaii. Welcome Kurt Kawamoto, the seven year guru and Project Manager of the NOAA Barbless Circle Hook Project. Kurt highlighted the merits of barbless or circle hooks for personal safety and fish conservation in that the barbless hooks are less damaging, self shedding, and just as effective for catching fish. Cool! There was no Attention Deficit Disorder on display …by the kids or adults! Welcome Roy Morioka, a volunteer bar-none for the Pacific Island Fisheries Group. Roy shared how this non-profit group administers and supports programs that benefit our marine and fishery resources, enhances fishing experiences, raises community awareness, encourages responsible fishing and conservation practices. Fish posters, booklets, and measuring tapes were scoffed up. I was motivated to join in on the fish conservation process by introducing perforated 5 gallon holding buckets for the kid’s catches…a livefish-well of sorts. Next to speak was Ed Watamura, President of the Waialua Boat Club. His words of fishing wisdom and blessings brings together any group. Kurt, Roy, and Ed joined the other Waialua Boat Club members that annually participate in the JFT. I’m proud to be a member of the club as well. 0815: Before anglers go fishing, JFT founder Jim O’Hara presents the Fishing Area Chart and the Fishy Rules. For the sake of future fishing fun, the anglers were instructed to keep your catch in the live well bucket provided, to keep adding fresh sea water (every 15 minutes), to handle the catch as little as possible, and to release the catch right after weigh in. Catching fish with barbless or circle hooks is easy, provides the same fun factors, and is less harmful to the catch & released fish. Yippie!
ISSUE NINE 2012
For three decades Hawaii and Waikiki Yacht Clubs collaboratively support the local community by providing children (6-15 yrs) with an exciting and rewarding opportunity to experience Hawaii’s greatest asset ...the ocean.
0830: Crews of anglers gather their gear and scurry down the Aloha Dock to well equipped and manned fishing boats. This year there are 16 of them for 55 anglers. Trailer boats, commercial charter boats, private motor and sail boats pull up one at time and soon every kid is onboard and the fleet heads out for the 0900 Start Fishing signal. 0845: The boats are anchored or adrift just outside the AlaWai. Hooks are down and you can hear “I got one! I got one!” everywhere. It’s non-stop action until Stop Fishing at 1100. And like all fishing outings, the kids didn’t “get enough”. You know they’ll be back again. Buckets are full of lively fish. Anglers are excitedly checking on them anxious to show mom & dad, weigh in, get their picture taken, and release their catch. 1130: The Weigh Master reports livelier fish than ever seen before …the barbless hooks and buckets work! Yippie! 40 of 55 anglers catch a total of 1,174 oz. of fish, but even those that caught nothing are smiling. They had a blast with friends and are already talking about next year’s tournament. “I’m hungry!” becomes the new proclamation as anglers and families are shuttled across the harbor onboard the WYC shuttle boat …straight to the outdoor swimming pool for chilling down and working up an appetite. What does a 25 x 50 foot swimming pool look like with a hundred screaming kids in it? FULL! Then you add beach balls, noodle floats, and goggles. Adrenaline levels levitated and former WYC Commodore Mike Roth tamed it by conducting a series of age based swim races. By the time the races are complete with winners announced, the cheering crowds of kids lining the pool sides are dry and the BBQ hot dogs, hamburgers, and mac-salad are ready to
“Why don’t we just conduct the Keiki tournament near shore with bottom fishing only? No more deep sea fishing for now …they’ll still get hooked and go off-shore some day down the road.”
serve. Wow! Now there are about 250-300 mouths to feed as families and event staffers join in for the Awards Presentations. Everyone is stuffed, but their appetite for knowing who won what award has them staring at the Perpetual Trophy. All of the shiny new trophies are donated by Jim O’Hara. There is a 40 foot long table, loaded with prizes; everything from slinkies to hula hoops, tackle boxes, rods & reels plus more. Everyone is a winner and they all go home with multiple prizes. It’s Christmas all over again and they had “too much fun” too. The MC quickly and eloquently moves through the Awards presentations and the kids are eager to pose with their new trophy and the Commodores. Donations and donors are acknowledged as prizes are awarded. It’s a frenzy of non-stop positive energy, sense of accomplishment, and great memories. Topping the list this year was the overall winner, Reno Young. He took First Place and will be getting his name engraved on the Perpetual Trophy. What makes this event so special is what it does to and for all kids like Reno. This was Reno’s last year of age eligibility (15) to participate in the tournament. When did he start you might ask ….at the age of five! Congratulations Reno! Also onboard the boat with Reno was a new angler, Joshua Ramelb, winner of the Most Fish
Trophy. “And the beat goes on!” All totaled, there were a dozen trophies and awards, but every kid went home with a prize. No one was a loser ….they all are winners! For three decades Hawaii and Waikiki Yacht Clubs collaboratively support the local community by providing children (6-15 yrs) with an exciting and rewarding opportunity to experience Hawaii’s greatest asset ...the ocean. Doing so from real fishing boats in a real fishing tournament created just for kids … the Junior Fishing Tournament (JFT) challenges them to “catch the big one.” But it also teaches good fish management and introduces safe boating skills. The camaraderie, spirit of sportsmanship, and memories fostered by the JFT is unmatched! It is a very worth while event! They come from Palama Settlement, the Police Activities League, Mayor Wright, both yacht clubs and from all over the island. Many have never experienced the ocean or been on a boat. Each year, donations are necessary to make it all happen. Items and supplies are donated by West Marine, 7-Eleven, Five Oceans 7 Seas, POP, Meadow Gold Dairy, Roy’s Fishing, La Mariana Sailing Club, Hawaii Fishing News, Frito Lay, Keebler, Paradise Beverage Co. and more. Cash contributions from businesses and individuals alike help meet the demands of this one-off and costly …but priceless event. TV and radio coverage is not uncommon, and we always post and announce the names of all supporters. Join us next year if you like, and we’ll introduce you …as part of the team or with your winning junior angler! Brought to you by Gary Brookins, RC Power HYC & Mike Farrell, RC Power WYC
ISSUE NINE 2012
Shoreline Tech B Y B R I A N K I M ATA
Question: I have fished in many places including the east and west coast with a variety of gear. What do you think is the best line for fishing on Hawaii’s shoreline?
new dimension to the line by adding properties of each. Most copolymer lines are less “stretchy” than monofilament and usually have less memory. Like regular mono, copolymers are also dipped to add different characteristics. Copolymer lines also cost more. Fluorocarbon, or Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF for short), is also a polymer. Although viewed as a newer technology, Fluorocarbon was developed in the 1960’s and sold as the fishing line Seaguar in 1971. Fluorocarbon lines have the same angle of reflection as water making them much harder to see when submerged. It is also much more expensive. Because of this, many fishermen use fluorocarbon only as leader material and view it as excessive to spool a reel with it. This however is not entirely true. Fluorocarbon lines are inert and resist sunlight and chemicals like gasoline and insect repellant. They also won’t absorb water like monofilament. This is particularly important as all monos and copolymers will absorb water as they “soak”. The more water a line absorbs, the softer it becomes and the easier it will be to break.
Answer: Wow, what a question!! Well, I guess the answer is…It depends. Are you whipping, dunking, or surfcasting? Are you using a spinning reel or a conventional reel? What’s the terrain like? What are you fishing for? There are many factors influencing any line selection and like your tool box at home, there isn’t any one perfect tool. You’ll need the right one for the job at hand. Perhaps adding to your dilemma is the fact that there are not only a host of different lines but that they are made of quite different materials and have quite different properties. Remember the saying: “Life is a series of compromises”? Well, fishing line is like that too. Each brand of line and each type of line is produced under a series of compromises, sacrificing one property for another. If this was not the case, there would only be one line formula and we would all be using it. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all, let’s examine the types of lines out there and their properties.
Braided lines, sometimes called HPPEs (high performance polyethylene), or GSPs (gel spun polyethylene), is spun from 3 or 4 strands of spectra fibre, an extremely strong polyethylene plastic. Spectra fibre is one of the strongest and lightest fibers in existence. This not only creates an extremely strong line but one that can be very thin in diameter. It also has no memory and little if any stretch. Casting a braided line is very easy and it’s low diameter yields significant distance gains.
Copolymer fishing lines are created using a process called copolymerization which fuses 2 or more strands of polymers together. This adds a
So those are the players, but it doesn’t answer our question of which is the best choice. Well here are the factors to consider. As line get thinner and softer, they tend to cast better. Thin lines are also harder for fish to see. Thin lines however, don’t take abrasion well as there is just simply less material to wear away. Hard lines take abrasion excellently, but are hard or in the case of conventional reels, impossible to cast. Another factor is the line’s ability to stretch. This property creates a line that is harder to break but
can have some drawbacks. A stretchy line works against you as you try to boost up a fish. It is also very undesirable to surfcasters using heavier lines. It is inevitable that at some point a surfcaster will have to break off a “grounded” hook and too much stretch on 60 or 80 lb. test is dangerous, difficult or even impossible to break. Braided lines are the worst for abrasion resistance and will cut almost instantly against the reef. Most spinning reels are capable of casting a fairly high range of line properties, even those that are fairly stiff. Most conventional do not. This is where that trade off begins as most conventional casters, such as ulua fishermen, require a high degree of both abrasion resistance and distance. Braided lines are usually relegated to whipping but can be excellent for their ability to make far casts and create action on the lure as the line is thinner and has no stretch. The thing here is to remember that each property a line possesses is usually at the expense of something else. Thinner or thicker, stiffer or limper, moderate stretch or low stretch, there is value in each. You may also factor in resistance to soaking, ultra violet light, and knot strength but remember that these properties are added to the basic line itself, making it more expensive. Add in variables like the type of gear you use and you can see that most experienced fishermen have selected a line that works for him or her after a series of trial and error. I know that there is a ton of lines out there, but what’s best for you, might not be the best solution for someone else. The general rule of thumb here is, like anything else, you get what you pay for.
The most commonly used fishing line is monofilament. But, what is monofilament? Well this may surprise you but it’s….plastic! Yes, you read that right. That tasty moi you’re hoping to land is hanging on by a piece of plastic. Nylon monofilament fishing line was invented in 1939 by the DuPont Company and replaced the long standing line of the day, Dacron. Initially, monofilament, a single strand of nylon line, was hard to use. It was stiff and didn’t cast very well. In 1959, after much research and testing, DuPont released Stren, a thinner, limper line that fathered the modern lines of today. Monofilament line is produced by melting a mixture of plastic polymers and extruding them through holes of various diameters creating lines of different thickness and tensile strengths ( test ). The lines are then dipped in a bath to cool. These baths may also contain chemicals which add different qualities such as hardness or UV resistance. Monofilament is inexpensive to produce and has the widest usage and selection.
The thing to remember is that each property a line possesses is usually at the expense of something else.
Today’s tip: Don’t forget color! Try to select a line color that matches the conditions you’re fishing under. Clear is not always the hardest to see. Clear, polished lines reflect more light and may not blend in as well in say, the green water in Kaneohe Bay. High visibility lines are great for tracking a cast and keeping visual contact with your lure. Keep a log of your successes (and failures) and use what’s best for you.
ISSUE NINE 2012
Fish Stories BY KYLE HORIMOTO
Catch of A
Lifetime The date was January 3rd 2012. The Hawaiian ocean was a beautiful deep blue. It was a calm day without a cloud in the sky. The saying is so true, “We lucky, we live Hawai’i.” For a fisherman, these conditions meant it may not be an ideal or epic day of fishing. It was my 13 year-old daughter Kaci’s last day of Winter Break, and I knew it meant a lot to her to go fishing. I got the hook, line and sinker when she kept asking me, “Dad, can we go fishing?” over and over again. What happens next is very predictable. As soon as we get to our favorite fishing spot, Kaci smiled and excitedly put on her tabi’s and quickly began grabbing our gear. I laughed to myself. I knew the real reason we were here was to spend quality Father and Daughter time together. Before hiking down the trail, I say a prayer asking the Lord to watch over us and keep us safe, and if it’s in his plan to bless us with some fish. Alrrright, let’s go. Time to set-up our poles and put it to the lead. Then, I throw out a second slide bait pole for Kaci, hoping she would hanapa‘a a big one! During this past summer, Kaci caught her largest fish ever, a 9.5 lb. uku. Since then, she’s been telling me, “Dad, I’m gonna catch an ulua!” Now that our slide poles were set, all there was left to do was catch some live bait. To my surprise, we were able to catch bait in less than an hour. Soon after, my friend Travis arrives and our fishing team is complete. After sliding our live baits, they’re immediately attacked by large aha, or “needle fish.” Discouraged about the aha, Kaci and I decided to have fun and catch small game fish. We were having a blast catching all sorts of reef fish and returning them back into the ocean without harm. A couple hours later, I decide to recast my pole to another spot. With our spirits high, I rig up a live bait and proceed to slide it down my pole. To my surprise the bait hits the water and there’s no aha in sight. My live bait slowly disappears into the deep, so
I double check my drag and place my pole in the holder. As I’m walking away from my pole, I turn around to see it bounce up and down, the all too familiar signs of an aha strike. Discouraged, I run up to my pole, remove the safety line and come tight to the fish. Suddenly line starts peeling out, and as if in slow motion a marlin bill comes straight out of the water. Everyone there starts yelling “Marlin, marlin”! Travis instinctively grabs his Go Pro camera and then readies both of our gaffs. At this point we are all in disbelief as the marlin continues to shake its head and stays on the surface. Years of fishing on boats quickly make me realize that the fish doesn’t know it’s hooked and that I might be able to slowly guide the fish in and get and early gaff shot. I let Travis know that if we get an early chance to gaff the fish to just stick um anywhere! As I coax the fish within 50 feet, it turns and starts heading for the horizon. This is when I look down at my reel as line melts off at an alarming rate. In minutes, the fish is more than 150 yards out, and I’m forced to lock down the drag. The fish slows and when I look down at my spool, I’m down to maybe 20-30 yards left. I quickly gain some line back as the fish proceeds to jump all over the ocean. It felt like a game of tug of war as we near the 10 minute mark from the time of hook up. At this point stopping the fishes’ initial run is beginning to put the hurt on me, and Travis knows I have a bad back. Like a good fishing partner he offers to take over to let me rest. At first I’m reluctant, but I know this will be a long battle. As Travis takes over and works the fish, I take a quick breather. After a few sips of water and a little stretching, I’m ready to finish the battle. We switch off, and this time I can feel the fish is beginning to tire. I’m reluctant to put too much pressure since I only have 100
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As Travis readies himself with the gaff the unthinkable happens. My leader cuts 5 feet out of gaffing range.
lb leader and a number 26 hook. I continue to play tug of war up down the coast, hoping for a chance at a gaff shot. My plan was to tire out the fish and boost hard once I felt that the fish was ready to come in. We would probably only get one chance at landing the fish since the bill was doing damage to the small leader. At this point the marlin is less than 50 yards out and decides to make a quick cut to the right. Then it gets tangled around another fisherman’s line. As we scramble to get a knife to cut the other line the fish decides it’s ready to come in. As Travis readies himself with the gaff the unthinkable happens. My leader cuts 5 feet out of gaffing range. This is where my prayers from the morning are answered and a surge pushes the fish right to Travis. He waits patiently and when the time is right, gaffs the fish high in the shoulder. He is quickly backed up with another gaff by Andy. No more than five seconds after the second gaff is placed the first gaff breaks. Travis and Andy quickly grab the nose of the Marlin and haul the fish up the rocks. This is when we all celebrate and scream like little girls! It is then that I realize that it’s not a striped or blue marlin, but instead a huge sailfish. I’ve had the privilege to fish on a number of different boats for over 25 years
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and have never hooked a sailfish. I hug my daughter and realize that I’ve just done the unthinkable. We quickly carry the sailfish up the trail and proceed to Hanapa‘a Hawaii to get the fish weighed. There the Hanapa‘a crew helped us get an official weight of 81.1 lbs. The next day I take the fish to gyotaku artist Naoki Hayashi (aka just one cool and humble guy), and like always he does an amazing job of capturing this once in a lifetime catch. He also tells me that the fish looks suspiciously like a blue marlin but with a sail. Could this be a hybrid? Naoki makes a few calls and Bob Humphreys from NOAA comes to examine the fish and take DNA samples to give us some answers. The test results have yet to come back… to be continued. I recently picked up my gyotaku print from Naoki and it is awesome! I can’t thank Naoki enough for capturing my prize in a way that I can pass it on to my daughter. I would like to thank the Lord for blessing me with a wonderful wife and daughter, and also for giving my catch of a lifetime that last push right to my gaff man. I’d also like to thank braddah Travis for all his help. I hope one day I can return the favor. Much Mahalo’s to Naoki for the amazing gyotaku print! A big mahalo to the crew at Hanapa‘a Hawaii for allowing us to weigh the fish at the store. To my daughter and best fishing partner in the world, Kaci, thanks for all those hours of quality time as we wait for the big one to bite. A special thanks to my Mom, Sue, for always supporting me throughout the years, and to my Dad, Mel , for teaching me everything I know about fishing! Last but not least, I’d like to thank my true catch of a lifetime, my wife, Crystal, for all her love and patience. It takes a special kind of woman to be married to a fisherman! God Bless and Tight Lines.
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B Y L AWA I ’A M A G A Z I N E
It Takes a Village to Catch a 100 lb Fish up casting a small line with a lead weight over the boat, tying a rope to the line and dragging it back to shore. Once the prize catch was secured to the rope, Shaun and Kevin had to throw the ulua into the surging, boiling white water from where it came. Visions of a huge shark, like the one they fought just the night before, rushing up through the white wash to grab his prized ulua, flashed through his mind. However, considering the alternative of hiking that bad boy out on foot, the secured ulua went back into the sea. It was successfully hauled up onto the waiting boat and taken back to port, leaving Masao and Shaun to pack up their gear and hike back to their kayaks. It was about 10 a.m. when they finally made it back to their kayaks and paddled across the channel into Nawiliwili harbor. Packed up and ready to go get their fish from Jason, who already had the fish iced back at home waiting for them, Masao jumped into Shaun’s car and headed out. After a short ride, they quickly realized there was a problem. “Shoot, my tire stay flat!!” Shaun didn’t have a spare but they managed to get a “fix-a-flat” kit to repair the tire. Unfortunately, that also failed as “the tire fell off the bead” and they were now stuck near Kalapaki Park, hunting for another tire. After calling around for a replacement tire to slap on and be on their way to get their fish, they found one that was “a little big, but kinda fit.” Now they were back on the road and moving again, but soon realized the “new” tire had some problems too. Working through the scraping, rubbing and rumbling, they managed to get to Shaun’s house and called their friend Joe boy to pick them up. The
y now, you’ve probably heard the fish story about Brandon “Masao” Fujioka’s 109 pound ulua caught on Kauai, April 5, 2012. With his prize catch, Masao joins the ranks of the lucky few who’ve had the opportunity and good fortune to fight and land one of Hawaii’s most prized trophies - a 100+ pound ulua! You’d think that once that fish is landed, the newest member of the 100 pound club would be ecstatic, stoked, amped and a lock for the 100 pound plus club. What’s often overlooked is the trials and tribulations, comedy of errors, heroics and stress that the angler endures to “certify” that special monster. In Masao’s case, this fish was no exception. Once the fish was secured in the holding pond, Masao jacked up his poles and called it a night with the intent of getting a good night’s sleep. The hike out to the kayaks to paddle back to the harbor loomed heavy now that Masao had to pack out his gear as well as his fish that weighed more than two thirds his own. After giving it some thought, he started making some calls to see if someone could bring a boat around to pick the fish up. The first call was to a friend, but he was having problems with his boat. Option one out. Then Masao remembered a conversation about a month prior with Jason Matsumoto, who told him, “Call me if you catch the big one, I can help you out.” Fortunately, Jason was available, so arrangements were set for the following morning to boat it out. Getting some sleep that night was just a dream. One question kept nagging at Masao all night, which made him pace back and forth between camp and his prize catch. Analyzing its length, width, and girth over and over in his mind, he asked – “what, get 100 pounds or what?” He thought it had 80 pounds for sure, maybe even 90. His fishing buddy, Shaun who also caught big ulua before, thought it was in that “almost 100 pound” range. He agonized over that question all night long, , He also sent pictures of his big fish to his friends, who offered advice and just raised more questions. In the morning, the water was rough with onshore winds and waves pounding along the rocky cliffs. The first thing Masao noticed was that the boat seemed small. It couldn’t come in too close to the rocks because of the rough water. They ended
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trio finally got to the iced fish at Jason’s house. The moment of truth! Unpacking the iced fish, everyone was murmuring predictions, numbers, lengths and weights! “Ah, the fish is too short to be 100 pounds.” “Yah, but the thing is thick.” Then grandpa chimed in from experience and authority, and said “eh boy, get 100+.” The only scale they had was spring scale but Jason said it was short 1lb.. They hoisted the fish and it topped out at 107 pounds! They added the 1lb and congratulations went around for 108 pounds! Now that the ulua was confirmed to break the 100 pound barrier, the hunt now turned to finding a certified scale. Aunty Jean at Lihue Fishing Supply didn’t have one. The visit to Times was fruitless as the scale was broken. Fish Express was cleaning their scale, so that was out. Aloha Air Cargo had only a spring scale but confirmed the fish at 108 lbs. Mark’s Place also scaled the fish at 108 pounds, but the scale certification was out of date. A visit to the industrial area to source a scale at one of the local producers left Masao deterred but not beaten. The dialogue went kinda like this: Masao - Excuse me but do you have a scale we can use? Proprietor - What for? Masao - Weigh a fish. Proprietor - You get plastic? Masao - Ah, no. Proprietor - We no can have blood on the scale. You going clean em? Masao - Yes. Proprietor - You get rag? Masao - No.
TSUTOMU AD FNL.indd 1
Masao then tried to take the fish to Koa Trading Company, but it was closed for the day. He had to wait and return to Koa Trading the next morning to finally get the certified weight for his trophy ulua – which scaled out at 109.0 pounds! The hunt to certify Masao’s ulua started at 2 p.m. on April 6 and ended 16 hours later at 8 a.m. on April 7th, just in time to get ready for hunting Easter eggs on April 8th. But wait, the hunt was not over! Masao decided to have the image of his catch-of-lifetime captured in the old traditional Japanese way -- gyotaku. He sent his ulua to Wes Taba to have it gyotaku printed. Being that it was caught on a menpachi, Masao wanted to have a menpachi printed on the piece too in order to capture the whole story. He called the local markets looking for a menpachi to print, but they were all sold out. He called a friend who had some but they were already cleaned. He brought the fish to Wes Taba and told him he wanted to print a menpachi along with the ulua but had no luck in finding one. Wes replied “ I have menpachis in the cooler right there!” The picture was now complete. So, the next time you read a great fish story about a guy or gal who landed the big one, don’t forget to ask about the stories behind the story to get the whole picture! From Masao: Big Mahalo to Shaun Yasay for gaffing my fish, D.j. Higashi for helping Shaun hoist the fish up on the rocks, Jason Matsumoto for picking up my fish at the point, Manu Yasay for weighing my fish at Koa Trading co., Joe “Joe Boy” Coloma for giving me a ride to pick up and weigh my fish, Punohu Kekaualua for bringing Shaun to get a fix-a-flat, Aaron Terioka for bringing a spare tire, and Mark Oyama for hooking me up with ice for the cooler. ISSUE NINE 2012
4/29/12 10:14 AM
Fish Stories B Y F/ V A L I S S A’ S P E L I C A N
Catch of the day!
t was November again, long gone were those lazy summer days. It seemed like it was just yesterday that the trolling action was going off. You guys know what I mean – multiple reels screaming, lines busting on big fish. Catching the big yellow guy and sharing the sashimi and poke was just a distant summertime memory until next year. Bad weather, again. We were having a hard time sticking our new anchor since the bottomfish season opened on September 1. Frustrating. Who said “New is good”? Thoroughly frustrated we, the Captain and crew of the Alissa’s Pelican, decided to take a holo holo trip to the north shore buoys to have a bit of fun. Having heard reports of some nice sized shibi at X and II buoys we decided to chance ‘um. J buoy had broken away earlier in the year so that was not an option. As they say, you can’t catch fish sitting on the couch so off we went at 6 am. Leaving late allowed us to get a look at the sea conditions while heading out because safety is always the first concern. Our trailer was looking awfully lonely as it was the only one in the parking lot until another boat showed up right before we headed out. The National Weather Service forecast 30
was for 20 knot winds with 8 foot seas (do they ever get it right?) which is “nice trolling water” by north shore standards. The fishing report from the day before was that one of the Haleiwa charter boats had gone to X buoy and had made it a short day. This meant that the conditions were rough and a strong current running into the wind had probably caused the sea conditions to become steep and nasty. Not a good sign for comfortable fishing or boat riding. Out of the harbor we decided to set lines in the relative calm before we headed further offshore. Full spread of 7 lines were set and we headed off north and eastward towards X buoy, 9 miles off Kahuku Point, Oahu. The seas were mean and nasty reflecting the previous day’s report. Trolling slowly along and quartering the seas made the ride pretty nice. We were making our way up the line to Kahuku point before truly heading out to the buoy on a course that would allow us to maintain
a safe and comfortable ride while still having a chance to catch fish. No flying over waves and smashing the boat in the trough. Better to tack your way to your destination in these conditions. All in all it was rough but still better than being home and not fishing. We finally got to the X buoy - no hits, no runs, no errors except for the inevitably obvious second thoughts of “who suggested this?” There were at least some matoris and aku birds at the buoy but no surface action to be seen. A couple of spins around the buoy didn’t show much promise on the Furuno either. Just some scattered fish signs here and there from 15-25 fathoms down. Not very encouraging but we were here to check out the jigging action. Busting out our shimano trevala jigging rods and saragosa reels we tied on an old standby lure used by almost everyone I know – the ever popular Daiwa Saltiga Pencil Popper. This is one of our favorites because we have caught fish on every color they make (hint: change colors till you find the one they like, it will be different an hour from now too). For safety we carry the longest long nosed pliers that we can find to keep our hands away from those extra sticky treble hooks. It is just too scary to be dealing with trebles on a tossing deck with lively fish. Be sure to have your gaff or net at the ready too. These not only help you land the fish but help you control your catch after it comes aboard to keep everyone safe as well. I have been trying out the “rod huki” to help relieve the pressure the rod butt puts on my hip when fighting the larger shibis. Thus far it has made a difference for me. Jigging around the buoy was very slow with a few bites from the small shibis every so often. It was now 9:30 am and time for the tide change and although the water was rough with breaking waves you could see that the current was slack by the way the buoy was floating and pulling on its mooring line. Jigging would be slow for a while. Like in any fishing situation the tides and the resultant current flow or slack that it generates usually stimulates the fish to feed. In general the moving current is the one to fish while the slack usually means some down time. The bird activity around the buoy is also a big clue to fish activity. Looking at the buoy there was one thing that disturbed me, a line tied to the buoy showed that illegal mooring was occurring. This unnecessarily stresses the equipment and prematurely breaks the FADs off. This is the signature of a selfish fisherman. The buoys are for all to use, not for a few to abuse. The tax collector had showed up today to take his share of fish and lures too. A little while later we started taking hits from the larger shibi. The larger shibis ripped off 30-50+ yards of line against the tight drags and somehow got off the super sharp treble hooks. Unfortunately the bigger bites lasted for just a few turns around the buoy before shutting down. Sometimes they bite all day and sometimes they stay up for
At the buoy it pays to have patience and to try many different methods both on the surface and at depth to be successful. Lures and bait as well. “Buoy geeking” is not as easy as it looks.
just a short time. You just have to be there when it happens. At the buoy it pays to have patience and to try many different methods both on the surface and at depth to be successful. Lures and bait as well. “Buoy geeking” is not as easy as it looks. Continuing jigging we lost a small mahi at the boat and saw another one jump close to the buoy. After a while no additional bites were had. We had enough fish to feed our extended families and friends so with things slowing down we made our last few passes with an eye towards making this an early day. It was then that our new crewman Jamie got a hit that ripped drag like a good sized shibi and after the first run it decided to take another big ripping run that had him convinced that he had been taxed by a shark yet again. After fighting the “shark” for a while he kept saying he saw mahi colors but I didn’t see any jumping. Those mahis almost always jump when hooked so this was very unusual. The fish stayed on the surface so I looked where I thought it was and saw shibi colors. The fish took more line and
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Catch of the day! cont.
sounded shortly after this and Jamie had to work it up from the deep. As it got closer he saw color and yelled for the gaff. I grabbed the gaff but quickly put it down, pulled my camera from my pocket, and told Ed and Jamie that I had to take a picture before doing anything. Jamie was feeding me information on the hook placement in the fish’s mouth and it wasn’t good. “Tentatively hooked, might come off at any time” was the call. I took a look and decided that a picture was worth a thousand words. We were all kind of stunned at what we were seeing. It was two fish on the same lure, one shibi and one mahi. Two quick pictures later I gaffed the mahi which popped the hooks as I gaffed it. The shibi fell back into the water but was well hooked. Then there was lots of yelling, celebrating, and wondering if I got “the shot.” After we got both fish onboard we were theorizing that the shibi must have hit the lure first and made the first run while the second run was the mahi and shibi
MEAGAN SUNDBERG AND BRUCE MUNDY OF NOAA
I met my good friend and dive mentor Larry Gou out on the west side of Oahu Monday morning. After a few hours of snooping around, I was caught off guard as usual when Larry threw both of his spoons. And then I saw it. A huge awa had stopped on the edge of the reef right in front of us. I went down and waited but shot a little too early - “just out of range”. Amazingly the awa didn’t run away. It just meandered to the edge again and sat there. I reloaded and watched Larry creep up on it; soon going down at the end of Larry’s dive. I
Kurt Kawamoto, Barbless Circle Hook Project Manager, NOAA, received a call from the United Fishing Agency to take a look at a strange fish that they
tried to get myself into a little depression and simply hunker down and wait as long as I could. After about 30 seconds on the bottom I heard a faint “click”, only to find out later that Larry’s gun was on “safe” the first time he pulled the trigger and when the awa was well within range for him. A couple seconds later I heard his gun go off and saw a shaft fly slightly under the awa. This time it got spooked and rapidly zigzagged in my direction. I yanked my gun up to the right and squeezed the trigger, planting the shaft in the center of the fish; not a great shot but at least it would hold. Soon after hitting the surface, half my reel had spooled out and I grabbed the line to slow the fish. As I did this, the awa turned around and ran straight back to me, flying by my left side. The slack in the line caused it to get tangled on the reef so I immediately ditched my gun and grabbed the trailing line that the fish had left as it streamed by me. As I worked my way up to the shaft, I was literally pulling the fish in against its will and it really freaked out after I grabbed its tail. While fighting the fish, Larry was busy untangling my line and spooling up my reel, ready to put in a backup shot if necessary. One heck of a team, haha! Weighed it at Hanapa’a, and it turned out to be 21 Lbs. Tyler Ciccone
received. Kenneth Corder of the F/V Munchkin had caught it off of Molokai at sunset in 130 fathoms of water. Kurt took the fish to the NOAA Pacific Islands Fishery Science Center where Bruce Mundy determined that the fish was a mirror dory – Zenopsis nebulosus. One of the distinctive characteristics of this fish is the hardened plate-like structures along the base of the dorsal and ventral fins that have protruding hooks or spines. This is a highly uncommon species for Hawaii and thanks go to Kenneth Corder for furthering the science of Hawaii’s fisheries and adding to NOAA’s specimen collection.
Brayden’s Green Jacks:
Kurt Kawamoto, NOAA Barbless Circle Hook Project
What Is It?
Tyler’s 21 lb. Awa
together after the mahi got hooked trying to steal the “fish” dangling from the shibi’s mouth. What a pig! Mahi are very aggressive feeders and this hookup showcased their aggressiveness. I guess if you grow that fast you gotta eat, a lot! And often! This was the icing on the cake for this rough and tumble day. We could now go home and make this a short day which had been the plan from the beginning. All of our families would be happy and have healthy nutritious fish to eat for the week ahead. Mission accomplished. We set up the trolling spread and headed home taking the relatively smooth downhill run home. Getting into the harbor early on this rough day was a win. This had been truly a day to remember and especially thankful for friends, the good catch, the opportunity to experience that double, and to be safely back in the harbor. To all you fishermen out there - Hang on to the big one! Best of luck! See you on the water.
On March 27th, my dad took me fishing at Hawaii Kai. I was dunking with dried akule strips and about noon, I caught one of these fish. About a half-hour later I caught another one! We couldn’t figure out what the fish was (dad thought it was an opelu at first), but it was positively identified as a GREEN JACK by Clay Tam of the Division of Aquatics. Thank you Mr. Tam! An uncle told us that the green jack isn’t too common in Hawaii but is found in Japan and off the coast of Baja. And it’s supposed to be an awesome eating fish! We pan-fried it w/ salt, pepper and flour and it was VERY ONO! Brayden Heatherly
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Fish Stories BY NEIL KANEMOTO
Jack began the arduous (and embarrassing) task of backing the boat up to a position above the lure while his crew retrieved the line.
In early November, Capt. Jack “Hinano” Delgado of the Koume and his makeshift crew, Jory Sanchez, Nick and Rachel Kuchar from Ewa Beach, Nate Justiss and Adam Print from Alabama, headed out from Waianae Boat Harbor for a day of trolling and sunshine. At about noon the long rigger took a hit and after a 45 minute fight with Nick as angler, a nice 210 lb. ahi was brought to gaff. On their way in, they pulled the lines in outside of Waianae Harbor and drifted a bit to relax…. Except for one line… The long outrigger was inadvertently ‘forgotten’ and left out while they were drifting in 20 fathoms or so. Obviously Capt. Hinano and crew were ‘relaxing’ too much! To make matters worse, the lure left out slow34
Blue Nalu Photagraphy
hat started off as a routine holoholo trip with some friends and out of town guests, turned out to be an entirely different experience.
ly sinking to the bottom was a beloved and hard-to-obtain Shiroma lure which he had just recently found and decided to run for the day. Their peaceful drift was suddenly interrupted by the outrigger going off with a loud SNAP and the pole swiveling out knocking one of his crew. True to form, his Shiroma lure had hanapa’ad the bottom and set the rigger off. Jack began the arduous (and embarrassing) task of backing the boat up to a position above the lure while his crew retrieved the line. To his surprise the lure hemo’d off the bottom almost immediately and they worked furiously to crank the lure in before it snagged again. All of a sudden during the retrieve, the pole starts bouncing up and down… What the ?&!@%^!? Hanapa’a the bottom again??!! No way! This time around it was a nice 45lb. ulua on the other end. More testimony on the magic of a Shiroma lure! Talk about your good luck! A huge 210 lb. ahi trolling during a holoholo trip, finding, losing then getting back your treasured Shiroma lure, and a bonus 45lb. ulua ‘jigging’ (“retrieving”)! And by no mean is Hinano gun shy. When asked if he would run his precious Shiroma again his reply: “You Know Dat!“. ISSUE NINE 2012
Loea o Ka ‘Upena Kiloi MASTER OF THE THROW NET A wonderful story of a true fisherman!
BY CHUCKY BOY CHOCK
Growing up on Kaua‘i, Uncle Charlie Pereira has mastered the art of making “holei ‘upena”, the traditional Hawaiian throw net. I have the privilege of listening to his fishing stories past and present as he visits with me every Friday with his ‘upena and a bag of “onolicious” poi from Waipa in Hanalei. ISSUE NINE 2012
breakwater. I was hooked from then on. My favorite fishing spot today is right in front of my “hale” in Moloa‘a - it’s the best. Like my dad, I will only catch what I need and no more. And the best part is, I enjoy sharing my catch,” says a beaming Uncle Charlie. Growing up in Niumalu near the Menehune Fishpond, the family moved to Lihu‘e shortly after the 1946 tsunami, which he remembers like it was yesterday. “My family and I walked up the hill behind our house until the tsunami was over, and when we got back, there were crabs and fish everywhere in our backyard. My mother told our neighbors they could have it all because we were moving!” recalls Uncle Charlie. At the age of 21 he was drafted by the military and stationed in Germany, where he continued to make his ‘upena to the delight of onlookers. While stationed in Texas, he did a little fishing but found out later, “I needed a license to fish with my ‘upena,” says Uncle Charlie. As the saying goes, you can take the local boy out of Hawai‘I, but you can’t take Hawai‘i out of the local boy. He finally came back to O‘ahu, where he was stationed at Schofield Barracks, and what a blessing it was. Uncle Charlie met the love of his life, Jennie “Loke” Lovell, and on September 16, 1955 they were married. In 2009, Uncle Charlie and Loke were honored as Living Treasures of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau as their two daughters and mo‘opuna (grandchildren) looked on. After 53 years of marriage, Loke went home to our Heavenly Father. Today you can see Uncle Charlie sewing his ‘upena at one of several places like Waipa in Hanalei, Kaua‘i Fruit and Flower Co. in Lihu‘e, The Coconut Market Place and his favorite, the Kaua‘i Museum alongside his buddy Larry Rivera. He has now added another venue to his already busy
schedule, where thousands of people get to see and meet him: the exciting Hawai‘i Fishing & Seafood Festival in Honolulu. As he says, “The Western Pacific Fishery Council pays for my airline tickets, hotel and car, unbelievable!” Then with a soft voice he says, “I’ve been blessed with this gift and will always be grateful. I thank the lord who blesses me so I can share it with others.” Several songs have been written about this living treasure, including “Uncle Charlie” by Chuck Meek and “Charlie’s Song” by Larry Rivera. Two songs by Chucky Boy Chock include an ukulele instrumental titled “Kupuna Kale” (played exclusively on KONG Radio by Ron Wiley) and a second song soon to be recorded by Michael Ka‘awa, which has a verse that says, “Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a, loea o ka ‘upena kiloi,” or “Grandpa Charlie of Moloa‘a, master of the throw net!” I was asked by Pacific Islands Fisheries Group to include the lyrics to “Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a.” But before I do, I’d like to share my mana‘o, or insight, of this composition. First of all, writing a “mele inoa” or name song is an honor for anyone, but in this case, I felt privileged because Uncle Charlie truly is a master of his craft. Furthermore, there are other songs written about him by better writers than myself! He inspired me to write this mele inoa and to honor him, and I prayed to Akua to help me create a piece that will be traditional. Hopefully, a hula halau will be inspired to learn and dance to it. Uncle Charlie did tell me that a kumu (teacher) wanted to teach her haumana (students) this mele as she listened to it. Anyway, I’d like to say that this mele inoa is a simple Hawaiian folk song describing “Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a, loea o ka ‘upena kiloi.” A hui hou! sterling kaya
Not many people have the distinction of being called “Loea o ka‘upena kiloi.” Uncle Charlie Blake Pereira of Moloa‘a, Kaua‘i is more than worthy of this honor as he truly is a “Master of the throw net.” Known simply as Uncle Charlie, he’s been honing his craft since the age of 12, exactly 70 years ago. He perpetuates and teaches this traditional Hawaiian craft to anyone regardless of age with one exception: “They must want to learn” says Uncle Charlie. He will teach you how to sew ‘upena, throw ‘upena, and finally, how to retrieve it. His very first one was made with cord and used to catch crab. “I remember being excited and proud when I finished. It’s hard to describe that feeling to anyone,” he says. Today they are made from monofilament, though he also made them from nylon and linen. “I’ve learned by simply watching and asking many questions at the same time - learning different styles (techniques) of making ‘upena. Today I’ve combined what I’ve learned and added my own ideas to create my ‘upena,” he says with a chuckle. To make his ‘upena, Uncle Charlie uses a needle, spacer, and line. He says proudly, “I got my first needle made of bamboo from Uncle George Kaleiohi (another master from Anahola), which I’m still using today.” People are now using plastic needles, which is okay with Uncle Charlie, but he prefers his favorite, a needle made from bamboo. Native woods like koa, kamani, and milo were also used to make net sewing needles. He says it takes about 3000 yards of 30 lb. test line (25 lb. is also used) to make each ‘upena. There are two sizes that he makes: one at 9 feet from the “piko” (center) that weighs 9 lbs. for children and the other at 10 1/2 feet from the piko and weighs 12 lbs. for adults. Each has a 2 3/4” size eye “because it’s the law,” he says with his right eyebrow lifted. He recycles lead from old ‘upena and melts it down using a Coleman stove. He then pours it into an old cast iron mold to make his new weights. It takes him two to three weeks to complete each ‘upena. Uncle Charlie says that “if and when you make your very first one, be very patient so you don’t make any mistakes. Also, if it’s your first, keep it for yourself, after that, whatever you do is fine.” While there are many tricks to the trade, there are some basic rules to remember. “First, the fish come in with the tide and seeing the fish is important before throwing your ‘upena. Then once you throw, pull in the catch slowly if it’s on sand. If it’s on rocks or a reef, you pick up every piece of your ‘upena,” says Uncle . “I will always remember catching my first fish down at the Nawiliwili sterling kaya
Loea Kamibayashi is one of the lucky few who received one of uncle Charley’s hand sewn throw nets. He received it as a gift from his mother in October 2011. Loea explains that the net brought him back to his roots, back to the lessons his grandfather instilled in him 20 years ago as a youth. With passion, Loea states that, “His (Uncle Charley’s) nets have plenty mana. I never had a net that opens up and is so willing to catch fish for me like Uncle’s net. Maybe it has to do with luck, but when I go to the ocean and hold the net, everything feels pono.“ Loea appreciates the valuable gift, not only because it is from his mother, but because it is from Uncle Charley – one of Kauai’s Living Legends. He knows that if he mistreats the net or uses it in inappropriate ways, the net can be taken back – literally. About the first time fishing with his new net, Loea tells how he went into the water with anticipation. But before he could throw the net, “I went huli (fall) with it, broke the net! I was so scared to take it back to him to fix, because I knew he took other nets back when people no take care.” Yes it’s true, Charley’s daughter, Gloria, confirms. “Once a young man took one of my dad’s nets, caught a pile of big moi and brought a few over to the house to share. Later my dad found out that the fish was caught illegally and the net had huge holes.” Charley finishes the story by plainly stating that, “When he brought the net over to fix, the holes were so big and in areas that don’t usually get pukas, I got so mad that I took the net and gave it to another fisherman who would take care.” Felicia Alongi Cowden, who wrote about Uncle Charley and his skillful craft, is also quick to note his generous heart and willingness to share his skills and knowledge with the younger generation. She explains it nicely in a section of her book, “The Fisherman and The Fishing Net – Charlie Pereira.” Visit her web site at www.akamailearning.org to read more about uncle Charley and his nets.
Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a
Words & Music: Chucky Boy Chock • Hawaiian Translation: Kepa Maly Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a Grandpa Charlie of Moloa‘a
Maika‘i na ‘upena Each net is special
Puana ka inoa Tell the refrain
Loea o ka ‘upena kiloi Master of the throw net
Ka ‘ia mai ka pu‘uwai He sews from his heart
Tutu Kale o Moloa‘a Grandpa Charlie of Moloa‘a
A‘o ‘oia me ka ‘aka‘aka He teaches with laughter
He lawai‘a maoli A true fisherman
Lohe a ‘apo mai makou We listen and learn
Mahalo ia ‘oe e Tutu Kale Thank you Grandpa Charlie
Published by Mountain Apple Co. 2012 1330 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 001 Honolulu, Hi 96814 All Rights Reserved
ISSUE NINE 2012
A SESSION WITH
FG: Are you originally from Hawaii? MW: No. FG: Okay... where are you from? MW: Southern California. FG: Where in Southern California? MW: Palos Verdes. At this point I was thinking this was going to be over before it started, but the next question proved to be the one to open up the flood gates and get it all going. FG: So what brought you to Hawaii and why? MW: My parents would come out here for vacations and rent a cottage on the lagoon at the Hawaiian Village Hotel for the summer. We were beach urchins basically. We did all the things the other kids, the local friends that we would meet, did at the beach. That’s when I started fishing. I was maybe five or six years old. I started using a bamboo pole, and I had local friends that taught me how to tie the hooks on. One of my friends was Kerry Adler and his dad was the head chef at the hotel. I remember we would walk through the kitchen and everyone was busy preparing food for this huge hotel. I’d go to the chef’s office, knock on the door, and he would go out and get us the most beautiful shrimp you have ever seen and give it to us to use for bait. We would go and fish around the small pier that was there and around the wall going to Ft DeRussy in Waikiki to catch reef fish. And that’s how it began. FG: So when did you move out here full time? MW: In ’78 after I earned my masters in ceramics form Long Beach State. For me in a way if felt like coming home. FG: So we kinda covered this, but when did you start fishing? MW: Well, not counting those summers as a kid, but seriously fishing, it started again when my son wanted to learn when he was just 4 or so years old. So probably about 22 years ago. I could hardly remember anything, so it was like beginning again for me.
Anyone who has followed my blog and forum contributions knows I have a thing for Mark White Lures. I have been a fan since my passion for fishing was reignited as an adult several years back. The very first day I tied one on I landed a sweet Kagami in the middle of our little harbor here in Poipu and have had continued success with these well crafted plugs ever since. So when the gang at Lawai’a asked if I would be interested in doing an interview with Mark for their Kauai issue, I jumped at the opportunity. I have gotten to know Mark White fairly well over the last couple of years, but now I had a chance to really pick his brain and get some answers to hopefully not only my questions but some of yours as well. 40
STORY AND PHOTOS BY RENEE “FISHERGIRL” KESTER
On the day of the interview, I arrived at Mark White’s place nestled on a quiet, lush hillside in Omao. Greeted by his two trusty pups and an army of mosquitoes, I applied about a half a bottle of repellent and went off in search of the elusive MW. I caught up with him finishing up his morning routine and after visiting with his wife Nancy for a bit we got right into the interview. We started out with what I assume are the usual jitters of doing something out of the ordinary, but once we got going that all melted away and the questions, answers and stories started flowing.
FG: When did you start making lures and why? MW: Well, I started fishing with a friend who was into whipping, and I just became obsessed once I was exposed to it. I would fish next to my friend and he was so successful and I was so jealous of him because I hardly caught anything, I just had to figure out what he was doing that I wasn’t. It really motivated me to try and improve my skills. I had to get every kind of lure that was being used, both swimming and popping types, to experiment to see which one was going to work the best. I just got so into the gear. I was so interested in what made a good lure, how it looked in the water, what made it productive. Some of these lures were super popular and had great action but they were hollow, wood or plastic, and you just couldn’t cast them at any distance, especially in a head wind. I would be in a really fishy area and just couldn’t get the lure out there. That made me think: there has got to be something better. So I bought some metal lures, they were small and heavy and they casted really far, but the action was horrible.
I really applaud people who make their own lures, especially when they catch fish on them. It is just so super exciting. ISSUE NINE 2012
The Ulua bar
Packaged lures ready to go
1/2 oz oama waiting for hardware
said, “They do? What have you been catching?”. He tells me “Everything, marlin, ahi, ono,” I couldn’t believe it. Then I asked “Why didn’t you call me, don’t you know how important this is to me?” He says, “What are you getting so excited about? I told you they would work.” So that helped me go forward a bit further. Then I decided to make more of the surface plugs. If I was going to do the business, I needed to have both the trolling and the surface lures. I think it took me another four years making models and testing, plus creating a formula for durability, developing a glaze line for the colors and just working out all of the bugs so we could make them on a production level. I think we officially launched in 2007. FG: So do you personally make every lure or do you have employees? MW: No, not all by myself. My son Jesse is my right hand man, and Nancy, my wife, does all of the packaging and invoicing. We also have a couple of part time workers who have been with us for years, and they are like family. I’ve known those kids since they were born.
MW’s son Jesse hard at work
They looked just dead in the water. It was just like dragging in a piece of lead. I really was focused on the pros and cons of each lure. Since I had been a potter for 20 years at that point, I started thinking why hasn’t anyone made some out of ceramic materials? Then it became more like, why not? That “why not?” was about 15 years ago. It got me going, and so I made a couple of pieces of clay in the shape of a lure and threw them out. I thought, man, these things cast so far, but the action wasn’t that great. I didn’t have the angle on the face right. The distance, though, that was the thing that got me excited. I just thought it was amazing for the size of the lure. So I went back and made different shapes with wider faces on them and tried those. When I caught my first papio, it was one of those moments, it was so exciting and so fantastic, that was the spark basically. When you hook up something on a homemade lure it changes everything as far as your fishing interests. You become instantly more passionate about it. I really applaud people who make their own lures, especially when they catch fish on them. It is just so super exciting. When I started catching more fish and developing the sizes and shapes, my fishing friends, most of them 20 to 30 years older than me, started giving me all kinds of suggestions. I would take them to heart and use those concepts and bring them back, and I think they were impressed that I was industrious about this project. They could see I was going to try and do a business with it. I would only fish with my lures, mainly because the distance and the swimming action were looking good. I felt like I was getting the fishes’ attention more than the other lures were by opening up that area of exposure that was just beyond their casting range. I did that for about 5 years, playing around with it, just thinking, “wouldn’t it be great to turn this into a business”. But at the time we were producing a full line of production pottery and that was more than a full time job in itself. It was more of a dream at that 42
point. I wasn’t really pursuing it in an aggressive way, the business part of it. The reality of it was years away. When I was on a surf trip to Samoa with a bunch guys from church, we had some down days of surf, so we decided to go fishing. We had four trolling lines in the water with surface lures, a mix between proven lures on the market at that time and mine, plus some whipping gear. The interesting thing was there was this one lure, one of mine, that was getting the majority of the action. It was the funniest looking lure, and I couldn’t figure out what it was about it that made it so productive. Anyways, we were hooking up mahimahi, and when we would get one on, we would start whipping my lures on the spinning gear and were able to hook up a lot on those as well. What a fun experience that is, to hook up and fight mahimahi on light tackle spinning gear. So after that I thought, okay, this is it, I’m gonna do it. I felt like I got the stamp of approval from the mahimahi. So I decided when I got back here, I was going to make trolling heads for the trolling industry. I had a good friend who was a commercial fisherman who I asked for input. He gave me pointers on what shapes and colors to use, and when I brought them to him to try, he said he thought they would catch fish. Then I didn’t hear anything from him. Finally six months later I called him up, hating to ask the question because he didn’t call me first, but I did, I asked him if they had been working. He said, “Yeah, yeah, they work”. I
FG: So, let’s move on to some other stuff. What is your most popular lure style and color on the market? MW: The “Oama” 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce. FG: Now, which lure do you think is the most productive? MW: I think the white with black eyes is still the most productive, but the Oama is a close second. Also, the one ounce seems to be the most productive size. I try everything and I’m always mixing it up, but what it comes down to is when the fish is in the mood and you have done your presentation properly. FG: What is the largest ulua that has been caught on one of your lures? MW: I think it would probably be one of my R&D guys, Pat Victorino. He was down in Fiji, and he caught around an 80 pounder. It was on some large lures that I made. They were 5 and 7 ounce lures, just beasts to throw. I mean it was like fighting a fish bringing in the lure. FG: It seems like you are a big supporter of the DAR papio tagging program, why and in what way have you used your business to support their efforts? MW: Well, because I love to fish so much, I want to see fish stocks get healthier, not weaker, by pulling all of the little fish out, and big fish as well. The tag and release thing, I read about it somewhere, and I thought it sounded like a good idea so I started to experiment with it. Then I was doing some volunteer work for the Department of Education on a book that they were going to put out to kids on conservation of our near shore environment, you know, reefs, limu, fish, that kind of thing. I read in there that a small 12 inch omilu produces so many eggs a year, I can’t remember the exact number, but a 10 pounder releases millions of eggs a year. I thought, wow, we should be trying to preserve these bigger ones too, they are the fish makers. So I ran a tag and release tournament for a few years. I didn’t have a huge turnout for it, but I think a lot of people were interested in it and thought it was a good thing. Now I see some of the tournaments are starting to have tag and release categories, so I hope that I was able to raise some awareness. Those new categories are a platform I would like to see promoted more in the future. FG: It looks like from your YouTube videos you spend a lot of time testing your lures. Do you have others field testing as well? MW: Well, yeah, you. Really the thing is, besides the people who are in my close circle, I consider each person who is using my lures to be part of the test team because they stay in touch with me. They send me pictures and they send stories, and I have got some great stories from people. It’s stuff that just kinda brings a tear to your eye. I maybe going too far on that, but these lures have caused such an emotional reaction to some people and with some of the letters they write, they just touch your heart. FG: Currently everything you sell is made here by hand. Are you planning to keep it that way or move to a higher production method? MW: Well, our molds can make up to 30 pieces at a time. We make our own molds, hand pour, and finish each one. There are actually ISSUE NINE 2012
to show people how to use them. When they see that action and the lures catching fish, then it seems to sink in, and they get it. FG: In a nutshell what do you think is the key action to your lures? MW: High speed seems to be the best action for both the plugs and the bars, but to mix it up and try and develop a vocabulary of retrieve patterns. I like to say “Consider each cast and retrieve like a brush stroke on a watery canvas.” I know it sounds super corny and I say it as a joke mostly, but the idea is to be creative. There is a truth in the jest. FG: So one last question, just for fun. What’s your favorite fish to eat? MW: Mu. I really like mu. FG: Too bad they don’t go after your lures! MW: I’m working on that.
hundreds of steps each lure goes through. We might refine our production methods, but we are planning on keeping it all here. There was a time when I was thinking of going to China, and I actually had a company making some prototypes with a harder ceramic material than I can produce here, but there were too many logistical problems and shipping was a nightmare. So it’s just not worth it, and I would rather keep it here, in house. Plus made in Hawaii is a big deal, and I want to be a part of that. FG: Are you expanding your lures to other types of fishing other than top water ocean fishing? MW: On my logo it says lures for deep sea, near shore and fresh water. The line is pretty much for any predator that likes to chase fish. I’ve found they will bite these lures. We make a lure down to the 1/8 ounce size, it and the 1/4 ounce are great for fresh water trout, salmon, all species of bass, pike. FG: So you have come out recently with the new design of the “ulua bar.” What was your inspiration or motivation for the new design? MW: A guy asked me to make something similar to what we have come up with, so I played around with different shapes and sizes. I think what we have works really well, although at first I was worried about the shape not being durable enough, but I have improved the formula of the body material over the years, and I’m firing it differ44
ently so it seems to be rather strong. I still offer them with the same lifetime guarantee that all my lures come with, and I think the swimming action is so different. What do you think about it? FG: Hey, it’s caught my biggest fish yet. I like it. MW: Really? Well, there you go. FG: So are you happy with the lineup that you have or are there any other designs being developed? MW: I’m constantly working on new colors and playing around with new shapes, especially in the bar area. I have had a lot of requests for smaller bars, so the “mini bar” is coming out of that, and I think it is going to be a good one. Every time I come up with a new shape it takes months from concept to production and then there is the testing in between. I’m not going to put something out there if I don’t think it’s really good. It’s not in my ethical nature to try and make money off something that I think is a gimmick. I really want people to feel that they are getting a quality product. FG: So what about your critics? Those who don’t have luck with your lures? MW: Well, you know that is why I started making the YouTube videos,
MW with the power snipper
My Thoughts: I clearly am a fan of these lures, but I am really excited about the new ulua bar designs. In the past year I have stepped up my game and gear and have started throwing 1 to 3 ounce lures. The traditional popper shape in the Mark White lineup, while looking good in the water, was really a chore for me to bring in with my fishergirl arms. This new design, however, is a lot easier to retrieve and that is what makes it really attractive and accessible to me. I can throw it longer, get more casts out of it, and, therefore, it gives me a better chance at being successful in my pursuit of the larger game. As with his whole lineup, the casting distance truly is spectacular. While the action looks really attractive with a fast retrieve, it has a very nice swim pattern at a slower speed as well. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to use one of these ulua bars in the testing phase before they hit the market, and it landed me my largest fish to date, a beautiful 23 inch omilu, tagged and released. I am also looking forward to seeing this design in the 1/2 ounce size. The spots where I take my boys to fish are not always right for the larger lures, so it will be good to change up between the original shape and the “mini bar” to keep a variety of action going. Mark’s craftsmanship and effort that he puts into these lures are nothing but impressive. I, for one, am stoked to hear he is keeping his production right here in Hawaii. Not only did that first 1/4 ounce red lure I tied on land me a pretty little kagami, it introduced me to a passionate, insightful fisherman who has become a great mentor in my pursuit and love of fishing. Thanks, Mark White, and keep ‘em coming! So that’s it. What are you still doing here? Go fish already!
You can find Mark White lures at a local fishing store near you. Online you can find him on Facebook or his website www.markwhitelures.com. ISSUE NINE 2012
By Jean Nakamura
wo used display cases with a sprinkling of fishing tackle, scoop nets hanging from nails pounded into the wall, bamboo poles leaning against the wall, space shared with several rows of cleaned clothes and bundles of clothes waiting to be cleaned. A pickup/drop off for Ideal Cleaners, a dry cleaning plant, the primary family business then. In 1950, this was the humble beginning of Lihue Fishing Supply, a little store front which was part of the old Yoneji Store building, located on the corner of Rice and Kalena Streets in Lihue. With a $75 investment my father, Shiro Kanemaru, started his little business.
ISSUE NINE 2012
For dad this was his way of expanding into an area of interest, a future hobby, perhaps? During his younger years, dad’s favorite fish to catch was barracuda, kaku as we knew it by. While we were growing up, our backyard was Kalapaki Beach, which fronts the Marriott Hotel in Nawiliwili. Dad would take his rod and reel and walk to the river, where he caught oopu with his hands by feeling under the rocks. He would bait his hook and cast from the beach. Kaku were more plentiful then, and when he caught a few, he would take them home to mom who would fry or dry them. Stories of his attempts at mullet fishing always brought laughter to family gatherings. He would spend many hours at Niumalu with what seemed like a 20 foot bamboo pole (to us kids), water soaked bread for bait, wearing a “safari hat,” as we referred to it, “fishing”. He had the sun burn to prove it! But little did we know that his success rate was not very good, and at the end of the day his “successful” fishing buddies would share a mullet or two with him. It was much later that my mom found out about his sharing buddies. Although he was not best at catching them, he could steam a “wicked mullet.” So ono! In the latter years it was my mom who did most of the fishing. October was the month for aholehole fishing, so she ar-
ranged with dad to leave the store early, cook the rice, and head down to the seawall by the now extinct Club Jetty. She and a few other ladies would fish off the wall for several hours. They did this regularly and caught enough to eat and share with family and friends. I remember mom wearing her green tabis and oversized jacket with pockets, preparing her line, and then casting and setting her rod in the pole holder, which she had pounded in earlier. She was always well organized and ready. When I look back , she was probably more serious about fishing than dad. What always made me smile was her spark plug weights. Although she sold weights, she continued to use old spark plugs almost till the day she stopped fishing. In 1956 the little business was designated a slightly larger space in a newer building just around the corner from its original location. Now it shared space with the dry cleaning plant. Our family had moved to this new location. In the late 1970s, the dry cleaning plant closed and Lihue Fishing Supply expanded. Today it occupies over 50% of the building on Kalena Street. As the floor space expanded, so did the equipment, which today includes an assortment of shoreline and boat fishing tackle, tabis, rope, headlamps, as well as some spear guns, masks, dive lights, snorkels, and slings for the novice diver. Returning to Kauai after almost 29 years in California, I remember our vacations, which included camping and walking the reefs at Anini
As the floor space expanded, so did the equipment, which today includes an assortment of shoreline and boat fishing tackle, tabis, rope, headlamps, as well as some spear guns, masks, dive lights, snorkels, and slings for the novice diver. Beach, fishing at the seawall, all when our son was growing up. For me just spending time with family and eating all the local foods at the beach was the highlight of our vacations. Although I own several rods and reels, my favorite fishing is still with a bamboo or extension pole and fresh bait. Today’s fishermen are faced with closed accesses, less fish, pollution, higher prices for tackle/gas, tougher rules and regulations, and even tougher pending regulations being pursued by big money mainland environmental groups. These challenges fishermen face are also the challenges tackle shop owners face. Smaller tackle shops also have the economy and internet to contend with. For now Lihue Fishing Supply has been fortunate to adjust, and we are thankful for our loyal customers. Children and now grandchildren of original customers still frequent the store. How much longer can mom and pop stores survive? We know for now we’ll keep working at it as long as the customers keep coming.
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ISSUE NINE 2012
PIFG Engages Hawaii’s Keiki to Teach Fishing Basics, Water Safety and Responsible Fishing
PIFG KOA Aloha! Check out what’s happening on the PIFG front. In this issue, PIFG raises funds for the Mike Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Fund while helping to launch the new flagship West Marine store in Honolulu, conducts fishing workshops in the Mariana Islands, and participates in a series of keiki fishing events. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our new website that was launched earlier this year, www.fishtoday.org. Cruising for a Cause PIFG and West Marine Store partner to support Grand Opening
West Marine celebrated its new Honolulu flagship store with Cruising for a Cause on Thursday, March 22. Cruising for a Cause offered an opportunity for Hawaii’s boating and marine non-profit organizations to raise funds for their programs. Hundreds of people attended enjoying food, games, live music, give-a-ways, and fun festivities. Pacific Islands Fisheries Group was one of the groups that participated and raised funds for their Mike Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Fund. Through tickets sales and raffle proceeds, PIFG raised over $1,500 that went into the Mike Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Fund. PIFG would like to thank West Marine and its entire staff for putting on a great grand opening event. Also, thank you to all that helped raise money for the scholarship and the hundreds who came out to support our local charities.
The Mike Sakamoto Memorial Scholarship Fund supports Hawaii’s students to carry on Mike’s vision and philosophy of celebrating our ocean dependent culture and sustaining Hawaii’s marine resources. If you know a student entering college or graduate school that is looking to study in an ocean or marine resource related field, tell them to check out the fund at www.fishtoday.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April was a busy month as PIFG volunteers split forces to cover two youth fishing activities – 2012 Aloha Council Boy Scout Makahiki and the Mililani Middle School Fishing Club Tournament. Mahalo to the Waialua Boat Club, Kakaako Kasting Club, Atlapac Fishing Club and many others for helping PIFG to support the Boy Scouts in earning their fishing merit badges! The Annual Makahiki was held at the Ala Moana Beach Park on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.. As the previous two years, scouts from various troops worked toward obtaining their merit badges with the PIFG and volunteers from the Kakaako Kasting Club, Waialua Boat Club and Atlapac Fishing Club. While the Boys Scouts were busy earning their fishing merit badges, the Mililani Middle Schools Fishing Club was holding a fishing tournament at Haleiwa Beach Park. The Club’s head fishing club advisor, Tracy Momohara, and assistant advisor Jon Ishikawa, engaged Kurt Kawamoto with the National Marine Fisheries Service Barbless Circle Hook Project and PIFG with its State-wide Tagging Challenge to help support their fishing event. Thanks to the help of Clay Tam, Richard Beebe, Billy Chang and Kurt Kawamoto, the fishing club participated in a fishing tournament to learn about gear and tackle, water safety, fishing rules and regulations and other helpful tips. Mahalo again to Tracy and Jon for allowing PIFG to be a part of this wonderful event. Watch for the full report on the tournament from the Mililani Middle School Fishing Club members in the next Lawai‘a issue. If you’re interested in having your school fishing club participate in the State-wide Tagging Challenge or Barbless Circle Hook project in your next tournament, contact PIFG at email@example.com
PIFG Takes Fisheries Development on the Road
Earlier this year, PIFG Board member Neil Kanemoto participated in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Fisheries Development Workshops hosted by the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council (WESPAC). As a presenter, Neil shared with the CNMI fishermen numerous tackle techniques utilized by Hawaii’s fishermen. With the fuel prices in the CNMI surpassing $5 per gallon, the presentation focused on low-cost fishing styles such as jigging or slow trolling – methods that consume less fuel. Many of the tackle and techniques demonstrated are not currently used in those fisheries and were well received by the local fishermen from Tinian, Rota and Saipan. Now Neil is receiving numerous invitations back to the islands as well as invites to hop on board boats for some CNMI fishing action!
Hawaii Ocean Expo 2012
The Hawaii Ocean Expo and GT Classic was held on April 21-22 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibit Hall. PIFG hosted two booths this year featuring the newest issue of Lawai‘a magazine and numerous other research and education programs. We would like to congratulate and thank Russ Inouye and the rest of the crew for hosting such a great event benefiting all of Hawaii’s ocean enthusiasts.
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.
ISSUE NINE 2012
What are some of the changes that you’ve seen over the years? For deep sea fishing, electronics has played a large part in fishing. Technology helps to find areas that fish will frequent. The old timers always knew where to go and at what time of the year. When you look at the locations with the current maps you see why the fish would be there. The gear has improved vastly. Smaller reels with higher drag settings, high tech lines, hooks, etc. But sometimes, it’s just as fun to catch something on a simple bamboo pole.
Mark Oyama is Pacific Islands Fisheries Group Director based on Kauai. He is also a culinary
instructor for Kauai Community College and the well known owner/operator of Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors Catering. How long have you been fishing? As far as back as I can remember. I grew up fishing on an old sampan, going out with my uncle Taka and their dive gang every weekend. Who taught you how to fish or how did you learn how to fish? I learned from my Uncle Taka and my dad. We started at the reservoir for bass and then moved to the ocean: diving, shorefishing, trolling and following my dad throw netting. I like to do all types of activities, including diving, shorecasting, fly fishing, trolling, bottom fishing, net - almost every type you can think of. I also did some commercial fishing for a little while when I first got my boat. Good thing I had a regular job! What kind of fishing do you like to do? It’s hard to say because I enjoy all types of fishing and fish for anything. I like the thrill of an ahi screaming the reel, the fun of catching a bottom fish, the art of diving for tako, the skill of enticing a trout with a fly. I also like ultra light fishing, but mostly, anything that gives you a challenge and gives you a different perspective on life. Fishing to me, is about relaxing my mind from work. What part of the island do you like to fish? I fish all over the island when I have time. My problem is that time is very limited nowadays.
What are some of the changes that you’ve seen in the environment? The environment has changed. I remember how some of the grounds changed after the hurricanes hit Kauai. I noticed that the quality of the water has changed. Areas and reefs with a variety of fish have changed. What are some of the most important things a fisherman must know to be a successful fisherman? Respect for the ocean and our resources. Also, learn from others and try new things. What do you think about fishermen being responsible for their activities? What does this mean to you? I think it’s really important to take a stand and fight for our rights since fishermen are always everyone’s target. As fishermen ourselves, we need to understand what’s happening with our fisheries and the changes that are coming about. By understanding and fighting for our fishing rights, we can preserve our culture for our children and future
generations. We need to keep our resources sustainable by not only practicing good fishing practices but also caring for our environment in other ways. As young kids, we were taught to clean up the area and pick up all of the rubbish, even if it was left behind by others. Fishing has always been about community as we catch fish for parties and celebrations. This is important to us and it also brings us together as a family. In that sense of community, we were also taught to respect the people who where in the spot first, whether it was another fisherman or surfer or a diver. If they were there first, you wait your turn to use the ocean. Give us a little background on yourself? Where did you grow up? Who was most influential in your cooking? I grew up on Kauai. As a youngster, I would always spend my weekends at Kukuiula Harbor with a bunch of divers called “the pulehu gang”. My uncle was the boat captain and they would go diving for fish and black coral. I would tag along and dive with them. If it was too deep, I would just float on the surface and watch them. I would also fish for bottom fish while they dove. At the end of the day, we would come in, clean all the fish and people would come down to the pier and pick up fish for their families. My uncle would fry up some fish and we would always have a pot luck party every Saturday and Sunday. That’s why it was called “the pulehu gang”. There was an open invitation for everyone who wanted to come and enjoy. My uncle would cook all kind of foods at the harbor. Chicken hekka, pulehu ahi belly, kala, fried aweoweo, aholehole, etc. I got interested in cooking from watching my uncle cook during those weekend gatherings. What’s your position at the Kauai Community College? I’m the culinary instructor responsible for curriculum development. I teach continental cuisine, Asian-pacific cuisine and also teach the capstone course which is the last course that students need to complete in order to graduate. We heard you went through a lot with Hurricane Iniki I had just got back from working up at Whale Resort on Prince of Whales Island in Alaska. My wife (girlfriend at that time) was still up there working. I came back earlier to my teaching job at the college. The day Hurricane Iniki was going to hit Kauai, I was helping my dad secure our house. The provost at the college called me in to help secure our building and informed me that our cafeteria was going to be a shelter. I went in to work
with my ulua fishing headlamp and a chainsaw in my truck. I knew that we weren’t going to have electricity for awhile from going through Hurricane Iwa, so I brought the headlamp. I also knew that the roads were going to be covered with trees and telephone poles so I brought the chainsaw. As I reported to work, I immediately filled everything I could with water and started to cook as much rice as possible. I also cooked chicken hekka for all the people that were already at the shelter. We must have had around 200 people in the cafeteria and many more in all the other buildings on campus. Once the hurricane started hitting Kauai, I had made sure that the foods were staying cold and took out whatever I felt that needed to be cooked right away. Asking for volunteers to help me, we made sandwiches that night and, during the eye of the hurricane, delivered food to all the other buildings. I can still remember walking to the other building to deliver sandwiches when a strong gust of wind came through. All the sandwiches suddenly became open faced sandwiches because the top bread flew off. During the rest of that next month, we fed around 3000 meals a day at that location while still running our culinary program. You can bet that our students really learned how to do bulk cooking. It was all due to the fact that so many people came to help volunteer daily to help everyone else. Moana Kinimaka delivered a lot of fish to me at the college right after the hurricane and helped me cut it up. Can’t remember the name of her fish distributing business but we were serving fresh fish at the shelter for awhile thanks to her. Ono, marlin, ahi, mahimahi, uku’s, a lot came from fishermen that worked in the North West Hawaiian Islands; you name it, we had it. Moana mentioned that the extended families of West Kauai, easily 500 plus members in each, were also fed by the fishermen and hunters in the family after the hurricane. A hurricane is not something to look forward to but I can say that the positive thing is that it really brought our community together again as a family. Sometimes, these things are the reminders of what we have forgotten that is truly important in our lives. Tell us a little about Mark’s Place? When I moved back after working on the Mainland, I started doing some part time catering. As we got busier, my wife and I needed a location to handle the demand we had for events. We decided to build a catering kitchen in the Puhi Industrial Park and open up to sell plate lunches also. We kept the menu small but created daily specials. We wanted to satisfy the construction workers as well as the office workers so we made a diverse style of specials. We made sure that we had a daily fish special and this was a hit with the customers.
ISSUE NINE 2012
Fish Today For Fish Tomorrow
Calendar Of Events
Waianae Boat Club Walks the Talk to live the PIFG Pledge
June 3, 2012
Hilo Trollers Hilo, Hawaii [Sakamoto Challenge]
June 7-10, 2012
S. Tokunaga Ulua Challenge Hilo, Hawaii [Tagging Challenge, Barbless Circle Hook, Sakamoto Challenge]
June 16-17, 2012
Ahi Fever Waianae, Hawaii [Sakamoto Challenge]
June 30, 2012
North Shore Fishing Tournament Hanalei Bay, Kauai [Sakamoto Challenge]
June 30, 2012
Molokai Keiki Fishing Tournament Molokai [PIFG support]
June 30 – July 1, 2012 Waialua Boat Club Tournament Oahu [Sakamoto Challenge]
July 11-14, 2012
Hilo Casting Club Big Island [Tagging Challenge]
July 13-14, 2012
Saipan International Fishing Tournament Saipan [Cooperative Research and Outreach]
July 15, 2012
Hilo Trollers Hilo [Sakamoto Challenge]
August 12, 2012
Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Gupot Y. Peskadot Guam [Cooperative Research and Outreach]
July 21, 2012
Garden Island Trollers Kauai [Sakamoto Challenge]
August 17-19, 2012
C&C Hawaii 16th Annual Ohana Shoreline Tournament Big Island [Tagging Challenge, Barbless Circle Hook]
September 1-2, 2012 Hilo Trollers Hilo [Sakamoto Challenge]
October 7, 2012
7th Annual Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival Honolulu, Hawaii [PIFG hosted event benefiting Hawaii’s fishing and seafood communities]
October 12-14, 2012
Obake Shootout IV Shoreline Tournament Honolulu, Hawaii [Tagging Challenge, Barbless Circle Hook, Sakamoto Challenge]
What kind of seafood can you find at Mark’s Place? I have several fishermen that catch fish for me and we also purchase fish from our purveyors that get it off the block. For our specials, we have used ahi, mahi, ono, shutome, uku, monchong, hebi, opah, ulua, opakapaka, moi, opelu, Kauai shrimp, king crab, snow crab, oysters, scallops, clams, lobster, etc. We create our menus according to what we can get during the week. Are you part of any other Fishing Clubs? I am (Garden Island Trolling club) but my problem is that I don’t have much time to participate in much of the activities that they have. I also don’t have a boat ready to fish right now. We heard you do have a fishing boat. Can you give us a status on where it’s at? It’s a work in progress. It’s a self-build so I usually work on it on my days off which is usually only on Sunday’s. I’m currently building a 31’ radon style hull. Can you tell us some of the major concerns with fishing on Kauai? One of the major concerns is access to locations. Many fishing areas, both freshwater and saltwater, have been closed off. After the 911 event, the Pacific Missile Range facility closed off all access to the beaches. They have opened up a few locations on the base but access to many of the good fishing grounds have been kept closed. Access to many of the freshwater fishing areas have been closed off to the public also. Many of these are on old plantation land and have been gated to prevent access to the reservoirs.
Why did you want to become a PIFG member? I want to preserve the same culture that I grew up with for my children and future grandchildren. I want them to be able to fish and enjoy the ocean. How do you see PIFG helping Kauai and its fishing community? I think that we can start by educating our kids on how to preserve our resources yet, at the same time, teach them how to enjoy the ocean, fishing, and the culture. How are you helping PIFG? Still trying to learn my role and help out as much as I can. Right now it’s been hard for me as I have so many other commitments to my job and other boards that I serve on. But I truly feel that we need to stand up for our right to fish. What’s your favorite fish to eat? How do you like to prepare it? My favorite fish is probably Nabeta - deep fried with shoyu and chili pepper water.
Most people know the Waianae Boat Fishing Club for hosting the world-famous Ahi Fever Fishing Tournament for the past 16 years on the leeward coast of Oahu. What most don’t know is the Club’s dedicated commitment to their harbor and community! Funds generated from what is now the largest boat-fishing tournament in the state are donated to support local scholarships, baseball, football and cheerleading programs and even golf carts for the local neighborhood watches! In addition to ongoing fundraising efforts, the club also conducts monthly clean ups at the Waianae Boat Harbor. On average, 6 volunteers put in 4 hours in the monthly clean up. Multiply that by sixteen years and the Club has put in more than 4600 volunteers hours of cleanup effort! And it doesn’t end there! In preparation for the annual Ahi Fever Tournament, the volunteer effort and scope of cleanup increases to include tree trimming, facility repairs, upgrades and more cleaning! Total all the hours and the club has documented well over 11,000 hours of community service effort over the lifetime of the Ahi Fever Tournament! To put it into dollars and cents, based on the State’s current minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, that’s well over $80,000 in labor donated to the state and their community! Tack on supplies and materials purchased in support of these efforts and the organization may have very well contributed over $100,000 of services to the state and community! Way to go longtime club President Uncle Norman Swift and the members of the Waianae Boat Fishing Club! For more information on the Waianae Boat Fishing Club visit their website at http://www.wbfc.net/
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. firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the Pledge or discuss how the Pledge can further benefit you and/or your organization. 54
ISSUE NINE 2012
ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT BY PAULO
recognition of types of knowledge that do not fit a single, coherent understanding. Despite increasing recognition of the need to strengthen community control and community accountability for local marine resources, modern centralized governments seem powerless to affect values. Without the formation, internalization and propagation of values about wise fisheries use, management will always lack legitimacy, cultural authenticity and responsibility. For responsibility to become embedded in daily practices demands that fishermen are not only aware of the precepts of responsible fishing but that these precepts become so much a part of their lives that they insist on proper behavior to uphold them. In the traditional native Hawaiian system on most islands, this leadership role was filled by resource overseers. They guided Hawaiian communities toward responsible resource use for the benefit of chiefs and tenants of entire ahupua‘a—natural resource units typically extending from the mountain top into the sea.
sterling kaya 2012 - West Oahu
lace, by definition, is explicit. Yet, our mode of thinking is increasingly abstract and influenced by virtual reality. Immediate places are no longer sources of food, water, livelihood, energy, friends, recreation or spirituality. Much of the writing about traditional knowledge is, therefore, focused on its disappearance. The knowledge and skills accumulated through generations of observation, experience and perception by Hawaiians is a priceless legacy for survival. Many traditional practices are common enough and founded on sufficient knowledge to be called principles. The lesson for contemporary fisheries is that we should be building management systems that are open to alternative ways of thinking, rather than being conceptually closed. This requires an explicit
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Tips from the Marine Education Center BY MARK KIMURA, HONOLULU COMMUNITY COLLEGE, MARINE EDUCATION AND TRAINING CENTER
HOWZIT GANG! So is your vessel ready for the next natural disaster like the tsunami we went through on March 11, 2011? That morning I came down to work while it was still dark and in the early morning light watched a large mass of boats and piers floating through Keehi Lagoon. What a mess! If all the vessels had left the harbor like the USCG had ordered, the pier might have had minimal damage and all those boats would have been saved. What will it take to have your boat ready to leave right now? The first thing is to keep the fuel tank topped off or full. This will also help prevent condensation in the tank and minimize water build-up potential. Spare fuel filters and any other filter you might need, as well as oils/fluids that your engine, steering or transmission might require are also a good idea to have on board. We all know that built-in fuel tanks collect a lot of “junk” and filters only hold so much. I know of boats that keep at least a case of filters on board. Of course all the recommend safety gear should always be on board at all times and that should include a radio, food, water, ice and don’t forget the junk food too. Keehi Harbor suffered so much damage from the last tsunami that
US Coast Guard
Some critics claim that traditional knowledge of marine resources directs learning to a more “primitive” level, away from the schooling needed to prepare students to work and function in a highly technological and individualistic society. Modern trends have fragmented the socially transmitted understandings that pervade all human activities – the values, cognitions, emotions through which humans relate to each other and to their environments. Unfortunately, much of contemporary education leaves humans outside of nature and makes us believe that either modern society is dominant over the environment or that it is a cancer upon the earth. This is particularly unfortunate for native Hawaiians, for whom learning was an outcome of living in close communion with nature. Modern living is not completely incompatible with cultural continuity, Hawaiian identity or respect for the ‘aina. Nor does modern living necessarily undermine the cultural, spiritual and
subsistence importance of traditional places and practices. Hawaiian cultural perspectives, orientations, dimensions of learning and communal foundations remain a strong foundation for contemporary learning. There is a wide divide in world views and understanding of marine resources between elite groups (resource managers, NGOs) and fishermen. To close this divide and focus efforts on actual problem solving calls for “adaptive management,” a continuous cycle of problem identification, solution design and implementation, action, monitoring, evaluation, reflection and revision. The purpose of this process is to learn. As fishermen and managers learn more about the dynamics of marine ecosystems, they may be open to changing their ideas about desirable and feasible strategies for management. By reaffirming an affinity with nature, touching upon the deeper dimensions of having local roots and feeling deeply linked to one’s place, learning can be stimulated about relationships -- with one’s self, with one’s community and with other living things. No single school-based program can accomplish this goal. A lifelong process of continued application and reinforcement is necessary to produce long-term desired behaviors. Native Hawaiians, like other indigenous people, have adopted the ways of the modern world in an effort to get material comfort and commodities. But people in the modern world are trying to understand the ways of the Hawaiians in a search for meaning.
the harbor was closed and not open for a day or two. There was so much rubbish in the water that it was possible to suck up a trash bag and over heat a motor. So even keeping a spare impeller for your inboard engine might not be a bad idea too. Ok, how about you trailer boat guys? Some of this will apply to you too. If the Tsunami is over, say, 20 feet. A lot of the coastal areas will take a big hit. And a 20 foot wave is not that much of a wild idea. I live at 15 feet above sea level so my house is gone if a 20 footer comes. If that happens, you might see me in my 17 foot whaler a mile + offshore. After all, that is the safest place to be when a tsunami comes.
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about 1890 and quickly adopted by Hawaiians because of its effectiveness along Island shores.” Cobb and MacKeller’s comments were reinforced in March 1974, when Mary Cooke, a reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser, interviewed Harry Okamura, a Japanese throw net fisherman from Kauai. He was born in 1900 in Koloa and then raised in Anahola. “I learned throw net fishing from old-time Japanese when I was eight years old,” he said. “I used to see Japanese teaching Hawaiians how to make the nets and throw them. The Hawaiians had lay nets or gill nets that were made of fiber.” Okamura concluded by saying Kauai has “nice, wide, long reefs for throw netting. That’s still about the best island for this kind of fishing.”
George Yamasaki Sr.
Fishermen in Japan call throw net fishing toami, which means to “cast a net.” One of the places toami fishing is still practiced is on the Shimanto River, the longest river in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Fishermen on the Shimanto, which is often promoted today as the last pristine river in Japan, throw their nets either from the river banks or from the front of small, shallow draft boats while they’re heading downstream. Using throwing techniques and nets almost identical to those in Hawaii, they cast for ayu, or sweetfish, a freshwater fish renowned for its flavor and aroma.
BY JOHN CLARK
n 1904, John Cobb, a field agent for the United States Fish Commission, published a report called “Commercial Fisheries of the Hawaiian Islands.” Cobb spent a lot of time in Hawaii interviewing local fishermen and compiled extensive fish catch statistics for his report, but perhaps just as important was his documention of the fishing techniques Native Hawaiians were using while he was here. One of his most interesting observations is about throw net fishing, which he calls “cast net” fishing. “The cast net (upena poepoe) is a comparatively recent introduction in the islands, having been brought in
by the Japanese about 10 years ago.” Cobb’s statement today, over 100 years later, would probably surprise a lot of people. Most Hawaii residents don’t realize that throw net fishing was introduced by the Issei, the first generation Japanese, who began arriving in 1885. In 1968, Jean Scott MacKeller made the same observation about the origin of throw net fishing in her book Hawaii Goes Fishing. She said, “In spite of the fact that it is one of the most photographed of all Hawaiian fishing techniques, throw net fishing is not a native sport. It was brought from Japan
When the Issei introduced throw nets in Hawaii, local fishermen adopted them immediately. Native Hawaiians called them upena kiloi, or “throw net,” and upena hoolei, or “net that is thrown like a lei,” a poetic description of the circular shape of the net when it opens in flight. Cobb in his report recorded a third name, upena poepoe, or “round net.” On Kauai’s north shore, the apapa- the long, flat fringing reefs that parallel the beaches- are still among the best throw net sites in the islands. Schools of moi, aholehole, manini, kala, pualu, and nenue, the fish that live in these reefs and forage in the whitewater of breaking waves, are among the popular catches. The fringing reefs on Kauai’s north shore are also where most of Hawaii’s limu kohu comes from. This seaweed, Asparagopsis taxiformis, is found on other islands, but most local consumers agree that the best limu kohu comes from Kauai. The most prized variety is called limu kohu koko, which is a deep red color. Harvesting takes place on low tide days when the reef is emergent and the seaweed is easily accessible. Limu kohu grows on the outer edges of the reef where waves break, so the ocean must be calm for safe harvesting. Harvesters break off the individual plants
Most Hawaii residents don’t realize that throw net fishing was introduced by the Issei, the first generation Japanese, who began arriving in 1885 above the kumu, or base, to allow the seaweed to regenerate. They wear cloth bags around their waists to hold the seaweed as they move along the outer margins of the reef. In 1986, I interviewed Bill Huddy, a resident of Moloaa, who as a child had picked a lot of limu kohu with his family, and he explained how it was done. “I’m retired from the Kauai Police Department, and I was raised at Moloaa. I went to Koolau School, which was next to the graveyard on Koolau Road. The graveyard is near the right-of-way to Larsen’s Beach, and my parents are buried there. When the nalu (surf) comes into the bay (at Moloaa), there’s a strong current. It comes in from the east point, sweeps the entire swimming area, and then makes a sharp U-turn straight out the center of the bay. I lost an uncle there, and I also made some rescues myself of my own family members. If there’s no surf, there’s good swimming and diving all over the bay. “My dad was deputy sheriff of the Hanalei District, and when he went to work, I would pick limu with my mother, my aunties, and others in my family. Our limu expeditions took us from Moloaa to Pilaa and back. Kaakaaniu is the reef that’s good for limu on the west side of the bay. The kohu there is very red, but has more opala (rubbish) to clean than the kohu at Pilaa, which is lighter but has less opala. To pick, you need a calm day, but with some waves playing over the limu. If no waves, the sun burns the limu and turns it white. We would try to break the limu off above the kumu, the base, before putting it in the bag. And we always kept the (main) storage bag in the water or the limu would get palahee (overripe).” Today Kauai still has its long north shore reefs, although now they are probably more famous as surfing and snorkeling sites. But for long time Kauai residents there are still a few places where they can throw net and pick limu kohu undisturbed.
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gear reviews BY E D WATA M U R A
HANDS DOWN WINNER Turn your head and light up whatever you’re looking at. I love headlamps because they free up your hands to accomplish the task “at hand”. Last issue I reviewed a flashlight made by Coast and in this issue I wanted to feature their HL7 Focusing LED Headlamp. This headlamp has the capability of dimming, focusing, and tilting. With a maximum light output of 196 lumens, it will light up objects 357 feet away when focused to it’s bulls-eye spot-beam pattern. The run time is rated at 5 hours and 45 minutes on high and 76 hours and 30 minutes on low. Three AAA batteries sit in the external battery pack, resulting in a lightweight lamp that has an on-off switch that’s large enough to operate with gloves on. The HL7 has an unbreakable LED and is impact proof and water resistant. Do your buddies a favor and turn the intensity down when you turn to talk to them, ‘cause you’ll blind them. Hahahaha.
If you’re reading this magazine you are a water person and with the need for all of us to stay connected with friends, family, and even the internet, keeping our expensive devices dry is paramount. Many of us fishermen have turned to using our cellphones instead of the CB for a much more private conversation, when we don’t want to divulge the location of heavy action to the entire fleet. So here’s a product that really does the job. DRY CASE can keep your device waterproof and usable down to 100 feet. With your iPhone you can not only have total confidence that it will stay dry, but it can also be used to take underwater photos. The touch screen works perfectly and just plug your earbuds into the port for clear conversation. You can also purchase their DryBUDS earbuds for total waterproof performance. You could be listening to Napalapalai while paddle boarding. How’s dat!! The DRY CASE works by creating a vacuum seal using the small pump provided or just sucking hard. If the bag doesn’t re-inflate you are good to go. To keep it handy they include a lanyard or armband. Even if you don’t plan to go in the water, the DRY CASE will protect your device from
sand and dirt or anything mother nature can throw at you. For those of you that have really stepped into the age of technology they even make a model that will accommodate your tablet device. Nothing like conducting business on da beach.
THE WING MAKES IT ZIG
BITE ME INOKEA How many times have you lost a fish and an expensive lure to a toothy creature like an ono. American Fishing Wire has introduced Surfstrand 1x7 Stainless Steel Leader Wire to not only keep you from getting cut-off but also to give superior kink resistance without hampering the realistic action of your lures. This line has a higher breaking strength when compared to the old style 1x3 wires and is camouflaged brown to disappear in the water. I know some master fishermen that swear by it, so check-um out.
The Shimano Waxwing is an innovative and effective lure that can be cast and jigged or trolled. These lures swim and kick and zig and zag and it really looks like a fish, due to the high degree of detail and finish. The upper wing causes all the movement while the lower wing acts as a rudder to keep it from rolling. The Waxwings feature a very durable finish that will withstand abuse by rocks and sharp teeth and the double hooks are super sharp, double tinned, and made by Owner. Evidently they work well according to all the testimonials and a local papio tournament was won using the Waxwing. It also won the ICAST award for best hard lure. I can’t wait to see if it works on finicky aku.
ISSUE NINE 2012
the ocean decides to happen to you
it doesn’t ask where you bought your gear
or how much you paid it only asks if you’re ready . Really Ready.
We got it. 64
next to nico’s at pier 38 1133 n. nimitz hwy. • honolulu, hi 96817 • 808-537-2905 • toll-free (u.s.): 1-800-288-6644 • pop-hawaii.com