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Makahiki Day 8 and 9 Report

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 18 June 2021 07:11

28 Miles and 15 Hours on the Water in 2 Days

Just spent the last 2 days competing in the Aquahunters Makahiki tournament. The goal of Day 8 was to explore Red Hill and Black Point just north of Kawaihae Harbor, 7 miles up the coast. I did my preliminary research and was given great advice from a kahuna fisherman named Eddie "Lala" La'au Jr. of Kawaihae. Uncle Lala shared points of interest in my search for great fishing for that area. I really enjoyed talking to him at the La'au Fish Market where I picked up some dead opelu for my kayak fishing trip for the following day.

On Tuesday, I set out 7 miles north up the coast of Kohala combining sailing and pedaling my Hobie Revolution for the destination Black Point. The wind was light and the current was moving with me as I averaged 3.5 miles per hour. It took 2 hours to reach my destination and just as I was perpendicular to Black Point 30 fathoms out, my line went off at 8:30 am in the morning in unison to a reel on a boat that was 100 yards away from me trolling at the same time. I could hear the fisherman named Joe as he came across the VHF broadcasting to another boater that he just landed a 20 to 25 pound cobalt. I guess cobalt was used as the terminology for a mahi. On my line also was a mahi. I fought the mahi for five minutes only to lose the fish right next to my kayak as it shook its head and body to avoid the spear of death. To no avail, the mahi won the battle and retreated back to the open ocean. I let out the biggest F bomb in disgust as I saw 25 points (Makahiki point value) disappear before my eyes. I always think of Aloha Dan when this happens as he always lectures that you should never bring a mahi close to the boat when it is still green. Maybe he's right!

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Total Confusion Under Sail

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Sunday, 13 June 2021 18:51

New Surroundings Brings Kaos to Comfort When Fishing

With my hectic schedule these last few weeks, I finally had the chance to get out and really spend the necessary time to fish from my kayak while under sail. Wow, did I experience the discomfort of the mast being in the way and not allowing me to control and direct my rod over the bow. My preferred side to boat a fish was taken out of play when my trolling line went off on the left hand side. It was not easy to stick the shibi, however number seven got her. As I did not want to make myself look like a newbie,  I edited my video to make me look better, purposely cutting out the six misses of trying to kage the shibi in the video footage.

The mainsheet line when furled kept hitting my head and became very annoying as I ducked under the line. When the sail is fully extended, it's not a problem! Nonetheless, the power of sailing made my experience greater. I was traveling at four to five miles an hour trolling with two lines using a Rapala Magnum CD11 Red Head on my left side and a dead opelu on my right of my kayak as my bait.  I kept the Rapala about sixty feet behind me and the opelu 200 feet.

Earlier in my start, I took a strike with a mahi and was half way through the fight when it spit out my hook on the opelu line. I quickly baited and set out covering the distance to the ko'a grounds in Keauhou. Here's where I tried using a cone shaped palu ahi bag for the first time. I dropped my line 30 fathoms down using a sardine as bait and when the cone palu bag hit its target depth, it turned over and released the chum. The chum consisted of sardine and tuna that was blended the night before. The palu ahi over the ko'a actually worked. Unfortunately on the other end of my line was an aha (needle fish). Since declaring it a fishing day of competition in the Aquahunters Makahiki tournament, I quickly brought it to the surface next to my kayak and photographed it and then I released it.


Next, I decided to target for pelagic while trolling and I set sail to cover a wide range of territory faster than I've ever before when pedaling my Hobie Revo. My line on the left side went bizzzzz. Hey, the CD11 Red Head actually works as this was the first time I have ever hooked up a fish using a lure trolling behind me. I took the pointer of using the CD11 from the folks at YakAss.net after reading a story by Josh Holmes.  The fish on my line did not run hard, but here's where the confusion started to happen. I had to furl my sail, then I had to clear my line on the right side. Then I had to deal with the mainsheet line hitting my head. As I brought my fish closer to the kayak, I noticed it was a small kine shibi (yellow fin tuna). My trampoline was in the way as I had to kage over it. Reaching across the trampoline made it uncomfortable. Needless to say, the leash on the kage was not long enough to give me the full extension to reach over which restricted my aim. Thus taking six tries before nailing the shibi in the head. But at least I boated the shibi without damaging my tramploine.

I continued to troll for the duration of my time, but was unlucky enough to hook up again. So I called it a day and headed back to Keauhou Bay. Overall, I had a great time fishing under sail. I do have some rituals and comfort settings to work through with some minor adjustments to my rig to make it easier to boat a fish. I plan on hitting the water this week a few times for the Makahiki tournament. So far, I have 44 points in the tournament and hopefully with one good day of fishing, I could get closer to the top.  Aloha!  



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My First Sail on the Hobie Revolution

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Tuesday, 18 May 2021 03:17

Learning the Fundamentals of Sailing and Furling

Had the opportunity to get out on the water and test the new sail and furl system that I've been working on for my Revo. My wife actually gave me two hours to have fun this last Sunday and really see and feel what it's like to sail on a kayak. During these last two weeks, I've been in company training and have not had much of an opportunity to kayak fish. I really haven't missed much in the action as my fishing buddies have been getting big zeros in bringing in the fish. So again I want to apologize for not having much news on kayak fishing. Man it would be great to land a fish in this coming weekend Yak-Attack fishing tournament if I decide to enter it providing I have the time.

Nonetheless, I want to share my first experience with kayak sailing from my Hobie Revo. It was fantastic. It was like getting a new toy to play with and made my kayak feel brand new again. Now I have a new addiction to satisfy.

Testing the sail system and furl system before I attempt to fish from my kayak made me aware of my obstacles that I may face while fishing. I started with baby steps with wind speeds slightly blowing from 4 to 6 miles per hour. Not what I truly expected with light winds, but I think I will need at least 10 to 15 mph to maximize the potential of sailing from a kayak. It was nice to get from one point to the other and I really forgot what it was like to kayak without all my fishing equipment.

The furl system I made worked smoothly and I used the turbo fins as my daggerboard. It was effortless to bring in the sail only taking 7 wraps around the mast to bring it in with one pull. The mainsheet line worked great with the Harkin blocks as roller guides. I will post close up photos in the next week in the members only section of all operating pieces used in my engineering of the furl system. If anyone has any questions, just post a discussion at the end of this article and I will answer your question as best as I can about the system. It was easy to setup and extremely easy to tear down. The sail brought out curious questions from onlookers as I returned to shore. Now the next test will be to land a fish with it in stronger wind conditions and how I react with a sail. Gliding on the water is an incredible sensation and I wished I would have done it sooner, but at least I'm doing it now. Now I'm really curious on what a Hobie Adventure Island can do.  Stay tuned for more details! Aloha.  {mos_fb_discuss:17}

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Makahiki Day 4 and 5 Report

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Thursday, 06 May 2022 00:58

Nothing to Report at All

I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that I have blanked my last four times out. Is it the pressure of having to produce a fish... maybe so! But the real truth is that everyone that I have fished with these last tries have blanked also. Is the bite slow, I don't know. Heck... AlohaDan caught an ono yesterday at the same place where we fished today. 

Nonetheless, we keep on trying and hopefully I will have some fishing videos to show. In the mean time, I will keep reporting on YakHawaii as he participates in the Aquahunters Makahiki kayak fishing tournament. Aloha


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