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No Secrets Here... Learn How YakHawaii Makes His Trolling Rig

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 19 March 2022 06:42


Want to Catch a Toothy Critter?

With the weather being so crazy these last four weeks and lack of new video footage of catches, I put together this short video on how I rig my hooks for catching mahi, ono and shibi. There will probably be some critics who will say that I don't know what I am doing. But you have to ask yourself the question... "Am I catching pelagic fish here in Hawaii?" If you answered "yes" to this question, there is probably no need to watch the video unless you are curious on what I do. No secrets here! Do what is working for you. Hey maybe make a video and upload it to YouTube and I will post an article for you on YakHawaii. The more information to help those who seek more knowledge on Hawaii kayak fishing, the better! But if you answered "no" to the question, watch the video. Pick up a tip or two. I have adapted what was taught to me by one of the best kayak anglers on the Big Island of Hawaii and his name is Reggie Pare'.

Better yet, order a 75 minute DVD video of big game yak fishing tips titled, "Kayak Fishing - Hawaii" made by Reggie as he guides you to his past successes. This video will get you started with great fishing tips and thrill you with exciting big game catches. In one of his chapters, he comes up too close for comfort with a whale shark. Visit his website at http://web.me.com/kpare/Kayak_Fishing/Kayak_Fishing_DVD.html. Reggie does not know I am plugging him, but he is one quality kayak fishing buddy. And after watching his video, you will know Reggie better and it will help you understand Kayak Fishing in Hawaii. This morning, we fished together and every time we go out on the hunt, it's so much fun, even if we don't hook up!

Well anyways, I hope you enjoy my video and if you have the time and want to fish the Big Island with me, let me know! Maybe we can make this happen. {mos_fb_discuss:26}

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Kayak Fishing Safety Preparation

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Wednesday, 17 March 2022 00:43

To Prevent a Tragedy, You MUST Prepare and Think Safety First


Not to be scary about the news, but it seems that every month we read about someone here in Hawaii that becomes a casualty of the ocean. The photograph above is a photo taken of a rescue last week on March 12, 2022 on the Big Island in Puako in which a man lost his life while kayaking. From what I heard, there could have been preventive measures that would have prevented this from happening. It's not just kayak fishing, it could be regular kayaking, boating, surfing, wind-surfing, stand-up paddle boards, snorkeling and the list goes on. These outdoor sports here in Hawaii have the potential to claim your life if you are not prepared. Today I want to share with you my preparation for kayak fishing safety to help make sure that I come home to my wife and two children.

When I started out kayak fishing over four years ago, safety was always my main concern, but I did not practice it like I do now. For example, I did not wear my PFD life vest all the time storing it in my front hatch or in the tank well behind the seat. I would go out fishing alone taking the risk of not really knowing my surroundings like I should have known. I did not have a plan on where to ditch if the weather changed on me. I chose bad days to kayak fish without knowing what I was up against, especially with the strong trade winds and high surf on the Big Island. I also did not test my hull for leaks or holes especially after launching from a rocky area.

Three years ago I fished Mahukona by myself. This is probably one of the most dangerous areas to fish because of the strong trade winds that come off the Kohala mountain. I was 30 minutes into my journey when all of a sudden, you could see the white caps coming at me from the north and rain clouds coming over the mountain. Only 3/4 mile offshore, I paddled hard into the wind losing my hat and Maui Jim sunglasses. I cut my line and pounded it out for forty five minutes only to enter the bay like a sail and almost being pushed over. I did have a VHF radio and thought of just giving up and calling for help, but I knew I was strong enough to give it a last effort. I knew that I was not going to make it in where I launched and chose Kapa'a two miles north of Mahukona as where I would ditch my kayak and get off the water. I chose a 45 degree angle and battled for another 45 minute and made it into the bay fully exhausted with my legs shivering from being scared to death. I never before considered an exit strategy when going out on the water. When I made it to the rocks, I pulled my kayak onto the rocks and went and sat down on the bench for 20 minutes to regain my composure. I hitched a ride with some tourist back to my car and did not go back on the water for another month. Talk about being tired from paddling.

When my older brother Jerry was visiting the Big Island several months later, I went out with him and his son Brandon to Keauhou. We were two miles out just getting ready to put our lines out when I notice the shifting of my weight almost caused me to roll my kayak. I looked in the hatch and noticed that my hull was 2/3 full of water. I had no bilge pump or sponge to bail water. I tethered my kayak to my brothers kayak who was on a Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL that could carry a payload of 550 pounds and towed my kayak back in. Talk about an uncomfortable ride back in without a seat and 600 pounds on the kayak. It turns out that I had a crack in the seam of the scupper hole that filled my kayak full of water. The reason I now check for leaks filling up my kayak with water every so often after a day out in the water.

Yet another encounter I had was being side swiped by a 13 foot tiger shark as it trailed my bait as I was bringing it in to check on it. Thus the reason for me getting amas (outriggers) on my kayak and a Shark Shield. I don't ever want a tiger shark creeping up like JAWS that is wider and longer than a kayak coming up on the side of me ever again without having kayak stabilization and deterrence to keep away.

Read more: Kayak Fishing Safety Preparation
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Get In the Picture with XShot 2.0 Kayak Mount

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 26 February 2022 05:56

Product Review for Mounting a Waterproof Video Camera

Just wanted to make you aware of a bundled product that I've been using for the last month. It's called the XShot 2.0 and XShot Kayak Mount. XShot is the maker of a camera extender that allows you to get in the picture with a background when you have no one else to take the photo. My video will pretty much tell you what it's all about. Even though it's not saltwater proof, I still recommend this as a substitute for a tripod or monopod because of its extending capabilities to 36 inches. It's built solid and allow full 360 degree of rotation on the RAM mount.

It can be purchased directly from their website at www.xshotpix.com. My suggestion is to get it bundled together for the retail price of $54.95 plus shipping.



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Makahiki Day 1 on the Big Island

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Monday, 08 February 2022 05:01

Nice Start to the Aquahunters Kayak Angler Tournament

Day one began for me Saturday in the 2010 Aquahunters Makahiki tournament.  During the next 8 months with the tournament ending September 30th, I will be testing my skills in kayak fishing by carefully selecting the best 25 days and reporting my catches to Aquahunters forum. There is a maximum of four fish that can be reported per day.  All fish caught must be photographed to keep us honest including catch and release (CNR).

My goal always when I kayak fish is to go after the pelagic (tuna, ono and mahi). My second choice would be to hunt down a snapper (uku).  These are my favorite eating fish.  But the tournament is based on points for specific Hawaii species.

Saturdays weather was forecasted to light variable winds due to a northern high pressure system combating a southern moving system.  One day to get out there and have winds around 5 to 15 m.p.h. with west swells moving in.

I arrived at my destination a little after 6 a.m. and was planning on fishing solo that morning. To my surprise, there were several other Aquahunters Forum members there who were part of the Makahiki tournament. I recognized one member and said hello but they pretty much kept to themselves.  I know it's a competition, but they did not have the consideration to even ask if I wanted to fish with them as they decided the swells were to big to deal with at that launch site.  Well it shows you that they mean business when it comes to competition, but I don't blame them one bit and I did not follow them to where they launched from.  Most would rather be left alone in their secret spots so no others will know about them, but there are only so many places based on conditions where you can launch from on the Big Island.

I probably should have followed as the swell was easy to launch from but became nasty later when I decided to bring in my catch to keep it cold.  Oh yea... about one and one-half hours into the start, I hooked up into the 18.5 pound mahi that was worth 25 points plus 2 additional points for its weight scoring me 27 points for the first day.

Usually I am able to make a video of my catches but low and behold, I accidentally deleted the file from my camera... so the end result for YakHawaii, no video today.

It was a standard battle landing the mahi.  It's always spectacular to fight a mahi as they jump out of the water trying to spit out the hook.  Ever since I started using Reggie Pare's way of rigging my hooks to get pelagic, my catches have been increasing over time.

But back to my story on landing the mahi I caught. It took 13 minutes to bring it in.  One of the things I do now is not waste any time in gaffing or should I say... using my kage (spear). There has been one too many times that the fish wants to run and breaks free of my line... so I choose now to hurry this part of the process and get them on board.

I tried staying out on the water as long as I could to catch more after catching the mahi, but after an hour in my fish bag with the tail hanging out, I decided to head back in to store and ice the fish down and relaunch to go after number two. But as I was coming in, the surf was big and this was not going to be a fun ride in.  I prepared for my landing as best as I could but got caught on a wave that brought me in fast.  I had no time to remove my mirage drive pedal system out of my Hobie Revo and pushed down on the pedals as I was about to hit the shoreline. I grabbed my paddles in both hands applying drag to the water to use as a steering mechanism, lifted my rudder and guided the bow in to the open beach area.  I was lucky enough to make it in smoothly without tipping over.  I hurriedly jumped off my Revo and yanked her up and she was heavier then hell.  With spectators watching me, they assisted and complimented me in making it in safely with the waves being so huge. During my time coming in, I was saying to myself that I should have followed the other kayak anglers as they made the better decision to launch from another location up the road.

Now the fun part was pulling out my mahi out of my fish bag and having the tourist and local beach gatherers yak about my fish.  They were amazed that us kayak fisherman can catch fish of this size on our plastic floating kayaks. Their cameras were out and I was trying to catch my breath from the adrenaline rush of getting in safely and the 10 miles I pedaled. To tired to relaunch and deal with the surf, I decided to call it a day and settle for the one mahi. I did have the opportunity to watch from the shoreline the several kayak anglers I saw earlier drift fish the bottom on the south current and gaze as the whales breached in and out of the water.

Score me 27 points for day one on the 2010 Aquahunters Makahiki tournament. I look forward to my next day of participation and will try to land more fish the next time out. Aloha!



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