PDF Print E-mail

Hilo... First Launch for the New Year

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 08 January 2022 10:00

Leleiwi Surf to Rough for Launch... Settled on 4 Mile

For the first time in four years, I had the opportunity to kayak fish the east side of the Big Island in Hilo. And thanks to the east side gang, HiloDiver, Keverly and EatMoFish who I met on the AquaHunters forum, they guided me and made me familiar to the launch and local conditions of Hilo kayak fishing. Our destination for the 7 a.m. launch was suppose to be Leleiwi Beach Park. But high north facing swells made it sketchy to have a safe launch there. So we decided on an alternate choice choosing 4 mile as our backup.

The 4 mile launch was navigated between a fresh water pond and lava rock flow splitting the surf east far on the outskirts of Hilo Bay. With condos to the right of our launch to mark our landmark return, the four of us made our way to deeper waters. Once I reached the 30 fathom mark, I dropped my opelu rig and started to troll. We respected our distances between each other and made our way through the high swells that were hitting our island over the last few days.

To no avail, not one of us was lucky enough to take on a surface strike in search of pelagics. There was no whale action to video... but my fish finder was sounding off as I located a bottom surface struccture that fish roamed. Using a four ounce weighted rig, I lowered my line and started to fish the bottom. I usually check my bait every five to ten minutes when bottom fishing to make sure the smaller fish do not cannibalize it. I felt a slight resistance to my line as it felt like my opelu banana'd and hooked onto itself to cause the resistance as I was bringing it up. To my surprise when my rig came to the surface, there was a Po'ou (Rose Colored Wrasse) on the end of my line. It was a beautifully colored fish with bugging eyes. I was going to release it, but Shannon, a.k.a. EatMoFish said it looked tasty and wanted it. Later he said that the species was susceptible to ciguatera and he decided to do a test on it with an expired testing kit.

After another hour, we decided to head on in and I gave up on catching my first pelagic on the east side for that day. As we headed on in, the surf was a lot higher and thanks to the guidance of Rob, a.k.a. HiloDiver, we made it safe to shore. Thanks for the invite Hilo as this year I'll make it a plan to fish as many new launch sites as possible while meeting up with the kayak angles of the Big Island. Aloha!

PDF Print E-mail

Prepared for Most Situations, Victory for a Pelagic!

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 18 December 2021 20:49

Wind, Chop, Ulua, Ono, Shark and South Point Drama!

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I had a fishing experience worth writing about. Not by the lack of not catching fish, but by a spicy story that had some thrill and adventure to it.

For the last few weeks kayak anglers on the Big Island have been experiencing great fishing weather with light and variable winds on the west side. The reports of pelagic catches have been minimal though.

In fishing, timing is everything. Being at the right place at the right time is crucial to catching pelagic. Or could it be by luck only. Let’s face it; most of us visualized the victory of landing a great catch or dealing with an extreme situation before we begin an adventure. Yesterday was no different…

Reggie called the night before and could see outside his window that South Point was happening with fantastic weather conditions. Slicks were on the water with a slight west to east wind with fishing boats present, a great indication to plan on fishing South Point.

But would the weather hold up for our morning launch. On the north side of the island the night before, it started raining hard. The last time this happened, the south part of the island was perfect. So we made it a go. Unfortunately when I arrived at our launch site, the wind was blowing stronger than expected with south east gusts at about 15 mph. The water conditions were choppy but no white caps.

We contemplated the launch knowing we had to paddle out 2 miles west battling into the wind to get to the drop off. Once we get past the point, we would drift back in a southernly angle away of our launch site. Willing to cut our lines if we drifted to far south before we angled in, we headed out.

What a battle we had against the wind. Water came over the front hatch with wave sets so close to each other. There were times I wanted to call it off as both of Reggie and I struggled to make it to our desired point. There is a strong advantage to having a mirage drive pedal system on a Hobie Kayak in comparison to a Ocean Kayak paddle with wind conditions. I love the advantage of having my hands free for battling fish. During our paddle, we thought we were not progressing at all at times. But after 1.5 hours, we finally crossed the point (usually a 30 to 45 minute trip). The drop shelf goes from 150 feet down to 300 plus and runs south from the point. This is where pelagic fish gather and hunt for their food chain to come up the shelf. Looking to my left and straight out, I could see sea birds dive bombing into the water for their meals. My thoughts at that time was about the movie “The Birds” directed by Alfred Hitchcock. There were so many of them.

My fish finder was sounding off with large fish, but the wind picked up stronger slowing us down. It was impossible to make the bird pile, we tried and tried, then finally over the drop off, Reggie hooked up. Then I did also. We fought our fish only to pull up Ulua. Quickly released, we drifted east and made our way back to the point. Crossing it again, I took another strike. The reel screamed line out fast. I would say that it spitted out 150 feet before I slowed it down. Then the fish made a run back towards me diving down. I did not have enough time to turn off my line clicker but managed to get tension in the line under control. Then the fish made its second run dragging my Hobie Revo with it.

As I started to reel it in, my concern is to get the fish up quickly and in the kayak trying to avoid the tiger sharks biting the back end of my catch. As the fish rose closer to my kayak, I could see a large fish trailing my catch. It was a shark about six to eight feet long 4 feet below me. My catch was an “ono.” And as I maneuvered my catch closer to the boat, the shark followed. Coming to grips with my situation, I focused on the “ono” and prepared for the gaffing and where I was going to store it on my kayak. If only my Shark Shield had arrived as I ordered one the week before.

I tried to be careful with keeping the blood drippings to a minimal to avoid the shark bumping me. This was one heavy fish. It weighed 45 pounds and really unbalanced my kayak because of the mirage drive system (pedals). The ono was 50 inches long and massively fat. Now this is my number one complaint about the Hobie Revo, it is the most uncomfortable ride when landing a large fish. It’s hard to pedal because the lack of space and movement, especially with the wind and swell conditions we had yesterday. It really takes the bang out of landing a large fish. I’ll have to work on a rigging solution or move to an open hull Hobie Mirage kayak in the future.

Nonetheless, I positioned the ono as best as I could and forgot about the shark and headed back to shore fighting the southeast drift. Reggie hooked into a massive fish on the way back but had to cut his line loosing 100 feet of it with tackle. He was drifting to far south and would have to face the wind getting back to our launch site. It was not worth it to him to battle against the wind.

The day ended with an “ono” and even with this victory for a pelagic, you sometimes have to look back with caution, “should we really have been out there with these conditions?” And that is where experience pays in. Always be prepared to deal with and visualize all situations as best as you can before you start.


Paul's 45# Southpoint Ono (12-17-09)


Reggies Monster Ulua 70# Plus
PDF Print E-mail

Angler Warren Reeves Scores Three

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Saturday, 28 November 2021 07:43

Wow......was a grind @ Keauhou.

warrenWarren Reeves was kind enough to send us a post of his productive day at Keauhou Bay. I want to share his story he emailed us.

"Finally went with it to the pier downtown- the most epic day ever for me. Lost perhaps the biggest and 3rd biggest fish I have ever had on... one on the bottom and one either a jumping shark or dolpin... both unlikely so otherwise by FAR the largest trolling and on the surface rippin' line for 2-300' fish ever. Didn't see it jump (let it run thinkin' mahi, set the hook with lots of drag and it kept rippin' laterally, looked down, a little slack and looked up to see an enormous splash. Did get a 15 ish uku.

Then trolled north and a few miles later wham, mahi, landed it, got back South to the same area and wham, mahi, landed it, trolled back and mega wham- biggest mahi I have ever seen in person, rippin'. had it on for 5-10 minutes and slack...........leader broke right above the rig. Heartbreaker, but can't be too bummed with such a great day... nice to break my lull/struggle with 2 mahi and an uku. Interesting that I saw NO fish or bait once I left Keauhou. Mahi were @ 220 -230'."

2 Mahi's and a Uku
PDF Print E-mail

Beautiful Ho'okena Beach Park Launch

Written by Paul Belmudes   
Friday, 27 November 2021 19:22

No Surface Action for Pelagic... Bottom Fish Galore!

The wind was blowing off shore with a cool breeze the day before Thanksgiving. I had the opportunity to fish with Warren Reeves who has had a marvelous run on catching pelagic these last two months on the Big Island. Warren was kind enough to introduce me to Ho'okena Beach Park as I seek new launch sites to explorer.

Ho'okena is located south of Kona between the 101 and 102 mile markers down a paved road that leads down a little over 2 miles. The beach park is made up of fine sand and is one of the cleanest launch sites I have came across. There is camping available, facilities and plenty of shade trees that you can bring your family out while you enjoy a day of kayak fishing.

Launching was from the right side of the beach next to the rocks. There was a 2 to 3 foot swell and we had to time the waves coming into shore as we launched and moved to the north. Trolling for over 3 miles, there was no action on the surface but yet the fish finder was going off constantly with fish on the bottom. I keep my fish alarm setting on large fish only and after 2 hours, we decided to get some type of action from the bottom if we could not get it on top.

Bottom fishing in Hawaii is fun, but you always take the chance of getting your hooks caught on the coral or fish that take your bait and move into caves or hide in rocks. The end result could lead to loosing tackle and line that adds dearly to the pocketbook $$$. But on the positive side, you have the chance to land a monster fish that will make your arms so tired when you haul it up. You also could bring up a fish species that you may have never caught before. And today was day for bringing up 2 Kahalas (Amberjack) in which I never caught before.

The battles were strong at the beginning, but once you get the fish off the bottom, they succumb to the water pressure closer to the surface and become little puppies to manage.


Page 12 of 14

<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 Next > End >>

Daily Moon Phase


Visit our Sponsors

Who's Online

We have 318 guests and 1 member online
  • napoleon90p