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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!