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Change of Scenery... Kawaihae Pelagic

Written by Paul Belmudes
Monday, 25 January 2022 18:05

Plans Cancelled to Fish Down South Point... But Not to Catch Fish!

I've been following the weather forecast for the last few days in anticipation of lighter trade winds and maybe a shift of wind direction from the west. The plans were to fish South Point with some Aquahunters,  but NFL championship football got in the way along with the excessive drive. With my gear packed and ready to go the night before, I decided to solo out locally at Kawaihae, a 20-minute drive from my house with great launching conditions in a protected marina that keeps surf down.

I headed out the door at 5:45 a.m. and arrive a few minutes past 6 a.m. with darkness and the glimmering lights reflecting off the harbor. I ran into Steve Heusser who makes his morning stop-over to check out yak heads who love to fish out of Kawaihae since he works at the Hawaii State Park down the road. I also walked over and introduced myself to a tandem team who just started kayak fishing in the last few months. This sport is growing at a moderate pace as I saw two more kayak anglers show up and get out to appreciate the perfect weather and conditions we were about to have.

I was on the water at 7 a.m. and headed southwest gazing over to my left to witness an intense sun peaking over Hualalai slopes. It was a hazy morning cascading Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai.  I noticed to my right whales breaching making a slapping noise on the Pacific ocean surface. It had an echoing effect but to far out to video tape it.

As I pedaled my Hobie Revo for the first hour literally with no action, I came over a huge fish pile at 60 fathoms that sounded my fish finder off. I prepared myself for some trolling action and stayed course as I trolled the pile for ten minutes. It was uneventful and I said well at least I am going to have some raw video footage on the increasing number of whales in the vicinity of kayak. Then I saw my rod take a bend with a quiet reel. It's was very rare to have this happen as I call it a quiet strike. I immediately grabbed my rod and set the hook and low and behold it was a mahi jumping out of the water 200 feet in front of me as I steered my Revo in the direction of my line.

The tension was light and I managed the mahi very easily since it was on the lighter side. But nonetheless, It was a fun fight. I just love the tease mahi give when you have them on the end of your line. I really tried to slow it down and tired it out as I brought it closer to my kayak. Then the drama set in as the mahi wanted no part in coming on board. It jumped and twisted trying to spit the line but my line was so secured as the lead hook was really grounded into its jaw. Grabbing my kage, I nailed it perfectly raising the spear to keep the fish from jumping off the steel sharpened rod. Flapping around for a few moments then coming to a calm, I lowered the fish and declared a victory for the day.

As I bagged the fish, I decided that I would head on in and throw one more 4-month cryptic old dead opelu bait that has been thawed and frozen at least 4 times. It was wrinkled and once I got it rigged and tossed over trolling two-hundred feed behind me using my Reggie Pare' rig, I had another strike that ran and dove straight down. To my amazement, it was a shibi (small yellow-fin tuna) on my line. O.K.... it's going to be poke tonight! For some reason I did not hit the record button correctly on one of my video cameras after I shot footage underwater capturing the shibi. It was not the biggest shibi, but it sure was fun to have two pelagic on board within one-hour and forty-five minutes. I decided call it a day and headed directly in with out a third attempt. And once again, if you are at the right place at the right time, it can be an eventful day even if you are using old cryptic bait.

Wow... I still had time to watch the opening kickoff of the NFL Championship Playoffs