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Oh... No Bites Today?

Written by Paul Belmudes
Wednesday, 07 April 2022 23:27

They Said That No One is Hooking Up on the Big Island!

Got a voice message from one of my fishing buddies yesterday at 2 pm. The message said that he was at the local KTA grocery store in Keauhou and ran into a yak angler who just got off the water around 11 am. The angler said that nothing was happening in Keauhou including boats and the bite wasn't on. I was planning on fishing this week with him as long as the weather permitted (wind) and if his schedule becoming free from work. He pretty much told me that he was going to pass on fishing until next week since the bite was not on and there was no bait or good supply of fish at the KTA store in Keauhou. So I called him after listening to the message with him not knowing that I just got off the water in Keauhou with different results. I shared with him that the fish gods were on my side and that I was lucky enough to land a 38 pound ono within 30 minutes of dropping my bait. We kind of laughed and made the comment, "if you are not out on the water, you'll never catch... that's why they call it fishing."

It was a beautiful day in Keauhou Bay. Arrived at the launch site at 6:45 am to be greeted by a friend and his wife (Chris & Lori Monson) visiting from Alaska. Borrowed an extra kayak from one my good friends on the island and provided a basic kayak fishing setup for Chris. We rigged our yaks for departure and got into the water at 7:30 am. Headed southwest in an angle of the Sheraton hotel and proceeded to the my usual drop off at 200 feet. Casting my line over the side at a trolling distance of 200 feet marked-off by my dental floss marker on my 40 pound monofilament line. Not more than seven minutes into the pedal, my rod bent backwards and my reel started to scream.


I reached over and grabbed the rod, set the hook and turned on both my video cameras.  We were rolling! The ride was incredible as I put my mirage drive pedal forward and buried the butt of my rod into my belly of my PFD. The fish pulled hard for several more minutes and it decided to head to the bottom taking out an extra 125 feet of line totaling 325 feet of line out. It came under me and I repositioned the kayak by pedaling to keep the tip of my rod pointed to the bow of my Hobie Revo. This prevents from going into a perpendicular position side ways and being thrown out of your kayak if the fish surges, especially the big ones. By keeping the rod towards the bow, it makes an enjoyable ride, wears the fish down and keeps tension on the line.

The fished was tamed in several minutes and my line reeled in easier as the fish capitulated to the solid hook embedded in its jaw and my willingness to land it. The fish became identifiable... it was an ono (wahoo)! So the "Reggie Pare" rig works again for this toothy critter. It took a few moments to bring it in. When I speared the kage in its head, I lifted it up and realized that I have a good sized ono. It was solid weighing in at 38 pounds and measuring 64 inches in length. This was the first time having a fish this size and storing it in my fish bag behind the seat. The amas (stabilizers) worked like a charm and kept me balanced as I maneuvered the ono into the fish bag with tail hanging out the nag. Ono are the slimiest fish that secrete some type of mucus on its skin. It gets everywhere and makes a mess for cleaning up a kayak and gear at the end of the day. The way that I keep the fish cold in the fish bag is to use three long cylindered bottles of frozen water. The frozen water also becomes a backup water supply if you need water to hydrate while kayaking.

Chris decided that he had enough of fishing after 4 miles of paddling. During the whole time of me landing the ono, we drifted about a mile from south to north and had to fight the current back into the bay. Chris was whipped when we got back into shore. We met up with his wife Lori and we cleaned up the gear and loaded up the kayaks. They had two more days on the Big Island and headed back out on their vacation. I want to thank Chris and Lori for bringing me some home made smoked salmon. It was delicious and goes great with beer. Chris' recommendation and a good one at that.

It was an exciting day to be out there on the water after six weeks of wind. Yes... sometimes the bite is not on. But today, it was for me. I was at the right place and at the right time with good company... what more can you ask for... Aloha!



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