Day 4 (3/11/14):
Sensing a downward trend over my last two outings, it felt like a good day to turn it all around on the south side of the Big Island The action was a little slow at first in the morning, but then it picked up quickly once I found the mahi pile. Got two nice ones back-to-back, and then everything slowed down again as the bait played hard to get. Eventually I found what they wanted and filled the bait tube and went out searching. I immediately found the third little mahi that just squeaked by the 10 lb mark, then lost four strikes in a row including a clever ono that neatly chopped out the mid section of my bait that happened to be exactly between the head hook and the tail hook. Smart ass.
After I snapped this dramatic, heroic pic, I jumped down with the three fish in my hands and landed on some slick grass, fell backwards and gouged my back on the lava. Hero to zero in about half a second! A little blood is a small price to pay for a 95 point day to put me up into 4th place in the Aquahunters Makahiki.
Day 5 (4/10/14):
It had been almost a month of near-chances to fish, and then something else would come up at the last minute to keep me off the water, whether work, family, or weather. I’ve had the truck fully loaded four times and then I’d just unload it again in disappointment. Finally- it was for real- with a questionable forecast I wasn’t sure what to expect for conditions, but I had to just see for myself. I wasn’t unloading for anything.
As it turned out, it was pretty much a wind battle all day today. Was
able to get bait easily and got a Lai (leather skin jack) on a jig right away, then went chasing birds outside while the wind was only 10 kts, hoping for the big hookup. Naturally, there was no action and the wind came up to hit me in the face on the paddle back in. Got a kamanu (rainbow runner) that jumped ship almost as soon as I landed it, and then just paddled into the wind for hours, drifting down wind and paddling back up, until another kamanu hit a live opelu that was only slightly smaller than itself. This one stayed in the boat. Very quiet on the pelagic front today, and I was ready to call it quits at a little after noon because of the wind and lack of action, but then- a big Booby bird started following me and thought that dive-bombing my bait would be great fun. It killed two in a row and that was it- too much BS for me, I happily reeled up and went home. We ate the little kamanu, one of my favorites for sashimi (raw, slice thin, and dipped in shoyu/sesame oil), in about 10 minutes. Only 12 points for the Makahiki, but tasty food on the table. Praise the sea.