Hawaiian Fishing Journal

11 JAN 97 - This trip started at Pokai Bay where we launched the boat at the Waianae boat harbor just prior to sunrise. After about 5 miles the sun was just coming up and we arrived at the R Buoy. The R Buoy is a Fish Aggregation Device (FAD). Unfortunately we were wasting our time here as nothing happened. We continued to the CO buoy another 10.5 miles out. Here we found that a school of Big Eye Tuna was hanging around. We picked up one by slow trolling a minnow strip and another by a small squid skirted lure. A rigged squid that was dropped down near the buoy to about 100 yards and just drifted took the third tuna. These fish all weighed about 6 lbs. each. On or way back we stopped in at the R buoy and then at the S buoy which is just outside the marina. We had a couple of zings on the trolled lures but no firm hookups.

25 JAN 97 - Launched at the Hickam Harbor boat ramp at 7 am. Trolled a magnum rapala lure 100 yards behind the boat until we were outside the harbor and in front of the airport runway. We didn't take any hits. We anchored in about 25 foot of water, placing the anchor in the sand between the reef "fingers". Here we would try spearfishing. Saw lots of medium sized parrotfish, however they all saw us too. We speared one spotted grouper or Roi at this location. Then we moved the boat to a spot where the reef had more texture. Lots of big rocks, tunnels and ledges. We did much better here. Speared parrotfish, palani, manini, rudderfish and another roi. The water felt cool and after about 45 minutes I needed to get out to warm up. This visibility was good, at least 50 feet except close to where waves crashing caused bubbles.

08 Feb 97 - My friend Tim and I launched at the Waianae boat harbor just prior to sunrise. We headed straight to the S buoy (5 miles) without even dragging a line. We were getting there fast to catch some live bait. Tim's light line was the trick to pick up some of the shy baitfish. We only got two of them into the live well (others had mishaps) and decided to try slow trolling them for the striped marlin. Both baits were taken by the sly game fish and we were back to trying to catch more bait. I decided to try dropping down the trusty rigged squid at the buoy to see if any small tuna were hungry. By the time I had one rigged up we had drifted quite a ways from the buoy so I thought we could drag the squid on the way back to set up the next drift. On the way the rod (this was a casting rod with 25 lb. test line) bent over from a strike. I grabbed the rod and gave a quick yank. Looking back at the wake I saw a fish thrashing on the surface. I couldn't tell what it was yet. It went down and out, stripping line fast and hard. I yelled to Tim, "Turn the boat around". We got back some line and then the fish jumped out of the water. Marlin, It's a Marlin!! I couldn't believe I was into a marlin on such light tackle. I haven't gotten any marlin in the boat yet so I wasn't planning on giving it such a sporting chance. The fight was give and take and Tim was doing great at keeping the boat in position and calming me down. After 40 minutes we had our first site of the leader and the beautiful fish still 15 feet below the boat. Well the fish didn't like the looks of my boat so he went deep. After about 5 yo-yo's the leader was at reach. Tim took a couple of wraps on the leader and the fish was at the surface. Now the bad news, the marlin slapped his tail on the top of the water and powered back down and the hook pulled out. He was free. :-(

09 Apr 97 - After launching we planned to go to the S buoy to try to pick up some live bait. We brought along some dead mackerel and some rigged squid just in case they were needed. The baitfish were very scarce. Another boater that was hand-lining picked up a couple of baits. Then we saw a bird pile diving on the surface a few hundred yards away. We could see some yellow fin tuna surfacing. We put out a rigged squid and a lure and headed toward the birds. Each time we attempted to get our lures into position the school would dive and then appear at another location. After about two hours of this game without any success the action subsided. We decided to try the R buoy. So I set the GPS to R buoy and off we went trolling as we made our way. Usually we can see a buoy about a mile away on a calm day. This was a calm day but we could find no R buoy. (We later learned that it had broken free about two weeks ago.) We continued in the same direction and set our GPS on the V buoy. The V buoy is located wear the west and north shores of Oahu meet. It was a little windier and the current was stronger, however they seem to almost cancel each other out. We tried to jig for bait fish around the V buoy; nothing. We did see some humpback whales in the distance. At this point I sometimes troll back to the boat harbor by means of the green water line close to shore. This time because of the action we saw earlier we went back to the S buoy. We rigged and trolled dead mackerel the 8 miles back. We were about 300 yards from the buoy watching the other boats drift fishing and slow trolling when it happened (you can stop snoring now). A strike! Tim was nearest the pole. I went for the throttle and gave the engine a goose to set the hook. It was a striped marlin! Yes another chance for a marlin so soon after the last disaster. Remember it's been two years now that I've trying to get Mr. Marlin into the boat. This time he was on a proper rod and reel. Tim reeled while I set up the boat by clearing lines, putting everything to the bow, and bringing out the gaffs. This time I was to be the leaderman and I was determined to show no mercy. The leader was showing and everything was ready. I took my wraps on the leader and when the fish surfaced, I plunged the gaff right in front of the dorsal. A perfect shot! Then he jumped and tail walked along the side of the boat. The gaff slipped out, but I still held onto the leader. He made one circle under the boat and came up along the side again. Quickly I slammed the gaff in and this time grabbed his bill with the other hand. I lifted his head into the boat and Tim took the second gaff and followed through to help me body slam our opponent into the boat. Success at last! =:>)

11 Jul 97 - This was a shore dive from Hickam Harbor. I snorkeled around a concrete platform that comes up out the water near the mouth of Pearl Harbor. I speared one Unicorn fish and a spotted grouper. These made a nice dinner for the family.

18 Jul 97 - I chartered a boat for my family to fish at Kona HI. We were hoping to hook up to some blue water fish for the freezer and of course there's always the thought of getting a big one on the line. We started by trolling some jet heads on wire to look for the wahoos on the way out. There wasn't anything happening so when we got out to where the baitfish were we changed plans. We trolled some king buster lures to catch the Aku. The first thing that was attracted to the live bait unfortunately was a school of porpoise. They kept stealing the baits so we switched back to lures and trolled for quite some time. Later in the afternoon it looked as if a lot of other boats headed out farther to get away from the porpoise. We stayed near the 100 fathom dropoff. We tryed the live baits again hoping that the porpoise followed the other boats. This did the trick. After bridling up a fresh AKU we had a strike! I was first in the chair. I could see the marlin make a jump out of the water many yards behind the boat. After about only 15 minutes the marlin was at leader and the deck hand and captain had the marlin subdued and up on the deck of the boat like he was serving fast food. I was relieved to have gotten the marlin. I was beginning to worry about catching anything. We put out the Aku lures again. In a short while we had another live bait out behind the boat and then after a short time another marlin strike! It was my son, Andrew's turn. Again after a short battle the marlin was at the boat and the crew had the fish on ice in no time at all. We put out another bait, however our time ran out before anything went for it. This was a great trip for everyone.

20 Sep 97 - Location: Waianae boat harbor, S and R bouy. Marine Forecast: Winds 10 knots Seas 2 feet. This was a beautiful day for fishing in my 17 footer. I left the marina when it was still dark and by the time I reached the S bouy accoriding to the GPS it was just light enough to see it. We picked up some live bait and trolled around the S bouy area. After about 30 minutes I reeled in the line to see if the bait was still alive. All that was left on the leader was the hook and a clean biten head. It must have been an ono. I rigged up another live bait and after no luck we set course for the R bouy. Arriving there we noticed a lot of trash floating and some active birds. It looked like it would be a hot spot. After trolling around I stopped to check the bait and while doing so a large Pacific Blue Marlin swam up to the boat. He made several circles under the boat as if it was a drifting object that might be holding some food. I reeled in the live bait quickly thinking he may grab it. Unfortunatley the live bait was covered by a plastic bag that I must have drug it through while reeling it in. It was still alive but by the time I got the bag off it's head the marlin had left. Later at the same spot another boat that was live baiting hooked up. The fight lasted about 25 minutes. After the catch was aboard we boated over to get a closer look at it. It looked to be about 150-200 lbs. At least someone was catching this day. We didn't catch anything other than the bait fish but it was a great day to be out in the blue.