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 Post subject: First Night Trip
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:33 am 
Hobie Team Member

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 598
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
A newbie deep saltwater fisherman I had been skunked the first three times out using lures. My two commercial friends were after me to switch to bait, specifically 'Opelu.{Mackerel Scad}.

While you can get them in the day sometimes if you find the big school, most guys here get them at night. Use a bunch of flies on a hand line. I was going to have some fun with a light spinner so had a fly and one minnow strip rigged only.

So after planning carefully out I went. Left Keauhou Bay in my BigA around 0330 heading out and north where reputed schools were suppose to be located.

I had stuck a new small flashlight in the hold facing aft. Kind of gave the BigA a pumpkin like glow. Had one of those Wally Lamps that have red, a LED white, and beam light for head gear(highly recommend). Plus a 6V Power Lamp for my required legal white flare-up light, which I also intended to use for my 'Opelu attractor. I was sure no one would hit me. The hull light went out shortly for unkown reasons, but I really didn't notice until I started fishing.

The few street lamps and outside house lights quickly faded. 300 yds out into the bay it was blacker than a witches underwear. Only thing I could see was white surf on my right on the point between Keauhou and next door Heeia Bay (H bay for locals). Since I surf there I avoided it like the plague.

The fluorescence lit up as I plowed through it. It was very quiet, albeit different sea noise.

Had the red lamp on, but that turned out to be more of a morale crutch as you still couldn't see anything ahead. Did I detect a motor? I clutched the 6V tightly to the PFD . False alarm. I turned off the red.

PFD? Most people here know I don't wear 'em, just leash the yak. Well I had my yak leash on, but also the PFD:

A. It was cold at that hour!

B. I figure if I was run-over like my commercial fishing neighbor claimed I would be, I might need it. Besides I had reflector tape all over it.

So kept pedaling. And pedaling. Then snorts BEHIND me! Whales! Damn they had been in close. I pedaled harder and the damn things kept getting closer- I am not exaggerating! Well at least it sounded like it. So I dropped the northerly component figuring it (they) were running parallel to the coast and headed straight out. Their blowing slowly grew dimmer although you'd be surprised how far you can hear them. So off to an exciting start. But where were the 'opelu? I headed slightly north again. They were suppose to be somewhere between Keauhou Bay and Kailua Town 6 miles north.

Head for the other 'opelu fisherman. Look for their lights, but don't get too close said my buddy.

This is funny, but true. After a half hour to 45 minutes I thought I saw a dim something in the distance. I steered toward it.

Now I am bobbing up and down out there so you expect lights to disappear and get stronger depending on the circumstances. The light seem to be getting stronger. Looked like there could be two.

I pedaled harder. Three lights, got be boats fishing the school! Holly mackerel more lights and getting brighter by the second!

Aw shucks (they sensor stronger language here)! It was the passenger liner coming into Kailua-Kona! Probably 8-10 miles out.:lol:

The heck with it. :x I'm a good mileor more out and at least 2-3 north. Quit pedaling, rig the light and drop in the flies.

So what happens? I see a green light and hear a motor. I show the flare up and this guy comes by about 100 yards away, putts on down another 100 yds , turns on his lights and starts fishing! He had seen mine I guess. :roll:

Visions of good bait for fishing that day, and panned fried appetizers danced through my head. Yeah I was dancing. I was shaking from the cold! Besides the 'opelu season was over, or so the fish said after an hour or so..

Never fear, I had a new "Electronic Hootchie" guaranteed to get fish. I don't need no bait! I rigged it up, figured I could do a slo drift pedaling into the wind and the thing could sink. Maybe moving around would generate some heat.

Nothing! No luck. OK take this! Rigged up the hootchie to my new Lur Jensen deep diver. Get that sucker down there! Also let me pedal a bit more. The offshore breeze is howling. Had to be 12-15 knots. Well 10 anyway. It's getting lighter. With all my changes I was close to 2-3 miles offshore and getting blowed out further. Me worry!

:D No and you'll see why later.

Now it's light enough to see baby whale breach about a 1/2 mile further inshore. Too early for the tourist boats so I'm sure he was showing off ala Moby Dick. Damn thing was waiting for me to come back in to breach on me, I'm sure of it. I love watching them, but don't want them too close. Spinners are different. I've had them between my ama and canoe while on my OC-1.

My Hawaiian stuff hadn't worked the first three times (January is a horrible fishing month here-why did I choose to start- wait it's Feb 1st my luck has to change). So I get out my new crippled herring. At 3-oz this baby can get to the bottom by itself. "Fluttering like a wounded bait fish" said the tech report. So I started jigging.

Mauna Loa was clearly visible as all of Hualalai (local volcanoes). The sun was coming up right over Mauna Loa. Started like a pin point almost lava like-no more like the rings around a full eclipse of the sun effect I had the good fortune to see a few years back.

With a rush sol exploded. I hummed a few bars of "The dawn comes up like thunder", pulled up and moved over to another spot. Within 30 minutes you could feel the rays and the wind shifted onshore. Ate my peanut butter & jelly sandwich and drank my grapefruit drink.

My back, and butt are getting tired. Decided to sit sideways, so broke out my new ebay drift chute. Hooked it up amidships. Worked great. Slowed the yak down so I could jig almost vertical

Dropped pumped a couple of times as she went down. Felt bottom reeled in a bit , pumped, is that a snag-NO! had to be I'm hooked up. In a rush to do stuff I swung legs back-into boat grabbed a couple feet of line with a furious pump, how come I couldn't get any more? Then frantically pulled in the drift sock.
Lost 'em!


Well I had to be the hang of this. Maybe there are fish down there.

Pedaled further south. Now almost even with Keauhou again. Threw drift sock back in, and dropped lure. Hit bottom reeled in a few feet, pumped and GOTTA be a STRIKE! Lost 'em. What's down there. Moved again.
Repeat. Hook up!

Yeah well this time it became obvious. I had the biggest fish of all. Planet Earth! Managed to wrap line around billy club, aimed yak toward distance beach and pumped like hell. Was lucky, lure broke lose. So did the bird's nest as I had released the drag.

Gladstone Duck (Donald's lucky cousin) must have been watching. I managed to keep the lure off the bottom pedaling hard as I slowly fed more line out. Got the reel cleaned up.

OK what to do now. Loaded up a homemade tube lure and went looking for kaku (barracuda) close to the cliffs (photo in a couple of weeks). Wind is howling by now onshore. It's almost noon. The touristas are coming back to Keauhou from their paddle down south. Here comes a young couple in a double. The male competitiveness rises. I tune away into the cliffs circling a small coral head so I'm abreast of them. We are going into this wind now. They have been fighting for at least a mile from the caves the operator takes them too. I pour on the coal and go whizzing by waving my water bottle. I almost killed my self but beat them back to Keauhou by 1/2 a mile anyway. I reel up the tube lure. and pedal on in.

Flip the rudder up. Pull the drive. What a great seaman I am, timed perfectly as I drift into the shallows and jump out.

And fall on my rear! :? I still don't know if it was my legs or the bobbing up and down. The water felt good!

Learned a lot, had some great experiences.

Anyway I can barely wait until the next common bait, akule (big eye scad) get here as the 'opelu phase out. You fish them at night too!

PS Matt. Why we need a good sail rig here. We can reach the FADS easy going out, have a fun time there, and sail back.

 Post subject: Great report!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:57 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 6
Location: South Florida
Brought back memories of my time there in the '70's. It's going to be hard to wait for the pic's.

quoted<Flip the rudder up. Pull the drive. What a great seaman I am, timed perfectly as I drift into the shallows and jump out.

And fall on my rear! I still don't know if it was my legs or the bobbing up and down. The water felt good! >

I mentioned this falling type thing on another forum (KFS) Seems this is common to get the "Hobie wobble" I got it bad the first couple of times when I stayed active for more than a couple of hours. I blame age, but don't worry, it seems to be common.

All my hobbies can or have hurt me!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:32 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:22 pm
Posts: 19
Location: L.I. NY
Great post Dan I can't wait for the pic's. Keep it up and the fish will come.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:04 am 
Hobie Team Member

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 598
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Pics didn't turn out. Here's a run by almost the same place last week. Click on thumbnail for full view.


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