Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fishing Hawaii: Avoid the Subs and Navy Seals!

Our some time motoring journalist Digger, takes time out of his US trip testing out some great American made cars to try his hand fishing Hawaiian waters, avoiding Navy Seals and Nuclear subs on the way.

A recent trip to the USA gave me the opportunity to stop over in Hawaii to break the long trip back from the East Coast. I took the opportunity to get out on the salt water by taking a half day fishing charter on the 'Wild Bunch' out of Waikiki.

 'WildBunch' is a very nice looking 41' Hatteras and very professionally skippered by Dax and crewed by Opy. The boat was fully kitted out and had an awesome fighting chair in the rear deck. The chances of hooking a Marlin were pretty low as the season had just ended, but a quick lesson in how to use the chair, land the monsters, and some stories about the biggest fish and toughest fights were really entertaining.

We left the dock at 6am for the very short trip out of the harbour and stopped to pick up some live bait less than half a mile out. We were catching Cigar Minnows (much like our pillies) 10 to 20cm long which would be a tasty treat for Tuna, Mackerel or Mahi-Mahi, which the guys were expecting to be around.

After filling up the live-well, we were treated to a really spectacular sunrise over Diamond Head as we motored towards the outside entrance of Pearl Harbour.

It wasn’t long before we were trolling, using big skirted lures at a range of depths and spread. There is a big drop off that follows the shape of the shore about 1 mile out. The drop off has both living and fossilized reef and some big cliffs where the depth drops from 30m to 150m in a band about 100m wide almost right around of the island. While there weren’t many other charter boats around, we did have to give a wide berth to some Navy Seals training in RHIBs and an even wider berth to a big nuclear sub making its way out of Pearl Harbour.

The fishing wasn’t producing much in the way of our target species but we could see Dax and Opy were working really hard to find us something. When the sounder showed some good fish schooling at the top of a ‘cliff’ at about 30m deep, we changed rigs and hooked up some live bait. The Hawaiians use a single hook through the nose of the Minnows. I was a bit worried that there was enough hook presented for ‘tail biters’ but the guys assured me that the fish would be big enough to take the hook as well. The fish turned out to be Rainbow Runners, and we managed to get quite a few aboard about 1m long. The fish went straight off the bite once we ran out of live bait and just couldn’t be tempted with the frozen bait.

An interesting fact with the Hawaiian charters is the ‘fish policy’. All the fish caught are split up evenly between the charter; cleaned, skinned, filleted or however you prefer. This doesn’t apply to any individual fish over 100 pounds which is kept and sold by the crew. This allows the cost of the charter to be kept low, and provides a great incentive for the crew to put you on to some really good fish. Unfortunately, the guys would only make minimum wages on the day I went out.

It was a really good day out. Great weather, flat water, and even a few fish to top things off. An excellent way to break the trip and ease my way back in to work once I got home.

Words: Digger P Photos: Digger's personal album & Widlbunch charters

No comments:

Post a Comment