I’ve Been Robbed!

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a memorable Christmas and holiday season!  We certainly did around here, one of the best yet!

Okay, now on to the story…

Recently I went on a solo session out at one of my favorite spots.  It was a beautiful day, blue skies, light winds, all caught up on work and the minnows were at school…. ahhhhhh….  So off I went.  Started off whipping my larger set up and had a couple of really nice chases and strikes but sadly no hook ups.  I kept at it until my arms were pretty taxed and the action had come to a halt.  I had brought along my little grub pole as well and decided to see if there was any small game that would be up for a little adventure.

Sure enough there were trumpet fish by the truckloads, they were at the end of almost every cast!  Now, this is not what I consider a prize fish but it is still good fun to me to catch fish, any fish, so I played along.  I was reeling in about my 15th trumpet fish when it happened…  I don’t know if you have caught many but their fighting action is very distinct.  They give almost a vibration type action when they are fighting to get away and this one had been doing just that.  When I had about 15 more feet till he was all the way in, the tension on the line became noticeably different.  A strong sharp tugging action instead.  ???  I was up on a ledge about 5 feet off the water and the water was super clear that day so I started paying more attention to what might be going on.  One more sharp tug and I saw the silver flash, and then it came again and I had the perfect view of none other than a barracuda taxing my almost acquired and soon to be released trumpet fish.  Hard to say but it looked to be about 24 inches.   It was determined and with one more chomp it had what it came for!  And I was left with half a fish…

It looks like a regular old trumpet fish…

NOT….

Brutal!!!

This is what I love about fishing!  Well not just this but crazy stuff like this happens all the time and if your not out there you miss the opportunity to see it.  Often we have the best view for nature at it’s finest.  Sunsets and rises, rainbows, whales, fish eat fish brutality… and obviously we all hope for the big one at the end of our line.   Even if I didn’t get what I was after I still had an amazing experience and enjoyed the beautiful shoreline that I am so fortunate to live by.

This year get out there and fish, you just never know what story you’ll have to share when you get back but guaranteed there is always one to tell!

Happy New Year!

fishergirl

Categories: Fishergirl Adventures, Fishing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lawai’a!

I got a call a few weeks ago from my fishing partner that fisherboy and myself had made it into the latest issue of Lawai’a magazine (issue #7) and that I should check it out.  I figured we made it on to one of the gallery pages where they post the photos that we all send in proudly displaying our hard sought after catches.  The minnows and I have been lucky enough to make it in before so it must be that, right?  Anyways, mr fishergirl was headed into town for some project supplies before one of the kids soccer games and I asked him to swing by Lihue Fishing Supply and pick up one or two copies for me.  We met up at the soccer field and as the kids were warming up I started to thumb through the mag.  I have said it before and I will again, I have always been impressed with the quality of this magazine.  They manage to put out this very well done publication on my favorite pass time, hobby, okay… addiction and it is only $1.00, that’s it, a dollar!  I don’t know how they do it…

First off I was touched to see the cover paying tribute to Hari Kojima and the article was not only about him but included some great reflections from friends and colleagues.  Then it was on to the gallery pages where I recognized a few faces and where I assumed the a fore mentioned photos would be… nope, not there…  Next I found a “fish story” by fellow blogger Spyda!  I felt a twinge of pride in knowing and actually having the pleasure of fishing with him.  I was really excited for him making it into the mag and was planning on giving him a quick text when I turned the page…  What? Really?!?  Wow!!!

This is what I saw…

I couldn’t believe it!  Brian F had contacted me several months ago about possibly running one of my blog posts. Honestly I had kind of forgotten about it, but here it was in full color sitting on my lap in the middle of little ol’ Kalawai park waiting for my little minnow’s soccer game!  What made it even better is my mother was sitting right next to me and looks over and was equally surprised to see the photos she took all those years ago of her little fishergirl on the pages before her.  One of those cool full circle kind of things… Then mr fishergirl points to the full page photo and says “you know you still stand like that when you are checking out your spots”.  I didn’t know that, but now I do!

A few moments later my phone rings and it is none other than KPC from the big island.  I had been pretty quite on the blogging/posting front and he wanted to see if I had broken my custom pole he had slaved over and was happy to hear it was just a football/soccer related dry spell which was reinforced by my stopping mid sentence to cheer on my little minnow who had just made a great save at goal.  I mentioned to him about the new issue and he asked about his Van Staal review, sure enough it was in there too!  Later that day I got my socks knocked off again when I went back and read the “Editor’s Board” page…

I had such a melting pot of emotions over this one magazine issue, but above all feeling honored to be a part of it and to be amongst such great company!

Thanks Lawai’a!

fishergirl

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Where is fishergirl??

Where is fishergirl?  Yes I have had this question pop up in email, personal messages, facebook posts and even a phone call from a certain big island fisherman.  My favorite was version was… “What!?!  You fall in or something?  Where are you??”    Well the truth is I have been landlocked!  Yes green fields and sweaty minnows have been keeping me from my regular fishing addiction. In reality I am fisherMAMA and with the hopes of keeping my life and theirs in balance, I have been that crazy lady yelling from the sidelines for her favorite player instead of the crazy lady who is always fishing.

But they are getting good…

Yes, landlocked as I have been I still have managed to get down to the rocks and fish.  Just not as much as I would like to.  Even with my less frequent outings, this summer has been a strange one…  I have been calling it “The year of the chase”.  That’s what all the fish I see seem to be doing.  Chasing, chasing, chasing but sadly not a lot of hook ups.  I have seen so many fish and they look like they are gonna commit then… nothing, nada, zip!  On the other hand,  I recently had a 40 lb white ulua chase my itty bitty 1/2 mw right up to the rock I was standing on.  I couldn’t believe it!  I looked like a super pissed off submarine charging right at me!!!  This one probably would have taken the lure but I didn’t let it have it… There would have been no point, that beast would have SCHOOLED me for sure!  I was fishing with my lighter set up…. Where were you when I had my big rig mr fat ulua??

Then there have been the cut offs…  Maybe it’s that I am targeting bigger fish but I have sure been paying my dues in the form of some of my favorite lures…  I’ve lost at least 3 of my favorites this summer.  Ugh.

Thankfully, just when I was starting to think I had really lost my touch and there was not another fish in my future this little guy came along to cheer me up…

ahhhh… thanks friend I needed that!  Now where is your big brother??

You know dry spells happen, I know dry spells happen, but what we need to remember is that life is in seasons.  Maybe this one is all about chasing down soccer balls, wide receivers and that elusive ulua but maybe next season the tide will turn.  We will see!

Enjoy the chase…

fishergirl

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Success!!!

Finally… It felt like forever since I caught a really nice fish!  It’s summertime and that means the bite should be on and I have been wanting to get into some bigger fish, but honestly I haven’t got to put in the time it takes to really be successful. Why you ask??  Well there are two main reasons…. fisherkid and fisherboy.  Add that to the reality that they are out of school for the summer and you end up with me not getting to throw near the amount of casts I do when they are off getting edumacated.  Of course I take them fishing and love it but it is a way different experience and level than when I get to do the big girl stuff.  There have been a few little prizes along the way…

Small papio C&R while on a fishing date with my smallest one.  It looked about 10 or 11 inches.


12″ papio T&R from a crazy windy day.

Lastly one of my favorite photos of the summer…

Clearly not the biggest fish in the sea but he fished and fished and fished and finally got this one all on his own.

So this week, they are both in a summer camp and I actually got to steal away today for a few hours with my trusty fishing partner and his oldest son.  We decided to hit one of our favorite spots and even more specific… one of my favorite ledges.  No kidding, this ledge actually invades my dreams from time to time.   It is the very same place I landed #3 the day I caught 3 papios and had it almost taxed by a fat omilu, as well as other chases and action from time to time.  So needless to say I was a bit excited to get out there and toss out some lures.

When we got to the locale, I set down my dunking pole and my pole that I love for my grub set up and headed out to the ledge with my Hawaiian Gold and my new custom “KPC Special”.   Didn’t even slow down to toss out some stinky bait, guess I just took that pole along for the ride because I never even looked twice at it!  Still anxious to break in the new rod and reel I start off throwing some big plugs.  Mark White has been working on a new lure design called an “Ulua Bar” and after begging, pleading, probably just short of actually stealing one from him he finally handed one over.  I threw out about 10 casts and didn’t have any action.  The tide was starting to rise but it was several hours from being really high and pretty calm on the wave action side.  I decided to grab the smaller set up and tossed out a 1/2 oz oama mw for a while.  Nothing.  Hmmmm…. I moved over to the next point to try my luck over there but still nothing happening.

The tide started picking up a bit more and some waves started crashing around and I was liking the looks of things more and more so I headed back to the ledge.  Using my larger set up I was on about my 6th cast, which I was bringing in almost parallel to the shoreline and POW!  A nice omilu totally smashes the ulua bar.  I had my drag set really tight and had the upper hand against it taking any line but almost instantly it turned to run around a section of rock into a little cove about 15 feet up the shoreline from me.  NO NO NO NO NOOOOO!  I didn’t want to give it any line and I didn’t want my line to cut either… Somehow I got it turned and bullied it around the rock out cropping, my new pole and reel were totally handling!!! Then I noticed swimming right along side of the fish I was trying to acquire was another beautiful omilu, not quite as big but no shrimp that’s for sure.  So now the fish is at my feet with his partner still swimming back and forth underneath him and I have to figure out how to get it up those 4 feet from the water to the ledge…  At some point just after the fish hooked up I yelled out to my buddies that I had a fish on and they were working their way down the shore to me, but would it be in time?  Thoughts were flying around my head of what to do and I could totally hear KPC in my head warning me not to stress the angle of the pole.  What to do, what to do??  I have this beautiful fish on and I really did not want to let it get away!!!  Just then I see a set coming in and said a little prayer… Timed with the wave and using it’s momentum I basically heaved/flung it up onto the rocks and there it was… On the rocks!  I landed it!!!  WOO HOO!  I calmly set down my pole and snapped a few photos.  Yeah right…I screamed and danced, and even did a little jig in celebration!!!  After that I did get some pictures…
With the Ulua Bar MW prototype still in it’s mouth

This was the largest I have caught whipping and I decided to tag and release this beautiful fish to swim another day.  It measured out at 23″ and a very reliable source tells me from that measurement it should have weighed around 7.5 lbs.  Not quite the ulua that I am after but I’m getting closer!!  After this fish and how my gear handled I know there is the potential to land a much bigger fish and hopefully someday I do!

Finally a kiss farewell…

Or maybe it should be a kiss for luck!

Happy Catching Everyone!

fishergirl

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Memorial Day Camp Out

Before I begin, I want to give a shout out to all of the brave men and women and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  I really cant find the words to express how much this means to me, everything just falls so short.  To those of you who made it through the battle and who are still serving and deployed, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all for ensuring our freedom.  From the big stuff right down to the right to author this silly little blog about fishing.  Thank you for protecting my children.  Thank you.

Okay.  Now on with the silly little blog…

Every year my crew hauls it all out on the sand with some good friends for a long weekend of fun, sun, fish and surf.  No running water, no bathrooms, well except for that crazy bumpy 2 mile  4WD trip down the sand to some questionable facilities and the coldest shower I have ever experienced.  Basically it’s roughing it, but in one of the most beautiful settings on the planet.

Last year I got home and was so excited to post about my weekend on one of the forums since I caught a pretty nice fish and then it hit me… I realized that I had taken tons of photos of all of my fishing set ups and said catch and not one single solitary photos of my own little guppies.  It was one of the many signs that I have a legitimate fishing addiction.  Here’s a photo recap of last year’s trip…

So this year I thought I would make sure to combat my glaring addiction head on…

I even went so far to take a photo of the dog.


Maybe next year I will actually slow down enough to take good photos of them…  We will just have to wait and see…

So on to the fishing!  I fished and I fished and I fished.   Here is the ammo…

For the record only half of those are actually mine.  The farthest one is my new custom and I also claim the four closest.

So what did I catch?  The first night I caught a 9 in papio whipping with a grub just as the sun was setting.  I gently released it back and kept fishing.  A few minutes later I reeled in my very first moi!!!  They really are good little fighters.  It was about 12 in long and I was actually surprised it wasn’t bigger from how hard it hit.  I released it also and sorry no photos of these two.  I do have to admit a mistake I made and didn’t realize it until I got home.  I thought moi season was closed, so that was the main reason I let it go.  I would have liked to cooked it up out there, you know how much better everything tastes when you are camping and I could only imagine how good it would have been, it was a moi after all.  When I got home and checked the regulations, it was actually legal, by 2 days!  Oh well, fish and learn.

The next evening the tide got low enough I could fish on the outside of the pond and I managed to hook into this nice omilu papio…

It was such a good fight.  I caught it on my lightest set up with one of those fancy new grubs and had quite a battle with it.  There was a second (or maybe two) when I though I might lose, but I somehow managed to keep the line tight and tried not to give it even an inch.   It measured out at 15.5 in and was nice and fat for it’s size.  I really do like to tag and release most of the fish I catch but the camp was so excited and remembered how good the one from last year was that I handed it over to mr fishergirl for the cleaning.  He quickly gutted and scaled it and handed it back so I could get it on the grill.  I scored the outside and rubbed it down with some Hawaiian salt and minced garlic inside and out.  Stuffed it with some lemon slices, also putting some lemon slices on the outside along with a little butter.  Wrapped the whole thing in foil and threw it on the bbq to be tended by the grill master (who happens to be none other than my regular fishing partner) and headed off with a truck full of kids to the showers.   We got back just in time to see the fish come off the grill and we dug in.  Holy smacks, SOOOO tasty!

The lighter gear ended up getting the most use out here, it just suited the conditions better.  I did toss out some big ol’ lures but in the end the small stuff won out.  Also I had two dunking rigs going this year but they didn’t get much action either.  I am really liking the new tradition of my annual memorial day fish.  Let’s hope we can keep this one going!

Hope you and yours had a great weekend!

Happy Catching,

fishergirl

Categories: Fishergirl Adventures, Fishing, How to | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments