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!