Coming in on the heels of an active week of fishing in West Hawaii’s Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, those of us participating in the 15th annual Huggo’s Wahine Fishing Tournament were expecting a good day out on the water. What we didn’t expect was to catch a big fish right away! I was just sitting inside the cabin (taking a quick snooze in a comfy chair) a little after 9 am, when the scream of the lines went off. Scrambling to get to the fighting chair (as it was my turn to bring in whatever was on the line) a sense of adrenaline took over as I was strapped in and ready to fight.
Now, I have caught some mahi mahi, ono, aku and spearfish in the past, but I never expected the strength I would have to find to bring in the bad boy on my line this weekend. Thanks to the encouragement of the team, boat captain Loyd Potter, his wife Johnia and our first mate, Percy, I was able to bring him up to the boat in 28 minutes. We then tagged and released that beautiful Blue Marlin. He took off very quickly so I doubt anything was hurt except his pride and I thank him for putting us in 4th place in yesterday’s tournament!
Deep sea fishing in Hawaii is a favorite pastime of locals and tourists alike. The “Reel Wahines” were fortunate to be on the Renegade with Captain Loyd, Johnia and Percy. Captain Loyd has been fishing in these waters for over 40 years. They explained to us that the marlins are in their breeding season right now and the males are overly aggressive. The males actually weigh a lot less than the females, so there were several tag and releases with both the Billfish and Wahine Tournaments this week. In our tournament, any marlins under 300 pounds had to be tagged and released to qualify.
The largest fish that was bought in yesterday was 733 pounds and it took the Kaimalino Wahine 3 hours to bring her in. When I heard those numbers, I was looking forward to meeting the winning anglers at our awards banquet and giving them a big hug after my taste of what they must have been dealing with for those 3 hours. I was also feeling that pain yesterday, that’s for sure. Auwee!!
We’re already looking forward to next year as the Wahine fishing tournament is great fun — from the Friday night briefing pupu party to the 8 hours of fishing and then comparing notes afterward at the awards banquet. One of the special highlights: $10,000 of the proceeds from the tournament goes to Family Support Services of West Hawaii, which makes us all feel good for participating as well.