Nuuanu Reservoir #4, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 5, 2008
SteveL invited me to fish for catfish at Nuuanu Reservoir #4 with his son, Alan, who belonged to Boy Scout Troop 10. Fishing is on a lottery system and I was lucky enough to get in to fish with the Scouts for the afternoon session while I was visiting family in the Islands.

The reservoir is located between downtown Honolulu and the town of Kailua off the Pali Highway. It's stocked with channel catfish and other incidental species like tilapia and is open to weekend public fishing three times a year in May, August, and November.

A freshwater fishing license and an entry fishing card (for locals and visitors), obtained through a lottery system, are required. All applicants are allowed to fish.
We arrived early to secure that 'secret hot spot' but found that six cars were already ahead of us and those guys looked like they knew the secrets of catching big catfish.

When the gates opened we hurried through the check-in but we told Alan and another Scout to grab minimal gear and beat feet to get to that 'secret spot' before others could stake it out for themselves.

Being older and much wiser, Steve L and I took our time and as we hiked in saw that Alan and the other Scout had accomplished their mission and the area was secure. The rest of Troop 10 arrived and soon the rods were rigged with three-way swivels, 6-ounce sinkers and large circle hooks tipped with the most foul smelling bait I have ever handled (marinated and aged 1-year-old tuna belly). Do not touch the cork handle of your rod BEFORE washing your hands! The smell will not come out.
The first half hour was crazy. Catfish were biting on every rod. Smallies were let go and the big ones were strung up and kept alive in a small inlet. But it was like someone flipped a switch--the bite suddenly stopped and it stayed that way for almost two hours. I amused myself by stringing up a 5-weight fly rod and tried to catch some of those large Tilapia that inhabit the reservoir. But Steve L pointed out that the area we were fishing did not harbor any of these fish and if I wanted to catch one I would have to hike to the opposite side of the reservoir, which I wasn't interested in doing.

Fishing really picked u070508cat04p in the last hour of our allotted time. Huge cats were being dragged up by the Troop and every Scout had at least one fish. As the boys hiked out to the weigh-in with their catch they were the envy of every angler there.

EQUIPMENT: Heavy, stiff surfcasting rods 9-12 plus feet long with heavy tackle capable of throwing a 6-ounce or heavier chunk of lead. Getting distance is the ticket to scoring big cats in this reservoir. Alan and I used huge Shimano surf rods with a Penn 750ss reel (Alan) and Alvey 600BCXL (me) large capacity casting reel.