South Shore, Honolulu, Hawaii, November 8, 2008
A report from SteveL
I went back out to
Five Dollar Flats with EricW early Saturday morning. The cloudy skies glowed a bright orange as dawn broke over the mountain ridge with a rising tide that would peak sometime around noon. I figured we had a three hour window to fish before it got too deep to wade. It was quite gusty, but if you fish Hawaii, that is the norm. It takes a good 9-weight rod and a low profile line to power through that wind to get some distance on your casts.

I had an idea where we would fish that morning and to save some time, we walked along the beach nearly a quarter mile. As we entered the flats we could see several very large
Oio tailing. Eric tried to go after them but lined them as a gust of wind blew his line right over their backs. The strategy was to cast in front of them and wait and wait and wait a couple of minutes before twitching your fly. If you can get these spooky fish to bite you're lucky. Most of our successful hookups are from blind casting into "fishy" waters. Having fished these flats for years, you get to know the "highways" they take through the flats.

As we made our way to a submerged point we kept casting, hoping to pick up something along the way.

We settled into our spots and I got my strike about 15 minutes later. It was a sudden tug, and then the coils of line start to whip through my fingers then the rod arced toward the water and the reel started to scream as the fish went on it's run. I let out a "whoop" and held on.

Every fish strike starts off similar but the
Oio run is like no other. Some fish rip out with your reel spinning so fast you dare not touch it fearing you'll break your thumb on the knob and then the fish will snap your 20 pound leader or will bend your hook straight. Others run in graduated spurts and others will run a hundred yards and then streak back in toward you -- and you are reeling like hell to get line back on the reel.

This fish ran about 30 yards into my backing then stopped. Must be small I thought, but it wasn't. It saved all it's energy to fight a close battle. It took me nearly ten minutes to bring it to net. It was a surprising 6-pounds and 24-inches in length.

We didn't hook anything after that. After another hour half, the rising tide and the lure of
breakfast and hot coffee begged our return to shore.

EQUIPMENT: Use 9-weight fast-action rods to deal with the constant wind that blow over these flats.