Haleiwa, Hawaii, September 23, 2009
A report from SteveL

I joined my work colleague, Abe, on his annual fishing venture he organizes for the Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials.  This was the fifth time over the years that I’ve joined his group to fish.  We started out from Haleiwa Harbor aboard the Kuuloa Kai charter fishing boat around 5:30am. 

Our first stop was to fish the
shark tour buoy for Opelu (Mackerel Scad, Decapterus macarellus). Captain Rusty, his brother Scott and I must have hooked a couple of dozen fish in the early morning light – we were jigging with damashi (sabiki) and switched from glow beaded flies to plain jigs as it got light. These would be used for live baiting to catch Mahimahi (Dolphin, Dorado, Coryphaena hippurus). As we were fishing Lemon sharks kept swimming up to the boat following the smell of the water being pumped from the bait well.  I recall on a previous trip out there a Tiger shark about 12 feet long swam to within touching distance.

We trolled abot 27 miles out of Haleiwa before we got multiple hits on all five lures at once. Two stuck and Abby and Curtis had their hands full for at least 15 minutes, pulling up two
Otado (Skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis) one of them weighing in at 26 pounds – it was the biggest damn Aku (Skipjack tuna) I’ve ever seen up close. We did another pass through the school and hooked up again – this time I took the rod and pulled up another Otado

We didn’t get another strike until several hours later as we fished
X buoy – a large Mahimahi hit our corner outrigger but didn’t stick. Scott, the first-mate, rigged a couple of Opelu with bridle rigs and let them free swim behind the boat. But no luck. He said if the Mahimahi had been around they would have nailed the live bait like missiles.

We trolled for several hours more on the way back – at the same time on the lookout for a floating log that had been in the area for the last couple of weeks.  We had hoped to find it as a boat the previous day had hooked 900 pounds of
Mahimahi off of it. The fish we hooked ended up as sashimi at the conference and I took some of the Opelu “bait” home to eat.  We’ve had better trips in the past but this was still a good fishing trip and way better than sitting at my desk in the office.