Honolulu, Hawaii, July 30, 2015
There was a substantial bend on the simple fiberglass rod as Little Girl muscled in an angry Hawaiian saddle wrasse. The was no reel. It was just a simple five foot tapered stick with three feet of 6X, about 3.5 pound test, tied onto a nylon loop at the tip. A BB split shot dangled about eight inches above a size 22 barbless hook that was now firmly imbedded in the upper lip of a very pissed fish. Little Girl played the wrasse well and as soon as I had it in hand she whipped out her iPhone 5 and shot some frames for her Instagram feed. The quick snaps were followed by several equally quick screen swipes and taps on the keyboard and in a minute her fish was being shared and commented on by friends and family on the other side of the world.

People fall into two camps over mobile technology. It’s either the Devil’s tool or the greatest invention in the history of Mankind. I have no problem with it and think it’s cool to have a phone, GPS, miniature computer and pretty decent digital camera in your pocket. I mostly share the fishing adventures on the web--aimed at desktop to better display images. However Little Girl and her friends grew up in the mobile-social environment and almost everything they do is on Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, YouTube, WhatsApp or Pinterest. I would have thought Facebook would be high on their list but evidently most of them feel Facebook is for “old people” (meaning mom, dad and their friends) and aren’t interested in using it.
The Girl and I fished a lot on this trip and our favorite spot was the Maki Research Pier, a facility belonging to the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory which does work on undersea instrumentation and equipment. In my university days I was a fixture here when I worked for the Sea Grant publications office. I reported on the latest mini-submarines, undersea habitats, exotic deep dive suits and attempted to explain data from deep sea hydrothermal vents on the Loihi seamount, molt stage determination of Panulirus marginatus or the impact of an alien octocoral, Carijoa riisei, on black corals in Hawaii. Whew. I got a headache just thinking about that. But one of the greatest features of this research facility is the massive concrete pier. It’s a great place to go fishing.
When I say fishing, I mean SHE fishes while I am in charge of hauling and setting up gear, baiting the hook and posing fish for her social media post before they are released. I am also on the receiving end of comments like, “Why are we fishing here when I see a lot of fish over there?” Or her observations that the bait is too big, too small or it fell off the hook. She also demands that I hold the fish steady because her pictures won’t be clear enough or that I find different fish for her to catch because she’s caught so many of the same species that her Instagram friends think she’s just posting the same picture over and over.
She posts everything she catches with a running commentary and queries me about the correct name and spelling of the fish. When she burns out her phone’s battery she asks me to hand over my iPhone so she can log on and continue the commentary. But we have fun. Dad and daughter fun. Good times that will always be remembered.
EQUIPMENT: We mostly used a very light action fiberglass straight rod tipped with a short length of 6X, a split shot and size 22 barbless hook. We also used light action spinning rod spooled with six pound test to fish for and land some of the larger reef fish. Bait of choice was a chunk of shrimp on the straight rod and a variety of small spoons or flies on the spinner.

DIRECTIONS: The Makai Research Pier is located on the southeastern shore of Oahu about a mile from Makapuu Point. It is the site of the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, a testing location for a wide range of experimental underwater equipment. The pier is open to the public for fishing during daylight hours.