Monday, May 25, 2015

Cool Door Panels

At the REI Flagship store in Seattle

Uwajimaya Fun Day

We went up to Seattle for the day.  Here are some pictures of some interesting stuff.  Like $18.99 a pound poke (I finally found one thing less expensive in Hawaii)
There's a monk fish under the ice.
And I never thought I'd see crappie for sale (I need to become a professional fisherman)
And then there's the meat section...
We always enjoy our time at Uwajimaya!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Little After Work Catching...

I decided I could use a little decompression from work, and I had a few new jigs to feed the bonefish, so I took a detour on the way home. No takers on the jig :( - wrestling bonefish is highly addictive. I don't recommend pursuing this form of recreation if you have obsessive/compulsive tendencies - actually, I don't recommended it to anyone (you will get addicted). At the halfway point I switched out the jig to the rig I caught the barracuda on and on the last cast of the day - BAM - I got a taker! This guy jumped once and fought a little more than the bigger one I caught on the weekend. It's good to know I have another technique down. Now if I could just consistently hook up on bonefish....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Second Sailing of the Hobie Tandem Island

I got the opportunity to sail the Hobie Tandem Island sailing kayak again on Saturday. I paid attention to the smaller things this trip - how well do the controls work, how much do the components and joints flex, and how comfortable were the seats and pedals. Being a kayak first and foremost, you quickly realize you are much lower to the water than any other sailing vessel out there (even a Laser - I think). The person in the front position will get wet (but the spray skirt kit from Kayak Bob on Maui should keep most of the water from hitting). And the trampoline positions are not designed for accommodating people long term unless they are smaller. But knowing that this isn't a larger sailing vessel and accepting those differences makes this very portable, highly damage resistant boat a hoot to take out anywhere. I stuck around to watch the crew disassemble the kayak and load it up on the trailer - didn't take long at all. But it did look like a two person operation. I am considering this as one of the options for our next water craft - but as the time draws nearer to pulling the trigger (I gotta move the family out here as priority one, after that comes saving for a down payment or earnest money on the house, then another vehicle - maybe, AND THEN A NEW WATER CRAFT), I'll try bringing the kids out and see how they like it. Either way this is a fun boat and having propulsion options to make a trek out to catch ono, ahi and mahi makes eating the fish even nicer!!!!

Other Sightings

The morning tides this past weekend were super low. That left lots of little pools of water with the usual cast of characters swimming about. I saw several Medusa Worms, a couple of Snowflake Moray Eels and hundreds of these guys - I think they are juvenile Lizardfish. I did see a solid olive green Mantis Shrimp while walking around in knee deep water - it had the attitude of "what are you looking at?" - not afraid of anything. I'd be afraid of the big bonefish if I were the Mantis...

Knocking Off The Bucket List Occupants

This weekend was a low-count, high-impact weekend of fishing. On Saturday, I went out twice. First I went out on Saturday morning with an 8 weight fiberglass flyrod - the Epic 888. I overlined it with a 9 weight RIO Bonefish Quickshooter. Nice casting rod, but I didn't get the chance to wrestle any fish with it (darn finicky bonefish!). I took a break and ran some errands (like laundry). In between cycles I lined up the 888 with an 8 weight RIO Bonefish Quickshooter and that line cast even nicer. I love Epic rods because they make casting more fun. Who doesn't like seeing nicely shaped loops flying through the air and unfurling gently out 60' away??? I went back out in the afternoon, but took a spinning setup instead - the Fenwick 9'0" moderate power, fast action 2-piece rod and the Penn Spinfisher V 3500. I specifically went out to catch a barracuda (maybe 'the' barracuda) that has been taking my lures/flies. I tied on about 2" of "Tyger Wire" as a bite tippet with an albright knot and a 3 turn clinch at the lure (brass 1/12 ounce Kastmaster). I nailed this guy!!! Finally!!!! So I got one of the last two fish off my Hickam bucket list. Then on Sunday morning I went back out with the spinning gear and used a completely different tactic - a bucktail jig - a big one to mimic a fat mantis shrimp. I even thought about tying on an abrasion leader knowing the bonefish get big. I'm glad I did because I did hook solidly into a big bone while blind casting at a point (that was the other chance in tactics - stop sight casting - which goes against the grain I developed flyfishing). As soon as I got a hookup, the fish took off stripping line off the reel for 20 seconds straight! I tightened down on a the drag a bit more and it finally stopped. I reeled it in (heavy bend in the rod the entire time) and I got the fish to a poles length away when the knot holding the jig gave. What a fight!!!! I think I'll up the flurocarbon tippet to 25 pound test to make sure I can get the fish to hand. I didn't get any pictures of the fish but it was a big one. I did take pictures of the flat with the sun out - and some bones cruising the deeper channels - but on second look, I couldn't find the fish in the photos. I had polarized amber lenses on and the camera didn't. So I knocked off the two last fish on my Hickam bucket list - but these were had on spinning gear and I still have to do the same on the fly. But for now I can start exploring other spots without feeling like I got beat by the fish at Hickam.

Not All Rotary Sushi Places Are Equal

An old friend and I decided to checkout the Mad Max movie (pretty good - seemed like the director wanted to squish all three of the previous movies into one - but it was still good), and grab sushi afterwards. Despite our after work hunger, we decided to watch the movie first (avoid the Friday night movie line) then grab sushi (avoids the dinner line). If lines are an indication of good food, even at 8 pm there was a line at the sushi shop. Mind you this is a rotary sushi bar, which usually push people in and out. Kuru Kuru in Pearl City - onolicious!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday Puffer

I decided to go fishing after work instead of doing laps at the pool. I was fishing for paipo on the flats (Fenwick 9'0" Medium Power Spinning Rod, Penn Spinfisher V 3500 with 6 pound test monofilament line) when I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye. I saw this guy swimming along. I managed to catch it with my bare hands (just cradled it really). It did not inflate and the spikes weren't deployed. I was more worried about keeping my fingers away from it's mouth (these guys can bite through hooks - my finger would be quite the snack - meaty and crunchy). It's neat what you can find on the flats if you keep your eyes open. I also managed to hook up with a paipo. I saw a pretty big weke (goatfish) following my lure (but it didn't take) and a barracuda sniped off my 1/12 ounce Kastmaster lure. I've lost more tackle to the small barracuda out here than I care to recall - I haven't even caught one to show for it. The funny thing is when I deliberately fish for them, they are no where to be found. Smart bugga's....

Thursday, May 7, 2015

First Backyard Tilapia

At the place I am renting a room, the backyard has access to the canal system in Kailua. I've posted before about the veritable plethora of fish swimming around within easy reach of the backyard. Well - I took a few minutes this morning to see if I could tease a fish into a game of tug-o-war. I did get one taker - and only one. I has a killer bug and a green weenie on a tenkara rod and got nothing but annoyed looks from scores of tilapia. It was incredibly frustrating - the complete opposite of catching bluegill back in Reston. Well - at least I got one to take the fly (green weenie). I did see a bunch of fish jumping around about a 25' cast away - maybe a barracuda accosting a large group of tilapia??? And I did get a visual on a 7" white trevally swimming around among the tilapia... So two things - first I'm going to have to figure out what the tilapia are interested in eating so I can tie up some more appealing flies. And second - I'll have to have a second rod rigged with some papio/kaku crack flies to hook into those passerbys.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tiny Octopus

That's what the package says

Late Start Catching

Today was the only day I could go fishing (without being rushed) - it's actually been that way for a while now since I've been going to a multi-session course, trying to workout in the afternoons, volunteering with Trout Unlimited and the He'eia Fish Pond, and of course working. The tides were spring levels with the full moon and the up coming high started at 12:37 pm. I decided to sleep in since the tide was a later one. I got harassed by a barracuda a few times - hard pull then nothing after it took the Beaker fly (new name for the fly in the "Cartoon Character" post - at second look it resembles "Beaker" more than "Big Bird"). And then a second time while I had the Makata strip on the spinning gear - but it made chop suey out of the line (hard to see I know, but the hook is high up, caught up around the swivel where the main line is connected, and the leader cut in three places). I had actually had meant to bring some braided steel leader, but left it on the table when I left the house. I got frustrated getting turned down on the fly so I exchanged setups and used the lightweight spinning gear. The Makata strips I normally use weren't getting much action so I switched it out for a 1/20 ounce Kastmaster spoon - after three hours of casting the fly and spin stuff, I finally got some hits. First up was this goatfish - that unfortunately died while I was trying to remove the small treble hook (I need to switch this hook out for a small circle I think, but I need to experiment to get the same action out of the lure - treble hooks are great when catching fish for meat, but not so good if fishing catch and release). These fish are usually brutally attacked by trevally and other predatory fish - I think giving this goatfish the ability to go belly up quick is nature's way of being kind to this species (which usually ends up getting eaten). My rule is if you kill it, you eat it so this guy (which is the legal 7" length) went home with me. I also caught a few papios and this queenfish (Lai). The lai was actually the first one I've caught at Hickam, and the biggest one to date. All the other ones I've caught were at Kaneohe. And I had a mystery fish that I think was my first bonefish (o'io) out here in Hawaii. The fish took the kastmaster and didn't stop - it pulled tons of line out against the drag (oh that was nice!!!) and did not head shake like some other fish I've caught. I got it close enough to see it had a bonefish profile, but it came off the hook. That was good enough for me!!! I'll put up a post shortly on the Kastmaster mod to shed the treble.