Monday, June 29, 2015

Life on the Flats on a Dropping Tide

I went fishing Sunday morning out at Hickam Flats. Lots to see if you looked for the small things. Life is tough on all of the Earth's inhabitants. If you're in the food chain, someone is always trying to make a meal out of you - and in between dodging predators, you have to make improvements to your abode, find a mate, eat your own food and survive to rigors of the environment around you. During the spring tides, huge sections of this flat go dry for three hours at a time. During this low water periods, you can see a lot of life that usually hides under a lot of water. These crabs were dead when I saw them (not sure why). On the walk out to the edge of the flat, I saw a Hawaiian Feather Duster. This guy was coming out of the ground - normally they have tube structures they live in (this one is mostly likely still in a tube, but formed it in a hole left by something else). These mangrove roots provide a great place for juvenile fish to grow. If you look at the image closely, you'll see small Sergeant Majors and Convict Tangs (Manini). I ended up fyfishing first. I had a school of papio chasing one of the rabbit fur flies I tied up, but they didn't hit the fly - they only chased it as fast as I could strip it. Here is a picture of a used Abel Super 8 reel I recently picked up (great deal on this capable reel). As the tide turned and started to fill in again, I decided to switch to spinning gear. After a whole lot of casting and zero catching, I decided to move in to shallower water and see if the bonefish, goatfish and papio had moved in to the murky water zone. I'm glad I did - this lone papio hit a 1/12 ounce silver kastmaster and prevented a skunking. I definitely catch more using bait - but this time was more about seeing than catching.

Gemini Tow Board

This Gemini is a rocket ship!!! Really nice curves and built to take punishment. It's rare to see these around Oahu.

Amy's (Charlie's) New Longboard

Charlie and I went out to Kapolei on Saturday to check out Surfboard Factory Outlet. These guys are one of two spots where Hawaiian Island Creations make their surfboards, and several other shapers also work out of this factory. They had a huge selection of boards, and their prices were really good to boot. After a long comparison, Charlie picked out a board that Amy would have an easier time learning on - a 9'6" Kahanamkou Brothers Cruiser. Nice flat rocker, fuller nose and tail, this thing should be a breeze to paddle - which means a world of difference when you are learning. All strapped on and ready to go!!! Congratulation Amy (Charlie) on your new board!!!! It is always fun to go out and pick up a new surfboard - something that you can grow to trust and have a ton of fun on!!!

Spam and Eggs Varient

The original "Spam and Eggs" fly was pumped out by Coach Duff - a guide out here on Oahu. It was built to mimic the mantis shrimp that live on the flats out here. Here's my version of the Spam and Eggs tied up for skinnier water. Of note I tied the egg sack on the bottom side of the fly - that is not what is done on the original. With the weed guard, hopefully I can strip it through the rocks and gravel without it getting hung up. This is the first time I've used EP fibers - they are really stiff and like to stay clumped together. Good stuff for use on the tail. Now all that remains to be seen is how the bonefish like this fly.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Walls of Fun on the Dawn Patrol

I forgot how much fun surfing before work can be. It also is the secret to invincibility - nothing that happens in the office can bother you the rest of the day. This left lined up for me nicely. The Uli responded perfectly to every weight shift I made to crank turns up and down the wall. I caught a few others before it was time to go in and get ready for work (changing clothes in the parking lot - man I miss this!!!). The only problem with dawn patrolling is you get really sleepy after lunch (more so than normal). By the way - I also miss naps.

Pops Dawn Patrol with Jimmy

I got up early this morning to go on a dawn patrol with Jimmy. We hit Pops on a low tide and in bound swell from the South. Jimmy was on his new Flight Step-Up board. He caught most of his waves before I did so I didn't get to see him surfing except this one. I figured I was stuck on the inside and was going to get whacked by the white water anyways - might as well take a few pictures of Jimmy on his new board. Low light conditions are always tricky - but these came out nice!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

First Hand Plane Coming Together

Here's the first of the set of three I had lined up in the hopper. This one is way out in front of the other two (so don't hold your breath to see the others any time soon). Here it is after the Sharpie artwork (High '5' Octo) and the first coat of polyurethane. I hope to be able to get this in the water by the weekend. I still have to put an FCS plug in for the GoPro mount and fit in the hand strap nuts. We'll see...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day Swell

I caught my share of waves from this swell over at Hickam. Nice ride and a .... wait for it ..... wipeout!!!! Well overhead on the sets - you can see the rider on the wave is under the lip. More rides Very satisfying session (despite the multiple wipeouts and tripped up bottom turns).

Blue Ringed Exit Port

With the Friday skunking, I defaulted to a Bait Saturday. It worked! I ended up catching a bullethead wrasse, a good sized humuhumunukunukuapua'a and three papio. This was the wrasse. I've seen these guys swimming around, but have not been able to get one on the hook - until Saturday. I used a 'j' hook and bunched the bait into a ball on the tip of the hook. I felt the fish taking bites but waited a hair longer than normal and then set the hook - bam!!! I caught a bunch of these fish on Diego - and true to the genus (and maybe species - I have to go back and carefully check the pictures before I can go and declare this) - their anus are circled in a really vibrant blue ring. Catching these papio is always fun - this is a picture of the last one. The first one was a 10"er - almost dinner sized. Two new species caught on the hook and all fish released to fight another day. Not bad!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Positive Results on the Rock Resistant Measures

I didn't catch anything with the flies I just tied, but none of them (with the 40# mono twin post weed guards) got hung up on the gravel or the bottom. Weighted with bead chain eyes, the flies did still make a 'plop' when entering the water. The plop was greatly diminished, but still there. It'll be interesting to find out if the reduction is enough to stop spooking the bones. The simple fly without eyes had tons of motion, even when stripped slowly. Crosscut rabbit and marabou... I hope to nail some papio with this fly... Despite the positive results, it still sucks not catching anything. Skunked!!!!