Fishing Tales

What fisherman doesn't like to tell his story of a great fishing fight...won or lost!  Here's your chance to tell your fishing story.  Send us an e-mail telling your story, and feel free to attach a photo or two if you really want people to believe it!!  We'll post your story and photos here to share your triumph (or defeat!) with our fishing community.

This tale comes from Mackey Young of Oahu.

Mackey Young starting fishing for Ulua maybe about the past 10 months on the island of Oahu. Fishing tales always say hardly next to or no fish Ulua off Oahu. Well on April 12 the weekend of his Birthday he went out to the east side of Oahu, with fishing gear in hand to search for his Dream. He was about to check his bait when Bam his Birthday present hit. He ended up catching his Dream fish which was a 48.8 pound Ulua ...So don't give up there are still Ulua on Oahu !!        

This tale comes from Lance's Dad who lives in Hawaii and was shore fishing. 

My 10 year old son Lance caught this 20.5 inch Uhu with a 6 foot spinner lined with 15 lb. test line and a eagleclaw hook no larger then my pinky finger nail.  He baited with shrimp and floated it off the cliff 30 ft down, it took nearly 5 minutes of a fight to get it close to the edge where we both could hand line it in without having the line to break and losing this Uhu.  Unfortunately we have no scale to weigh it, so we are not sure how much it weighed.

This tale comes from Jeff who fished on the Start Me Up

My wife's godfather and I went out on Start Me Up on August 9th out of Lahaina.  From the second Captain Mark introduced himself to us and the four other people fishing with us I felt welcomed.  He was friendly and helpful, especially to the few people who had never fished before.  When we took off at 5am it was a bright full moon.  No longer than 10 minutes after deckhand Charlie put the lines in the water I hooked onto a 30 lb Ono.  It was fun catching such a large fish.  The intensity of the fight and the commands Captain Mark was shouting out was a full adrenaline rush so early in the morning.  
An hour later we were into deeper water so the Marlin lures were brought out.  After about 45 minutes of trolling one of the guys hooked into a 90 lb Blue Marlin.  It was an awesome sight to see the fish jumping out of the water as it fought.  After a 10 minute fight, the guy (I forgot his name) landed the marlin.  It was brought up to the side of the boat, tagged, and released.  It was neat to see such a beautiful fish up close and personal. After the fish was released Charlie went to work setting up the lines and getting them back into the water for maximum fishing time for us. 
After another two hours of trolling my wifes god-father Chuck hooked into a SECOND large blue marlin.  It was awsome to see the look on Chucks face as he fought this big fish.  Chuck has done lots of lake fishing but nothing like this.  After 20 minutes Chuck got the fish within 20 feet of the rear of the boat.  The fish then jumped out of the water. Captain Mark estimated the fish to be around 190 LBS.  When the fish got within 10 feet of the boat, it spit the hook and swam away.  

Chuck could barely stand when the fight was done, but the smile on his face was priceless.  Two Marlins and one Ono on a 5 hour trip! We could not be more pleased with our trip.  Charlie cut and cleaned the Ono, and we took enough home for our family.  The rest was split between the rest of the people on the boat. If any one is looking to charter a fishing trip I would definitely recommend Start Me Up.  Everything about the staff and equipment were first class.

This tale comes from Mike of California

Last Fourth of July I had reserved two seats on a charter boat for salmon fishing out of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, California.  At the last minute my girlfriend flaked out on me.  I was determined to go fishing regardless if I had to go by myself.  I called a drinking buddy of mine by the name of Grat, the night before to see if he wanted to go.  He said he did.  I told him that we would have to leave Lucerne by no later than 4:30 am, because the boat was due to depart at 6:00 am.  He said he'd be ready to go.  I was a little skeptical because I was well aware of his carousing nature.  Grat is a hard drinking Irishman and a devout Catholic.  To my suprise, he showed up at about 4:25 with his girlfriend behind the wheel.  She was going to drive us over to the coast and that was fine by me.  That meant we could both do a little quaffing on the way home. 

Well we got to the dock and boarded up the Sea Hawk, operated by Captain Tim.  I was deciding on where to fish from on the boat.  My buddy Grat sidled up to me and whispered in a low and almost conspiratorial tone.  "Christ says to fish from the right side of the boat."  Well that was good enough for me.  I found a spot on the right side of the boat, and cracked a cold beer and opened the crackers that Grat had brought to keep us from getting sea-sick.  I wasn't paying too much attention as the boat headed out of the harbor and toward the open ocean.  When we got to where we were going to troll I noticed that Grat had set up shop on the left side of the boat!

I asked him what the heck he was doing, but he didn't have much of an answer.  We fished for a few hours with a couple of salmon being landed, but it was pretty slow.  I noticed after a while that all the people who had eaten the saltine crackers we offered around were still fishing, and the ones that had refused our crackers were gone from their posts to sick bay.  The crackers really worked.  With half the group too sick to fish, I now had three rods that I was keeping my eyes on as we continued to troll.  Sure enough, with time running out on our trip, one of the rod tips I was watching dipped down hard.  I grabbed it & yelled "fish on!"  After a short but nerve racking battle I boated the 25lb King Salmon.  Grat never got a nibble.  Fish from the right side of the boat?  Damned right! 

This tale comes from Tony, a local Oahu fisherman

Last weekend my friends and I went out trolling on his 19 foot glasspro out of Kanaohe.  We left the docks about 5:45 am and headed for MM buoy, we started trolling right away.  Trolled all the way to MM buoy and still not a strike, so we decided to go to T buoy and make it an early day.  We got to T buoy did a couple of circles around it and no strikes at all.  So we decide to head in, I looked back to check the lines and saw the stinger and out rigger was crossed. I reeled in the outrigger to untangle the lines, then I started to reel in the stinger and as I was doing that I saw a big bill come up and smack the lure and take out some line. 

Then the marlin came off we were all bummed, so I said lets circle around and try again as soon as I said that the right rigger went down and started screaming off line.  We cleared the deck and got ready for the battle.  The first run she took out about 400 yards.  We fought the marlin for about and hour and got about 200 yards back, then the fish died.  We tried everything from driving forward to doing cirlces trying to get line back with a dead marlin on the other end.  Nothing was working,  so I put on a pair of gloves and started to pull the fish from the deep blue sea with my hands.  After about a half an hour hand lining the fish in she came to the top.  We put some ropes around it and brought it in the boat.  We brought the fish back to the docks and the marlin weighed in at 374 pounds.  (p.s. forgot to mention the fish broke the but of the rod to from fighting it!)

From Allan fishing at Smith Lake on the mainland

I caught this (4" 30lb ) gar on my 6" fly rod . I was on a fishing trip at Smith Lake and my Dad said he knew a little backwater were there is a lot of crappie and bass so he started the motor and we headed over to it.  When we got there I got my fly rod out and I tossed a small green and yellow popper fly. We caught a few bass and 3 crappie, but on the way out I saw something on top and I thought wow that is a huge bass so I threw the popper and all of a sudden I felt a huge tug and my reel went crazy!! Then I saw this huge alligator gar fly out of the water and he looked in to my eyes as if saying "You better enjoy this because you will never get another thrill like this again in you life).   I looked at him fall back in to the water and he took off just pulling more and more line off I finally started to real line back in after 15 or 20 minutes he finally gave up I got hin to the boat and my Dad cut the line and he swam off. 

This tale comes from Jesse, a local Oahu angler

It was an average day with 10 to 20 mph trades but there was a 20 ft North swell making the seas gigantic but still doable. Our mission today was to head over to T buoy off the east side for whatever would bite. As we were going along in the 20 foot seas we came upon a big aku pile 4 or 5 miles behind rabbit island and pulled in some aku.

Finally we got to T buoy at around 8:30. Our first pass we had a double strike 2 more aku to add to the ones already in the cooler. Then on our second pass we heard our 12/0 screaming and we saw the big bull mahi jumping and splashing. We all got into position me myself steering the boat and my dad was angling the fish. after a half an hour we got it to the boat. It took a dive right under the boat and cam inches from getting the line cut off in the motor. for about 15 minutes all this bad boy would do is dive under the boat and we would have to keep driving forward to keep him in the back of the boat. When we finally get him belongside the boat My dad went to gaff him then the mahi went crazy and took off with a humungous run and our gaff still in his head. Then we got him back to the boat again to find out that the $60 gaff had been pulled out of him. We weren't letting this guy go now we were mad.

With no spare gaff at the time my dad hoisted the bull into the boat. Once in the boat he was flopping around crazy hitting all of our legs and kept on going for 5 minutes. Finally my dad had managed to get him into the cooler but he would still flop around and open the cooler top so we both had to sit on top of the cooler till he settled down. We put our lines back out but had no more luck but ended the day with a good fish. This mahi topped the scales weighing in at 42 pounds. Hope you liked the story.

This tale comes from Jon, a local Oahu angler

I have been stationed here in the Army now for almost 4 1/2 years and have had a boat for about 3 years of that. During this time I have done a lot of scuba diving and fishing but something's just never happened (like a Marlin). We had made many trips to the BO Buoy along with CO, S, R and V out of Waianae. Many fish had been caught to include Ono, Mahi, Ahi, and allot of Aku but never a Marlin until......

We left the Waianae harbor around 0830 on 24th of November 2002 and went straight for the "R" buoy because "S" was missing. It was a pretty worrisome start after all the seas were rolling good and only the big boat's were out. We were safe inside our 35 footer and headed on. After about 1 hour we got our first hit on the starboard outrigger (8 inch pink lure with purple underskirt). That one unfortunately got away after about 3:00 min's. We decided to stay at the buoy and keep circling. We pulled in the outriggers, but left the center rigger out about 5 wakes back ( with an ice blue lure about 9.5 inches).. and trolled for Aku with solid pink King Busters because they worked the previous week.

We were just about to head South towards the BO buoy when the Center Rigger just "SNAPPED". My Buddy Brad was in the Tuna Tower and Yelled Marlin on and as I turned to look I saw a huge gray object leap out if the water. I brought the boat down to around 2 knots and eventually to neutral. By this time we had the fish fighting and the other poles in. After about 15 mins the handle on the reel broke (note more maintenance needed). We continued to fight the fish from the back of the boat and not the seat because of the reel. Once the fish was near the boat we got some good video of the fish in the water and started to have a little trouble as it tried to go under the boat. We maneuvered the boat and eventually the fish more a less gave up and we gaffed it through the tail. A good 1/2 hour after the start I tied a rope off to its tail to get it out if the water and take away its propeller.

After we got the fish in the boat and all was done, high fives were passed and we set the lures back out. I have had a wonderful time while stationed here and really do hope I can get back here. The island style is the only style and I am very happy to be part of the Ohana here... Good luck to all who fish, I hope you hana pa'a soon as well!

This tale comes from Jesse from Hawaii Kai on Oahu

One day my dad and I headed out to go fish the Hanauma Bay ledge in 6-10 seas.  We were fishing it for about and hour or so and we had caught 4 Akus.  Then we were about a mile off Koko Head Crater when boom our 6/0 was screaming. I was fighting it and fighting it for about 10 minutes and then the pole snapped in half and the bottom went right into my chest and left a nasty scar (we have very old gear). We started handlining it in but it was hard because water was coming in from every side of my dads 22' powercat and every once in a while a nice 10 ft wave would break right next to us. So as we got it up to the boat I saw those purple stripes at first I thought it was a barracuda but this was my first ono ever weighing in at 28 pounds. Its not a record but it was a great fight on that 6/0 with a ugly stick. Anyways it was lots of fun and I've become a fishing addict.   It is a great sport and I have become very fond of it.

This tale comes from Mike, a local Oahu angler

Fathers day 01. My co-worker and good friend Dave Polich and I decided to go fishing on his 19 ft cuddy. We launched out of Ko Olina around 0600 hours and headed out to the power plant. We started trolling immediately as soon as we cleared the channel markers. No strike for the first couple of hours.  Around 0900 we were just trolling along the 40 fathom ledge, admiring the view and talking about the passing Matson barge coming from Kauai, when we spotted a floating pallet. I decided to make a pass and told Dave to keep an eye on the lures to make sure I don't snag onto the pallet. As soon as the corner lure passed the pallet I heard the familiar sound of the corner reel singing. I thought I snagged on the pallet but lo and behold hooked onto a Mahi. After we boated it in we made several other passes around the floating pallet but no more strikes. I decided to stop the boat near the pallet to investigate and saw a few more Mahi in the water. We broke out our light tackle and proceeded to toss frozen squid and shrimp to keep the Mahi around. We hooked onto 9 more Mahi that morning but since they were ferocious fighters and we had real light tackle (12 lbs test) we were only able to boat 2, enough for each of us to enjoy a nice meal. We enjoyed the fight that the Mahi put up and looking forward to going out again soon.

Tight lines.

This tale comes from Gerry, a local Oahu angler

Saturday morning about 0715 as the darkness was departing from the Hickham boat ramp, the Ale Kai was coming off the trailer.

Just after clearing the channel, we lined up Diamond Head and the mountain near it, and almost 17 miles later we were in the area of the "BO" Buoy. The sea state was noteworthy and warranted careful seamanship. After several loops around the Buoy dragging artificial bait still no strikes, I can't imagine why those beautiful shirts on the lure's that I prepared the night
before were getting no attention.

The other boats in the area headed towards the Waianae Coast, we decided to stay where we were, after all it took over two hours to get here. Our loops around the buoy were getting wider, In the distance we saw a "Bird Pile". The sea state had increased, just the same we decided to head towards the birds. We were in the center of the birds, they were all around, we were feeling good and had high hopes. Dolphin's were swimming along side the boat, what a sight this was, but we knew this was a good thing, the birds and Dolphins
what more could we ask for.      

In a instant the right corner rod started to SCREAM, the line was just peeling out, we were thrilled, what could be better we thought?. Then the left corner rod started to scream as well, both corner rods at the same time, oh my God we thought. In short order we started reeling the rods in, the fish were still peeling off line. in spite of the fact that we had almost stopped completely while keeping the lines AFT of the boat. Soon we had the other rods (Outriggers) out of the water and out of our way, (to prevent tangles and the such). Before long the right corner line went limp, My undivided attention was on the other rod now, I couldn't loose the other one. Continuous reeling and reeling, while he peeled off line and more line, I knew better than to mess with the drag now. We just reeled in and in, until after about 18 minutes the Ahi was along side, after one more short dive  he was along side again. With gloves on I handled the line and gaffed the fish with the boat gaff, then gaffed it again with the hand gaff after striking it with the bat, and on the count of three I puller it on board. That was my first Ahi of the new year, I gave my fishing buddy Julio a "High Five" as my eyes gazed again in pursuit of the birds.

At 1500 we were Pierside, brought the catch home, cleaned it, and froze it after preparing a  HUGH Platter of Sashimi for dinner and one for the pot luck at church the following day.   

Mike, I'm not that good at writing stories, But from one Fisherman to another thats what happened.

Tight lines
Regards Gerry

PS...The right corner line broke. Thoughts are it broke off where the leader was connected..LESSON Learned...Lost my favorite MID -SIZE Marlin Lure..

PS 2...He weighted 110-115 lbs on the bathroom scale..

This tale comes from Roy Sokolowski, a local Oahu angler

Roy Sokolowski and friends fishing on his 23 foot Alii Kai had a good day on the 20th of January. Nic Cincoski and I took out a friend for his first deep sea-fishing trip. He is getting out of the Navy in a few weeks, and moving back to Texas to be a firefighter, so this might be his first and last deep-sea trip. We launched out of the Ala Wai at about 0640. The day started with an 18 pound Mahi that hit before we could set the corner lines.

It boiled on the small lure that I got at POP, and it was behind "the bird". It was 0700 and we had a fish in the boat, the pressure was off early today. We had some intell that the action was down around Barbers Point so we headed that way. Off of the Tanker anchorage we spotted a pile of big white birds, and on the first pass the 10" purple tube lure on the corner went off. A suicidal 9 pound Mahi impaled herself on the two 10/0 stainless hooks. We made a few more passes, but there were no more strikes. We rounded Barbers Point and noticed three charter boats working the inside area off the power plant (1-3 NMI), so we headed over to check out the action. On the way over, off of Ko Olina we found multiple piles of flutter birds (dozens of them).

We started working the area, and the short rigger with a black/pink jet came crashing down, but came off after a minute or so. Then the 45GLS with an Aku lure took off, but also unbuttoned. Sometime in the middle of this confusion the other outrigger had come down and this one stuck. It was a stripped marlin. It hit the small lure behind the bird. The boat is no longer a marlin virgin. We worked the birds a while longer, but one of my guests (the Texan) was seasick so we pulled in to Ko Olina marina for lunch.

After lunch we headed out, set lines and started following the 40 fathom curve home. I cracked open a cool one, sat back, and then both corners and the 45GLS took off at the same time. I hardly got to taste my beer! After a short Chinese fire drill we boated 3 twin shibi ko, 9 pounds each. We set the lines again and started trolling, and I noticed the long rigger bending, with the rubber band stretched way out. We broke it down and cranked in another 9-pound shibi. We set out the lines again, and it was only another 10 minutes before the rigger was bending again, this time the fish had enough doodads to break the rubber band. It was a plump 9-pound Aku. I had to dump out the beer now because it was warm. So we now had a Marlin, 2 Mahi, 4 shibi, and an aku in the boat, with about 12 miles of prime 40-fathom curve to follow on the way home. We put out our best ono lures in hopes of the elusive clean sweep, but didn't even get a strike on the way home. Maybe next time, this is the third trip in a row where we only needed one fish for a clean sweep. The last three times we've needed a marlin. Hope you liked the fish story.

This tale comes from Mark who chartered Wild Bunch

Really glad to hear about Opy, and I hope Tim's lacerations have healed up as well. As for the fish, I was in the chair for the event and had a blast bringing her in. We were out at the FAD buoy for an hour or so, having caught a number of small yellowfin and skipjack. Opy, of course, immediately rigged up the skipjack on two of the rods and we continued trolling for another 45 minutes or so.

At about 11:15am, we saw what I think was a very large common dolphin chasing after the skipjack and what we thought was another dolphin shadowing it. Tim and Opy jumped into action and began bringing in the two skipjack lines to keep the bait away from the dolphin (frankly, I think the skipjack were swimming fast enough that they were catching up with the boat on their own in an effort to escape the dolphin(s).

About five minutes into the dolphin toying with us, Tim and then Opy spied a large billfish and began working the skipjack back into its path. Almost instantly, the marlin struck and swallowed the bait hard. At the same time, she managed to get herself hooked on the second rig as well....nice to have a back-up. My 16 year-old son held onto the second rod, just in case we needed it throughout the fight.

Bringing the fish to the boat was alot of hard work and thrilling as well, but the real excitement began when Opy gaffed her the second time...she clearly did not appreciate the gesture. She launched herself at Tim and Opy and barely missed, driving her bill into the port side of the WildBunch -- it snapped off about four inches of the bill, leaving it embedded in the fiberglass near the trim (where I suspect it still resides). Opy then gaffed the fish again in the head, at which point she took off around the stern, from port to starboard, dragging Tim and Opy along for the ride. In the course of this, she bent and then snapped off one of the gaffing poles/hooks.

Shortly thereafter, she gave up the fight. After Tim, Opy, Me, my wife Allyson and my son John gave up trying to get the fish into the boat, Tim, Opy and I managed to muscle her up on the stern platform and tie her down for the ride back to port. I sent you a picture of this. Helping out with all of this were my other boys, Christopher (13) and Robbie (11), as well as my nephew Dustin (12). (Note: the fish weighed in at 524 lbs)

We had a great time, we only wish we could have caught the last part on was quite a show. It was exciting and, after it was over, was utterly hillareous.

Let me know if you want any more pictures (fighting and the battle wounds of Captain and Mate) or info. As you know, we are having the marlin mounted. My clients, the Mexican tuna, shrimp and crab industries, will get a kick out of it next time they visit our conference room in Washington, DC.

Thanks again to you, Tim and Opy for a very memorable experience for us all.

This tale comes from Tom from the Big Island of Hawaii

Hi Thought I would let you konw that on Dec. 2 at about 8:30 we landed a 133 pound Ono off the Pohiki coast of the Big Island. I can send you a copy of the weight slip from Suisan and some pictures.

Thanks, Tom,
and by the way great web site.

Just a really cool photo!!

This photo was sent to us by Tom, from the 133lb Ono story above.   Not really a fishing photo, but too neat to pass up.  What a great lava shot.   The photo was sent to Tom by Jim Swearingen of the Big Island, so we want to give him credit also.