||North Shore, Oahu
April 9 was the first flat day on the North Shore after a winter full of waves, so my friends Max McKinley and Miles Tidball and I decided that it would be a good time to go ulua fishing. Max went to Haleiwa Fishing Supply and bought a six-legged octopus from Barry, the owner of the store. There would be three of us fishing that night, so we would each get two legs. At the last minute, Josh Esche wanted to go, too, so we were down to a leg and a half each.
We got all of our fishing gear ready and set out for our favorite spot. When we got there, we saw that the shore break was big so we decided to go farther down the beach.
We got to our second spot just before sunset and started setting up our poles. Each guy baited his hooks, one with a big leg, and one with a partial leg. Then we paddled our lines out.
After the lines were set, Miles and Josh decided to go to Foodland to get some food. Max went up the beach to rinse off, and I stayed on the beach to watch the poles. Everyone had just left when one of the reels started screaming. A fish hit the pole so hard I didnt even hear the bell ring, only the sweet sound of the 80-lb test line peeling off the reel. Max heard the ratchet going off while he was in the shower. He ran back down to the beach.
The fish was taking out a lot of line in a hurry, and I was afraid it was going to spool me. I thought about the knot I tied. I knew it was solid, so I locked down the drag. That slowed the fish down, and it stopped taking line. But I couldn't reel in any line. It felt stuck for about five minutes. I wondered if the fish had swam into a cave. I wanted to get the fish in as fast as I could. I could feel the line rubbing on the reef and was afraid it might break.
I fought the fish for about half an hour. When the fish got closer, I handed the pole over to Max so he could fight it for a while and I could go down to the shoreline. When the ulua first came into view, I couldnt believe it. It was the biggest ulua I had ever caught!
I yelled to Max to come down and help me bring up the fish. After that, I called my dad on my cell phone and told him to buy lots of ice and bring a cooler because I'd caught a big one. I didn't want to jinx myself, so I told him I caught a 70-pounder.
Miles and Josh came back from the store. I told them that I had caught a fish on Miles' pole. When my dad came, Miles, my dad and I carried the fish up the beach to the truck. When we were carrying the fish, my dad said that it weighed more than 70 lbs.
We got the ulua to the truck and got out a digital scale. I stood on top of the lowered tailgate and lifted the fish. I had a hard time lifting it, but when I did, the scale said 107 lbs and some of the tail was still resting on the ground.
All of my friends were there, and we started yelling, "Hundred Plus Club! Triple digits! North Shore Boyz!" We were all very happy, except for Miles. He was sick that his pole had hooked a 100-pounder and he hadn't been there to fight it.
We stayed and fished the rest of the night. We caught one small kahala that we let go, plus a couple of sharks.
In the morning we drove to Hanapa'a to weigh the ulua on a certified scale. It lost a few pounds overnight. It weighed 104.7 lbs.
I would like to thank dad and Uncle Mitch Richardson for teaching me how to fish for ulua. I would also like to give a big shout out to Ryan Tashiro and his father for making such a killer gyo taku print of my fish. It is proudly displayed in our living room for all my friends and family to see. Miles had a print made, too. But he said that when we go fishing he's never going to leave the beach again to get food.
We went fishing the next weekend and caught a 20-pounder. Guess what? We caught it on Max's pole when he left the beach.
. . . Kainoa