Leighton Kelekoma, 12, caught a 38-pound mahimahi to take over the Big-Fish List mahimahi lead. His light fishing tackle was as much a surprise as his young age. The youngster’s Penn spinning rod and reel is a sturdy outfit for “whipping” along the shoreline to catch pan-sized reef fish. But you have to be pretty brave if you are using it to challenge an offshore fish known for its strength, agility and persistence. Leighton proved to be just as persistent throughout an unrelenting, one-hour battle.
Leighton had gone fishing with his dad, Marcus, and family friend Craig Ashihara on Craig’s 19.5-foot outboard skiff. Leighton had brought along his spinning outfit, a recent Christmas present, to cast for small fish on the surface as his partners sent baits down on a maki doggu line to catch shibi around UU-Buoy. For the rest of the story
MATSUMURA TAKES ONAGA LEAD
At 12, Leighton Kelekoma is the youngest fisherman on our Big-Fish List. At 81, Sueto Matsumura is the oldest. Over the years, the veteran bottom fisherman has shown up on our list with beautiful and delicious snappers pulled up from the great depths, and this time is no exception. Sueto fills the onaga slot this week with a 14.5-pound longtailed red snapper caught at about 150 fathoms. For the rest of the story
FIRST ULUA BIGGEST ULUA
Along the Kona coast, trollers rarely catch ulua on surface lures. That’s largely because “giant trevally” want to feed in the bottom half of the water column where their prey are easier to ambush. Whatever the reason, it was not suprising to hear Capt. Deneen Wargo say she had just caught her first ulua on Friday despite being a full-time charter captain for a few years.
What’s more, it’s not surprising that she made the catch under unusual circumstances.
On Deneen’s afternoon half-day charter, her guests were a Chinese family with dolphin watching as their top priority. Through their interpretor, they told Deneen that fishing was second to their dolphin quest. For the rest of the story
USE IT AND LOSE IT
A week or so ago, an angler on the charterboat Blue Hawaii battled a 75-pound striped marlin to the boat. The plan was to tag and release it, but the angler wanted to get a photo with the fish before release. That can be a bit risky to all involved, including the fish, but it is done occasionally at the charter’s request. After tagging it, they pulled the fish out of the water, angler and crew held it for a moment, skipper James Dean snapped a photo and they tossed it back in the water no worse for the experience. For the rest of the story
Big-Fish List for 2016. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we’ll accept hand line catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2016 in each of 22 categories. They are listed by species, weight, angler, skipper, boat, and date. The list is updated every Sunday throughout the year (copyright 2016 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (email@example.com).
- Blue marlin, 625, Sunny Water & Marc Hembrough, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl. Jan 3.
- Black marlin, (vacant)
- Ahi, 227, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika. Jan 6.
- Bigeye tuna, 173, Dave Remillard, Miles Nakahara, Puamana II. Jan. 11.
- Striped marlin, 136.5, Mitchell Romero, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier. Jan 22.
- Spearfish, 50, Ret Topping, Capt. John Bagwell, Silky, Jan 14
- Sailfish, (vacant)
- Mahimahi, 38, Leighton Kelekoma, Craig Ashihara, No Name (Caught on 12-pound-test) Jan. 31
- Ono, 57, Monty Brown, Capt. Robbie Brown, El JoBean. Jan 23.
- Kaku, (barracuda), (vacant)
- Kahala, 70, Jessica Yell, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 22.
- Ulua (giant trevally), 32, Capt. Deneen Wargo, Bite Me 6. Feb 5.
- Omilu (bluefin trevally), (vacant)
- Otaru (skipjack tuna), tie at 14 pounds: Karey George, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II, Jan 21, and Jake Icenhower, Tyson Fukuyama, Miki, Jan. 28
- Broadbill swordfish, (vacant)
- Ahipalaha (albacore), (vacant)
- Kawakawa, (vacant)
- Kamanu (rainbow runner), (vacant)
- Opakapaka (pink snapper), (vacant)
- Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), 14.5, Sueto Matsumura, Sandee. Feb 2.
- Uku (gray snapper), (vacant)
- O`io (bonefish), (vacant)
Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more).
January 31: Striped marlin (120) Bill Busch, (90) Torrey Glass, Capt. David Crawford, Kona Blue
January 31: Spearfish (35) Unknown, Capt. Steve Fassbender, Teresa
February 1:Striped marlin (90) Ron Jessee, Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV
February 1: Striped marlin (70) Tom Manthey, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
February 3: Spearfish (35) Unkown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
February 3: Striped marlin (50), Unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
February 4: Blue marlin (175) David Burtner, Capt. Don, Kona Spirit
February 6: Striped marlin (40) Daniel Lebert, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
January 31: Mahimahi (38) Leighton Kelekoma, Craig Ashihara, No Name (Caught on 12lb test)
February 2: Blue marlin (273) Lisa Schott, Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV
February 2: Onaga (14.5 and 13.5) Sueto Matsumura, Sandee
February 3: Ahi (201) Adam Caswell, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
February 4: Sailfish (76) Garrett Nishihara, Speared