I have to brag a little. THere was no work for me on
Wednesday, so I joined up with my happily unemployed buddy Andrew and
we headed offshore about 30 miles out to dive on the kelp paddies. It
was absolutely beautiful. Clear, warm, blue water (70 degrees) and
the weather was warm and mostly sunny without much wind. On the first
paddy we found, I politely offered to let Andrew jump in on it first,
as he was skipper. He said he was a bit cold and told me to jump in.
Okay! As I was suiting up, we could see some Mahi Mahi swimming
around. I was stoked. I jumped in and it was like a movie. Bait
everywhere under the kelp paddy and a big school of small mahi mahi
and a school of yellowtail were swimming around attacking the bait
fish. I was really wanting a mahi mahi, as I've never taken one, but
a good sized yellowtail gave up a good shot, so I fired and watched my
shaft go below the fish and then it kept going, going, gone! Crap!
In our haste, Andrew hooked my float line to my gun handle, rather
than to my shooting line. I failed to double check it. Therefore, by
shaft had nothing attached for retrieving it! Brand new, never been
used. Oh well. I went to the boat and grabbed another shaft. I
loaded it up and the fish came back around. I was lining up on a
smallish mahi mahi when a school of good sized YT swim by, but at
higher speed. Mahi Mahi were being caught everywhere per radio
report, so I decided to line up on the larger yellowtail school. They
were really moving and I was kicking really hard and my gun was really
pressured from the water resistance, but I lined up and WHACK! I let
it run because out there, it has nowhere to go. We were in 226
fathoms of water, so no worries about tangling up deep on something.
I had it on a bungee line, so it doesn't pressure the fish or me too
much. I was stoked and realized it was a decent fish, but not until I
started getting it close to me did I realize that it was a PIG! It
got hot when I tried to handle it, so I let it run again two more
times. It looked tired, so I took it by the tail, wrapped my legs
around it and then grasped it in the gills. It just layed there while
I brained it. I still didn't fully realize the size until I boated it
and it wouldn't fit in the big fish cooler. Turns out she was female
with about 1.5 pounds of roe.
The rest of the day was great too. We each got another YT and I got a
mahi mahi (my first!). So, it was an exceptional day. We also saw
several sunfish, tons of dolphins and played with them, a marlin,
schools of tuna (couldn't hook em), and a whale.
The YT weighed in at 37 pounds bled and gutted, so it was probably 43
pounds or so given the roe.
Time in Hawai'i: