We went out with Capt. J and first mate Jeff in the last week of January. A storm had come through at the beginning of the week, and we had hoped that Saturday would be calmed down. Not so lucky.... we still had rollers in the 8 foot range that were nothing to them, but to a flat-lander from Texas, they were tough to take. Even with a double Dramamine, I spent a good deal of the time in misery, while we dragged a bunch of artificial lures through the waves at a pretty good clip. The only thing that kept me from losing my cookies was the Capt.s suggestions that I lay down; I thought he was nuts at the time, but he was spot on! It really helped!!
Anyway, I can't claim to know much about fishing in Hawaii, but I would have thought live bait might have worked better (it does on mainland fish), and more variation in speed and/or tactics to try and get the fish. We did hook a few though in the 6 hour trip; one got away but we landed a nice Mahi Mahi and a skipjack tuna (Aku) that were both in the 20-poiund range.
On the negative side, it was supposed to be a "share" trip, with us getting some of the fish we caught. That didn't happen. We got NO Mahi, as they wanted it whole to sell in the market. (Apparently, they won't buy fish that have been cut). And we didn't get any of the tuna I caught. Instead, they cut up a small skipjack and a small wahoo that they said were caught on the evening charter the day before.
On the positive side:
a) we did leave with two large ziplocks full of fish -- Aku and Wahoo --probably 10-12 pounds. It was plenty for FOUR meals for FOUR people over the five days. And it was incredibly good -- I took the Captains advice and used the tuna's bone structure to define 4 "triangles" from each of the filets, then grilled them on a very hot grill for just a minute or two on each of the 3 sides to leave a nice pink/red center. It was absolutely delicious. The Wahoo is a nice tightly-flaked white fish, and was also very tasty.
b) the Captain was nice enough to take us, even though he did not fill the boat. It was just me and a ride-along buddy on a 6-hour charter. Many operators would have cancelled us out or tried to rebook; after all, the cost of fuel and paying the first mate probably took up a big chunk of what he got from us. For that reason, I can easily understand why he wanted the Mahi for the market instead of sharing it out.
c)Both of them we really nice guys and did their best to make it a good trip...althought I'd class Capt. J as a bit of a 'cowboy' when it comes to judging the severity of the seas/weather as it might appear to a flat-lander, he knows his boats and his fishing. It was a real pleasure to make his acquaintance, and I look forward to a future opportunity to go after the Big One that got away. bobw.
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