Ho`ole`a loosens up for anglers

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin 9/22/01)
By Ray Pendleton

While attending a fishing symposium a few years ago, I was impressed by how, on many islands in the Pacific, fishing is considered a food-gathering activity only and certainly not a sport.

As I recall, it was a representative from Micronesia who, when asked about local sportfishing charters and tournaments, replied, "We donšt play with our food.˛

I was reminded of this during the Waikiki/Hawaii yacht clubs' recent Ho`ole`a Fishing Tournament because it, perhaps like no other tournament, has tried to bridge the gap between Hawaii's sport- and subsistence-fishermen.

It's not that subsistence-fishermen here don't enjoy competition necessarily, it's just that many don't care to adjust to the rules that have been set up by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to establish world record catches.

To lure these anglers into fishing in the Ho`ole`a, its organizers have created what they call "loose rules" - that is, a compromise between IGFA and what is known locally as "jungle rules."

To begin with, the Ho`ole`a has no restrictions on line test strength and the length of the leader. But the rules do say anglers must fight a fish in a "sporting manner" once it is hooked up.

"Upon the striking of a fish, only the angler may touch the rod or reel, and must fight the fish using only the rod and reel until the leader is reached," state the rules.

And, because it is a local custom to bleed fish - particularly ahi - to preserve the meat for later consumption, the IGFA's prohibition of such "mutilation" is waived in this tournament.

But the rules also make it clear that, "Photographs of the knife in the fish would greatly enhance the believability of your story."

Apparently the use of "loose rules" worked as 57 boats entered this year's Ho`ole`a Tournament.

In the end, the winners scooped up some $32,970 in prize money, which included 100 percent of the entry fees, thanks in part to sponsorship from the Hawaii Charter Skippers Association and Cliff Laughton.

First place, for the largest fish - a 403-pound Pacific blue marlin - was taken by the team Lynell, with skipper Carlos LaRosa.

Second place, for the most total weight caught - 339 pounds - went to Shirley Y, with skipper Rahn Yamashita.

Third place was taken by Lady Kay and skipper Gary Silva with another Pacific blue marlin, which weighed in at 264 pounds.

'Go Fish' moves to AM 830

I hope everyone in Hawai`i has heard by now that Mike Buck's popular "Go Fish" radio program has moved to Clear Channel Radio's KHVH, AM 830, and beginning tonight it will be airing from 7 to 9 p.m. every Saturday.

This award-winning show - which is now in its fifth year - is the only one of its kind in the state.

Every week, Buck, while maintaining an emphasis on local and Pacific Rim events, covers fishing news from around the world.

Because he often interviews local experts, reports on tournament results and keeps his listeners up on the "bite" report from local fishermen, Go Fish has become a favorite with Hawaii's anglers.

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