Everyone Was a Winner
in the Goodwill Tournament

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (06/07/97)
By Ray Pendleton

"I love to fish," angler Tracie Pau said succinctly.

Tracie was one of 48 developmentally handicapped clients of Goodwill Industries invited to participate in last Sunday's eighth annual fishing tournament hosted by the Hawaii Yacht Club. She was also the angler who caught a fish that by itself could have nearly captured every top trophy in the tournament.

With only a two-hour fishing time, the Goodwill tournament may be the world's shortest angling competition, but it is definitely long on smiles and aloha.

The excitement and enthusiasm generated by both the participants and volunteers, from the early morning check-in to the afternoon luncheon and awards presentation, are as contagious as a cold in winter.

In fact, the only long face at the tournament was on State House Representative Galen Fox when he had to leave early due to previous obligations.

This year's Goodwill Tournament was one for the record books.

After the event was blessed by Pastor Alele with traditional ti leaves and paakai (sea salt), a record-number of anglers were assigned to a record-number of boats (17), driven by an equal record-number of volunteer skippers.

Two of the skippers, Pax Paxman and Dudley Worthy, were notable in that they volunteered the use of their commercial sportfishing boats Kuu-Huapala and Kahuna Kai when they would normally be taking paying clients out from Kewalo Basin to hunt for marlin or mahimahi.

Thanks to Frank Thomas, several of us observers were able to follow the fleet out to the reef fishing grounds aboard his Grand Banks Hawaiian Clipper to view the action.

With a deadly combination of bread-chum and squid-baited hooks, within minutes most of the eager anglers were pulling in an assortment of fish from the surrounding schools and dropping their catches in buckets of water to keep them alive.

As we passed each boat, the Goodwill clients would exuberantly hold up their fingers to indicate the number, as well as the size, of their catch.

To everyone's delight, two of the skippers held up a mahimahi and an aku respectively, which most likely had come from an earlier trip to the fish market.

At eleven the fishing was over and possibly the most entertaining part of the day - the weigh-in - began.

With guest weigh-in-master Jim Schoocraft from the Department of Land and Natural Resources once again at the scale, everyone with a catch presented it to him for judgment. And each time Schoocraft was challenged to identify, measure and weigh a flip-flopping, spiny, toothy, denizen of the reef.

After the final tabulations had been made, it was up to the tournament jury to select the appropriate awards for the appropriate catches. And according to the rules, no single fish could take more than one award.

That is why Tracie's catch, a two-foot-long, 210.6-ounce, "broomfish" only brought her the trophy for the most colorful fish. It's brilliant neon design was by far the most visually attractive, whereas Gail Mitamura's shorter, but heavier (312-ounce) puffer fish gave her the heaviest fish trophy, and James Agdinasy's smaller still 11-inch trigger fish gave him the trophy for the longest fish.

The trophy for the most fish caught went to Eric Kuroda for his six catches and Allen Madriaga won for the most total weight of 80 ounces.

Unconcerned about the size of his catch, Russell Fox took the trophy for bringing in the smallest fish, a .8-ounce moana.

My congratulations to tournament organizer Barbara Silvey for conducting what I believe is the best fishing tournament of the year. I'm sure the day was over much faster than the months of planning it took her to create it.

Water Ways

Hele on Back