Kayak Fishing in Hawaii: The Ultimate Thrill

Have you ever craved the exhilarating rush of kayak fishing in Hawaii? It’s an otherworldly adventure that seamlessly merges the serenity of Hawaiian waters with the electrifying excitement of reeling in massive catches. Let me take you on a captivating journey that will leave you yearning for your very own kayak fishing escapade.

A Close Encounter with the Tiger Shark

Picture this: the month of May, the kayak fishing community rocked by an unforgettable tiger shark encounter. The story rapidly swept the media, igniting passionate discussions across the board. As the frenzy settled, a 12-week hiatus from the waters followed, eagerly awaiting the opportune moment to return to the sea.

A Peaceful Homecoming

The time for a safe return to kayak fishing arrived, and a unanimous decision was made to revisit the site where the attack took place. This time, caution was at the forefront, and a respectful distance of approximately a mile was kept. The morning sun cast its gentle glow, reminiscent of the fateful day when the shark made its presence known.

The Temptation of the Catch

Upon reaching the opelu spot, a breathtaking spectacle unveiled itself before the kayak angler. The bait balls circled close to the ocean floor, teasing the predator lurking beneath. As the damashi hooks were unleashed, juvenile opakapaka eagerly took the bait, testing the strength of the gear. Suddenly, the elusive 7-inch kawalea, known as Heller’s barracuda, emerged from the depths. Amidst the excitement, an opelu briefly broke the surface, tantalizing the angler with the possibility of a triumphant catch. Determined, the angler abandoned the pursuit of bait and ventured deeper into the waters with a year-old frozen opelu and a 2oz weight.

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A Sublime Dance

Plunging into the depths of 250ft, the fish finder refused to reveal any signs of opelu or pelagics. Returning to the bait balls, the angler devised a plan to capture the exhilarating action using an underwater GoFish cam. The bait balls had shifted southward, compelling the angler to entice the tackle busters by lowering a rigged camera with a 25lb damashi. The tactic worked flawlessly, as a 10-inch opakapaka emerged from the depths, promptly followed by a parade of kawaleas. Each drop of the line initiated an adrenaline-pumping clash, testing the angler’s unwavering determination. Astonishingly, upon reviewing the underwater footage, schools of opelu were revealed, lingering halfway down, captivated by the damashi rig, yet apprehensive about committing to the heavy line. The cam captured the breathtaking sight of opelu gracefully navigating through the remnants of underwater vegetation.

Unmasking the Culprit

Further scrutiny of the footage unveiled the true identity of the elusive tackle busters. Contrary to previous assumptions, they were not paka but rather the relentless kawalea. Often, a solitary paka pup would be captured, while the remaining damashi rig would succumb to the voracious onslaught of the kawalea, severing the line. The angler stood in awe of these formidable adversaries.

Unearthing Hidden Treasures

With the GoFish cam’s battery life depleted, the angler felt compelled to explore the shallow drop-off. Eager to test the waters, a 12lb damashi was cast, unexpectedly hooking onto an extraordinary source of strength. The ensuing battle mirrored the tenacity of a papio, a highly coveted catch in Hawaiian waters. Regrettably, the line succumbed to the unseen force, leaving the angler to ponder the mysteries concealed beneath the waves. Determined to unravel this enigma, a jig was strategically deployed, leading to a familiar struggle. It felt as though the jig was ensnared between rocks, only to be miraculously freed on the final attempt. Could it be a tako (octopus) vying to claim the jig as its own? It became apparent that a future underwater expedition was necessary to unearth the truth.

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A Return Brimming with Joy

As the day drew to a close, the angler reflected upon the triumphs and lessons learned. Although the anticipated trophy fish remained elusive, solace was found in the absence of another shark encounter. This experience bestowed invaluable insights, serving as a gentle reminder not to let the damashi sink too deep, lest the kawalea triumph once more. Despite the absence of a monumental catch, the return to offshore kayaking proved to be an immensely enjoyable endeavor.

So, are you prepared to embark on your very own kayak fishing adventure in Hawaii? Join us as we defy the elements and navigate the pristine waters, where every cast holds the promise of a captivating encounter. Remember, the next catch could be the one you cherish forever. UpStreamPaddle