Spyda's Blog

A Hawaiian Style Fishing Blog

Browsing Posts tagged XSHA50

A bit of sarcasm in this title I suppose, truth is I can’t find any really legitimate excuses for the way I fished this past weekend at the Ewa Fenceline to Fenceline Tournament. Kind of a weird thing, even Jeff had to ask me what was up. I really don’t have any answers, I just sucked.

I guess it began on Thursday, the day before the tournament. My plan was to head out to the east side to my favorite tako grounds to pick up bait. The low tide was early in the morning so I made plans to leave Ewa at 630am. Got up at 545, woke my grandson Brendan up and told him to get washed up and ready to go. This is when I find out his father has his diving equipment, all he has is his wet suit and shorts.

So I get my gear in the jeep and start shuffling the cars in the driveway around so we can get out. When I get back to the jeep Brendan’s sitting in the passenger seat adjusting the strap on a set of goggles. “Hey, where’d you get that?”he tells me his aunty (my oldest Elisa) let him some of her kids stuff. OK, good to go then!

As we are passing through Kahaluu I see him struggling with a pair of “kiddie” swim fins! “Hey, that’s not going to work, you may as well go barefoot!” Sigh………..So, I pull into the first open store I see knowing that most along this coast carry a few fishing and diving things. I end up spending $22 on a set of Cressi fins that are nicer than my crusty old pair! Sigh…………

So with that and stops along the way for road construction we pull up about 30 minutes later than planned. The tide has already turned and is on the rise, the current will be moving. We work the inside first knowing that Brendan won’t last too long before he gets cold. So, another 45 minutes have passed before I head out alone to find the grounds out side.

As I’m working my way slowly out I notice a sandy puka with some loose rocks, don’t know how to describe why, but, it was just a little odd. So, I dive down to get a closer look. I flick the rocks with my spear just as a surge comes through, I see the rocks slide back out of sight. I can’t tell if it was the surge that did that, so, I push at the rocks with the spear again trying to find an opening somewhere. I keep flicking rocks away, but, still only feel more rocks, no opening. I dive down hold on to a rock to get a look inside as I flick rocks, FOOOM!! A huge ink cloud envelops me, I back up keeping my spear in the hole and try to watch for the tako coming out. I don’t see it, I still can’t see the hole, but continue to blindly scratch around with the spear trying to feel something. When the water finally clears I go back down and dig like crazy, nothing!! SH&*!! I circle the surrounding area for a good 10 to 15 minutes, nothing. Schooled by a tako!!

When I finally find the grounds, the current is ripping now, I fight with it for as long as I can. I realize that I’m not focused, I’m swimming back and forth not following any sort of plan to cover the area. My left calf starts to cramp, I’m done. Bruddah Bills words ring in my ears, “You sure you don’t want to pick up one tako from the shop before I sell out?”

Plan “B”, catch live bait. OK, that should be easy enough! After dropping off my gear at Bills, I grab the light whipping rig and a small bucket and the shrimp. There’s a spot I take the grandkids to now and then, lots of baitfish so they always have fun. Big tide heavy on the rise water is coming over the little barrier reef we usually stand on when fishing. No prob, just gotta figure out where the baitfish would move to in a big tide like this. I set up a little floater rig so I can explore the area easier. First cast gets stuck on the reef, lose the leader below the floater…… I check my little bag, no leader spool!……So I strip some 6lb test off the reel, re-tie the swivel and floater and attach the piece of line and tie on a new hook and split shot. The bigger leader shouldn’t be a problem in the rough water. I find fish near the middle of a small pool on the inside of the reef. I pick up two 4″ Hinalea Lauwili, perfect size! One more would be nice! Shoots, lose the leader again, re-rig with another piece of mainline, first cast  stuck again! it’s almost start fishing time, gotta go, this will have to be good enough.

Roll back into Bills, Jeff has his Ballistics locked and loaded ready to go. As I rig up I’m second guessing myself, I keep flipping back and forth, which rig to put the live bait on. Besides the hinas, all I have is ika. 6pm, start fishing! The whole beach is suddenly a flurry of activity. I put a hinalea on my new Rainshadow, whoa! Way out there! To bad it’s only the bait and not my rig………..awesome…….one left…….

Jeffs fully loaded reel after his cast! Dats how!

Unfortunately, this set back, set the tone for my casting the rest of the weekend. I had one of the worst backlashes I’ve had in years! Even cut the line in the middle of my spool! I ended up removing the sideplate to pull the spool out to get everything off, good grief!! I did throw some lead way, way out there though! I can say one thing, it brought back some memories. Memories of being a newb sitting out on the rocks at Moi Hole wondering if I’d ever get it right. Teetering on the brink of saying I quit, then realizing how stupid that was, just taking the easy way out. So, I’d pull and pull until the spool was clear, wind it all back up, re-rig and walk out to cast again. The persistance eventually paid off and my casting got better and problems encountered far fewer. That was then, this is now…..

In trying to understand, I backed up to 1996 when I basically abandoned the sport to move back to Oahu to get married. Back then my Ulua arsenal consisted of a Daiwa 450H, 600H and a Penn 9’o. The answer may just be right there. With these bigger reels, stiffer poles and heavier lead, skinny guy that I am, I could never rip these things around so my casts are dependant on rhythm and timing more than raw power like the young tigas do. So, I believe with this smaller much lighter rig I’m trying to “blast” ‘um too much! I’m losing all my rhythm and timing and basically losing control of the cast! We’ll test this theory when I get a new tip for the rainshadow……Yes, insult to injury, the tip spun on the new rod. To match the dark frames of my guides I used the closest size they had at the shop I was at. The tube was pretty big so I had to build up the tip before glueing it on. Despite re-doing it once because I wanted it stronger, it still didn’t hold! Search is on for a better fitting tip………

OH, the tournament? Well needless to say I didn’t fare very well, but, Jeff was able to land four Oio. He released a couple and weighed in the two largest for 7th place in the open class!

Jeff 7th place fish, lots of Oio in the 21-22" range, a few ounces split the places!

First Place Open, same guy that won the GT Masters! On a roll!

The rubbish bag weigh in! Danny gives prizes to the heaviest bags!

Tournament Director Danny Chamizo (left) and his volunteer crew!

My first experience fishing with girls was at a little stream near Kihei when we still lived on Maui. My sister Cheryl was trying to “cast” her bamboo pole and promptly hooked my other sister Kay in the left nostril! Being the proper little brother, I laughed and laughed ’cause I thought it was so hilarious! Don’t know if that little incident had anything to do with it, but, my sisters never did take a serious interest in fishing.

Years later I was lucky enough to be invited on a camping trip on the Big Island with Dean and some of his family. His cousin Charlie worked for the Forestry department so had access to pretty much anywhere on the island. We were camped at a remote beach out on the south western coastline. As part of his job, Charlie had hiked much of the coastline with his crew, so he knew the grounds well. The plan was to hike out north from camp about a quarter mile or so to fish for menpachi that night. When Charlie asked who wanted to go, among the hands raised were Deans mom and his auntie Nancy.

Now, Mom and Nancy are Big Island girls so they had done this sort of thing all their lives, still I was impressed as we all hiked out over the lava trail carrying fishing gear, buckets and lanterns. Turns out, Charlie knew his stuff and we filled several buckets with menpachi and aweoweo. Going back to camp, Charlie, Dean and I tried to carry most of the extra weight, but, despite that Mom and Nancy still hiked back with more than they took out. Not a peep of complaint from either, Fisherwomen.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with fellow blogger and super poster “fishergirl” from the beautiful island of Kauai. With “fisher” appropriately at the fore front of the name and “girl” pointing out the unique and fresh perspective with which she tells her fishing tales I was looking forward to learning more about her and of course talk fishing!

I met the fishergirl and her husband in Kunia and after introductions and some small talk, she and I headed down the hill to Bruddah Bills where we spent the next few hours talking story and whipping the Ewa Beach shoreline behind his place. I had to leave for work so made plans to meet fishergirl the next morning take her out to some of my regular grounds the next day.

As we headed out Wednesday morning the beautiful weather and rising surf had us both feeling good about the conditions, things looked promising. First stop was at a beach that me and the boys had spent countless hours surfing, fishing, diving and in the old days, camping.

After setting our gear down under some trees it didn’t take long for her to get rigged up and off down the beach. I had a bruised toe that had I aggravated the day before walking in the sand at Bills, my fishing would be limited to dunking. With the help of a little palu I was able to catch a small hinalea and tossed it out on my baitcaster. I felt a little guilty just kicking back and cruising while fishergirl worked the shoreline, but, after hobbling around all night at work I didn’t want to risk it.

I gotta say, she hit it hard covering the entire stretch around the point and back. Despite working this stretch of beach hard the fish didn’t cooperate so, we decided to move on down the road a bit.

Although I’ve fished this area a lot over the years, there are places that I really haven’t stopped to look at for a long time. I found myself marveling at some grounds less than a quarter mile from one of our regular spots. I found it interesting that just being there with someone who had never seen these grounds before was changing my perspective!

We were looking at a nice section of sand and rock shoreline that had lots of interesting ledges and rocks that really made it look fishy! We had to give it a shot!

Told ya she gets right to it!!

Fishergirl was rigged up and off in a flash, leaving me to fight the shore break for a live bait to toss out. A little Awela took my shrimp bait and was promptly send back out on the end of a 3’o hook on my baitcast rig.

I watched fishergirl work her way down the shoreline. Very focused, spray a few casts, move on down, constantly scanning the water looking for signs, the moment of clear water to get a glimpse of the reef, perhaps some structure that might hold baitfish a predator would be hunting for. All business.

Soon, she had disappeared around the bend out of sight. I switched my focus to the surrounding beach. Don’t know it’s a carry over from my youth or something, but, I like looking at rocks. Yea, ha ha, laugh if you want! I’ve built a Japanese garden in my yard and have learned a little about form and placement, so, I’m always looking for interesting shapes in natural settings. I was sitting there messing with my camera when my bell rang and a little rip of the ratchet suddenly electrified the air!

My “Frankenstein” rod (Kimura Fenwick top with an unknown bottom half I bought at a garage sale) and the Daiwa XSHA with 40 overpowered the small yellow spot and it was soon at my feet. I looked for fishergirl, but, she was nowhere in sight, so, I ran over to my tackle box to get my tagging kit. After a couple of quick pics, measure and tag I took the fish back to the water to revive it a bit, it was strong and didn’t take long to start kicking hard and fighting me to get away. So off it went!


I caught another bait and threw it out and waited for fishergirl to get back. I was feeling like the bad host catching when I hadn’t gotten her on a fish yet. Shoots! Did I just take her fish? She certainly deserved it since she worked  10 times harder then I had. Oh well….

When she got back I was bummed to hear she had no luck, but, like a true fishing friend, she was happier than I was when I told her about the 19″ Yellow spot!

Although we stopped to look at a couple more spots, this would be the end of fishing for the day. After lunch in Haleiwa we headed back over the hill to meet Mr. fishergirl and reluctantly give him back his wife! All kidding aside it was a great day spent with a great new fishing friend!

I’ll have to say this, I know a lot of guys who moan about not catching much, but, don’t work anywhere near as hard as fishergirl does. They need to get with the program and start to fish like a girl, uh I mean a fishergirl that is!!

Summer Camp


The last two years we stayed at a beach house that sat on the right edge of a large sand channel. The fishing was OK, not quite up to it’s expected potential, but, OK. Oama had showed up right out back the first year, but, didn’t the second. We eventually found them about quarter mile down the beach in a little cove.

This year, that house we rented wasn’t available so we had to search for another place. Judy eventually found one close by, in fact about quarter mile down the road. Hmmm, quarter mile? Which direction? Finally pictures confirmed what we hoped, it was right there at the cove that held the oama!

OK, OK, so it’s a beach house not really camping, but, hey we all paid our dues doing the hardcore camping out on the lava on the Big Island for many years, so, now that we’re old(er), we deserve some comfort. Besides, the women no like the hardcore stuff anymore and this the only way we can get to go fishing for one week!

Aug. 3, 2010 – 1700hrs. Finally there! The house is nice, decent kitchen, flat panel TV! We had come out a week ago to check out the grounds (ocean) so we knew what to expect there. We have some tako in the cooler to start with and plans to do a dive for more Wednesday or Thursday.

Aug. 4, 2010 – 0500hrs. Poles were quiet last night, only a few puhi. Looking forward to trying my new toy, a Daiwa XSHA50. Brought two rods to try it out with, my old Harrington home built and a Kimura Fenwick. They are two totally different rods so it should be interesting.

Aug. 4, 2010 – 0630hrs. Off down the road for a quick tako dive, tide is already on the rise so gotta get in the water quick. We pick up three pieces, I got two and Dean got one to add to the two he already had in the cooler. This is plenty, no sense taking more until we need them.

Aug. 4, 2010  – 1030hrs. Poles are quiet, bait fish eating our tako. Fugu action, dam it!! Swivel and lead coming back no hooks! Time to test cast the new reel. First up the Kimura with an eight ounce lead. OK, haven’t thrown a conventional much in the last 14 years (got married in 1996)so not expecting to see the lead disappear out into the horizon. Half cast to feel the combo, not bad feels OK. Three-quarter, oops little over-run, not too bad, wow the 8oz lead skipping in on the surface! Dam this thing is fast! OK, lets try crank’um! Frick! Backlash!! Boy do I need practice! My timing is totally off, gotta wait on it a little more. Couple of more casts and it’s getting better, but, dam I’m tired! Not in shape, the arms not used to this anymore, not to mention the age factor too! (Lets see what other kine excuses I get!) I never was an “out to the horizon” kinda guy, but, I was at least a decent caster, this is not good! Switch to the Harrington, heavier and slower action, not too promising….first cast not too bad, little overrun. Second cast, fricken backlash again! I feel old….After a rest I switch to a 6oz lead, first decent cast! Not that far but clean, straight no problems! OK nuff! Put one bait on toss’um out!

Aug. 5, 2010 – 0530hrs. Up for the dawn patrol!  Tide is low and the reef out to the right is partially exposed. Poles quiet again last night, only puhi and a bird that got tangled in Daniels line!

Aug. 5, 2010 – 0630hrs. Had coffee, sun is rising, going for a (careful) walk on the dry reef, maybe I’ll stumble over a tako!

Aug. 5, 2010 – 1030hrs. Tide is heavy on the rise, checking and recasting fresh baits in earnest. Quiet…frustrating, but, gotta keep working’um!

Aug. 6, 2010 – 0530hrs. Dawn patrol, no action again last night. Recast my rods, drinking coffee by myself, thinking, thinking, what to do, what to change……cannot give up. Jeff is supposed to come by today to check out the spot, these are his stomping grounds, hopefully he can break the ice!

Aug. 6, 2010 – 1030hrs. Jeff arrives, hand shakes all around. He’s surprised to hear our catch report (no catch report actually). He gets his line out, holy crap, 30+ beyond our lines! The conversation shifts to Jeffs high tech bait-casting rods. Beautiful, purpose built (by Jeff) custom rods! (Good thing the wife went to a doctors appointment, she’d be getting awful nervous about now!) He generously offers to let me mount my new reel on one of his rods to give it a try.  It takes a few casts to get into a rhythm, but, when I finally get a decent one, whoa, at least 20 (probably more) over my best cast with my rod! Amazing! Incredible power, the snap back was what I had to get used to, the first few casts it was leaving me way behind!

Aug. 7, 2010 – 1130hrs. Tide on the rise, recasting my kimura with my new Daiwa on it, fresh tako leg. Decent cast, set the drag, bell on. I walk back towards the house when my bell rings, come on, not again! The puhi and fugu are getting on my nerves! Wait a minute, this is different…wha’da’ya know, a small omilu! I don’t believe it!

Well, wanted to tag this one, but, braddah Dean ready fo cry ’cause “I neva eat Omilu sashimi long time!”Alright, alright, but, next one gotta release! Nothing like a little action to juice up da boys! Everybody hustling now!

Aug. 8, 2010 – 0600hrs. Two tohei another bird believe it or not and one cat! Judy the animal lover insists we get the hook out of the cats mouth. To me, it should be who ever left a baited hook lying around helping her, but, nobody talking. So what do I get for helping get the hook out? A dam bite on my right index finger! On top of dat, I was the only one who got up when the bird got tangled in Deans line at 1 am so I had to untangle  it myself and got bit by the dam bird too!!

Aug. 8, 2010 – 1830hrs. I wade into waist deep water getting blasted by waves with a 10ft. extension pole and get one oama! That’s right ONE!! Ain’t nobody gonna tell me I never tried hard enough to get more fish in the cooler! So, I throw out the oama and what I get? Fugu strike!! One friken oama and one Fugu eat’um!! Drink beer tonight…

Aug. 9, 2010 – 0630hrs. Missed the dawn patrol for the first time this trip, too much beer last night!

Aug. 9, 2010 – 1100hrs. I decide to hump some of my gear down the beach to a sand channel Jeff was eyeing up when he dropped by Friday. Tide is rising, we’ll see!  Two and a half hours, checking bait every 20 minutes, nutin…..at least one nice young  lady when come sunbathe nearby so it helped past the time.

It don't get much better than this!!

Aug. 10, 2010 – 0700hrs. Pack up day, gotta be out by 1100hrs. I look out at Dean and he’s working his rod like he get something on! “What? Get something Dean?” “I think so!” not too positive the answer!  I go out there and the line is off to side and pulling, might be a fish! Sliver!! Ooooo, one good size white papio!! Well, better late than never! Still two papio in one week? Not too good…..

8 pounds, not ulua, but, Deans still a happy camper!