For the record... despite what I said about Jah-waiian music, and my personal opinions concerning the great modern food travesty otherwise known as Spam, the only thing I actually dislike about Hawaii is leaving it. In fact, every time I leave Hawaii I have to go off in a corner somewhere and sob for 15 minutes. It's like that terrible Star Trek movie where they go to this place called "The Nexus."
(Yes I realize my nerd quotient increases dramatically with the inclusion of the above photo, the reference itself and The Nexus link--so be it! Long ago, as a boy, it became very obvious to me that at least one out of every 4 people would refer to me as "Captain Kirk." Rather than resist this, I decided to embrace it and became a rather unapologetic Trekkie. There, the cat is out of the bag. Beam me up Scottie).
Anyway... where was I? Oh right... The Nexus... okay so once you pass thru the Nexus portal, all your dreams come true. No one ever leaves (except, ironically enough, Captain Kirk). Maybe that's why the word "aloha" was invented. To give people leaving the Nexus, a vague hope that they'll be back again some day... however long it may take.
"Aloha means hello
Aloha means goodbye
It means until we meet again
Beneath the tropic sky..."
I'd Like to make something clear. Although there was an overall, vaguely whiney tone to the last post, I was by no means unenthused about my four spoolings. That was a very awesome night of fishing. That I landed even one fish on that tiny set up is remarkable. The fish in the picture (see last post) stopped running with literally 2 feet of line left on the reel. One more swoosh of the tail and he was free (free as you can be with a Yozuri Crystal Minnow and a hundred yards of line hanging from your mouth).
I don't usually go in for free advertising but when fishing Hawaii you might want to consider digging deep in your pockets and buying a few of these (see above). Just make sure you've got good snap swivels, a 30 pound leader, and a reel that can hold at least 200 yards of line. The only other guy I saw fishing for ulua and papi'o was using a 12 foot Beefstick with 85 pound braid and a large Mitchell Garcia spinning reel from like 1961. He had a braided wire leader that someone told me about but I'd never seen before. He said that since these fish tend to hit at dusk, they aren't particularly leader shy. I took his word for it because he had a pile of papi'o stacked up like cord wood at his sandaled feet.
After saying this I'm thinking next time I go to Hawaii I'm dusting off that big 10 weight flyrod in my closet and making a go of it... BTW: here's a decent site for shore fishing Hawaii: (papio/ulua)
Which leads me to the next point. Several MFN readers asked how my pap'io tasted, how I cooked 'em etc. Much as I'd like to report on this, I did not feel that I had enough of a handle on ciguatera to safely bring an omilu home for dinner. It's one thing when I'm eating alone but quite another when a whole family is involved. I realize that papi'o probably aren't the riskiest of reef predators since they're relatively small, but they are a predator nonetheless, and having spoken with a ciguatera victim earlier in the day (72 hours of vomiting, 6 weeks barely able to get out of bed, 3 months of aching joints, dizzy spells and constant itching), I decided to wait till I could buy one of those ciguatera check kits before sampling this fish myself. Anyone out there ever used these things? If so, how effective are they?
Not sure what to do. Got an awesome clam tide tonight but durn it, it's too late in the day! The spot I want to check out is a good 20 minute paddle from the launch site and I gotta be off the water with my clam gear 30 min after dusk (in adherence to state regulations). And of course the tide bottoms 20 minutes after sunset. Arrgghh... why won't mother nature cooperate? In Oregon and Washington of course, there's no problem clamming at night. For some reason here it's illegal. Why one wonders? I suspect it has to do with abalone... but really, it's such a bummer.
D'ye hear that all ye evil abalone poachers? A pox on you all! Ruining it for everybody!
Maybe there's somewheres else I can go... hmmm... I found some pismos in Princeton Harbor recently, I guess that's an option... but really, do I want to eat clams out of the South End of the harbor? I think not... thinking out loud.
Wait... just had an idea... littlenecks! A ha! That's the ticket! I can get to the littleneck spot 3 hours before the tide bottoms out! Yay! Little necks for dinner (two nights from now after they've soaked 48 hours in a five gallon bucket to spit out all their grit). Will post more on this chowder later over the weekend.
The big question: Manhattan or New England? Food for thought... literally!
Anyway, from somewhere several thousand miles north east of the great Nexus, this is Lombard of the Intertidal, signing out.