NAWILIWILI — The to‘au and eels were biting, Sunday as more than 65 keiki anglers up to 13 years old took to the shoreline of the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor for the annual Father’s Day Keiki Fishing Tournament presented by the Nawiliwili Yacht Club.
“The weighmasters said this was a 4-inch mamo,” said Trey Nakamura, showing off his catch in a bucket of sea water. “I just came back from weighing in a to‘au, put the line back in the water, and this one came up.”
Releasing his catch, Nakamura continued to pull in more fish, a papio that was also released, and more, one of them earning the young angler the Fattest Fish award.
The annual community event chaired by Shaun Lehman brought families to the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor as the anglers, limited to ages 3 to 13 years old, were encouraged to bring an adult to the event where anglers, providing their own fishing gear, were treated to a hot dog and soda as part of their registration fee.
Cub Scouts from Cub Pack 148 had tents sprawled along the inland harbor banks.
“This is a good outing for everyone,” said Bill Thompson, a Scouting parent. “In addition to being able to win prizes as part of the competition, this activity is eligible for one of the badges the Cub Scouts can earn. We’ve done this for several years, now because it’s such a good event.”
Thompson’s children, Kamekona finished as one of the Most Fish Caught winners, and daughter Ashlei, one of the females enrolled in the Boy Scout program, ending with a special Largest mouth award-winner.
Kemekona finished in a tie with Ky Rita for Most Fish Caught (by hook) after Ky’s grandpa, Alan Hashimoto, arrived ahead of the crowd to register his young ‘un.
“I had to do this because his aunt’s son participated in a previous tournament,” Hashimoto said. “Now, where are they? It was their idea to come and fish.”
Weighmasters Bill Peterson and Fred Dyer were constantly moving as narrator Jim Saylor, garbed with a special fish headwear, interviewed the stream of young anglers crossing the weigh tables.
“I don’t know,” Saylor said. “I haven’t fished for a while. I just borrowed a lure from my granddaughter so I could have it on this hat I got from Amazon.”
Addie Valera, the grandmother of Cub Scout Luke Ibanez (he won the Hungiest fish award), was happy with the to‘au run.
“I think you have to go out farther for the big ones,” Valera said, trying her hand at trying to catch the perch. “You can just fry ‘em, or make sabao — you know, fish soup. It tastes really good, especially the fish soup.”
Gordon Higa, sponsoring keiki who otherwise would not enter the derby, was engaged in a discussion about the legal size of a papio snagged by Xavier Anderson with Gage Yaris.
“This one is going to be released,” Yaris said after the papio came up an inch short of being legal after using the special Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources ruler.
Anglers vyed for a cache of prizes, almost everyone going home with a prize through the annual generosity of community sponsors, including Ken and Jan Martinez — they’re NYC members along with John and Charlotte Ross, the Matson Navigation Co., Pepsi, Seasport Divers, Walmart, Costco, the Fun Factory, Hawaii Life Flight, Holo Holo Charters, Kim Chee No. 9 Restaurant, the Lihue Fishing Supply, and Maka Imports.
w By Hook: Kamekona Thompson-Most Fish Caught (by hook), Ky Rita-Most Fish Caught (by hook), Zayden Higau-Mancia-Biggest Fish (length + girth), Shayden Yaris-Next Biggest Fish, Grayling Penegva-Longest Fish, Trey Nakamura-Fattest Fish (girth only), Xavier Anderson-Next Fattest Fish (girth only), Zaiden Perry-Cartwright-First Fish Caught, Kakai Texeira-Prettiest Fish, Lehiwa Moribe-Biggest Shrimp, Isabelle Tumpap-Biggest Crab.
w Judges’ Special Categories: Zennon Alo-Rosa-Blackest Moray, Ashlei Thompson-Largest Mouth, Keanu Learned-barracuda: sharpest teeth, Duke Laureta-Most edible, Orion Ishino-Sweetest, Jamey Mahi-Shortest Fisherman, Kira Szegda-Most Silver Fish, Mia Mahina Vincent-Tastiest, Kaisen Barretto-Most Festive, Kahakili Texeira-Largest Mamo, Grace Lopez-Happiest perch, Maia Aquias-Most pink perch, Xiani Cabreros-Largest Nenue, Ronin Honjo-Most Golden, Cody Viernes-Yellowest Fin, Logan Yago-Laid back fish, Luke Ibanez-Hungriest, Zadrian Alo-Rosa-Greenest perch, Taizlee Louis-Best Hooked, Kylie Morioka-Most Brilliant, Kekai Laureta-Sleepiest, Gwen Aquinalda-Crabbiest Crab, Caitlin Hinazumi-Coolest Fish, Kaedyn Drone-Oga-Happiest perch, Mahina Berg-Friendliest, Maddox Larusso-Liveliest, Chasen Fujii-Best Ta‘ape, Kayden Intachai-Cutest Crab, Koy Tsukayama-Loneliest Fish, Peyton Tagavilla-Blackest fish, Kamanakai Wong-Quietest Crab, Kahina Texeira-Highest Jumper.
Source: The Garden Island