|Good food, friends and family, rocky seas, and good fishing was the flavor of the month in Haleiwa for the North Shore Hana Paa Fishing tournament, held June 23, 24 and 25. Sixty boats, about forty-five of which were launched from a trailer, got together for the sixteenth straight year under this tournament name. Of course, the event, formerly known as the Haleiwa Jackpot, really began sometime in the early 1970s when a small group of fishermen were rumored to have thrown some money into a pot and decided to see who could come home with the biggest fish. Now, some twenty-five years later, the North Shore Hana Paa Club still runs this Hawaiian style tournament for all fishermen and the community of Haleiwa.|
|Boats come from all over and are of all
shapes and sizes in the Hana Paa. The Coreene C and Magic are two of the larger
boats in the fifty foot range, coming in from Hickam and Kewalo, respectively. At the
other end of the spectrum, Beverly, skippered by Roy Takatsuki, measures in at eighteen
feet and travels for twelve and a half hours on her own bottom from Kapaa, Kauai every
year. Several of the Oahu charter boats enter the tournament, but in the end, it makes no
difference how big the boat is or if it has a microwave or even a head. Thats
because the tournament winner is the boat bringing in the highest combined total weight
for the three days, and no baiting of any kind is allowed. Says Ed Baladoi, tournament
director and president of the North Shore Hana Paa Club, "all artificial lures
is how we make things fair for everyone, because any size boat from fifteen to fifty feet
can drag them around and catch a fish. The big boats could load up on bait, making it
completely impossible for the little guy to compete, so we found this is a good way to
make sure everyone has a chance." The theory must work, because Beverly did catch
some fish while a couple of the larger boats did not.
Ed should know about fairness and equality, too. He has been running the all volunteer, non-profit event since 1986, the year after North Shore angler Pat Nash, the previous tournament president, went fishing in 1985 but never returned. Ed has carried the legacy forward and vowed to make the tournament a success each year by making it fun and safe, and by giving back to the community in the form of two $500.00 scholarships to students wishing to further studies in marine-related fields. In fact, the goodwill and Aloha were so prevalent this week that Joe Green of Haleiwa Surf and Sea guaranteed the scholarships, and two students from Waialua and Kahuku High Schools were awarded the grants.
Its about Ohana (extended family) in Haleiwa. As club secretary and treasurer, radio and public relations guru Ron Hill put it, "these guys will fish this and other harbors all year long and chatter on the radio, but never see each other until the tournament. And then its like reminiscing with old friends over a couple of cold ones at the banquet. The Aloha spirit rises up and takes over, and it shows all up and down the harbor." Todd White, assistant radio man and member of the club standing committee, agrees. "Were the only tournament to give away 14k gold fish hooks and beautiful island of Oahu pendants to the tournament champion(s). The stuff is all donated, and the people just love it. Youll never find a friendlier place to watch or participate in a tournament."
||Anyone can say they are filled with Aloha, but nowhere was this more evident than the securing and weighin. As each boat came into the harbor, Hill and White secured the boats and advised them of their places to wait in the staging area. They relayed the boats in line down to the weigh team, and the fleet patiently waited their turn to display their wares to some 1,500 fans and curiosity lookers nearby. Bill Nations and Carol (CJ) Gonsalves headed up the weighin team and a large group of volunteers sprang to action with each approaching boat. Off with the fish, up on the scale, record the weight, step in for a photo with tournament queen Jessica Chang, then back to the boat or the fish market. Next boat, do it again.|
During the festivities, Ed Tracy mastered the ceremonies by educating the crowd on what the fish on the scale were, offering pieces of trivia, throwing out souvenirs, and even quizzing out of town visitors on fun subjects as a way to pass out souvenir T-shirts. The result was a real show of friendship culminating on a Friday evening of food and drink, which by the way coincided with the end of the work week and caused a few traffic clogs here and there.
On day one of the three day midweek
event, the fleet managed to catch approximately 110 fish, seventy-eight of which qualified
towards total poundage. Fifty Onos, twelve Mahimahis, and sixteen Ahi qualified on day
one, but no Billfish (including Spears) made it. And with the 1998 record fish weighing
888 pounds, it looked like there was a lot of work to do. There are four $500 prizes for
the largest flag fish each day, and with no Billfish caught, only the Shirley Y (176 lb
Ahi and 55 lb Ono), and the Pamela Marie (45.5 lb Mahimahi) were in the cash. The overall
leader at the end of day one was Millenium Y2K with 501 pounds.
|Day two saw another good load of fish come to the docks, and a few interesting stories to go with them. Rusty Spencer of the charter boat Kuuloa Kai II, who had to repair his broken transmission line the day before and had lost three hours of fishing in the process, managed to complete the clean sweep by about 11:00. He had a Billfish, an Ono and Mahimahi on board by 9:30 am, and at 11:10, he called in his Shibi (smaller yellowfin tuna) for the broom prize of $750.00. The day two biggest individual fish winners were the Kelsey Ann (181 lb Ahi), Kuuloa Kai (40.5 lb Mahimahi) and the Tammy Y (47.5 lb Ono), but again, there were no qualifying Billfish caught (NOTE: under the tournament format, Spearfish are considered Marlin and the fish do not have to make the minimum weight to count for the sweep. Thus Kuuloa Kais fish counted).||
|Although rain dampened the weigh-in for day two, their was no lack of enthusiasm from the skippers or tournament team at all, and everyone looked forward to the final day to see who would end up with the cash. The top five boats were separated by only 128.5 pounds, and with plenty of big Ahi out there for the picking, everyone knew Milleniums 501 pounds still holding the lead wouldnt make it another day.|
||Day three would finally produce a Marlin, and
the crowd wouldnt be disappointed with this fatty. The Kuuloa Kai II was at it
again, and they managed to boat a Blue Marlin weighing in at 509 lbs, good for the largest
Marlin of the third day and the tournament. And since this event allows more than one
prize to go to the same boat, Rustys wallet was beginning to fatten up quite a bit.
Natasha K then came in with a nice trio of Ahi, the largest of which, at 186.5 pounds, was
the largest of the tournament by only a half pound.
Next up was the tournament leader. With Kuuloa Kai weighing in their Marlin and scoring a total of 802.5 pounds, Millenium Y2K had to bring home 301.5 pounds or more to claim the top prize. That tally proved to be an easy target for the recently launched fishing machine, because they weighed in three more Ahi for a total of 533 pounds for day three, thus giving them a total of 1034 pounds and the $10,662.50 grand prize for the tournament.
|Rounding out the rest of the winners, second
total weight went to Kuuloa Kai with 802.5 pounds worth $4,265.00, third was Shirley Y
with 646.5 pounds and $2,772.25, fourth was Natasha K for their 641.5 pounds good for
$2,132.50, and fifth went to Olu Kai for their 593 pounds of fish for a total of
$1,492.75. The prizes for largest fish of the tournament went to Kuuloa Kai II (509 lb
Marlin, $1,000.00), Natasha K (186.5 lb Ahi, $1,000), Pamela Marie (45.5 lb Mahimahi,
$650.00), and Shirley Y (55 lb Ono, $650.00).
It was a great success for the organizers of the Hana Paa and the whole North Shore community. Once again, they proved there is more to the North Shore of Oahu than just surf...its also a great place to go fishing.
Tournament Entry Information
Home What's New Charters & Travel Gift & Tackle Shop Weather, Events & Tools Photos & Stories About Us