Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 23, 2013

Young fisherman years ago with and ulua in Ka`u. Photo from Hawai`i Fishing News

THE ULUA CHALLENGE brought more credibility to the use of barbless hooks for fishing in the tenth annual tournament held in June. Dean Uyetake became the 2013 Ula Challenge winner with the 93.4-pound ulua (giant trevally), using a barbless hook. The Omilu (blue fin trevally) Division was won by Dane Ramey with a 22.8-pounder. 
      Ka`u fishermen were among those who entered the contest and camped at South Point and other shoreline areas for the tournament, sponsored by S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo.
      The anglers fished for three nights and three and a half days, with the weigh-in at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Fishing was with rod and reel. Each fish was hooked, fought, and brought to gaff by a single person. Helpers could only shine lights to guide the angler when walking or pulling in a fish. The tournament prohibited using flotation devices like trash bags, plastic bottles, condoms, balloons and kites for hanging lines. Using boogie boards and surfboards was also banned. Fishermen were allowed to “hang bait,” only by using rods and reels. Each fisherman could set up as many as four rods and reels at the same time. Sharks, eels, turtles, rays and mammals did not qualify for the weigh in. Mutilated fish were also disqualified.
      Following Uyetake, second place went to Stephen Bondaug with an 88-pound ulua, third to Franklin Rivera with an 85.1-pounder, fourth to Richard Kaiawe with a 74.1-pounder, fifth to Bobby Akana with a 72.4-pound ulua, sixth to Todd Kaneshiro with a 69.8-pounder, seventh to Scott Yamamoto with a 68.5-pound ulua, eighth to Ka`eo Hunter with a 65.4-pounder, ninth to Jon Hara with a 64.5-pounder and tenth to Marcus Roberts with a 62.5-pound ulua.
Dean Uyetake won the Ulua Challenge with a 93.4-pound fish.
Photo from S. Tokunaga Store
      In the Omilu Division, Ramey was followed by Artis Higashi taking second with a 22.3-pounder. Keahi Akana took third with a 20.8-pound omilu. Justin Loa took fourth with a 19.9-pounder. Tommy Cabanting took fifth with a 17.9-pounder. Gerald Llanes took sixth with a 17.8-pounder. Keola Llanes took seventh with a 17-pounder. Rick Okubo took eighth with a 16.4-pounder, Kurt Nakamura took ninth with a 16.1-pounder and Jordan Ogawa took tenth, pulling in a 15.6-pound ulua.
      A special prize – a wrapped IRW Slider Rod for Barbless Hook – was given to the fisherman with the heaviest ulua caught using barbless hooks, which are being promoted to save fish when they are hooked but break away. The winner was Uyetake, who also won the grand prize for the heaviest fish caught in the Ulua Challenge.
      A statement from the organizers says, “If you are like most fishermen, and fishing is your passion, then the one thing you would want is to catch more fish. Have you ever broken a line on a big strike? Do you ever ask yourself if the fish survived after being hooked? If your answer is yes, what percentage of fish do you think survived? Many responsible fishermen in the islands are making changes to their fishing practices to ensure the fish population will be preserved for our future generations. One change fishermen are taking is the use of barbless hooks.
The winner of the Ulua Challenge
used a barbless hook.
Photo from notonlybowls.com
      “One advantage to using a barbless circle hook versus a barbed circle hook is that it can be less injurious to a fish or any other sea life that is hooked. If the fish breaks off with a barbless hook in its mouth, the hook will probably drop out a lot quicker than if it had a barbed hook in its mouth, causing less stress and less risk for mortality. This in turn will increase the chances that a missed fish would survive to not only reproduce, but to possibly be caught another day. Another advantage of using a barbless hook is that if a protected sea creature such as the monk seal or the green sea turtle is accidentally hooked, the chances of the hook falling out, increasing their survival, is much greater. A third advantage to using a barbless hook is that it makes releasing a fish much easier. There will be less struggle by the fisherman to remove the hook, creating less time for the fish to be out of the water and increasing its chance of survival.
      “And lastly, the use of the barbless hooks by fishermen sends a clear message that we are concerned and responsible stakeholders in fishery.
      “In the old days, circle hooks did not have barbs, yet they were very effective in catching fish, just ask your father or grandfather. The National Marine Fisheries Service has conducted side-by-side research that proved that a barbless circle hook is just as successful in hooking a fish as a barbed circle hook.” About half the fishermen in the Ulua Challenge used the barbless hook.
      A drawing at the weigh-in for the tournament netted a winner for a trip to Las Vegas, and proceeds from the event went to the Boys & Girls Club. Each fisherman paid a $50 entry fee.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos
today. Image from abcnews.com
“I HOLD ON VERY TIGHTLY TO MY SURFBOARD when I’m home and really hold onto the aloha spirit,” Ka`u’s U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulus today. Gabbard was featured in the show’s Sunday Spotlight subtitled From Battlefield to Halls of Congress. “I appreciate having the opportunity to not only be home, but to understand why I’m working in Washington.” 
      Gabbard said that when someone in Hawai`i asked her if she is “fitting in” in Congress, she responded that “not fitting in is actually a good thing.”
      Gabbard, a veteran of the war in Iraq, spoke about her support of plans to integrate women into combat units by 2016. “If you can pull your weight, and if you can do the job, you should be able to do it,” she said. “What we see in the policy change now, that we’re seeing starting to be executed, is just a reflection of what women have already been doing in the military.”
      “Some of the so-called uncivilized parts of what occurs when you are in combat, when you’re at war, that’s the reality that we train for,” Gabbard said. “This is not something new, and it’s not something that any woman who raises her hand to serve in uniform finds as a surprise. We know what we sign up for.”
      Gabbard also discussed military sexual assault. When in Iraq, “we got issued rape whistles so that, you know, as we walk out of our tent or walk out of our hooch, we’ve got our body armor, we’ve got our helmet, our weapon, and we’ve got our rape whistle,” Gabbard explained. “It was an eye-opening experience to have to consider that fact when we’re serving overseas…. We have to do something about this now.”

Ka`u High Trojans football team plays every BIIF team in the
upcoming season. Photo from Ka`u High School
KA`U HIGH SCHOOL TROJANS football and basketball teams will play a different schedule in the 2013-2014 school year. Instead of playing only Division II teams, the Trojans will play each Big Island Interscholastic Federation team in a nine-game schedule followed by the divisional championships. 
      “Every game will count no matter who you play,” BIIF executive director Lyle Crozier told Hawai`i Tribune-Herald sports editor Bill O’Rear. “A lot of coaches wanted the change. They felt by playing everybody in the BIIF it gave them a tougher regular-season schedule and helped them get ready for the state tournament. Now, every game will count and can help you get a better seeding in the BIIF tournament.”
      The Trojans football schedule includes four home games and five away:
  • Konawaena at Ka`u Friday, Aug. 30 
  • Ka`u at Kamehameha Friday, Sept. 6 
  • Ka`u at Kealakehe Saturday, Sept. 14 
  • Hilo at Ka`u Friday, Sept. 20 
  • Kea`au at Ka`u Friday, Sept. 27 
  • Ka`u at Waiakea Friday, Oct. 4 
  • Hawai`i Prep at Ka`u Friday, Oct. 11 
  • Ka`u at Honoka`a Friday, Oct. 18 
  • Ka`u at Kohala Saturday, Oct. 26
Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger portrays Thomas Jaggar this Tuesday and
every other Tuesday. Photo from KDEN
PROGRAMS AT HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK on Tuesday feature Ka`u residents.
      Dick Hershberger brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life during A Walk into the Past. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center and Whitney Vault.
       Megan Lamson, marine biologist and coordinator of coastal cleanup projects sponsored by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, discusses natural and cultural resources of Ka`u's Wai`ohinu Coast at After Dark in the Park. Topics include plants, pools, petroglyphs and opportunities for volunteer participation. The program begins at 7 p.m. in Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. 
      Both programs are free, and park entrance fees apply.



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