Ok, I will admit that I’m including this picture for no other reason than to prove that it is possible: 1) for me to get up at the ungodly hour of 5am; and 2) that it is also possible for me to occasionally be on time, especially if the motivation includes the possibility of filling my freezer with fresh fish.
So my honorary big brother was cruising through on his way back to Cali from visiting family in Japan, and he texted me asking if I’d be interested in going out on a sport fishing run. Never one to back down from a boat ride (best napping environment ever!), and always one looking for a source for fresh fish, I agreed. Then came the bad news: we had to be at the dock at 5am in order to go out and fish for bait fish. I sucked it up and made it happen, albeit bleary-eyed and not nearly caffeinated enough.
As we headed out, we were not only treated to a beautiful sunrise, but a pod of dolphins followed us to the location we were going to fish for bait. Of course none of the photos I took of the dolphins showed them, and of course I cannot upload a video of them here, but trust me, they were there.
We got to the magic spot where Captain Shawn and his mate started jigging for opelu, which would serve as our bait for most of the day. After they had caught about 30 reasonable-sized fish, we were then given a choice for our adventure: go out farther in search of the monster fish (big eye tuna, marlin, etc.), or go back towards shore and do a combination of trolling with lures and deep water fishing with the opelu. We chose the latter, with me having visions of filling my cooler with kampachi, ono, seasonal snapper, etc.
While the gentlemen and my honorary brother trolled and then set lines, I made sure that the cushions inside the boat were of suitable comfort, waking up every once in a while to check “our” progress. For those who do not already know this, there is a reason they call it “fishing,” rather than “catching,” and it was not really our day. Not Captain Shawn’s fault, as he has clearly been more successful than not. See photo above from another recent trip.
We did not go home empty-handed, however. Towards the end of the run we hooked onto a nice kampachi, which honorary brother reeled in. It was cleaned and filleted for us by the time we got back to the dock. My kitties also benefitted- I took home several of the opelu for their enjoyment (which they would not eat whole; I had to clean, remove bones, and chop into pieces for them).
I took my fillet home to pan sear and pair with veggie Israeli couscous and fresh spinach. It was quite the hit.
We may not have filled my freezer, but we had a wonderful day on the water courtesy of Captain Shawn and his company Night Runner Sport Fishing (and I enjoyed some lovely nap time). I would highly recommend giving him a call if you are interested in fishing along the Kona Coast. Maybe next time I’ll choose the option of going after the monster fish.
Night Runner Sport Fishing, Captain Shawn Rotella,