Just got back from an awesome day of fishing. Our neighbor’s one of the best fishermen in the village and was cool enough to take Kamalei Alexander, Teva Dexter, Ke’ale Chung, and I out for a full day on his 30 foot boat.
Captain Didiae kept us in the middle of a giant feeding frenzy. There were big Ahi and Aku jumping out of the water everywhere. Birds and big whale-sharks were also gorging themselves on the bounty of bait fish.
Tahitian fishing is roots. Kamalei, Teva, and Ke’ale have lot’s of experience growing up Ahi fishing in Hawaii, and are good at the Tahitian style after spending years in Tahiti. Stoked they taught me some of the fundamentals needed to get the fish to the boat without getting hurt.
Every fish was caught by hand-line. No rods or reels. Instead, we dropped lava rocks, threw in buoys with baited line, and held mono-filament while trolling lures – watching for fish to strike. It was the most hands-on and close-action fishing I’ve ever done.
We put 15 big fish on deck before heading back for a feast. Found out quick that it’s not easy pulling in big tuna by hand. Took me a fish or two to find a decent technique, and I was almost pulled overboard while fighting to figure it out. Even tough I was wearing gloves, my hands are blistered from fighting the fish. Hats off to the guys who landed fish without any gloves at all. Tahitian fishermen and Kauai locals are gnarly.
Felt good to go fishing and actually spend the entire day catching fish, especially with multiple double-hook-ups on hand-lines. Feel very fortunate to learn some of the Tahitian fishing traditions, and spend the day laughing with the radical crew.