In early November, Capt Erik invited Frank and me to fish on his 16 foot Livingston. The winds were very light and surf was small, so we felt extra blessed and excited to fish areas that would normally be too turbulent. The plan was to start deep (300 ft plus), while the conditions allowed, and work our way in. Erik and I jigged while Frank used the damashi rig to give the bottom critters more menu choices.
Capt Erik put us on spots that produced for him in the past, and while Frank began to bring up small moana, our jigs went untouched except for a phantom swirl that resulted in my Shimano flat side 140 gm lure gone and the leader slightly curled as if the knot got bitten off. Nothing bit for a while after, which made me wonder if I just tied a bad knot and the jig fell off on the way up?
Doubt began to creep in. Maybe the conditions were too calm and the predators weren’t feeding down there? Frank brought up a small nabeta on the damashi as we drifted in shallower, that piqued Erik’s interest. When a large nabeta came over the side, Erik grabbed his light spinner damashi setup and left me as the sole jigger.
Frank landed a jumbo moana, and then Erik hooked something with his damashi that peeled line off his small spinning reel. I pointed my cap cam on the action and we were stunned to see what Erik coaxed up to the surface.
We were in about 140 ft when the damashi bite slowed. Capt Erik announced we’d be moving once our lines were up, and then my jig rod slammed down with authority. I had on the very dependable 2 oz green mackerel Live Deception, and it didn’t let me down. The fish powered towards the bottom as I tried to put the brakes on. I was using my heavier jig setup because I wanted the stiffer tip to spring back as I speed jigged, and was glad I had the Tranx 500 with 60 lb fluoro and 65 lb braid to back me up. You can see how this up and down battle went. Capt Erik filmed the cool underwater sequence and Frank filmed above water with my cap cam. The fish was released tired but unharmed.
We stayed on the spot after the fish was landed and I checked my tackle. The kahala had slightly bent one of the treble’s tines out and I bent it back with my pliers. I dropped the Live Deception down again, and maybe 10 cranks off the bottom something hit it. It felt solid but wasn’t running hard. I wanted Frank to battle something with the big level wind bait caster setup, and I could use a break after the kahala, so I asked him to take over. During that transition, the fish ran parallel to the bottom and if felt like it went in a cave. Frank fought it for 50 minutes. This battle really deserves a post of its own so please look for that sea monster story soon.
After that long battle we took a break for lunch and then Capt Erik drove us inside of the 80 ft mark. Frank reminded me that I hadn’t caught anything to be taken home so I switched to the pink Jigging World jig Erik fishes in the shallows. Sure enough I got a nice hit and a 13.5 inch yellow spot came up. I bled it and iced it down so I could compare it to the delicious yellow spot we caught at the Banks that I turned into poke. Here’s how we did on that Banks trip.
What a perfect day! Everyone got a chance to scrap with some fish and bring home something delicious. The nabeta, weke ula and yellow spot papio are some of the best tasting fish we hope to catch. Big Mahalos to Capt Erik for his relaxing hospitality and for putting us on so many different types of fish.
Stay tuned for the Sea Monster post. We were scratching our heads, wondering what could be so large and heavy and not want to be moved off the bottom. It was definitely a tackle tester.