By Allen Couture
July 22, 2022
In the early hours of Saturday, July 16, 2022, Thomas Chow, Kimberly Chow, Ryan Umemoto, Varney Range, Derek Takahashi, Dacia Takahashi, Kevin Matsumoto, David Boute, Maea Lefotu, together with members of the National Association of Superintendents, gathered at Waianae Boat Harbor to meet the 59 boats competing in the 2022 Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard 28th Annual Fishing Tournament. Each boat had to report for a fish box inspection prior to getting underway as the tournament is a lure only, trolling competition – no live bait permitted. Each boat has the choice lure designed to attract the attention of the Ahi, Au, Ono, Aku, and Mahi-mahi using appearance, movements, vibrations, and flashy colors to entice the fish to strike at the lures. The first fish unable to resist the lure was a Mahi-mahi reported by MAXIMUS, Captained by Todd Dunlap at 5:36 am.
But lures alone are not sufficient to hook a fish. First the boat must locate the fish and the best time to locate fish is when they are most active. Many environmental factors effect fish activity including sun, moon, tides, and weather. Fortunately for the fisherman, Saturday was a beautiful Hawaiiana day with our typical moderate trade winds, slightly overcast conditions, no precipitation, and an adolescent moon. Conditions at sea were surprisingly smooth, despite the high sea warning issued by the National Weather Service. In addition to the high sea warning was a high surf warning due to a large incoming south swell. By 3:00 pm when fishing ended and the boats began making their way to the harbor to get to the scales before the 5:00 pm deadline, the large south swell began making its presence known at the harbor entrance. Each incoming boat had to navigate around the breaking wave at the harbor entrance together with timing and speed the boats made their way to the boat launch.
In total, 63 boats registered for the tournament. No shows and mechanical problems decreased the number of competitors to 58 of which 24 boats managed to be at the right location with the perfect lure to land a fish.
The unofficial heroes of the tournament are ironically LITTLE DINGHY, Captained Kevin Takahashi, and MISS D, Captained by Ryan Shiroma, who get the humanitarian award for rescuing a small yellow inflatable dingy that drift out to sea with 5 passengers. What began as a leisurely near shore fishing excursion at Pokai Bay Beach for the inflatable crew turned into a dangerous situation. The inflatable had a small engine unable to power the inflatable and passengers back to shore. As the tournament boats began making their way back to the harbor, MISS D noticed the small inflatable with the passengers waving for help. MISS D notified tournament base of the situation who then notified one of the tournament safety boats LITTLE DINGHY about the distressed inflatable. Both boats then responded with assistance. The inflatable passengers were safely moved to MISS D and LITTLE DINGHY. The small engine was also removed from the inflatable in order to hoist the inflatable on to the stern of LITTLE DINGHY. LITTLE DINGHY then returned the inflatable and passengers safely to Waianae Boat Harbor. A big mahalo to the crews of MISS D and LITTLE DINGHY.
Mahalo to our Sponsors
- Holoholo Tackle Shop B&E Petroleum
- Pearl Hawaii Federal Credit Union
- Roy’s Fishing Supply
- Universal Manufacturers
- National Assoc. of Superintendents
- Reno Lures
- 40 Fathoms Lures
- Alpha Bait Lures
- Federal Managers Assoc.
- Hana pa’a Fishing Supply
- JHara Store
- JSI Lures
- Pacific Ocean Producers
- Venture Wetsuits
- J&E Fishing Supply
- Aiea Manapua
- Lawai’a Magazine
- Mike’s Tent Rental
- Mokuleia Cigars
- Times Supermarket
- West Marine Fishing
- Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill
- Samurai Snack Aiea
- MJR Production
Earlier in the tournament Lyle Amine and Jason Snellings from the Coast Guard Auxiliary were conducting courtesy safety inspections of the tournament boats. Lyle and Jason checked for registration, safety gear, and radios – all items that were lacking on the small inflatable dingy. Not one tournament boat received a violation.
Each boat that landed a fish made its way to the scale where a team of riggers, a weigh master, and hoist operator recorded the weight of each fish. The weighed fish was compared to bridge-to-bridge radio reports from the boat that was required when they hooked a fish and with some luck landed the fish ensuring the legitimacy of each catch brought to the scale. A witness from the boat along with the Weigh Master and a tournament volunteer affirm the weight which
is then recorded into a computer along with the boat and fish species.
The tournament yield was relatively small to past years: 10 Ahi totaling 1,081 pounds, 7 Aku totaling 106 pounds, 5 Mahi totaling 48 pounds, 5 Ono totaling 152 pounds, and 1 Au totaling 38 pounds. Overall, 1,425 pounds of fish was brought to the scale. But only the top 10 largest fish and the largest fish for each species brought to the Weigh Master received a tournament award
s certificate with the caveat that only one award per boat.
Congratulations to Captain Roman Paris of FLORA for landing the largest fish of the tournament a 146.0 pound Ahi and in order by weight Barry Ventura with a 141.6 pound Ahi, Briceson Chong with a 123.4 pound Ahi, Chris Kini with a 118.6 pound Ahi, John Kim with a 101.0 pound Ahi, Paul Lo with a 99.0 pound Ahi, Todd George with a 90.4 pound Ahi, Rex Koga with a 88.8
pound Ahi, Clarence Adams with a 87.8 pound Ahi, Kevin Tsutsui with a 84.8 pound Ahi, Ray Sugihara with a 38.2 pound Au, Paul Navarro with a 37.4 pound Ono, Gilbert Custodio with a 19.8 pound Aku, and Todd Dunlap with a 12.6 pound Mahi.
While the tournament was open to all Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard employees, retirees and ohana, the tournament is organized and run by Federal Managers Association Chapter 19 and the National Association of Superintendents, Hawaii Chapter. Just as significant as the support crew are the many sponsors who pledged their support with donations and prizes. A special thanks to all the sponsors. The tournament coordinators make sure the boats and crowd eager to see the weigh-in are well aware of the sponsors and their contributions. Regular announcements across the bridge-to-bridge radios as well as by the tournament master of ceremony highlight their support and contributions.
The Federal Managers Association was established in 1913 and is the oldest and largest association representing the interests of the 200,000 managers, supervisors and executives serving in today’s federal government. Federal Managers Association Chapter 19 was founded in 1946 and represents the federal workforce throughout the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard area.
The National Association of Superintendents, Hawaii Chapter, comprises of shipyard superintendents responsible for monitoring and managing repair projects. The superintendents require strong leadership, exceptional managerial qualities, excellent communication, and attention to details – all characteristics need to make the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Fishing tournament a success.