29th Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Fishing Tournament

Waianae Boat Harbor
July 15, 2023

Hawaii is known for its abundant marine life and offers fantastic opportunities for game fishing and there are several game fishing tournaments held in Hawaii throughout the year. These tournaments attract local anglers who compete for prizes and recognition and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Annual Fishing Tournament is no different.  The tournament fosters a competitive spirit among the 73 boats that got underway for the tournament which offers recognition to the boat Captains who bring in the ten largest fish. 

The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Annual Fishing Tournament is organized and run by the Federal Managers Association Chapter 19 who represents the federal workforce throughout the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard area.  Chapter 19 Director, Thomas Chow, arrived to Waianae Boat Harbor at the very early hours of the morning on Saturday, July 15, to check the fishing boats and ensured all boats did not carry any live bait.  As Tournament Director, Thomas relies on volunteers such as Derek Takahashi and Dacia Takahashi who assisted with obtaining the many tournament sponsors that are critical to making this historic event a possibility.  

With the day mounting to be another beautiful Hawaiiana day, the tournament is also an outdoor social event for the Waianae community who is invited to observe the fish weighing and awards ceremony.  In general, July is considered part of the summer season in Hawaii, which means warm temperatures and relatively calm seas.  Fishing wise, you can typically find species like Pacific blue marlin (Au), yellowfin tuna (Ahi), mahi-mahi, ono (Wahoo), and skipjack (Aku) game fish in Hawaiian waters.  With crystal clear, and what some may call pristine, ocean water the fish can easily see lures and enable fisherman to effectively target fish.

But this year, approximately 1745 nautical miles east from Pearl Harbor, the weather conditions on the waters are treacherous with a single hurricane tracking toward Pearl Harbor.  As of the commencement of the tournament, Hurricane Calvin was packing sustained winds speeds of 90 knots with gusts upwards of 110 knots.  Of course, Hurricane Calvin was being closely watched and fortunately the forecast had the system dissipating long before reaching the island chain.  None-the-less, at the moment of the tournament Hurricane Calvin was thought to be driving the game fish toward the Hawaiian waters.  

While it’s difficult to predict with certainty, fishing can be productive in the period leading up to a hurricane.  For the 25th Pearl Harbor Shipyard Annual Fishing Tournament held in July 2017, three tropical systems in the eastern pacific were making their way toward the Hawaiian Islands and that tournament yielded a winning 422 pound Au and a winning 195 pound Ahi. 

The extreme and sudden changes in atmospheric pressure associated with a hurricane also create extreme and sudden changes in the ocean environment.  Large pressure and temperature differentials associated with hurricanes can disrupt the natural movement and feeding patterns of fish.  Changes to water clarity, turbidity, and salinity due to heavy precipitation mixing in the ocean surface by persistent and strong winds can cause game fish to relocate to more favorable habitats.  In response to the disturbance caused by a hurricane, game fish may exhibit schooling behavior.  By grouping together, they can find safety in numbers and navigate more efficiently through turbulent waters.  Fishermen are likely to come across concentrated pockets of fish during or after a hurricane as they gather in specific areas. As such, the 29th Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Annual Fishing Tournament kicks off with anticipation of some large Au and Ahi.

Fishing commenced at 5:00 am and finished at 3:00 pm; however, the scales were open at 2:00 pm and available till 5:00 pm during the tournament.  The first to the scale was boat JAYMIELYN, Captained by Glenn Pestana, at 2:40 pm with one Ahi.  Our tournament master of celebration, Tsarkie, was joined by the tournament weigh master, Jordon Takasaki, who together with a member of the boat crew affirmed the Ahi weight as 80.2 pounds. In total 2087.2 pounds of fish from 21 tournament boats were brought to the scale including a 155 pounds of Au, a 136.8 pounds of Ahi, a 14.8 pounds of mahi-mahi, a 38.0 pounds of ono, and a 5.6 pounds of Aku. The tournament winner with the 155 pound Au landed by HOKULANI II captained by Bryan Keo.  

First place winner with a 155 pound Au , HOKULANI II, Captain Bryan Keo and his crew mate.

Aside from the winner, 9 runner-up boats received awards.  In order of largest to smallest were MOANALANI captained by Briceson Chong with a 152.8 pound Au, MELO D captained by Danny Kimura with a 140.8 pound Au, NIGHT NURSE captained by Pono Napierala with a 136.8 pound Ahi, MAILANI KAI captained by Nicholas Paglinawan with a 135.4 pound Au, TRACY H captained by Clinton Ho with a 130.0 pound Au, TRIPLE J captained by Tasha Ferriman with a 126.0 pound Au, and KELSEY S captained by Trevor Saiki with a 118.8 pound Ahi. For the final two awards and bragging rights, we had a tie between KEOLANANI captained by Clearance Adams Jr. and HALIA K captained by Mitchel Basso each landing a 111.4 pound Ahi.  In the case of a tie with the weight, the boat that presented the Ahi to the scale first takes the lead over the boat with the tie. In the case of the 111.4 pound Ahi the lead boat was the KEOLANANI with the ninth place finish while HALIA K took the final award. Congratulations to all our tournament participants that landed fish and a special celebratory congratulations to our 29th Annual Fishing Tournament winners.

MATSU 3, Captain Romy Pascua with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard sponsor,
Travis Pantohan, with the most fish caught by any tournament boat.

Mahalo to Derek and Dacia Takahashi for collecting and distributing the awards. Also many thanks to the support crew consisting of Patrick Morrissey, Kaipo Punahele, Allen Couture, Chelsea Paglinawan, Kimberly Chow, Gary Casino, Varney Range, Angel McIntosh, Taylor Warren, Shaianne Yockman, Shaun Gokan, Nicole Nakamura, Kellie Coda, Chiemi Arakawa, Nathan Muramatsu, James Andrade, Ryan Umemoto, Charlene Keanini, Jewelyn Kirkland, as well as the tournament cameraman, Rey Aguda, for pulling off another successful tournament. While the tropical system in the eastern pacific didn’t seem to influence the tournament results, the tournament was another astounding success and enjoyed by the Waianae community.  

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.