On Sunday, December 11, 2022, my wife hinted to me the night before that she wanted to go to the beach. And when she said the beach, that meant fishing to my ears! Excited, I loaded up all the gear the night before, so all that we needed to do was get the family into the truck in the morning.
At around 11:00 AM, we finally reached our destination. I first chose to cast my chose my Talon CY17 rod using Aku belly for bait. Next, I cast out the o'io rods, model CY85, using tako for bait, and finally my ulua rod, model CY71, using an o'io head for bait. The tide was low but rising. According to my fishing app, the prime time would be between 2:42 p.m. and 4:42 p.m. Waiting for prime time, I caught a small lai, two small papio, and a morey eel.
At around 1:45 p.m., the bell on my CY17 rod started ringing but quickly went slack. As I started reeling the CY17 with aku belly bait, my other rod, CY85, started bending over. My wife yelled, Babe, your pole! I quickly handed the CY17 pole to her and told her to just reel. I ran over to my CY85 rod, landed a nice 9-pound omilu. Meantime, my wife reeled in a nice size 3-pound o'io.
After recasting those two rods, I planned to recast the CY71 rod with the head of the Morey eel. While I was prepping a fresh bait, my wife yelled, Babe, your pole! Looking down the beach, I saw the CY71 ulua rod bent over!
When I reached the pole, at least three-quarters of my Ande 60-pound Monster Yellow line was already gone. I could almost see the PowerPro backing through the remaining mono! I decided to wait until the fish stopped pulling before taking my pole out of the stand, since from the bend in the pole I knew that whatever was on the other end of the line was BIG!
Once the rod had straightened a little, I took the pole out of the pole stand, and immediately the fish took another run! I could feel the tremendous power while I was holding on for dear life! I then looked over to my son and said, Big fish, Talan. Over a hundred pounds!
I slowly tightened my star drag lever a few clicks and leaned back to boost, but only gained a few yards.
After a while, keeping constant pressure on the fish, I slowly gained some line. The fish started to swim to the right, with the line directly in front of me. With around 100 yards of the line still out to sea and providing consistent pressure on the rod, the fish eventually started traveling towards a small reef, and I had to struggle after the monster while weaving over and under my other lines.
The ulua had pulled me about 100 yards down the beach, I didn't have a gaff, so I would have to use the waves to bring the fish in. The beach had a steep slope, so I needed to wait for a surge big enough to bring the fish onto shore. About 20 yards away, I could see a large silvery ulua swimming in the waves. With my adrenaline pumping, I yelled to my wife, Ulua!
The fish slowly swam right, then left. Below the drop-off, the big ulua showed itself through the waves. I then heard my wife cheering behind me, It's a big one! Oh my god, hundred pounds! And my son who was right beside me and encouraging me said, You don't see this every day! Laughing inside, I reminded myself to focus since the fight wasn't over, and the fish was not yet mine!
I knew that at that moment, it was crucial to not get too excited and to stay focused. I told myself to go easy and not put too much pressure on the line, to prevent it from breaking or the hook popping out of its jaws.
I was in shock by the size of the fish as it swam through the waves just 10 yards from shore. I finally was able to land it using the surge to bring the giant ulua onto the beach.