||18lbs 11.2 oz
After a few months of fishing the cliffs, chasing pelagics, I got my dream fish when I least expected it. I had this weird gut feeling to go fishing close to home, and thats exactly what I did. My girlfriend, Jocelyn Tamashiro, and I decided to go on a last-minute sunset fishing trip to the North Shore.
When we got to the beach, it was miserably hot so we jumped in the water to cool off. About a minute later I noticed a big school of hahalalu swarming in, jumping out of the water and almost beaching themselves on the sand.
I quickly set up my whipping pole to try to catch them for bait. After losing the first few, I managed to catch some.
I threw one bait out with no luck. I kept whipping, and then Jocelyn told me there was a different school of hahalalu right in front of my pole. We walked back together. I checked my bait and threw out a fresh one. I already had a decent amount of hahalalu, so I decided to teach Jocelyn how to cast with my whipping pole.After a few casts, my main line snapped, so I sat down to retie my line.
Suddenly I heard my bell ring, and then my drag started screaming. Fish on!
The initial run was fast, but luckily I was only 10 feet away from my pole. I was excited to fight the fish, but I couldnt take my pole out of the sand spike. The fish was running, and the battle was on.
I got my pole in my hands and gained some line back, only for the fish to rip out all the line I had just recovered.
After four solid runs by the fish, I had it close enough to see color. At first, I thought I had hooked a good-sized rainbow runner, but then the fish took off in its last attempt to escape. I got the fish close one last time. It was clearly tired, and I could confirm that it wasnt a rainbow runner.
With the help of a local braddah, I was able to land the fish with my Trinidad 30A reel and IRW Slayer rod.
I was in awe. My first thought was, Wow, this is one colorful kahala! but after further inspection I realized it was a yellowtail! I bled the fish and brought it home.
Its always been a goal for me to be on the Hawaii State Record List, so I looked up the previous record for yellowtail. Once I saw the weight, I knew I had a chance.
The next day I took the fish to Hana Paa Hawaii in Kalihi and got an official weight of 18 lbs 11.2 oz, which meant I had the potential state record for yellowtail. I called HAWAII FISHING NEWS to see how to make it official.
Exactly one week later, on my 28th birthday, Adam from HAWAII FISHING NEWS called to let me know that my yellowtail is officially the new Hawaii state record. I was stoked! My friend Bronson Spindler and I screamed with joy. It was not my biggest fish but certainly was my most memorable birthday catch. I want to thank Hana Paa for weighing my fish, Jocelyn for letting me do what I love, and Adam from HFN for the solid birthday news. Aloha!