Hawaii Bonefish

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by bucksnort, May 12, 2008.

  1. bucksnort Member

    Posts: 73
    Vancouver, WA
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    Sure did take a lot that day.
  2. Dick Warnke was Pram-Man

    Posts: 761
    Federal Way Wa
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    That's got to make things tough for Coach Duff...what are they going to do with them? :confused:
  3. bucksnort Member

    Posts: 73
    Vancouver, WA
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    The locals were 'subsistence' fishing. These were ALL bonefish. There was another net, about 300-yards out, wating to be pulled in. I guess I should have been there the day before????
  4. obiwankanobi Active Member

    Posts: 1,311
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    That man to the left of the middle is probably one of those success stories about recovering from anorexia, due to all the fried bonefish he ate. Its too bad to see large harvests like these, labeled under the term "subsistence" but if its legal for the natives then they will excercise this right.
  5. chromeseeker Where's the Bucket?

    Posts: 132
    Your City ,State Vancouver, WA
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    I'd love to hear Coach's take on this.

    I'm sure if there was one bonefish left in all of Hawaii they'd net the poor bastard.

    Too bad. Now, if they'd get out there with a fly rod and catch and keep, I'd have more respect for them. My only question is: how do they prepare these things? They're not called "bonefish" for nothing, I'm thinking!

    CS
  6. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,860
    Pipers Creek
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    It was my understanding that the bones in Hawaii are big, but you don't see the huge schools of fish like you do in the Bahamas. Lots of singles and doubles. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.
    That looks like quite a few fish in one net set. Did you confirm they were bones and not milkfish or some other species?
    If they are bones, that looks like a pretty big hit to the local fish population.
  7. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Hiding in your closet
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    If you zoom in on the photo, they're clearly bonefish, not milkies. That being said, I'm guessing that this sort of thing has probably been going on for quite some time. Bonefish, like every other species in Hawaii, have the potential to provide a much better fishery than they currently offer. The catch & kill mentality is strong with locals and tourists alike out there.
  8. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,860
    Pipers Creek
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    Alpine,
    Thanks for clarifying that. Due to security reasons here at work, I'm not able to open the attached photo for a larger and better view.
  9. bucksnort Member

    Posts: 73
    Vancouver, WA
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    Gents,
    They were ALL bonefish! I was hoping to see another species in the net, but there were none. At first, I was extremely bummed out. However, it is not too different from some of the fishing practices here in the NW (gill nets, recycled steelhead, etc).

    As I understand it, fishing for bones in Hawaii is not a destination stop. However, the bones that excape the nets are relatively large (mid-teens). It is something to do when in Hawaii and there are some local guides. One of the guys offered me some fish to take home when I asked what time the barbacue was. Bonefish = o'io in HI.
  10. Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Posts: 1,272
    Kailua Hawaii
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    Bonefish are rolled out with rolling pins bones and all, or frozen and the meat is scraped off and made into fish cakes. It tastes like lobster or sweet shrimp. Amazing actually. Actually #$%$^&% amazing! I have eaten it at a few local boy's houses. I do not keep anything I or my clients catch however. A good friend of mine Kenny Longnecker who is a fisheries biologist for UH is doing an archeology study in Waimanalo (close to me) concerning a dig that unearthed hundreds of bonefish (o'io) skeletons. This dates back hundreds of years. The bonefish has been a food source for eons. I cringe when I hear my fly-fishing brethren automatically assume that all locals are wasteful. I do think Oahu is overfished, (by many entities) but I have actually seen a high level of restraint concerning bonefish and their harvest by our local boys. Over-netting them floods the market with them and drops the price per pound. The local boys are very deliberate in this arena. I have not seen 1 tenth of the waste here I witnessed back home on Washington with dead salmon and steelhead lying around river banks or at the mouth of places like the Ballard Locks. Fish are eaten or sold at market. They are treated like a precious resource, not a birthright or a way to "make up for hundreds of years of injustices". Ohana means family here, and I am constantly amazed at how willing so many people of so many colors and origins are to bring you into the Ohana. Netting is allowed here, but you must have control of the net physically. Leaving a net unattended is illegal and three times the Fish and Game officers have torn the illegal net out the day I called it in. Often nets are left by immigrants who are practicing their own local fishing methods and must be educated. As far as numbers, there are huge (I have a picture of a school estimated at 10 tons caught on camera by plane off Oahu) schools of bonefish. However the major numbers of fish stay in 20-60 feet of water and skilled angers with gear catch dozens trolling. Our flats are somewhat limited but can be prolific and on a good day we will sight 60-100 fish and have shots at up to 20. We can also see 3 or 5 or none. That's Hawaiian bonefishing as far as sight casting goes. If you want to bomb away and blind cast, productive lanes will give up on average 1 fish up to many fish if you want to stand in one place and blast 90 footers and strip all day in deeper slots. The bright spot is that often 20-30 of those bones you see sight fishing will be over 10 pounds with fish going up to the mid 20s, and that is something I don't think very many places can claim. If those boys were legal, I have no doubts they utilized those bonefish in an ethical way. Sounds like ass-kissing or being a "homer" but so far I have been impressed with local practices. The most interesting sidenote to this long-winded response is that recently a "fly-fishing only" scientist and some fly guys jammed a gill net ban inshore through legislature. The response from locals. They were offended as being portrayed as over-harvesters. Their response? They piss pounded some well known flats with nets and let everyone know that if they wanted to, they could really make a dent on the fly-fishing flats. Kind of flexed the biceps a bit you know? Then if Hawaiian Ohana fashion, they backed off and went back to very restrained and calculated harvest. We have interests as self-serving as the rest of the world. Some want to sell fish, some want to eat fish, and we want to catch and release them for sport. The tightrope we walk is to try not to alienate everyone around us as we take away their methods and beliefs even if it is the right thing to do. Thanks for bearing with me. The Coachptyd
  11. Denny Active Member

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    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Coach, you homer. ;)

    Just kidding. Actually, to me this is probably your best posting yet. Good stuff.

    However, I still am bummed to see that many bones being netted. Damn! I've run in to many people who feel many inshore (and offshore) species have been overfished around Hawaii. It's pretty darn tough to find decent popio anymore, let alone ulua.
  12. Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Posts: 1,272
    Kailua Hawaii
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    Papio, (under 10 pounds) and Ulua (over 10 pounds - any species of trevally in Hawaiian lingo) fishing inshore is seasonal, with summer being heads and shoulders above the rest of the year. The "owama" or juvenille goatfish "hatches" in the millions and the inshore is packed with them. Every man woman and child is also out there catching them with every type of rig imaginable. They are considered a great brook trout type pan fryer and the trevally shore casters stock up on them for bait. They run on average about 6-7 inches by July. During that same June to early August period every papio and Ulua in the Hawaiian island chain is also crashing "owama" in the shallows. I am seeing some big GTs where I fish and guide. I saw a 35+ pounder two days ago and a school of 8-10 pound bluefin trevally last week. They are starting to trickle in sniffing around for the owama hatch. Richard you have to remember that there aren't really that many people fly-fishing and even less are targeting trevally. And an even smaller number of angers here know anything about shooting heads, advanced popper techniques, versi-tips, switch rods, and the buttload of weapons, techniques and flypatterns that give you an opportunity to chase these brutes in different terrain and water conditions. Things (like most things in life) aren't as good as some people try to say and aren't as bad as others try to say. They lie somewhere in the middle. No, flyfishing for trevally is not blue ribbon on Oahu but it's a hell of a lot better in summer than what I have read and heard on message boards. Duffptyd
  13. bucksnort Member

    Posts: 73
    Vancouver, WA
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    Coach,
    Excellent reply. I agree with you. Having lived in the Northeast US for most of my life (I've now been in WA for 22 years) I have seen what overfishing, industrial, etc. has done to fish and species populations. Subsistence fishing existed long before 'catch-and-release'. I don't have any problem whatsoever with eating whatever you catch or shoot. Occasionally, I too keep a fish for the grill.

    I've fished with Ollie and Bob last November. We saw about 20 NICE bones, threw a bug to about half of them. However, there were no takers.

    I'll be back on Oahu in Oct/Nov. We'll talk before that.
    Thanks, Ed