The Tiki Gods were smiling: a Maui and Kona report

Mingo

the Menehune stole my beer
#1
After a plane ride full of hacking and coughing pasty people, my wife and I met up with family and friends for our annual spring pilgrimage to Hawaii. This trip steered us toward Maui for week 1 since my sister and brother-in-law have a place near Napili Beach and we also would be hooking up with party pals Lawrence and Lisa for co-celebration of all our wedding anniversaries. After arrival, the only thing to do is head to Hula Grill and get the party going appropriately……





Our Maui condo has killer views of Lanai and Molokai and leaping whales looking for love.........evening 1 = and cold beers and a sunset from our lanai....



And then burgers at Kool Kats......get the Big Bopper and a big basket 'o fries.

The next day it was time to shake it off and head to the beach.............sun, cocktails, 5 wt flyrods and cold beer……



My brother in law and sis started the following morning off with some snorkeling................



Then it was time for bro to get acquainted with Hawaiian reef fishing, Mingo-style..a light stick, barbless flies and sightfishing tactics….a good trout fisherman can have fun doing this…lots of mending and drifting with the tidal surge….





One of my most effective techniques is pretty close to Czech-style nymphing and spider flies are a good choice, both standard and reverse-hackle. This hawkfish, or po’opa’a, thought it looked like a tasty snack…..



After my 30 second tutorial my bro said “gimme the rod, bitch!”



One day we had a chance to fish with some locals who asked if they could have everything we caught for a big family party that night. They were using spinning tackle and squid for bait…..it was cool learning from them and they were intrigued by our Knudsen spider, various shrimp, marine worm, seaweed and other fly patterns. Good times..............They LOVE to eat various types of wrasse and goatfish so they giggled like little girls when our fish would get added to their party menu…..















The girls refused to let a sudden downpour interfere with their partying……they found a little beach cave built by the Menehune during Kamehameha’s reign of terror and kept it going…………….



The guys kept at it while the clouds and rain rolled in……..



My buddy Lawrence was banging the ku’upipi on a Hawaiian fly worked on a spinning rod…it was his first time fishing…another addict is born!!!! :)



There are few things sadder than a thirsty man in need of a cold beer….toss me one dammit !!!!!!



Off to dinner at Lahaina Fish Company to celebrate all our wedding anniversaries



A Hawaiian sex education tiki…………



We then headed to Kona for some chill time with the usual bit of fishing thrown in. We've always thought of Kona as the perfect little Pirate Village....the town is the perfect size, not too crammed and just the right vibe. The view from our lanai……….



The best way to start off a Hawaiian morning is with a healthy breakfast of plump papaya……



The sea turtles were having quite the little orgy….naughty creatures!





A po’opa’a, or stocky hawkfish, that could not resist a quick-stripped Borski Slider…………..



Then a great day with the awesome Del Dykes chasing fish in the big blue. Heading out in the early morning while Del put out a trolling spread....we started the day trying for a mahi mahi or wahoo for the table.



The pelagics would not play that day......we had one savage wahoo hit that tore the nose and side out of Del's Braid Marauder, but no mahi mahi or tuna were around so we went inshore for some reef fly action. I started off with big clousers and then switched to topwater action with poppers. I took several bluestripe snapper, or "Ta'ape" in Hawaiian and a whole bunch of Smalltooth Jobfish, AKA "Wahanui" in Hawaiian. Wahanui means "big mouth".......we all know some people that are total Wahanuis, eh? ;)

I started with one of Del’s custom tied chartreuse clousers…….







Del told me this was the first time one of his clients caught ta’ape on flies. They are a very cool, feisty fish and are supposed to be good eating. I put mine back...











After several more I switched to a floating line and a popper to see what would play. I did get a few nice strikes from a couple trevally but they came unbuttoned….sh!t! No worries….. I managed a baker's dozen wahanui on the surface..............



















The next few days were spent goofing around at various "secret" beaches having fun and tossing a few flies.......kicked off by the most important day of the trip…my wife’s 46th birthday!!! :)

Mrs. Mingo trying on one of her birthday necklaces….



Chillin’ at Hualalai……



Working a tidal trench with a classic Hawaiian background….a paddlesurfer comes in for a beer with his buds…



Rain and clouds in Kona sent us north up the Kohala coast in search of better weather the next day..... La Minga calls the fish in with her special Fishing Hula at another secret beach…one with no signs…heh heh heh…..these abound in Hawaii. ..............



Endless varieties of beautiful fish, awesome weather and gorgeous blue water….....I love to fish in the tropics..........



You never know what you might hook……….







A Pacific Threadfin or "Moi" (the word means "six threads"...check out the whisker strands...) that hit a crayfish-colored bunny leech.....a very cool and very delicious fish. These were reserved for Hawaiian Alii, or royalty, in the time of Kamehameha. If a commoner ate one of these tasty morsels they would have their melon hacked off as punishment. Think the WDFW has the balls to implement a penalty like that for poachers here?





A feisty humuhumunukunukuapua’a….which is , or is not, the Hawaii state fish depending on which story you read and want to believe..they look cute with those cow eyes but these sumbitches are mean and will take your fingers clean off with their backward-pointing choppers! Be careful getting the hook out, go barbless and let ‘em swim away…..this is one of the few species I have never heard of a Hawaiian eating……





A couple of chunky twin ku’upipi, a type of damselfish, put a nice deep bend in my 5 wt stick….go ahead, go catch a couple of these on your 3, 4 or 5 wt and then try and tell me you didn’t have fun!!! These bad boys will rock you if you let them dive for cover. …most reef species are adept at ducking under a coral shelf and stiffening their fins to wedge themselves in tight. You have to keep the pressure on or you’ll lose the fish…….





Chilling on the lanai with a cold rum cocktail before heading to Huggo’s for ribs, poke and the best sizzling Asian mushroom plate this side of heaven….



Another Hawaiian sunset………..



Mahalo!
 

Big E

Active Member
#4
Awesome pics. Looks like some great variety. I've never seen 90% of those fish. Some of them looked down right dangerous with spines and such.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
#6
Very cool Mingo. Thank you for sharing. Those damsels look like bluegills on steroids; add the warmer water and I'm sure they can pull.

Steve
 
#9
Note to self: Do NOT read Mingo´s reports on a Monday morning at work. It just makes the rest of the day seem drearier.

Reef fishing in the tropics was my mode of life for many years, your pictures just brings back all the memories. Looking forward to the next installment!

Regards,
Kenneth
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#11
Happy Birthday Mrs. Mingo, hope the La Minga dance keeps you into fish for many decades into the future. Happy Anniversary to you both and your friends. Great that you could celebrate that in true Mingo style. Thanks for a great trip report sir.