First off, I didn’t expect that much traffic. I was staying at the Aulani with the fam for Thanksgiving and needed to get to the airport flat to meet Kenny at 7:00 AM. I thought 40 minutes would do it. I was wrong.
The bell staff were also wrong that it would be “about the same cost” for a taxi and a Lyft… it was, in fact, not about the same cost at all. It cost me $128 to get to the flat (vs. $38 to get back) and I got there 15 minutes late. I hate being late.
The flat, when we got out there, was glassy clam. No wind rustled the mangroves or the water and it took about 10 seconds to see my first tail waiving at us to say good morning.
Now, it must be said, these fish are kind of assholes. They are so very, very spooky and they’ve seen some stuff, man… they’ve seen it all. They were super skittish in the sheet of skinny water and Kenny let me know it wasn’t ME they were rejecting, but more an overall disposition. Having an almost teenage daughter, I understand the mentality.
We worked hard and didn’t have too much to show for it. I had maybe 10 shots through lunch and I had maybe another 5 after lunch. The shots decreasing as the wind came up and the tails stayed down with the changing tide. I hooked one nice fish that must have run around one of the many, many coral obstacles and cut me off. It was good to feel the tug, but I was still off the board.
The day was waning. My dinner reservations were on my mind as well as questions about exactly how much traffic I might have on the way back West. I told Kenny that, ya know, if it wasn’t going to happen, we didn’t need to keep after it. Kenny said he wanted to try one more spot.
The breakers weren’t being totally blunted and so the ride out on the last flat was a little wild, a confused jumble of swells from different directions meant everyone had to hold on from time to time. To make it a bit more challenging the water was both a little deeper and the bottom seemed to be the EXACT color green of a bonefish. I was seeing phantom fish everywhere. Luckily, Kenny was seeing actual fish and had me cast toward a fish he had picked out.
“Strip long again.”
Tight to a fish and it was lightning, streaking across the flat. Backing exposed and recovered. Smiles all around. When I saw the size of the fish I wondered if I had hooked it in the ass, but it was just a strong, ocean-side fish. Not the 10 pounder, but the right species in the right place and sometimes you just need to take what the fishing gods give you.
It was a day saver and we were both pretty relieved.
You can find guide Kenny Karas here, and I recommend a day on the water with him. He’s good people and knows his stuff. This is a solid recommendation, not an ad.
- If you liked the story above, check out these stories below
- Kenny Karas guides the blind (me) in Hawaii (1.000)
- Interview with Kenny Karas - Hawaii on the Fly (0.644)
- My Hawaiian Bonefish Skunk is Dead (0.420)
Tags: bonefish, Kenny Karas, O'io, Oahu
Way to keep focused! I plan to someday do this same setup and I’ll keep this post for the particulars and guide rec. Really nice fish! Hope your trip finishes well and the SF delays don’t get you.