Apr 19

No bonefish were harmed in the making of these memories

Anini… a pretty cool place and one of very few places in Kauai where folks target bonefish. I’m not hot-spotting here. If you couldn’t put those particular topics together your Google is broken.

So, yeah, my 12 year old daughter and I made our way to camp at Anini for her Spring Break. We’ve been doing these Dad/Daughter trips for the past couple years and it has been some top shelf memory making.

The overlook of Hanalei Valley

A few things to know:

  • Roosters. Roosters start doing their thing about 3:15 AM. Ear plugs are mandatory equipment.
  • It is cheap… $3/day per adult. Cost us $9 to camp.
  • There can be a lot of people there. There were, roughly, all the people when we were there.
  • The North Short of Kauai means rain. Sometimes, that could mean 50″ in 24 hours. On this trip it meant some rain at night and on and off during the day.
  • Mixed in with the rain and the wind will be stretches of wonderful beautifulness.
  • The bones there are, ya know, kind of scarce. I saw one on foot and I saw a few while paddle boarding.
  • You’ll need a car to get around.
  • The Bubba’s in Hanalei is now a salad place.

Camping means bringing camping stuff. For the two of us it was 4 bags. I’m sure if you are a really awesome camper you can do this with less stuff. We tend to bring a lot of stuff and that meant four bags.

The BEST thing we brought with us was an inflatable SUP. Worked very well and the beach at Anini is such that I had no worries about letting my girl take it out and paddle around. There is a coral head that takes all the oomph out of the waves and you are left with a pretty calm flat.

I managed to catch some trumpet fish in the cuts. Trumpet fish are dumb. Simple as that. I caught a couple on gear and three on flies. I didn’t catch anything else. It wasn’t really a fishing trip. It was a trip with the girl and in that regard it was pretty wonderful.

If you are looking to go catch a Hawaiian bonefish, well… go to Oahu and go out with Kenny. If you are looking for a pretty awesome place to do some very unique camping, check out Anini.

Finished Tiamat’s Wrath in the Expanse series… looking for my next book now.

Dec 11

Some notes on my trip to Kauai

OK… if I had just slayed them, I probably would be a little more elusive about where exactly I went.  However, having spent 3 & 1/2 days in pursuit of bones in Kauai, I feel comfortable revealing which island I was on.

Mainly, I feel comfortable doing so because if you head to Kauai with the sole intention of catching bonefish, you are mad… MAD, MAD, MAD!

I certainly won’t go back to Kauai JUST for the fishing.  I may very well go back there.  I love that place.  If I go back, I’ll bring a rod, for sure. However, the fishing leaves a lot to be desired… like a lot more fish that are considerably less spooky and much more easy to find… to name a few attributes that could improve things a tad.

I wrote down a list of thoughts I had from the trip… here are a few:

  • Sleeping bags in damp, warm places are not really very comfortable.
  • Of the 4 shots I had, 3 were to single fish in deeper water, 3 feet or so.  If that’s where the fish are hanging out, it makes more sense why they were hard to find.
  • I didn’t see a single bonefish predator.
  • Rain gear was essential.
  • There were some bait guys out there… the kind where you stick the rod in a holder and wait for the bell to ring. I never saw them catch anything.
  • The Redington Predator cast well for a big rod.  No complaints.
  • I didn’t see a bonefish really tail (I did see tails, but those fish, unlike the deep water fish, were in really skinny water and I think they were just so big their fins were out of the water).
  • I didn’t see a bonefish push water.
  • There were guys hitting golf balls out into the ocean.  There were hundreds of golf balls in the sand and on the flats. Those guys are tools.
  • Getting out on those big flats was easy, but walking back, when the lights went off, was challenging.
  • I have a new appreciation for fish that feed readily and are plentiful.
  • At the campground there were a LOT of hippies.  More than a few people seemed to be living there.
  • Roosters sever as the wake-up call, starting at about 5:30.

Yeah... not what you think of when you picture Hawaii.

Feb 11

Bonefishing Honeymoon

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Trying to play on that theme I found a story about a bonefishing honeymoon.

The Fall issue of the Times of the Island is now available with a great article “If You Love Me, Let Me Fish….A newley wed’s quest for Provo bonefish.”

via Times of the Island Bonefishing Honeymoon « MyTurksAndCaicosBlog.com.

Now, it turns out my first wife and I honeymooned in a location that also has bonefish.  I didn’t know that at the time and bonefish hadn’t camped out in my waking thoughts back then.  I used to be glad that I didn’t know bones back then, but now… I wish I knew. Could have saved some time.

Cool island.

Feb 10

Kauai is nice

Kauai… love the island, even if there weren’t bonefish there.  Had my honeymoon on the island before I discovered bonefish, which was an early key to the marriage lasting longer than the honeymoon.

If you are looking for a place in Kauai that has a very gentle, kid-friendly beach and, just maybe, some frigging monster bonefish… well, this place could do.

The fish aren’t easy and there aren’t a lot of them, but the spot is lovely… don’t know about this EXACT rental, but, ya know… it’s beautiful.  Also check out the camp ground.

Nice place

I caught exactly  zero bonefish here, by the way.  I caught a couple of Bluefin Trevally… they were awesome.  I did SEE my first bonefish however, which is the reason I’m kind of crazy for bonefish.

I did see a Mahi Mahi cruising the shallows… it was lit up like Christmas morning… it was 50 feet from the shore.  It was uninterested in me or the little shrimp pattern.

Aug 09

Coincidental Bonefishing – Hawaii

For me there are family vacation and fishing vacation and the two generally don’t meet, not in the middle or the margins.  However, one of the best bonefishing-meets-family vacation possibilities out there comes in the form of Hawaii.  Sure, the initial airfare can be steepish, but, if you end up in Oahu or Kauai (or Molokai, the Big Island, etc.) for a week’s worth of family vacation, you might as well look into the fishing… I mean, couldn’t hurt, could it?

Bonefishing in Hawaii… I had been to Kauai two times before I realized there even WAS bonefishing there.  Hawaiian sport fishing seems mostly of the deep blue and cooler-filling variety, which has never really been my thing.  So, I was surprised to find out that not only are there bonefish in Hawaii, but on average, they are just monster fish.

As with most monster fish… what they have in size they lack in numbers.  This isn’t the Bahamas where schools of smaller bones will be cruising… the Aloha bones seem to be freakishly big.

The Coach with an Aloha Bone

If you are familiar with the Islands, you’ll know that there just aren’t a TON of flats in Hawaii, but they are there and where there are flats, there are bonefish.

There are a growing number of guides in the islands.  On Kauai there are, or were, two guides.  I heard from several folks that only one of them was worth booking, Rob Arita.  The other guide came with significant warnings about busted trips and general crappiness (I couldn’t find the other guy’s website, so maybe he gave up).  My dad and I fished with Rob and while we didn’t catch any bonefish on our one trip (our first bonefishing of any kind), we did catch a few Bluefin Trevally and what I learned from Rob on that first bonefishing trip has stayed with me and, to a certain extent, filled me with the passion I now have for bonefish.

The day after fishing with Rob I was out on my own and that is when I saw my first bonefish… 7 in all, none under 8 pounds and a couple well, WELL into double digits.  I even saw, close to shore, a Mahi Mahi, lit up electric blue in 2 feet of water.  Crazy sight.

Rob has teamed up with Coach Duff, who guides out of Oahu and also books Captain Chris Asaro.  Duff has the only flats boat on Oahu and seems like a real no-B.S. kind of character.  Check out his gallery for some real jaw-dropping bones.

The possibility of adding a day of serious angling for serious fish makes the Aloha Bones one of the best bargains out there.