ONO STRIKES AGAIN!
After boating their first ono kayak fishing, the Uyeda brothers outdo themselves with an even bigger, meaner fish than their first!
More than a story about a big ono, the surprise ending reflects some of the unique aspects of kayak fishing, like the occasional challenge of simply coming ashore with your kayak! Here's the account as shared by Kevin!
"The younger Uyeda brother, Gareth, had an accident on May 4, 2008 that left him with a concussion (his third) and 3 staples in his head. He felt better after a couple of weeks rest and was hurting to fish, so we decided to give it a shot, especially since we're currently fishing in the Aquahunters Makahiki Tournament and the weather was ideal for fishing and paddling.
Now if you've ever read any thread about us and fishing on aquahunters.com and the Aquahunters Forum, you know that we weren't going to take it easy on Gareth's first day back...and we didn't take it easy at all.
We stayed on the water from about 6:30 until 2:00. The day started with BEAUTIFUL conditions for paddling, BUT no real strikes for about 4 hours. Little nibbles here and there, but nothing substantial. Finally...big strike! Ono! He ran straight away from us with a burst of speed, turned around raced back toward us...and cut us off. Argh!
Gareth saw some followers and said, "Get another line out!" I did and just as we were getting up to speed again, we took another strike. This one stuck and the battle was on. We knew it was something big from the get-go because the fish ran off about 100 yards on the first run before we could even get the kayak turned! We thought gotta be an ono! Then we thought we had a big ulua instead because it swam down and held for awhile, but then no typical ulua behaviors. Next we guessed big kagami because it was fighting like the 30 pound kagami we caught before. Final guess was heartbreaking because we thought it was a big shark (we just fought a 10-footer a few weeks ago).
Sadly, I reached down and took out my clippers getting ready to cut the line if it was a shark. Then we saw it...WOW...it was a HUGE ono, the biggest one for us yet! I raised the kage and got a clean head shot, BUT I couldn't lift the fish onto the kayak! Questions raced into my mind...Was I too tired and weak from paddling? Am I just getting too old to lift it?
Are there any sharks around? That was the question that gave me the energy to lift the ono onto the kayak. I stuck my hand under the gills and pulled, silver glitter all over the side of the kayak and my clothes. We tail-lassoed the fish, wrestled it around for a while, and finally got it into our fish bag...well, half of it into our fish bag anyway. Then, both of us, shaking with adrenalin, finally celebrated the catch.
We fished a bit longer, but didn't get any other real strikes. Decided to call it a day, paddled in, and got WIPED OUT on the shore! So embarrassing!
Gar was stuck in the kayak because the ono was so big it didn't fit in our bag and was up to his chest. I got out just in time to be sideswiped by the kayak and knocked to the ground.
There was a pain in my right leg when I stood up, and when I looked down, I saw that the hook we used to catch the ono was now embedded in my leg.
To make things worse, our rod was being pulled back into the surf! I grabbed the rod, loosened the drag, backed the hook out as far as I could and gave it a quick yank. Ouch.
Everything was so good today except for the landing.
End of the day - Two holes in my leg, a bruised shin, two bruised egos, BUT on top of it all, two VERY HAPPY Uyeda Brothers!"