Rizzuto’s fishing book a good catch
MOST anglers in the state would agree that Hawaii's offshore waters provide great fishing and that big fish can be and have been caught throughout our island chain.
Yet I'm sure they would also agree with Peter Fithian, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament's founder, that specifically, offshore of the Big Island's Kona Coast is one of the world's best fishing holes.
The reason for this, of course, is like the real estate folks say: location, location, location.
Along with the fact that the fishing grounds lie just outside Kona's Honokohau Harbor, those waters are also protected from our predominant tradewinds by the 13,679-foot-high Mauna Loa volcano.
Easy access and flat water have combined to produce a highly prized destination for the anglers of the world and have provided a constant source of material for one Big Island author and journalist in particular: Jim Rizzuto.
Rizzuto writes a weekly column on sport fishing for the Kona newspaper West Hawaii Today, among other publications, and annually compiles his writings into books he calls "The Kona Fishing Chronicles."
His latest effort -- Volume 5/6 -- is now in print and as it is more than just a catch record, it should be a must-read for anyone even vaguely interested in fishing.
He does, of course, keep a running list of the heaviest catches of 21 major species of fish, as reported to him monthly by the dockworkers at Honokohau Harbor and elsewhere.
But as in his previous "Chronicles," Rizzuto also gives his readers countless entertaining stories embellished with his experiences from over four decades of involvement with virtually everything connected with sport fishing in Hawaii.
For instance, many anglers have spent countless nights camped on rocky cliffs waiting for an ulua (giant trevally) to bite. But as Rizzuto tells it, all a guy at Honokohau Harbor had to do last year was lean over the side of his boat and gaff a 57-pounder.
He also explains how one angler managed to catch multiple mahimahi single-handedly by keeping his boat moving forward to maintain constant tension on the hooked fish.
"A hooked mahi will settle down and swim in the direction of the pull," the fisherman told Rizzuto. "From then on I just brought them in one at a time, working from the shortest to the longest."
Rizzuto also verifies Honokohau's close proximity to the fishing grounds with his account of the boat that left the harbor at 7:20 a.m. and returned to the scales just over an hour later with a 510-pound Pacific blue marlin.
There is more to these stories and hundreds of others, of course, but I won't spoil it for you.
Rizzuto suggests that those who can't find his book at their local bookstore or tackle shop should contact him at www.FishingHawaiiOffshore.com, or by calling him at (808) 885-4208 to purchase an autographed copy.