Rizzuto’s book is sure to have you hooked
If catching fish is your passion, or if you just enjoy a good fishing tale, then I have some excellent news for you.
The Big Island's best-known writer on that subject -- Jim Rizzuto -- has just released volume 7/8 of his Kona Fishing Chronicles, a compilation of his weekly fishing columns that ran last year in Kailua-Kona's West Hawaii Today newspaper.
As Rizzuto describes his book's contents, he has "combined history, how-to, whodunit (who made the great catches of the year), and a bit of humor."
The book's chapters chronicle the major gamefish catches reported to Rizzuto for each succeeding month of 2007. This format allows the author to identify the most likely seasons of the year for catching one species or another, and at times, the lack of such seasons.
For instance, regarding the fish that attracts the most angler interest -- the Pacific blue marlin -- the only "grander" (a fish weighing over 1,000 pounds) caught last year was weighed in on March 11.
Still, there were blues caught in every other month of 2007 that weighed over 600 pounds. That seems to point to an all-year marlin season.
Of course there is more to the Kona Fishing Chronicles than just statistics.
How about learning there's more than the obvious use for a shot of vodka?
Apparently there are some fishermen using that spirit to subdue the spirits of captured mahimahi.
As most anglers know, mahimahi can be very disruptive once they have been brought aboard, and a baseball bat has often been the tool of choice for calming them. However, Rizzuto notes that at least some anglers claim these fish can be stunned equally well by simply spraying their gills with vodka.
Rizzuto's description of a couple of guys who fish regularly from 13-foot kayaks rather than Kona's usual sport fishing boats gave me enough reason to check that one off my list of things I'd like to try.
First, the picture of reeling in a toothy ono as big around as your thigh while sitting in a craft that's barely above sea level, and then having it bit in half by a hungry and equally toothy shark, put something of a damper on the idea.
But then I was sure this wasn't my sport when I read that one of the guys subsequently hooked up with a 9-foot, 90-pound sailfish that began towing him and his tiny vessel out to sea.
Fortunately, the fish finally tired before the angler lost sight of land, and with the help of his partner, he was able to land the second largest sailfish recorded in Kona in the last five years. Still, I think I'd rather read about it than actually do it.
Because I can only scratch the surface here, I would advise everyone to get a copy of the Kona Fishing Chronicles Volume 7/8 by visiting Rizzuto's Web site at www.FishingHawaiiOffshore.com.
"It's the most convenient way to order the book," says Rizzuto. "And you can get it personalized and autographed at the same time."