Fishermen bait their hooks for Meals on Wheels charity


POSTED: Sunday, July 26, 2009

Elton Tanaka should've been golfing yesterday, but instead he claimed the top prize at the first Papio Tournament, Fishin' for Meals, held at Heeia Pier.

“;We just got really lucky,”; his son, Sean, said of their 4.21-pound winning jackfish.

The tournament, hosted by Xpress Chefs, served as a fundraiser for Lanakila's Meals on Wheels program, which delivers 1,700 meals a day to Oahu's seniors.

“;I think it's a good (cause), especially with the economic condition today,”; Elton Tanaka said.

In the spirit of the event, the Tanakas said they will donate their $2,000 check to Meals on Wheels after covering the $350 entry fee and expenses.

The father-and-son team was one of 11 teams that participated in the fundraiser, which raised $3,800 for the senior meal service program through contest entry fees and souvenir sales.

Eric Batalon, a volunteer coordinator with Meals on Wheels, said that Xpress Chefs was hoping for 100 boats, but the turnout wasn't bad for the first year.

“;I think it went great,”; he said. “;Everybody had fun. Everybody came back safe. Next year it'll be bigger and better.”;

Xpress Chefs was forced to cancel its annual golf tournament due to the economic downturn but is experimenting with other fundraisers.

“;Instead of putting all our eggs in one basket with the golf tournament, we decided to branch out,”; Batalon said.

He said fishermen “;made a beeline for their secret spots”; at 7 a.m. and returned to the harbor at noon to weigh their catches.

;[Preview]    Lanakila “;Meals On Wheels”; Fundraiser

Eleven boats competed in the first ever Papio Tournament Fundraiser, raising $3,000.

Watch ]


James Chaffin, 13, didn't hook any papio yesterday, but he did snag a 5-to-6-foot needlefish.

“;It was the biggest fish I ever caught,”; Chaffin said, adding, “;I was hoping it was going to be a papio.”;

Chris Wright and Mike Clute of Kaneohe snared a 3.6-pound kagami ulua good enough for second place and a $1,000 check.

Stan Wright watched his son from the pier and was happy with his performance.

“;You had a lot of good fishermen down here. There are a lot of people I recognize over the years. Anybody could've taken it,”; said the senior Wright, a former co-host of the locally produced TV show “;Let's Go Fishing.”;

Fishermen received donated prizes including golf balls, instant saimin, T-shirts and gift cards. The top three winners received $2,000, $1,000 and $500. The top three keiki fishers won $100, $50, and $25.

“;Everyone goes home with something, but overall the seniors win,”; Batalon said.