Blacktail Snapper (Lutjanus fulvus)
We decided to drive to Honaunau to fish before the crowd arrived. Unfortunately, it was too rough to fish on one side, and we were told fishing was not allowed by park staff on the National Historic Site side. It was quite a bummer to have wasted over an hour of travel time.
Wanting to explore a new area, we took Jeffery's suggestion to fish the Old Kona Airport. We must have went to the wrong spot, or perhaps mixed up the information Jeffery provided; we were expecting deep water but arrived to beaches and tidepools. Regardless, we tried the tidepools anyways and found lots of Speckled Squirrelfish. Michael tried for Brighteye Damselfish but they were not cooperative. We also caught some Stocky Hawkfish and saw a lot of Hawaiian Gregory.
We went back to the hostel for lunch, then Michael had a nap before he went on a diving trip.
Fishing solo at Kona Pier, I fished near the beach for Yellowstriped Goatfish, hoping for a better picture, when an unexpected Flounder took the bait. Unfortunately, it came off the hook as I lifted the fish up the jetty.
I did get a better picture of a Yellowstriped Goatfish...but would have preferred the Flounder instead.
I was trying feverishly for Flounder when something hit and ran hard. It was a new species of Sea Chub!
Brassy Chub (Kyphosus vaigiensis) - #543
* Fin ray count and fin shape was consistent with the Brassy Chub, with 11 dorsal spines, 13 soft dorsal rays, 3 anal spines and 13 soft anal rays. The soft dorsal and anal fins were low.
While picking through reef fish, I spotted a big Undulated Moray swimming in the open. Then there was another smaller Moray that swam next to it. They almost looked to be in some kind of mating dance. Using the Half-beak from previous night as bait, I hooked the larger Moray but the hook eventually pulled out.
I noticed that the Moray would come straight out of their hole for bait, I tossed the chunk of Half-beak about 40 feet from the jetty. All of a sudden, a big Paintspotted Moray came out, swam to the surface, and nudged every floating leaves as if checking to see if there was a dead Half-beak floating around. Finally, it found my pieces of bait on the bottom and I hooked up. It was too bad that the Moray managed to cut my 60lb leader as I was lifting it up the jetty. It had tied itself into a knot and somehow managed to snap the line in that tangle.
I had one more change at the smaller Moray but it rocked me as well. It was tough landing Moray from the jetty as you needed to bring them close to the rocks to land them, but in doing so, you allowed the Moray access to their refuge. It was frustrating, but quite a learning experience that afternoon. I fished for Moray well into dusk until it was finally too dark to fish off the high jetty.
Michael finished his night dive to view Manta Ray and joined me at the end of the pier.
Fantastic Bandfin Cardinalfish specimen.
I was trying for new species of Soldierfish, but caught the Brick Soldierfish again.
Finally, something else different showed up!
Blotcheye Soldierfish (Myripristis berndti) - Species #544
* The spiny dorsal was much more orange in colour in person, but showed up much more reddish in the picture.
Michael had caught a Crown Squirrelfish almost as soon as he started fishing. I tried hard for it...and finally caught one just as we were about to leave!
Crown Squirrelfish (Sargocentron diadema) - Species #545