NIUMALU — Kauai Police officer Paddy Ramson remembers when Samoan crabs and slipper crabs were bountiful and large.
“We used to go right out there,” Ramson said. “Most of the crabs were big, between 7 and 8 inches. Today, you don’t see the big ones. Most of the crabs are between 5 and 6 inches, and there aren’t that many.”
Ramson was among the spectators at the state of Hawaii Law Enforcement Deadliest Catch weigh-in Sunday at the Niumalu Pavilion where the big crabs of yesterday remembered by Ramson re-appeared.
Team Masa, comprised of Kenny Miyoshi, Calvin Fukushima and Karl Kimura, was early in the weigh-in with three crabs. The largest measured 7.75 inches and tippd the scale at 3 pounds, 11.5 ounces.
The trio of crabs was enough to capture top honors for Team Masa in the three categories, Largest, Heaviest, and Most.
“We went to the North Shore right after we were done with the Grove Farm swap meet,” Fukushima said. “We got there about the time the tide was changing and we just picked up that big boy. He was really big. Usually, you never find them that big.”
Clyde Caires, teaming with Micah Sibayan took second place in the Most category with three crabs, totaling 3 pounds, 5 ounces. It was behind Team Masa who had three crabs totaling 7 pounds, 5 ounces. Bryson Ponce filled in third place with a single catch weighing in at 2 pounds, 9 ounces.
Following Team Masa in the Heaviest class, Ponce finished as the runner-up with 2 pounds, 7 ounces while Caires got third place with 2 pounds, 9 ounces.
Ponce was announced the runner-up in the Largest category with his crab that measured 7 inches, beating Caires’ submission by one-quarter of an inch at 6.75 inches.
Dawn Cummings, coordinator of the tournament, said the event is only the third one since starting in 2005 when a few law enforcement officers suggested holding a crab contest where officers and their families could participate in a community-oriented event.
“The tournament has only been run in years when resources are available and interest is high,” Cummings said. “This year, there was a high demand.”