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Biggest in the books

LIHUE — Maisie Chow of the Lihue Fishing Supply knows the recent big hauls aren’t par for the fishing course.

Far from it.

“Normally we don’t see too many of the big fish,” said Jean Nakamura, owner of the fishing supply store in Lihue.  “This year, we’ve already had three which are 100 pounds and heavier. It’s been a long time since we’ve had the big ones come up at Big Flats. I guess it’s just one of those things.”

Three 100-pound ulua catches have come from Westside shorelines. The most recent was caught by 14-year-old Avery Miguel last Saturday, which could be a record-setter.

“According to Hawaii Fishing News, the biggest ulua caught on Kauai was back in 2010 at 130 pounds,” said Melany, the mother of the Waimea High School freshman. “Avery’s fish came in at 130.6 pounds and it looks like he has the new record by 6 ounces.”

According to Hawaii Fishing News records, the biggest Kauai catch was by Wesley Abalos, who landed the prize around Kekaha on Sept. 11, 2010.

Avery made news earlier when he caught a 92-pound ulua in late March on the Westside.

Melany said they’re in the process of filling out the paperwork to submit to Hawaii Fishing News to get it on the record books.

“Avery feels blessed and very grateful to his family and close friends who have been there since the start of his expedition,” Melany said. “He will be mounting the fish to serve as a lifetime memory for this once in a lifetime experience.”

Chuck Johnston, founder of Hawaiian Fishing News, said they’ll update their records once the catch is verified. A record catch like that could land the young angler on the cover of the their publication.

In fact, the April edition features a Kauai angler.

Dylan Sakaguchi, 17, caught a 102.8-pounder Feb. 13 from the shores of Burns Field and made the cover of the publication. Not too long after, Tyson Wakayama landed a 100-pounder on March 31 at Big Flats.

And while they weren’t fishing from the shore, when Kai Brun and Kenji Matsuda went out diving, the high schoolers brought in a 100-pounder of their own in early March.

“How old are these fishermen?” Nakamura said. “It seems like the young people are having good luck finding the big boys.”

None of the hauls came in easily.

“Tyson had been fighting a fish on his first pole for about 15 minutes when he noticed his other pole going off,” said Chanelle Pascual in an email. “His friend Garen Itamura urged him to switch poles because the second fish seemed bigger. Unfortunately, the bigger fish tangled the line in the reef and the boys had to play the waiting game.”

Pascual said eventually Wakayama, fighting the fish on a 12-foot, 6-inch Big Island Special and a Shimano Torium 50 reel, freed the line, and with the urging of Itamura and Elliot Jung, he landed the 100-pound ulua at Big Flats.

Miguel’s fish, both the 92-pounder in March and the most recent possible record-breaking 130.6 pounder, were caught on the Westside.

Pascual said Wakayama owes thanks to Itamura for teaching him the sport of fishing.

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