NAWILIWILI — Aaliyah Nero’s dad said the best way to have perch is to pan fry ‘em and eat with rice and shoyu.
Aaliyah, winning the “floats well” category prize Sunday, was one of more than 8o young anglers taking part in the annual Nawiliwili Yacht Club Father’s Day Keiki Fishing Contest where toau, or perch, and squirrel fish dominated the catches.
“This is more than we had last year,” said Joanne Georgi, one of the contest registrars at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor. “We have a lot of prizes from generous sponsors, so we want children to come participate. Our youngest angler today is 10 months, and we have a 1-year-old. Our goal is to have at least 100 keiki fishing. This year, we added Family Fun Bingo to give people even more opportunities to get prizes.”
Helping the participation numbers, Cub Scout Pack 148 turned out with 15 Cub Scouts and their families.
“We try to do a family outing at least once a month,” said Frances Yago, a den mother who was scrambling trying to get photos of the Cubs. “If we succeed, we earn an award for this. This fishing tournament is perfect — it doesn’t start too early, and it ends with enough time to be able to do other things. And, the best part is the Cub Scouts get a hot dog and drink for entering.”
Jim Saylor, normally skippering Fast Company during NYC races, donned a “big fish” headwear as he canvassed the shorelines, interviewing young fisherpeople.
Francesca Brown was awarded for the most fish caught by hook, and Kasen Goias-Abrigo beat the clock by less than five minutes, turning in a pufferfish that overflowed its original container. He earned the biggest fish award, measured by length and girth.
Lytron Shinno had the next biggest fish, and Sarah Morioka took the longest fish honor. Zayden Higashi- Mancia’s patience was rewarded with the fattest fish award for his pufferfish which sent young girls squealing when it broke the surface near the fishing pier.
Taylon Goras-Arzadon had the next fattest fish, and Nia Pablo beat out Kaci Ahana for the first fish caught. Chasen Fujii had the prettiest fish, and Trenton Tanigawa came up with the biggest shrimp, sending Shale Shore chasing down the angler for a photo of what was described as a mantis shrimp.
“I never saw one this big,” said Gordon Higa. Higa sponsored two boys in the contest: “I always find some kids who want to go fishing, but can’t afford the entry fee.”
Maile O’Brien had the biggest crab to round out the major prize winners.
Kaimana Kaui, known for his antics on the baseball diamond, fielded a papio for the keep growing prize, and Malie Miyazaki had the ulua baby.
Other prize winners included Titus Daligcon (tastiest), Aaron Hinazumi (fiercest), Easton Yanase (palest), Kekai Delacruz-Medina (pretty eyes), Maianna Pinzon (good swimmer), Mia Mahina Vincent (mambo mamo), Ty Tsukayama (big enough to eat), Phoebe Gonzalez (best kisser), Sophelia Gonzalez (best toe), Kaynan Giminiz (best behaved), Riley Cordle (perchest), Sami Tabuchi (most unusual), Shayden Yaris (longest fins), Isabelle Tumpap (first perch), Kohlton Sanchez (yellow stripes), Sami Tabuchi (most unusual), Tyler Tumpap (most bubbles), Logan Yago (best backwards swimmer), Tawehi Oana-Makanani (windflower and victoria tie), Trey Nakamura (most stripes), Maika Oliveros (wiggly one), Peyton Tagavilla (reddest), Kenai Wong (fluffiest tail), Taylor Tagavilla (baby squirrel), Ceegan Soares (most colorful), Kamanakai Wong (manini school), Caitlin Hinazumi (best fins), and Koy Tsuyakama (smallest).
Brody Boiser got an award for least bubbles, and sister Baylee copped the most perch honor.
“This is the first time we’ve come to this event,” said their mother. “It is a lot of fun. We’re definitely coming back.”