Hunting a Denizen of the Deep
Captain’s Log with Captain Clay Ching
On February 13th 2007, Ron Church and his gang visiting from California went out on a deep sea charter trip with me aboard the "Hallelujah Hou". Little did they know what would unfold as the day progressed.
We were only a half hour into the trip when the starboard outrigger released and a reel began singing that wonderful tune that only a fisherman has an ear for. At first I thought it was a good sized Marlin or Ahi because the line was disappearing from the reel at an alarming rate. After clearing the remaining lines, we settled down for the task before us. As Ron's 16 year old son worked the rod, the fish was brought toward the boat. After a short 20 minute tug of war, I could see the fish’s color, and what I expected to be either a Marlin or Ahi turned out to be a shark! I grabbed the leader and as I pulled the nasty looking head out of the water I recognized the fish as a Mako; It had large black eyes just behind a pointy snout and an extremely menacing mouthful of gnarly teeth- It almost gave you "chicken skin" (goose bumps) being so near to it. It also had a beautiful cobalt blue and white, fishy colorations instead of the bland, dull gray that the majority of sharks share. I remembered that someone had told me that they were good to eat so I subdued the fish and wrestled it aboard the boat.
Just a FYI, I found out from another skipper in Kona that a charter boat there had landed three Mako Sharks in the past two weeks. One caught was trolling and the other two were on live bait. He indicated that not many are caught on a regular basis so maybe some colder currents or something are causing these fish to show up in Hawaiian waters. It will be interesting to see if any other Molokai boats make follow-up catches in the near future.
Our prize catch weighed out at 150lbs and was 6 feet long. After returning to port and cleaning the fish, we preceded to prepare ourselves a hero’s meal. What I had heard about the taste of Mako proved to be accurate; the shark turned out to have an excellent flavor and was even good as sashimi too. Ron and his family were very delighted with the meal that they shared that evening and especially for the wonderful, unforgettable memories and experiences they had of being on Molokai.
Blessings, Capt Clay