Ulua Tournament Lures in Big Crowd


Tournament participants showcase their catches at the Ulua Tournament Sunday, Sept. 8 hosted by Molokai Fish and Dive. Photo by Laura Pilz

An impressive crowd gathered at Molokai Fish and Dive on Sunday, Sept. 8 as fishermen hoping to win the shop’s first-ever Ulua Fishing Tournament unloaded trucks, bags and coolers carrying their biggest catch.

At 3 p.m. the three-day tournament officially came to a close and each team or participant came forward to weigh their best fish. Many teams revealed more than one ulua to bolster their chance of taking home the grand prize. Ulua were caught island-wide, following state fishing regulations.

After a suspenseful weigh in, an ulua weighing 60.4 pounds was crowned the winner and Daniel Mahiai was awarded the $1000 first place prize.

Second place ($500 prize) went to Lane Namakaeha with a fish weighing 50.8 pounds and third place ($250 prize) went to Henry Bush with an ulua weighing 45.4 pounds.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth place were also awarded $100 gift cards to the Fish and Dive store to purchase gas and fishing equipment.

“There was such enthusiasm and support for the tournament that we have decided to hold it again next year,” said owner Tim Forsberg.

Forsberg plans to raise the stakes even more with a grand prize of $1500.

“We look forward to seeing those who participated this year as well as many new participants in next year’s tournament,” he said.



6 Responses to “Ulua Tournament Lures in Big Crowd”

  1. leo pono says:

    you keep this up and Molokai will end up over-fished like many places on Oahu, Maui & Kauai… trust me… 10 to 20 years from now… if this tournament continues, look at the amount of fish caught and the size of the fish… guaranteed less fish and smaller sizes… and just FYI, fishing tournaments are NOT Hawaiian… its an individualistic, western, capitalistic, competitive ideology… that has captured the FULL attention of (brainwashed) many Hawaiians on Molokai… looks like we’re only conscious of TODAY and not the future… this would be an EXCELLENT topic of discussion for the people involved in the ‘Aha Moku group… more actions need to be made… less talk… malama our resources… Oahu is messed up because there are hardly any Ulua left… to’au, ta’ape & roi have taken over, HUGE oversized menpachi, too many moray eels… if you know of the impact of removing a top predator from its natural environment, then you know what i’m talking about, if not and you’re and ulua fisherman, now is the time to find out the truth… because believe it or not, its your kuleana (and mine, even though I’m a freediver and not an ulua fisherman)…

  2. leo pono says:

    but as long as $$$, gifts & prizes are given away and are increased in future years, I can guarantee nothing will change… but I can only hope and pray for the best… that these ka lawai’a are PONO… and do so (fish) out of need and not out of want, haste, impulse, addiction, social acceptance, pride, recognition, reward and/or attention… ironic that the event director is involved primarily in tourism, recreation and commercialism (i.e. overexploitation at its finest!)… seems like a good PR move for him… get on the good side of “the locals”…

  3. helives3 says:

    All most people care about these days is $$$,, sad, very sad.

  4. kalaniua ritte says:

    catch em all,till no moa

  5. leo pono says:

    the “townies” are professional ocean rapists (some 4 generations deep! they know who they are!) with their poles & nets… seems like a lot of the “natives” now got the fever… hey no jobs no moa $$$ no moa land no moa fresh water, gotta do something right??? sad… GO HUNT!!! Deer, pigs & goats are destroying OUR aina (siltation, erosion, deforestation, speading invasive species, etc.)… leave the fish alone!!! GO HUNTING!!! Go make hunting tournaments or specific fishing/diving tournaments targeting invasives (roi, to’au &/or ta’ape)… I know some places that are LOOOOOOOOADED with these aliens… eating baby tako, lobsters and endemic fish… 3x a year, every 4 months there should be molokai PONO fishing tournaments… wipe out all the aliens… freediving, pole fishing, NO NETS!!!!! leave the papio, ulua, weke, moana, kumu, kole, aholehole, menpachi and manini alone!!!! CATCH THE ALIENS!!! ON LAND AND IN THE OCEAN!!! malama molokai… hello??????

  6. albula says:

    A friend from the east end once gave me some very good advice: visit, shut-up and enjoy Molokai-don’t try to change it. So I come as often as I can, fish, enjoy the Hawaii that was and keep my Malihini mouth shut. Until now.

    These “tournaments” are all about ego, not feeding the Ohana. They slaughter what they can, not for food, but for competition and prizes. leo pono is exactly correct: go to Oahu and look for Ulua (good luck.) These people are not fishermen, they are competitors driven by money, greed and attention. These types of “competitions” that steal fish from the people have been banned many places, or replaced with catch and release tournaments. And like all that is wrong, it continues until someone calls it out.

    The land and waters of Molokai deserve ko ho ihi (that means “respect” right?). This frequent visitor wonders if the people holding all the dead Ulua understand what that word means.

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