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2012 Happenings

December 28, 2012

Kurt Kawamoto

This year the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Barbless Circle Hook (BCH) project was busier than ever with more outreach and tournaments. There were 3 new keiki tournaments and 6 new "Barbless Circle Hook Challenges". All in all, the project had outreach at 16 tournaments this year covering 5 different islands.

Some big news happened in July when barbless catches went 1-2-3 in Hawaii's top ulua tournament, the S. Tokunaga Ulua Challenge. Bryson Kawaihae and a few members of the Hilo Casting Club teamed up to fish this premier event. This was Bryson's first year using a barbless circle hook. He caught his first ulua 6 years ago and he was more than ready to catch another one. During the Ulua Challenge Bryson fished with his Uncle Rody Dasalla, his fishing mentor, and a few of the other Hilo Casting Club ulua gurus. Needless to say he took advantage of all the experience that was present on that trip. Bryson proved that barbless circle hooks work by catching not 1 but 2 huge uluas, 85.3 lbs and 72.7 lbs on barbless. Only 1 fish could qualify for the tournament. Bryson's first-place 85.3 lb barbless ulua and Uncle Rody's second-place barbless 79.9 lb ulua made the trip an unbelievable success. Angler Kalsey Nacis Jr., a consistent ulua catching junior angler who uses barbless circle hooks, had led the competition with his 66.9 lb barbless ulua right up until the last truck. Congratulations Kalsey on your huge ulua! Another great catch for the up-and-coming angler. Congratulations to all of you guys for your outstanding catches and thank you to S. Tokunaga Store for hosting the annual event!

Thanks for supporting the BCH project this year! Please send us photos and stories about your own barbless hook catches and experiences.