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The 6th Annual Fishing and Seafood Festival

October 9, 2011

The 6th Annual Fishing and Seafood Festival once again drew more than 20,000 people. The Barbless Circle Hook booth was again in high gear as the multitudes of locals dropped in to see what's new and get their free barbless circle hooks while they lasted. The project awarded Stephen Arquitola for his 95.7 lb barbless ulua which took top honors for 2011. It was his first time trying out the hooks but definitely won't be his last. Another noon-time honor went to Hilo Casting Club president Kahana Itozaki who caught a 100 lb ulua on a barbless hook. His 101.2 lb barbless ulua is only the second ever caught. Stephen and Kahana willingly shared their fishing knowledge with everyone who came by the booth. Congratulations to both anglers on their exceptional catches.

The State of Hawaii's Ulua Tagging Project, a partner of the BCH project, hosted the booth next door. In it was the head of the barbless 100 lb ulua which was on display. The interested public went back and forth looking at our banner picture, meeting the angler, Kahana Itozaki, then seeing the actual ulua head on display. It made for a priceless presentation and kept both booths busy. The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Bob Humphreys contributed by providing an otolith viewing setup which allowed the public to see what the big deal was all about on donating the head to science.