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14th Annual Pole Benda!

May 27, 2012

The premature demise of the beloved Pole Benda that was reported last year was thankfully NOT true. The 14th Annual Pole Benda weigh-in was up and running again at the Thelma Parker Gym in beautiful Waimea. This year, 74% of the anglers signed up for barbless. The show of support for the barbless project at this tournament has been steady. This year 5 fish were caught using barbless circle hooks. Mike Ignacio, member of the Hilo Casting Club, caught a 31.1 lb white ulua, the largest qualifying barbless fish in the competition. The highlight of the tournament was Marc Spatz's 74 lb ulua, which turned out to be the largest fish of the competition. He disqualified his 74-lb white ulua from the Barbless Challenge because although he was certain that the hook he used was a barbless one it had broken during the landing of the fish and the tip section with the smashed barb was lost during the confusion. Therefore there was no definitive "proof" of a barbless circle hook being used. His honesty set an example for all the anglers to follow.

The remainder of the barbless anglers did pretty well considering the reportedly slow bite. Zachary Carvalho caught a 1 lb 13.2 oz alaihi mama, J Sean Giron posed with his proud father with a nice 12.7-lb omilu, and Tevin Tolentino weighed in a 5-lb omilu. Congratulations to all the anglers, and it is nice to have the Pole Benda baaaack!

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