Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hawaiian Ocean Fishing Clubhouses

Got this interesting piece from Brian Funai, a Hawaiian outdoor writer and collector, on the subject of fishing stands used for surfcasting. Brian has graciously agreed to share this interesting piece with all of us.

Hawaiian Ocean Fishing Clubhouses


Brian Funai


I saw your blog article about the fishing clubhouses and the engraving reminded me of some things people did here in Hawaii. At some of the very popular Cliffside spots where people go for giant trevally or ulua overnight, there used to be wooden shacks that pretty much served as clubhouses and shelter. The fishermen, including some fishing clubs, would pool their resources and labor together to build or rebuild them after major storms. That was before the concept of “environmental vigilance” and people cared more about those things and eventually, they were either removed by the city or vandalized and burned down. Although these were not used to fish from, there were platforms that were used that way.

One of the famous sights from the 1940s to 60s that you no longer see today was little wooden chairs along some of the inland canals and dredged channels in the ocean. These were single man platforms used by mullet fishermen, primarily Japanese immigrants or the 2nd generation, to fish exclusively for mullet. As the schools of mullet disappeared due to the destruction of their estuary spawning grounds, the fishermen did too. Their style of fishing was highly specialized and required an incredible amount of patience.

These chairs were in pretty calm areas but, in my club, there was a member that built platforms on the reef to fish for the ulua. Other friends fished off of giant concrete “blocks” in the middle of Pearl Harbor that people said were used to tie off submarines but I think they were for all types of ships.


A very interesting little piece. I know in the Phillipines a similar type of fishing was conducted, and maybe other readers can remember and write in about other unique methods utilized for surf casting and ocean fishing. Thanks Brian!

--Dr. Todd

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