Thursday, May 26, 2011
My mom's side of the family is from Hawaii. A smidgen of Chinese/Hawaiian ancestry courses through my blood and even deeper in my mom. Family vacations growing up were spent on the Big Island at Mahaiula - now known as the Kona State Park, just north of the airport. The bay was ideal for fishing, surfing and living off the land.
When my mom grew up, Mahaiula was only accessible by boat. They'd load a month's worth of supplies into the Liki-tiki and navigate through the open ocean currents toward the bay. Family history says my great grandfather acquired the land from a Hawaiian for $1,000. It is the only white sand beach on Big Island that isn't a multi-billion dollar resort.
Anyway, this is where my mom, as well I as, learned to fish. Armed with a bamboo pole, grass sun hat, and small hooks, we both would scramble on the lava rocks and drop our lines in the water. I remember singing to the fish - and bringing back humuhumunukunukuapuaa.
She told me a story this morning that her dad took her, Keoki (my uncle), Denise (my aunt) and Gam (my grandmother) out fishing one day in the Liki-tiki. The waters were somewhat turbulent - enough that Denise and Gam abandoned ship and swam to shore. Keoki and my mom were both using hand lines as they sat over a Muu hole - a fishing hole where a certain type of fish that only has molars to chew on seaweed. As soon as she stuck her line in the water, she would hook a fish. One after another, after another and another. Keoki's line was cold. His bottom lip started to protrude. Her dad was cracking up in the back of the boat. My mom recalled handing over her line to her brother - thinking it was just that line. And of course, that line went cold and her new one was hot.
Flash forward 50 years to the present. Except exchange the warm Hawaiian waters for the cold Queen Charlotte ocean. My mom, up to her old tricks, hooked fish after fish. The men on their guided fishing trip claimed beginners luck. Then they watched in amazement as she hooked a 79 pound halibut, a 34 pound King Salmon, a 30 pound ling cod and then had to start throwing anything under 20 pounds back. She nearly won their fish derby and limited out, bringing home a total of 258 pounds of fish after 3 days of fishing.
When I asked her what she thought it was - she said it must be her positive vibrations and that fish respond to it. That and fishing runs in her blood.