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Don't Be An Aku Bird! Kayak Fishing Etiquette In Hawaii

Author: Tavis Kagawa

Kayak Fishing At Success In Hawaii!!

In Hawaii, the term “Aku Bird” is often used for people that want freebies in one form or another. It is definitely a label that any self respecting fisherman wouldn't want attached to their name. I wrote a similar article a while back with some positive feedback, and since the kayak fishing scene continues to grow, I figured I'd give it another go. And while I can't speak for the global kayak community, these are some good general “unspoken rules” for anglers in Hawaiian waters.

On The Water/Off The Water

It simply is not the same thing. You cannot expect to be treated the same on and off the water, it just doesn't work that way. Everybody is fishing for a different reason and with different intentions and expectations. Whether you like it or not, sometimes its serious. Social, commercial, competitive, experimental, sustenance, or solitude to name a few. Assuming someones motivation for the day can lead to some less than friendly situations. I know that I would prefer someone introducing themselves to me off the water instead of while I am catching bait.

Space is Golden

Fishing with others can be the best or worst thing ever. Some people like to paddle up to others, check out what's going on, or maybe even say hi. The truth is not a good idea. Everyone needs to respect each others space. Although it is common to see people do this to each other, it is probably because they have some arrangements in place. Meeting someone out there and seeing someone out are different situations. In addition to this, you don't know what kind of techniques someone to using, or how far out their lines run out. 75 yards is the limit for boats, yakers should give each other mutual respect unless they are called over.

Patience and Humility Go a Long Way

When your learning and progressing it can be pretty tempting to ask for advice or tips from other anglers. I think that is the fastest route to get permanently shut out from information. Just like an old martial arts master, trying for the fast track isn't the business in the fishing community. On the flip side, anglers love to talk story with people who come off as humble or trust worthy. The tidbits that come here and there are well worth the wait.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

It ain't your information to tell. Whether you learn a report, a technique, a spot or anything else for that matter. If you learned it from someone else, it isn't your information to share. You can share it if you want to seem knowledgeable, but it almost always will get back to the original person and from there on out you may find yourself on the outside of the circle.

Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Social media can make kayak fishing look easy. The truth is it is very difficult and very dangerous. Most serious yakers have spent years fishing or with some other ocean based discipline. Getting yourself in a situation that you are not ready for can put everyone around you in a risky situation. Learn the surf, weather, current, and tides of your favorite spots and plan ahead. Nature always pulls wild cards on you; be ready for them.

There is no rush to get that trophy fish. The journey is amazing. My happiest moments were probably catching small papios/jacks with light tackle. Work your way up and appreciate everything this amazing sport has to offer!

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