We had our first snow of the season here in Maine over the weekend. But in Hawaii, some fishermen are preparing for a different kind of sleigh ride.
The state’s unique volcanic geography makes for some of the best deep-sea nearshore fishing on the globe. A small group of fishermen are keeping a centuries-old tradition alive fishing for big-eye tuna, mahi-mahi, octopus and many more species with just a sea kayak, a pole and a dream of a big check.
I can’t say I’m surprised that the Discovery Channel is there to capture it all in a new series, “Pacific Warriors,” which premieres this Friday, Oct. 23. The show features several teams of fishermen, including veteran Kimi Werner, who kicks the danger level up to 11 by free-diving up to 150 feet to spear her catch, holding her breath for up to four minutes.
As you may have come to expect from the Discovery Channel, the production value for this show is not lacking. A fish-eye lens captures the isolation of a small kayak on the open ocean. Camera angles abound on every catch, as well as the bloodletting losses and consequential shark swarms.
The show tries to ramp up the excitement by creating a competition between teams. For my taste, there’s no need for another layer of competition in a fishery with monster catches, incredible scenery and minimal gear. The nature of the fishery is a competition between man and beast. That’s enough for me.
Most of the participants have some element of attitude that seems quintessentially Hawaiian. But otherwise, they are infinitely relatable as commercial fishermen.
In the words of Boogie D., the 48-year-old world record holder for the largest barracuda landed in a kayak, “I love the ocean. It’s not all about the money. It’s my soul.”