The Best Fisherman of Pohoʻiki, and Beyond

My dad was one of the best fishermen to walk the shores of Puna, and beyond. According to my aunties and uncles – he was the best because he mastered fishing techniques passed down from our ancestors.

 Look closely in this picture and you can see my dad checking on his fish in the shallows.

Look closely in this picture and you can see my dad checking on his fish in the shallows.

At Pohoʻiki, he waited patiently for the tide to go out. At just the right moment, like an ʻaʻama crab, he deflty moved over the rocky coastline towards the waters edge. He formed a fish trap with nothing more than black rocks, worn smooth by the tide. When the final stone was in place, he returned to the shore, patiently awaiting the tide once more. As water filled the bay, fish swam into his invisible trap just as the other fishermen began to arrive at the pier across the bay. They stood on the smooth concrete surface of the sidewalk, casting their lines into the deep water, again and again. Dad would watch them from the porch of the old red house across the water. He lingered in the cool shade to talk story, knowing he had plenty time – his fish were waiting for him in the shallows.