Big Island Style "Flag Line Fishing".
Big Island Flag line Setup.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Big island Flag Line fishing
The flag line style fishing was originally invented/created on the Big Island by local fisherman's. We cannot really say who invented it or when but we can indeed say it is a Big Island thing. It is a style that anglers use the wind to take the rope, trash bag, floaters, and baited hooks out to the sea from 100-800 yards off shore or even further. Most local anglers know that the further your line goes out and the more of baited hooks, the better the odds of you catching fish like Ahi(tuna), Mahi mahi(dolphin), Ono(wahoo), Marlin, and the most popular trophy fish....the Ulua(jack fish) from shore. It is really incredible how this style of fishing was thought of! It is common to hear flag line fishermen catching 100lb ahi or 200lb Marlin from the shore on the Big Island not to mention the Mahi Mahi and Ulua's. This style of fishing is by far the most productive then any other style of fishing. There is some controversy regarding the "flag line style". Some anglers feel that it is a cheating way of fishing. Other say this style will deplete the ocean and some has said it is dangerous for boaters for if the rope is not seen the rope could do damage the boat propeller causing the boat to be inoperable. From my experience and from what i have noticed....the lack of ones knowledge of this style and jealousy has something to do with it too but regardless of ones outlook....it is a cleaver way of fishing!
Flag Line Gear needed:
1) Poly Rope (rope must be floatable)
2) Trash bags (extra strength)
3) Duck tape
4) Spool of 40-80lb test line(Cheapest mono line you can find w/ 100yards of line or more)
5) Snap on Swivels (as much as needed for the gallon floaters and the baited hooks)
6) Wire leader or Mono line for the leader baited hooks. The size of the leader is preference
7) Ulua or Tuna circle hooks ( size of hooks is also preference)
8) Gallon floaters
9)Basket for all the rope
10) and a long bamboo pole about 12-15' long with a "Y or U" shape hook at the end of pole.
First step: Make sure your basket is large enough to hold all of the rope you decide to use. at the end of the rope make a knot that forms a loop. A basic knot will do. Now ever 50 feet (what ever distance you decide you want a baited hook) of the rope make another knot that forms a loop. Make sure you make the knot tight enough so it doesn't unravel. If you decide to send out 5 baited hooks, then you will need 6 knotted loops. I will explain what the extra loop is for later.
Second step: Attach the snap on swivel to one end of the wire leader or mono and the other end with the desired hook. The length of the leader (wire or mono) depends on the area you are fishing. If where you are fishing is deep then the leader can be long. If it is shallow water then make the leader shorter. I usually make my leaders about 6-15 feet long.
Third step: Attach another snap on swivel to your floaters with rope, string or wire.
Fourth step: Find a place on the shore where your bamboo pole be standing up in a 45 degree angle towards the ocean and the direction of the rope out to see. Usually i just find a hole in the rocks or maybe some kind of stand. Note: the more rope you let out the more of tension there will be on the rope so the bamboo needs to be in a very secured stand of hole.
Fifth step: Take a heavy duty trash bag and fill it up with air then close it off by tying a knot. (usually we use 3 trash bags but it is also preference). Then duck tape the knot. Then get your spool of 40-80lb test mono line and tie it to the trash bag by rapping it about 10 times around the duck tape then tie a knot so it don't slip off. The reason for the duck tape is to protect the trash bag from ripping because the 40-80lb test line mono will be tied to it tightly.
sixth step: Bait your hooks.
Now you are ready to fish!
Throw or allow the trash bag to catch the wind blowing out to see at the same time letting the 40-80lb test mono out off the spool. Once the trash bag is about 100 yards out, cut the mono line and attach it to the end of the looped rope (this is the extra loop i was talking about earlier that is needed). Now start letting the rope out until the next loops reaches you. Now snap on the baited hook swivel to the loop and also snap on one of your floaters. Now let the rope out again as it pulls the floater and the baited hook out to sea. Keep letting out the rope until you reach the next loop and do the same thing you did earlier. Once you have all your fifth baited hook and floater out, you determine how much further you want the rope to go out.
Now put the rope between the "U or V shape" hook that is at the end of your bamboo pole, then stand the pole up into the 45 degree position. This will help with keeping your line away from the breaking wave or rocks below. Then tie the of the rope to a peg in the ground. This is so if something big bites it doesn't take your whole basket of line into the ocean.
Now just sit back and watch your floater periodically. If you have 5 floaters out then below it is your 5 baited hooks so if something bites your floater will bounce or completely go under water. When the fish is BIG...all the floaters will come together and sometimes the rest of the floater will go under too. That's another indication you have something on. Another indication is when your banboo pole starts to bend. If you see this...start pulling in the rope and land what you have on. Remember sometimes Marlin takes the bait so be prepared and have leather gloves on for the rope will rip out of your hand as you pull it in.