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Mondays will never be the same

August 2, 2017 - 12:05am

Most everyone who’s had something to do with fishing was familiar with the weekly fishing column writer and saddened with the death of Jim Rizzuto. The West Hawaii Today gave a nice opportunity for us to pay tribute to him. There were some very kind comments in some of the great pieces.

Jim was not just a reporter of fishing, but the soul of Kona fishing. As a result, he wound up making wonderful and long-lasting friendships with many. He put in the time to get the information to write his column. Maybe you made a phone call to Jim or maybe he called you to tell him your story. Jim would do his best to get the information accurately from you, but more importantly, he would ask the right questions to draw the emotion of your adventure from you. That’s what made Jim so unique.

Jim would not just report who got the biggest fish, but always tried to tell a story that had an interesting twist. Many involved in the industry were blessed by his coverage of an adventure on the boat. Of course, it would let the readers know of your story, learn of the current fishing trend, technique or hot spot, and often times stroke the ego(s) of those involved.

Surprisingly, the column had a very long reach. A reader on the mainland could see an article online and give a charter captain a call, tell a friend, or book their next trip to Kona. Those in the charter business might get a nod from a reader and thus book a charter. Whenever someone was sent an article where they saw their name and story in print, they were very thrilled and told others.

The thing that Jim always gave one was hope that you could have your own story the next time you went out on the water. Jim consistently promoted our fishing here in Kona. And though we don’t know or always remember, fishing is one of the first things that put Kona on the map.

I’d get my fix to start my week by reading Kona Fishing Chronicles. As a long-time subscriber, my daily interests are the sports, opinion columns, Sudoku and Rizzuto. Even as sports coverage decreased (price of the daily paper increased 50 percent lately and we haven’t gotten any box scores of even major sports for a long time), I still kept my daily delivery because of Jim.

Not sure if WHT is trying to find a replacement writer to do the reporting. It will be most difficult to find someone to have the same impact of Jim’s stories. I hope you plan to conduct interviews. In the mean time, why don’t you do a random reprinting of some of the best of Rizzuto? Maybe do a contest and wind up with a Top 10 by votes from readers. I know many are just like me who feel a little bit unsettled or empty after reading your Monday edition. Still fishing …

Steve Sahines is a resident of Kailua-Kona

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