While hundreds of participants were competing on land at the Kona Marathon on Sunday, another battle raged at sea.
The 34th annual Wee Guys Fishing Tournament welcomed 89 boats competing for prize money and a sponsored entry into the Kona Classic Fishing Tournament on July 19-20.
Team Pacific Rim captured the Grand Champion title and $400 in prize money, bringing in the heaviest combined haul over the two-day tournament. Captain Tyson Fukuyama and crew Tom Segovia and Kimo Colson made up the squad.
The tournament criteria for total weight allowed marlin, ono, mahimahi and ahi, but the Pacific Rim crew needed just two fish to take home the crown.
On Saturday, the trio hooked a 176-pound marlin, and followed Sunday with a monster 145-pound ahi. Segovia hooked the marlin and Colson the ahi.
The team also reeled in a 22-pound aku the first day, but it did not count towards total weight.
“It was a good few days on the water for us,” Fukuyama said. “We knew we had a pretty good shot to win after getting that ahi.”
Fukuyama said the team dedicated the win to his recently deceased grandfather, Kwanji Fukuyama. Before passing in March, Kwanji Fukuyama passed Miki, the boat used in the tournament, to his grandson, Tyson.
“It was nice to get this win for him,” Fukuyama said.
The crew is now preparing for the Kona Classic, which is returning to the schedule after a few year hiatus. The tournament has been donating all the proceeds to the charter school Miloli Hipuu Virtual Academy.
Since the tournament is part of the prestigious Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series, the Pacific Rim crew expects to see a competitive full field.
“We have never fished in that tournament before so we are pretty excited,” Fukuyama said. “We know it is a big one and we will be going up against some bigger charter boats.”