“All hands on board!” is the typical call for help at sea, but members of the Waianae Boat Fishing Club (WBFC) will rush to help on both land and sea at a moment’s notice. Since 1996 the club has supported the Waianae community by maintaining the grounds of the Waianae Boat Harbor, spearheading fishing tournaments, offering manpower and financial aid, and providing scholarships for sports and educational endeavors.
Once a month David Nuuanu, their facility chairman, calls on members to clean the Waianae Boat Harbor grounds. These volunteers step in to help the State maintain the harbor on a timely basis, and they save the government many man-hours and tax dollars for its upkeep. The club has done tree trimming, cleaning, trash pickup, and various repairs for the State, which adds up to several hundred thousand dollars over the past years if the cost of labor is included. They have volunteered approximately 4,608 hours of labor in the past 16 years. In addition, they have devoted thousands of hours to cleanup following the annual Ahi Fever Fish-n-Tournaments. On a daily basis, fishermen at the harbor value their help in weighing their catch and appreciate the hoist that was built with the club’s money and resources. Nuuanu will meet participants for the next harbor cleanup on Saturday, August 17, 2013, starting at 8:00 A.M.
WBFC conducts a popular annual fishing event called Ahi Fever Fish-n-Tournament, which takes place during the Father’s Day weekend in June. Three fishermen – Norman Swift, Ed Nelson, and Pat Schuett, organized this tournament in 1996. They met at Shiro’s Fishing Supply, located next to the Pilila`au Park, advertised the organization with flyers at the harbor, and formed a group of charter members. News of the tournament drew a huge following, and 230 boat owners quickly signed up to join the competition. Because Farrington Highway at that time had only two traffic lanes running through Waianae, participants tied up traffic coming and going out of the town. Entries topped at 260 during subsequent years. Consequently, in 2003 the club decided to limit the number of entries to 200 boats.
The contest offers cash awards for catching the largest ahi, marlin, and other fish, made possible by their generous sponsors, and they range from $100 to $5,000 a day. Besides prizes for competition winners, the club awards scholarships to deserving students. A highlight of the tournament is the selection of a tournament queen. The 2013 queen is Kaitlyn Kahealani Ka`aha`aina, a 2012 graduate of Waianae High School, who will pursue a medical career in the future and will attend Casper College in Wyoming on a full athletic scholarship.
Membership has expanded to nearly 50 people, and club president Norman Swift invites you to join them even if you have no fishing skills. Various fishing tournaments are conducted during the year, including a monthly one. Current club activities scheduled for July are a Keiki Tournament on July 27 and the Wahine Fishing Tournament on August 24. Contact WBFC at www.wbfc.net to send an email requesting membership information, or you can visit members and inquire about the club at their monthly meeting. They meet at the Waianae Boat Harbor on the first Thursday of each month at 7 P.M., and you can call them at 808- 696-3399.