HAWAIIAN SHORE FISHING
SLIDE-BAIT FISHING
Here in Hawaii we have developed a unique style of fishing in order to catch our greatest quarry.  The White Ulua, commonly know as the Giant Trevally, is one of the toughest fish in the ocean and can achieve weights of well over 100 pounds.  The largest uluas ever caught on
rod and reel were only in the mid-100s but many fishermen,
even with heavy tackle, are completely spooled by the
initial run of large ulua; 200 pound uluas are certainly
out there.  Large baits (to the extreme of up to 5 pounds)
are used and casting them any reasonable distance is out
of the question, so Hawaiian anglers have developed the
slide-bait method it which a weight is first cast out and
secured tightly to the bottom and then the bait and leader
is attached to the mainline and slide down the line to the
depths below.  The method is mostly done off of rock cliffs
adjacent to deep water where a proper angle in the line can
be achieved but slide bait fishing can be done just about anywhere, even horizontally in the surf with the help of the recently imported "Australian slide buckle" which has been modified for Hawaii's fishing uses.

                                             
Main Components of Slide Bait fishing
In slide bait fishing, there are three main components:
-
Grabber weight:  A drop sinker with 4 wires extending out the bottom which are bet out like grappling hooks to solidly secure line to the bottom.  When heavy pressure is applied, the wires bend and the weight is freed and reeled in.
-
Slide-bait buckle:  The basic slide bait buckle is a heavy wire loop with a pig tail which allows you to attach it anywhere to the mainline.  It slide freely down the line until reaching the stop ring.
-
Stopper Ring:  A steel ring which the slide buckle can stop on.

    














     The main line is either tied directly to the stop ring, in which case the line is more vulnerable to break offs if an ulua wraps you in the reef, or the angler has the option of tying a heavy
rub line to the stop ring.  Doing so would give you the benefit of being able to hang on to a fish if it wraps the line around a rock or coral head.  From the other side of the stop ring, there is a leader, usually of 4 feet or more which is lighter than the main line so that just in case the weight get stuck, you can break it off and not loose your entire rig.  On the end of that break-away leader is a grabber weight.
     Leaders are short with a slide buckle on one end and a circle hook on the other.  It is important when choosing a hook to get circle hooks with points that point near 90 degrees to the shank of the hook.  Tips that point too far downwards will have a hard time penetrating because pressure will be put on the top of the tip rather than directly onto the tip.  You can try it on the corner of cardboard for yourself to see if your circle hooks work.  This is the reason why some fish come off during the fight or are barely hooked without penetrating past the barb.  Leader line can be made of monofilament or wire and line can be either crimped or tied to swivels and hooks.

Where to Slide Baits
     The best places have always been rocky shorelines adjacent to deep water but the method works just about anywhere, and with the new one-way slide buckle recently imported from Australia, you can even slide baits from the beach through the surf where the waves would normally push a pigtail slide right up onto the beach.  If the waves are not too big and you know what you are doing, you can slide live baits out through the surf in sandy areas; a good method where
moi and o'io can be caught and slide as bait.  The most and biggest fish tend to be found in deep reef areas.  Tako flats are also productive areas for large ulua.

Baits
The method was designed so that fishermen could present large baits which are too big to slide.  Hungry ulua are not picky and will take a variety of baits.  A 50 pound ulua is also capable of eating a 5 pound fish so you do not need to worry about sliding too big of a bait.  The best baits are tako, live baits such as moi, bonefish, striped mullet, akule, opelu, and goatfish.  Other reef fish that make good ulua bait are menpachi, aweoweo, hinalea, po'o pa'a, damselfish, surgeonfish, nenue, wrasses, perch, and even stickfishes.  Cut baits are very popular as well and fillets of moray and white eel have caught their share of huge ulua.  Small light baits might have a difficult time sliding down the line if the angle is steep enough and might need the aid of a weighted slide buckle.

Landing Fish
Because slide bait fishing is usually done off of cliffs, a slide gaff or pole gaff is often needed to land fish.
A heavy leader above the stop ring is wise but not mandatory..  The lead line should be weaker than the main line so that it can be broken off if snagged.
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