Girls Day Derby-style Fishing

Residents can observe Girls Day this year with family and friends derby-style down at the reservoir at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, located at the mauka end of Luluku Road.

The Kaneohe park’s Girls Day Fishing Derby is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, with the competition until noon. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories: 4-7 years, 8-12 and 13-17. Two special categories are for catching (1) longest fish over 7 inches and (2) the most midas cichlids.

“Midas cichlids (two species) are plentiful in the Ho’omaluhia reservoir lake and most are very visible, bright, reddish-orange in color and easy to catch,” noted Olive Vanselow, manager of the park. Some can measure up to 9 inches in length, according to Vanselow.

Tickets will be given for every fish caught and released. At the end of the competition, the children with the most tickets in each category are named winners.

“This derby is being held in honor of Girls Day to ‘encourage more girls to enjoy fishing as a sport’ – one of the Take Me Fishing program goals for Ho’omaluhia in 2013,” explained Vanselow. (Funding for the derby is via a grant from Take Me Fishing, which is a national program.)

For visitors who prefer something less competitive but just as enjoyable, there’s “catch-and-release” fishing each weekend, with no casting required.

The park has simple poles to loan out, although anglers can bring their own. Other supplies needed are barbless hooks and non-live bait such as white bread. Walking shoes, insect repellent, a water bottle and a sack lunch also are recommended.

Fishing fans should park at the Visitor Center and follow the red fish signs along a scenic trail that leads to the reservoir shoreline, a 20-minute walk.

Children must be accompanied by an adult, and pets are not permitted in the garden. For more information, call Vanselow at 233-7323.