PIFG Tagging Challenge returns to S. Tokunaga Challenge 2016

PIFG Tagging Challenge

On behalf of PIFG we would like to thank Mike Tokunaga and his ohana for inviting us to the 2016 S. Tokuanga Ulua Challenge. Congratulations on another very successful tournament! What made this year special was, in addition to including the annual NOAA Barbless Circle Hook category, the PIFG Tagging Challenge was reintroduced.

Just for this tournament, PIFG and Shimano hosted the return of the popular Tagging Challenge category. The category was dropped from the tournament in 2013 when the DAR Ulua Tagging Project was terminated by DAR. With much public support and interest in having the Tagging Challenge back, Mike Tokunaga took the initiative to bring PIFG and Shimano together to see if resurrecting this category was possible. Shimano generally does not support catch and keep tournaments but they do support resource conservation. Tagging does just that so, with a hand shake and a smile it was done. With the combined efforts of PIFG and Shimano, the Tagging Challenge category was once again part of the 2016 S.Tokunaga Ulua Challenge.

With generous support from Shimano, PIFG was able to assemble and mail Ulua/papio tagging kits to the first 150 anglers that signed up for the tournament. Unfortunately, not all anglers who wanted tag kits were lucky enough to be in the first 150.  Perhaps next year, if there is similar support from Shimano and PIFG, those who missed out this year will be able to participate.

The 150 tag kits each contained 3 tags, tag applicators, instruction sheets, tape measure and data cards. Out of 150 anglers, 12 angler tagged 17 ulua/papio. Based on fork length measurements, 9 were ulua (over 24” fl.) and 8 were papio. All prizes for the Tagging Challenge were generously donated by Shimano, S. Tokunaga Store and PIFG.

A Big Mahalo to Mike Tokunaga, Shimano, all of the tournament staff and participants for making the PIFG Tagging Challenge happen this year. We hope to be back next year with more participants and tagged fish. Perhaps this is the start of a brighter future for the PIFG Tagging Challenge. As Mike would say if there is will there is a way!

Photo by Russell Mitsuda Photography

Tagging Score Board

  1. Cale Fernandez          31″ and 34″ FL white ulua, used Laron Kageyama’stags
  2. Billye Lindsey            12″ and 12″, white papio
  3. Kent Lindsey              21.5″ omilu, 27″ white ulua, 33.5″ white ulua
  4. John Ventura             29.25″ black ulua
  5. Jason Vierra               19″ omilu
  6. Keahi Akana               24″ omilu
  7. Christopher Lewis     21.1″ omilu and 25.75″ white ulua
  8. Stephen Kilkenny      22.5″ omilu
  9. Brandon Lopes          26.5″ omilu
  10. Brandon Ramsey       19″ omilu
  11. Dominque Zanders   10″ yellow spot papio
  12. Donny Souza              24.5″ omilu