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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 27, 2002

Where big fish swim

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Honokohau Harbor on the Big Island is a small-boat harbor where big fish weigh in. Local fishermen troll the ocean in the deep blue waters in the lee of the Big Island's Kona district, returning between 4 and 5 p.m. to weigh the day's catch. On a good day, expect to see 1,000-pound Pacific blue marlin, 150-pound yellowfin tunas, mahimahi, wahoo and other big fish. Observers can sit on the bleachers and watch the fish, or "granders" as big marlin are called, be hoisted on the scales, and can chat with the captains and crew.

Tip: As well as commercial fishermen, more than 50 charter boats set out from this harbor. Charters include full-day, half-day, private or share charters with tackle and soft drinks provided. Cost ranges from $85 for a half-day share to $600 for a full-day, private charter. Anglers come from around the globe year-round to participate in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, which is held at the beginning of August each year. Information: www.hawaiifishing.com.

Directions: Honokohau Harbor is just north of Kailua, Kona.

Forbidden and costly

Bringing in that forbidden fruit or taking it from Hawai'i to the Mainland just got more expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says beginning this month, undeclared or concealed agricultural products brought into the country can cost travelers up to $50,000. First-time offenders will be fined up to $1,000 if the products are not for resale. The new fines also apply to any forbidden and illegal agricultural products sent through the mail. Senders face civil penalties of up to $50,000.

To avoid fines, travelers should declare all agricultural products they have by marking their U.S. Customs Declaration Form.

For more information, visit www.aphis.usda.gov (click on Travelers Information) or call (866) 723-48273.