Huge octopus caught by Anina, 1908.


On Thursday afternoon at the pier on the makai end of Allen Street, a large octopus was caught on hook by a part-Chinese boy named Anina.

While he was fishing enjoyably, he felt the pull of something and he thought it was an ulua. It pulled at his line for a long time, and because he could not pull it up, he called some people to come and help him for he was very worried that he would be pulled under. He had no concern about the line because he was using very heavy line with a hook that would not break.

When several people arrived, he was helped at pulling it up to land. Continue reading

Octopus fishing and more described by Emma Metcalf Beckley, 1902.


Women Got the Octopus With Spears.

The Hawaiians have five methods of fishing: by spearing, hand catching, baskets, hook and line, and with nets.

The Ia O is the spearing of fish and is of two kinds, below and above water. That below water is the most important, and is generally employed for the different kinds of rock fish. The spear used by the diver is a slender stick of from 6 to 7 feet in length made of very hard wood and sharply pointed at one end, but more tapering at the other. Since the possession of iron, spears are always tipped with it, but perfectly smooth, without hook or barb. Diving to a well-known station by a large coral rock or against the steep face of the reefs, the diver places himself in a half crouching position on his left foot, with his right foot free and extended behind, his left hand holding on to the rock to steady himself, watches and waits for the fish. Fish in only two positions are noticed by him, those passing before and parallel to him, and those coming straight towards his face. he always aims a little in advance, as, by the time the fish is struck, its motion has carried it so far forward that it will be hit on the gills or middle of the body and thus secured, but if the spear were aimed at the body it would be very apt to hit the tail, or pass behind. When the fish is hit, the force of the blow generally carries the spear right through to the hand, thus bringing the fish up to the lower part or handle of the spear, where it remains whilst the fisherman strikes rapidly at other fish in succession should they come in a huakai (train) as they usually do. Continue reading

One big eel. 1931.


While Jordan A. Silva and Medeiro were fishing at the surf break behind the Elks Club building in Waikiki, Silva caught a 42 inch long eel, that is three feet and six inches long. This eel was huge, and it was worth going fishing. It was this Monday when he caught the eel, that being Labor Day [la o na limahana].

(Alakai o Hawaii, 9/17/1931, p. 3)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 3, Helu 20, Aoao 3. Sepatemaba 17, 1931.

Mary Robins and a fun fishing story, 1918.


Please be patient with me, O Editor of the Kuokoa Newspaper, and include my little news from the day of Washington’s birthday.

At 3 p. m., we went walking around the pier of the lighthouse to check out what was new; we saw the fireworks and heard its sound, and saw an American flag with a balloon carrying this flag so beautiful to see.

After that, we spotted a huge octopus headed towards us, then it went below the pier, stayed there quietly for a minute or so, and then we saw it again beneath some big rocks; I went down to go find a place where I could stick my hands in, and when I saw it was the right time to grab the big hee, there were two things I felt at the same time, fear and regret; I pushed aside my fear and it was the feeling of regret that I concentrated on, whereupon I grabbed the head of the hee, and its tentacles latched on tightly to the rocks, and it thought it would be victorious, but it would not be triumphant over me because I had its head grasped tightly in my hands. Continue reading

Harrowing octopus encounter, 1896.

Fierce Battle with a Hee.

Outside of Waikiki, in the afternoon of Sunday, the 16th, while the haole children of Arthur Harris [Ata Harisa] and some Portuguese children were swimming in the ocean, full of joy on the day of the Lord, a great octopus from the deep, dark sea, rose up and wrapped its tentacles tightly about the legs of the Portuguese boy. The haole boy saw this trouble faced by his friend, and sped over to help; that is when one of the tentacles of the hee swung and grabbed on to his leg and arm while one of the tentacles pummeled his chest and ear, while he was pulled down under for a time. With much effort, he kept on fighting with the hee until he was free, being that it had previously released the Portuguese boy. The head of the hee was stomped full on so that it released the haole boy, or he would have been in trouble. The haole boy was left with scars on him from the hee. This is the first time in a long time that a hee was seen fighting with a person. That place will be feared from here forth. This is as it should be.

(Makaainana, 2/24/1896, p. 2)

Paio Hahana me ka Hee.

Ka Makaainana, Buke V—-Ano Hou, Helu 8, Aoao 2. Feberuari 24, 1896.