What is the typical sized papio you pick up off the beaches? I have seen wolf packs of them in Maui, harassing little baitfish right against the sand. They are little guys of about 6 to 10". Is there a time of year when larger fish come in? I once saw a beauty of about 10-15lbs terrorizing ahihi bay, it was a loner.
I will be in Maui (Kaanapali) at the end of march and am hoping to find a little early morning action. The last time there, I fish Kaamaoli 1 pretty hard every morning and only caught one goatfish....pretty dicouraging.
Any advise would be great. Will the papio take little poppers/crease flies in the grey light of dawn?
Aloha Jay, Maui in march sounds nice. Papio are any jack under 10lbs. so they come in all shapes and sizes. The most common are the omilu or bluefinned trevally like the one I caught. I would say that summer is the best time to catch them. Their favorite food is oama, baby goat fish. I made a fly for that fish and it has worked pretty well. It is a white and yellow clouser with rubber legs under the chin to act as the barbles under the goat fish's mouth. Rainy's flies is going to have it in next year's catalog, so that will be pretty cool.
Poppers work well in low light conditions. I have gotten barracuda, lai, and papio with that fly. I like a black popper, check out Rainy's bubble head poppers, they are the best I have used. They work really well off-shore also.
If you caught a goat fish, then you are doing well, don't get frustrated. I like beaches with sand and structure. I cast to the edge of a rock, let the fly sink, and then strip back. If I see a follow I speed up and get the papio excited and then they hit. I also like to let shrimp like flies sink into the sand and then give a little jerk to make the sand puff. That seems to draw attention.
If I were to fish Maui I would hit Flemming beach. It was a few years ago, but I saw some bone fish in the 20lb range that were just sitting in 20 feet of water in between the lava fingers. I thought it was a shark, until I saw the mouth.
I would fish all over. I find a little mackrel mixed with sand gets the fish hungry. I would fish 2 hours before and after the high and low tide. Papio feed most on moving tides. If you hook a big one, ulua then hang on. The white or giant trevally feed mostly at night or first and last light, but I have caught them in the middle of the day.
If you need more advice, just e-mail me I will be glad to help. Good luck, and let me know how you do. Don.