Kona Tournaments—So the good news is, Kona fishing is back in business.
The inter-island quarantine is to be lifted on June 16, allowing local residents to move freely around the state. The Governor said this week that he will address the topic of lifting the inbound visitor quarantine – next week. At this time, all inbound travelers are still required to quarantine. We don’t know if this will be lifted by July 4th, or not.
As mentioned before, the State “plan” is to have a mitigation system in place with multiple layers, before re-opening to mainland travelers – pre-board proof of a recent Covid 19 test (negative) within a time frame TBD, thermal screening and contact tracing etc. etc. Getting all this in place is where the hold up lies.
A few anglers/boat owners have contacted me and offered to volunteer for a pilot project to test these mitigation measures – if they can fly in for the July 4th weekend to fish the Kona Kick Off and the World Cup. I have made that offer to the Governor’s office. I’d say it was a long shot, at best. But, ya never know!As far as procedures at the tournaments:
1) I strongly suggest you pay the base entries for tournaments – and – all of the optional categories you want, in advance by check. You can always make changes as we get closer, including pulling out and getting a refund.
2) We have installed and tested a password protected page where teams who have paid at lest the base entry, can watch the tournament spreadsheets populate – from the comfort of where ever they are.
3) Teams may make upward adjustments (additions) to their optional entries via phone and credit card, if they prefer to stay in the comfort of where ever they are.
3) Downward adjustments can also be made by phone, and if a refund is do, it will be refunded in the same manner payment was received – by card if paid by card and by check if paid by check or cash.
4) We want to limit cash as much as possible. The homeless situation in Kona has only become worse and many are hanging around the harbor. For your safety and ours, we highly recommend not carrying or paying in cash.
5) For those who must pay last minute, on-site, we are working on a new club house system but please note: NO PARTIES AND NO GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE MORE THAN STATED BY GOVERNOR PROCLAMATION IN PLACE AT THAT TIME.
6) Our plan is to have walk-up windows and tables set up at the Club House on the afternoon of the day before the first day of fishing. Only the person making a payment may approach the window or table. That “team representative” should have all the info needed for the various entry forms and documents, if they have not filed them in advance.
We do not know what the gathering rules will be by July 4th, but more than likely, we will not have tables and chairs out at the club house, as in the past. We anticipate a string of chairs, each six feet apart, under the awning in the shade, for those who need to conduct business in person.
7) Personal or business checks from US Mainland banks must be received by the Monday prior to the first day of fishing, in order to clear Hawaii banks.
8) We will continue to take very limited checks from current boat owners we have existing relationships with, on a case by case basis, inside of these limits. First Hawaiian Bank checks can also be taken inside these limits, as that is our bank and they will know if good.
9) Captains may call me directly to make arrangements to pick up tags, if needed. Some do, some don’t. If you don’t please don’t call or hoard. NOAA/NMFS was closed last I spoke with them, and getting more will be difficult I was told.
10) At least in July tourneys, tag and release video will be allowed from your phones now. We have had good luck with teams sending backup video from their phone to me directly, via Facebook messenger.
We are also working with Capt. Joe Crawford on using his app “Capt.App” which has a secure video feature. More on this soon. http://captapp.com/home
We prefer to use a secure system, but we are still in conversations with Joe on how to make this happen
At this point, the July tourneys look to be “local only” while we plan to be back in regular action for the “biggies” in August.
We will take what we learn in July and make decisions for August on how to best secure what are usually large sums of money via tag and release video.
11) We will not be opening the usual office in Gentry’s and plan to operate remotely, except when we plan to be at the Club House – the day prior to the first day of fishing, of each individual tournament. The people we rented from have closed up shop, and moved out. We were subleasing because neither Gentry’s nor the Fuel Dock has ever been receptive to a seasonal rental.
All this points to even more reasons to enter in advance, pay by check, stay home or on the boat and watch the spreadsheet in comfort!
I think that is about it for now. Things remain pretty fluid, so we may tweak this “plan” as we move on down the timeline. A caveat we learned from all these talks with the State!