Robert Baniqued Jr. is new to bass fishing. But already his Instagram is getting filled up with bass fishing pics. We talk to Robert about his smallmouth bass fishing on Oahu.
How long have you been bass fishing in Hawaii?
To be honest I’ve only started bass fishing a year ago. Told my good friend Kekoa that I wanted to catch jaguar cichlids from a pond in town. He ended up taking me to a stream to see what else there was, and I hooked up with my first smallmouth with a Campania Lures grub.
Out of all the things to do in Hawaii, why do you bass fish?
Same reason why everyone else that fishes for bass, it is super fun!! Keeps my mind off other things that are going on in life. It became my new favorite hobby, and I enjoy doing it.
Out of all the species of fish, why do you enjoy chasing Hawaii smallmouth bass?
In my experience, smallmouth almost always hit the lures you throw, which is nice. I also love the places you have to go to find them.
How plentiful are smallmouth bass in the waters that you fish?
There are a good amount of smallies in some areas. Some spots have smaller ones sometimes, but regardless they are in there. On a good day you’ll probably catch a good amount but some days just a couple.
How big do smallmouth bass grow in the places you fish?
In the areas I’ve been to, I would say a pound and a half maybe two. Never got to weigh one yet. But i think my pb would be around there for a stream smallie. Caught that one on a popper on a first cast. It was also my first fish on a popper.
What island do you fish for smallmouth?
Oahu. The areas I fish aren’t really secrets but a lot of people don’t know there are fish in there. There are some hidden spots people wouldn’t think to look in.
What are your favorite smallmouth baits?
My personal favorite would be a football jig and craw trailer. I also enjoy using poppers and walking baits for them. Slow retrieve for jigs with hops here and there. A consistent retrieve for topwater is what I have had luck with.
Do you primarily use a baitcaster or spinning outfit?
I’ve always used a spinning setup since I started. Since my friend gave me his old baitcasting setup, I’ve been using it more often and trying to get the hang of it. Usually go with a medium setup since I hate losing lures.
Do the peacocks live in the same areas of the smallie?
Not in the streams I go to. But the lake I fish at, Lake Wilson, has peacocks and smallies. But its rare to catch a smallie in there. In my experience, I always catch peacocks on jerkbaits. You can also catch them on topwater, but I haven’t had any luck yet. A friend I know who hooked up with a peacock with a jig recently which was different and the first person I know who has done that.
Overall, what are 5 pieces of advice that you have for fishing smallmouth in Hawaii?
- Make sure you’re at a island/stream that has bass.
- Talk to someone who knows where to catch bass on the island.
- Bring footwear to get wet…lol.
- Be careful of your surroundings.
- Keep casting and enjoy the view.
Thank you Robert. Will be following on Instagram @rrrjae.