S. Tokunaga Store, Inc.
Ulua Challenge 2009
Contest Chairman: Eric Kuwana; Co-Chair: Cindy Kuwana
On June 11-14, the 2009 Ulua Challenge was held on the Big Island of Hawaii. This year we had a mind boggling 501 entrants, which tops all previous years. This is possibly the largest shore fishing tournament in the state. Of these 501 entrants, 8 were ladies and 39 were from neighboring islands.
The Ulua Challenge consisted of two main categories, omilu and ulua. We once again offered two special categories, a barbless hook category and a tag-n-release category. Of the 501 entrants, 184 participated in the barbless hook category and 175 in the tag and release. We are proud to be the first tournament to offer such categories and continue to encourage responsible fishing.
The weigh-in was once again held at the Aunty Sally’s Lu'au Hale in Hilo on Sunday June 14, 2009. Trucks lined up as they weighed in their catches using a drive thru weigh-in station manned by the store employees and volunteers. Each angler posed for pictures with tournament queen, Sonja Soun and Ricky Ogata of R&M Sports Images was present to capture the momentous event.
Following the weigh-in was the awards banquet. Each entrant was treated to a smoked meat plate lunch and was given a lucky number to claim a guaranteed door prize. Premium prizes were also given away throughout the program which included items such as fishing rods, hotel certificates, and a framed gyotaku print.
There were 10 places this year for both the omilu and ulua category and jackpot winnings were spread across the top 5 places in each category. A new prize process allowed each winner the opportunity to select one of twenty custom rods and a reel of their choice. This was in addition to a wealth of other prizes such as fish bags, coolers, gaffs, spears, and other fishing goodies.
We would like to thank all those who made the 2009 Ulua Challenge a successful event, from our numerous sponsors to our dedicated volunteers. Next year's Ulua Challenge is scheduled for June 10-13, 2010. We hope to see you all there!
Ulua Category - Prize Winners
Omilu Category - Contest Winners