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August 27, 2015

Fishing Fun with the Family at Ali`i Agriculture Farms

My kids have been asking to go fishing for a long time now, but my husband and I were deterred by the thought of having to invest in fishing gear that my kids may only use once.

However, one evening I met the folks behind RAgrinds at an event, and they told me how they had recently gone to Ali`i Agriculture Farms in Wahiawa, where people can rent poles and bait, and could buy the fish that are caught and have them cooked up - all right on the farm! 

Our family had actually driven past the sign for the recreational fishing at Ali`i Agriculture Farms many times on the way to the North Shore, but it wasn't until RAgrinds gave me more information did I actually become excited about taking the kids fishing - no poles or bait to buy!

I told my friend about Ali`i Agriculture Farms, and she also thought it would be a great place to take her kids, so we met there this past Saturday. 

We arrived at Ali`i Agriculture Farms just after 11am, and there were at least a dozen or so families already there (the farm is open 10am to 5pm daily).

Although the farm has been under the ownership of "TC" and his family for several years now (they grow sod and raise pigs), it was only four months ago that they opened up the recreational fishing ponds which are full of tilapia, grass carp, and catfish, and it has been drawing steadily increasing crowds ever since.

We proceeded to the quaint fishing shack, where we signed a release of liability waiver, and got our poles and special bait made with secret ingredients.  ($15 for pole and bait; 4 hour maximum; personal poles/bait not allowed).

Fishing Shack
Special Bait

We then proceeded to pond B (there are 3 ponds which alternate in use), found our spot, put bait on all of the fishing poles, and waited...

It wasn't very long before the first fish was caught!  From the time we put bait on until we pulled up the first tilapia, only 10 minutes had passed.   

The first of over a dozen fish caught!
We were catching fish every few minutes - releasing the little ones, and keeping the big ones.

Ali`i Agriculture Farm provides a bucket for you to store any fish you want to keep.  Simply fill it up with pond water, place your fish in, and be sure to bring a towel so you can cover the bucket because they can easily jump out of it!  

In about 90 minutes we caught over a dozen fish (all tilapia and in all sorts of colors), and there were also several that escaped off the hook on their own just as we pulled up the pole. 

A nice size tilapia!
Another big one!
We threw back the little ones
To assist you during fishing, it's also recommended that you bring gloves (not only because the fish are slippery, but also because some of the fins are spiny) and pliers to get the hooks out of the fish. 

After 90 minutes of fishing fun we were ready to eat.  We kept a total of 3 tilapia.  The fish get weighed and can be bought (currently $4/lb for tilapia, normal price is $6/lb; prices higher for catfish or carp), and if you're there on a Saturday, the fish can be cooked on-site for $6/fish at the Ali`i Corner food truck (owner TC does the cooking).

We ordered Sweet & Sour Fish, Black Bean Fish, and Sweet Chili Fish.  Our friend also ordered a simple Salt & Pepper fish, which TC recommended for kids in case they don't like any of the sauces.  

Sweet and Sour
Sweet Chili
Black Bean

Salt & Pepper (Our friends' fish - they cooked up 3 fish as well)
There are tents and tables that you can eat your freshly prepared fish at, and you can also eat any food and drink that you bring to the farm (no eating by the ponds).  The farm and food truck also sells items like musubi, chicken nuggets, French fries, ice cream, candy bars, and cans of juice.

My favorite style of fish was the one with the Black Bean sauce (my husband liked that one the best as well).

The ponds are surrounded by red dirt, and by the time you leave you will be covered in red dirt, so be sure to dress in clothes you wouldn't mind getting dirty.  Don't forget to bring chairs, and also bring wipes to clean your hands before eating your just-caught fish (sanitizer just won't do - your hands will still be covered in red dirt even after using hand sanitizer).

It was a super fun day at Ali`i Agriculture Farms.  I really did not expect to have so much fun, but it was exciting to catch so many fish!  The looks on my kids' faces each time we pulled out a fish were priceless.  The excitement never died down, regardless of how many fish we caught, and we are eager to go back - and maybe catch a carp or catfish the next time!

This family-owned operation is a welcome addition to Central Oahu - such a great place to take the family!
Three fish ponds (A in background, B in middle, C in foreground).

Ali`i Agriculture Farms
71-680 Whitmore Ave
Wahiawa, Hawaii
(808) 690-0558

Mahalo to Ali`i Agriculture Farms for hosting our visit and meals. 

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