Posted by: 1000fish | June 21, 2010

The Countdown to 1000 – “The Worst Little Girl in the World”

Dateline: June 21, 2010 – Honolulu, Hawaii
The plan for my last day on Oahu: Spend the first 45 minutes of the day in a Honolulu park where there is a freshwater stream rumored to harbor interesting cichlids and some tropical catfish. And then we were supposed to go spend all day on the north shore pursuing the elusive sharpjaw bonefish.
Oahu certainly has some lovely corners, and this park was not one of them.  While it did have a picturesque stream and foliage, there was also a homeless couple doing their laundry in said stream and following up with a spirited argument over who lost the crack pipe. But there were new fish here, and no risk or inconvenience is too great for a new species.
                                       Ben Affleck Memorial Park
And so we picked our way along a rocky gully, heading for an inviting pool at the bottom of a small waterfall. Along the way, I noticed a few minnow-sized fish in the creek pools. “Are those mosquitofish?” I asked Wade. Jaime answered. “Yep.”  I continued walking. I mean, no one actually catches mosquitofish, right? I usually can’t pass up even a drainage ditch with a few fish in it, but these things are tiny with tiny mouths and I hadn’t made the link between seeing them and actually catching them.
But Jaime just had to say it. “Aren’t you going to catch one?” I smiled at her with as much condescension as possible. “They’re mosquitofish.” She replied “Right. I catch them all the time.” And then she took my fishing rod, which was rigged with hooks far too big for this purpose, and she caught one. I reminded her that nobody likes a smartass.
Jaime maliciously taunts me with her trophy mosquitofish
I sighed. How hard could it be if a 12 year-old did it that quickly?  So I set to trying to catch a mosquitofish.
(Footage of clock spinning by the hours.)
(Footage of calendar flipping past the months.)
Two hours and 28 minutes later, I finally caught a one. During the course of this clinic on high blood pressure, I actually had to take a breather and I went and fished the big pool for a few minutes. And I did catch a Barred Jewel Cichlid – see attached photo. But back in the shallow creek, I stuck at it until I finally got a mosquitofish.
                                    Barred Jewel Cichlid
My mosquitofish. Yes, it’s smaller than Jaime’s. What’s your point?
Note from the future – many years later, it turned out this wasn’t a mosquitofish at all, but rather some sort of livebearer, likely gruesomely hybridized. Luckily, in June of 2016, I corrected this and caught a real mosquitofish.
Jaime smiled and said “Nice job, Steve,” But when her father wasn’t looking, she spun her little head around 360 degrees and spit pea soup at me.
Of course, all this meant that we have a very limited trip to the north shore before I had to get to the airport. We actually did get a bite, but it was a huge stingray that broke me off in the reef. “Maybe next time!” Jaime offered unhelpfully. Still, that’s two more for the team. The total stands at 988*, and now I am in full-on planning mode for Europe. (Starting July 5, Germany, England, Norway.)
I also need to mention that Jaime has moved up into the big leagues of fishing practical jokes. On my arrival home, I noticed my bag smelled bad. World class, old hockey gear kind of bad. The kind of bad that can only result from a 12 year-old girl, with the tacit approval of her father, placing a dead crab in my tackle box.
This is war, you little snot.
*That means I have 12 more to go, Chuck.
 Wade and Jaime at home, after I had awarded her a prized “Bat Brothers” hat.
They are smiling because they have just placed a dead crab in my tackle bag,
a fact I would not discover for almost 24 hours.


  1. Your dead crab story brings memories of my own similar experience 3 years ago. About 1 week after a trip to Half Moon Bay with my two kids, my car started to smell like dead seafood. I bought some carpet cleaner and used my wet/dry vac to wash all the carpet in the Suburban that I could reach. The smell persisted for another 3-4 months much to my frustration. Perhaps a year later, I happened to look into the very bottom of the driver’s door pocked, and what did I see? A small 1.5″ crab, the kind that crawls about the rock pile on the south jetty at Pilar Point. The crab was bone dry. It was most likely brought onto the car by my son, but somehow escaped the his bucket. The poor thing must have crawled all over inside the car looking for a puddle to hide in, until it reached its final resting place. That was the culprit for the mysterious dead fish smell lingering in my car for nearly 4 months.

  2. […] It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t dignified, but it was country #65. It was also the 9th country where I had caught a fish with Jens. Several of the employees saw me catch the fish and came over to shake my hand, even though they must have been bewildered by all the excitement over such a minature specimem. It actually got me to thinking that this might not be such a bad place after all, and I might need to spend more than 3 hours in the country, and so it is that Marta and I will be touring Bucharest sometime soon – who’d have thunk it? And unlike the other American I know who visited Romania, I promise not to blow up an oil refinery. It was a long and quiet drive back to Budapest, as I occupied myself by removing the foliage from my sweater, and quietly placing the burrs in Jens’ equipment bag. Which is a funny and acceptable prank, as opposed to placing a dead crab in there, which would be a vile act of terrorism. (See […]

  3. […] A storm moved in overnight and Sunday the 6th dawned rainy and vile, but primal urges pulled me back toward the pier. I called Abdul over at Castro Valley Sportsmen’s center, and he told me he could scrape up just enough grass shrimp for me. So draped in full gore-tex, off I went to Tiburon. The weather was awful – cold, steady rain, and a swirling wind that evil forces adjusted to blow rain right in my face no matter which direction I stood. The wind made bites very hard to detect. Even though the fishing was every bit as difficult as I expected, there were nibbles here and there, and I was NOT leaving until I got something decent. Around 1pm, the bait got slammed so hard even I couldn’t miss it. After a spirited battle, I pulled up a very solid pile sufperch. Nervously, I weighed it. One and a quarter pounds – breaking my pile surfperch record from yesterday. This created a confused feelings of joy for the new record and mourning for the retired one, which raised a huge moral conundrum. If I was as competitive as Jaime Hamamoto, which I am not, I would not want to have my record broken by anyone, even me. Oh, what to do? After checking with close friends and a religious advisor*, I decided the correct thing to do would be to send in the application, but engage in some self-loathing. So I submitted the app (#28) but exacted revenge on myself by putting a dead crab in my tackle box. And it was a bigger dead crab than Jaime put in my tackle box last year, so there. (If you want to learn more about Jaime and the dead crab, see […]

  4. […] […]

  5. […] Steve and a local fisherman, Mahmoud. He is pulling apart a large, well-aged prawn to use for bait. I haven’t smelled anything that bad since Jaime Hamamoto put the dead crab in my tackle box. ( […]

  6. […] The Eastern Mosquitofish. Jaime has never caught this kind of Mosquitofish, and this will probably keep her up at night, seething with competitive rage. (See […]

  7. […] just as Jaime Hamamoto had embarrassed me on the mosquitofish all those years ago, (See “The Worst Little Girl in the World,”) Martini caught the only platyfish that day. I just couldn’t keep the bait from […]

  8. […] “The Worst Little Girl in the World” […]

  9. […] We were on some perfect North Shore beach together, well into the evening, right about the time when Wade and I would start talking about pizzas. The conversation turned, of course, to fish. I asked about the differences between two flagtail species, and they both said, “You have to get Dr. Jack’s book.” I’m pretty sure they stuck a copy of it in my tackle bag the next morning, and I’m even more sure Jamie put a dead crab right next to it. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: