A replica of “Choy’s Monster” 1,805 lb. Blue Marlin fish mount now on display at Kewalo Basin
Yes, we’re talking the largest Blue Marlin Billfish ever caught by rod and reel on record, dubbed “Choy’s Monster” by Captain Cornelius Choy off Oahu in 1970, weighing in at 1,805 pounds. However obviously not the fish itself, but a FISH MOUNT, which is a replica of the landed Marlin, cast and reproduced in fiberglass and resin by Gray Taxidermy, based in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Mahimahi (Bull Dolphin/Dorado x3) fish mounts now on display at Kewalo Basin
I drive by Kewalo Basin daily on my way to and from work, where only in the last few weeks did I notice these beautiful fish mounts propped up in the front grassy area of the harbor, fronting the parking adjacent to the docks lining Ala Moana Boulevard. So today (8.04.15) on my way home from the office I decided to get a closer look at what’s going on here, and it looks absolutely FANTASTIC! LOVE IT!!!
Ono (Wahoo x3 ) fish mounts now on display at Kewalo Basin
So I asked this one super cool gal getting all her gear out of her truck who worked in the harbor if she knew any details about these fish mounts. To which all she could say was that they were up for about three weeks now. She then pointed me to the Harbor Master’s office across the way on the ” Point Panic” parking lot end of Kewalo Basin. So I go there, and the door’s locked, however there’s a phone number. So I call the number, and one of the Harbor Master staff answers. While I didn’t get his name, he was also super cool and told me all he knew about the fish mounts.
Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna x3) fish mounts now on display in front of Kewalo Basin
As it turns out, Howard Hughes Corporation, owner of Ward Village across the street, and mega-devoloper of that portion of Kaka’ako funded the fish mounts for Kewalo Basin, amongst other harbor improvement projects to beautify the area.
As said previously, the fish mounts were sourced from Gray Taxidermy out of Florida. Which had me actually wondering whether former local fish taxidermist and Master Artist Layne Luna, based out of Hilo on the Big Island had done the project. Yet I knew he had retired from doing that, so I kinda’ had a hunch it wasn’t his work, and also by the workmanship, whom both have their own style.
Fish Mounts are typically a heavy-duty (thick) hollow cast made of fiberglass cloth coated with resin (like a surfboard), then artistically airbrushed in meticulous layers with a durable lacquer or urethane-based paint and a clear coat in the common coloration and markings of the species it represents.
While some are sculpted out of clay from “scratch”, most are taken directly from impressions of an actually landed fish, that through a number of intricate steps, creates a mold that can then be “pulled”.
Learn all about how Gray Taxidermy creates a fish mount from the boat to the wall here!…
For those of you not familiar with fishing tournaments in Hawaii, they typically include four main categories: Billfish, Ahi, Mahimahi and Ono, hence why those fish were chosen for this fish mount display in front of Kewalo Basin. Kewalo Basin is THE harbor for Honolulu’s commercial charter fishing boat industry, as well as other larger scale fishing operations that bring in similar catch.
According to the Harbor Master staff person I spoke with, in the next few weeks they’ll be installing lighting to illuminate the fish at night, as well as shrubbery around the base to discourage vandalism, which is my main concern. If I were them, I’d install security cameras there to monitor for any “perps”.
As for fish mounts, back to Master Artist Layne Luna from Hilo, you can still see his AMAZING, incredibly detailed work on Oahu on display up on the wall behind the poke counter at the Kaheka Don Quijote, as well as at both Hanapa’a Hawaii fishing and diving supply locations on Dillingham Blvd. and in Pearlridge Downtown in Aiea.
Next time you’re in the Kaka’ako area, check out the new Marlin, Ono, Mahimahi and Ahi fish mounts “swimming” in front of Kewalo Basin. Super-duper cool! Mahalo Howard Hughes Corp.!!!
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