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On May 1st, 2015, eight years and ten days after beginning my state quest, I completed it by catching a 32.5-inch, 18-pound yellowfin tuna off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. I was in Kauai for my honeymoon so I had many reasons to celebrate. In fact, the fishing trip was a wedding gift from the number one fan of this website and the best man at my wedding, my dad.

I chose Captain J’s ( because his big fish pictures are unparalleled. He also offers scenic cruises along the breathtaking Na Pali coast that combine fishing and sight seeing. We spent the first four hours of the trip looking at gorgeous scenery unlike anything I had ever seen. Captain Justin and Davey are natives of Hawaii and both offered many interesting facts about the coast’s history and geology. We saw dozens of dolphins, some flying fish, a turtle, and even a whale spouting. While the water was too rough for us to snorkel or swim to shore, Justin was able to bring us close enough to touch the sacred waterfalls and see some of the picturesque grottos along the coast. We spent the next four hours trolling back to the marina. Only 48 minutes into that part of the trip, Hawaii became the 50th state in which I have caught at least one sportfish. Shortly thereafter, I caught another, bigger yellowfin tuna measuring 38 inches long and about 28 pounds. In addition to those two beauties, I caught two mahi mahi (48 inches and 50 inches) and several kawakawa and skipjack tuna. For four hours of fishing, this was quite an impressive haul. In addition to being knowledgeable tour guides and fishermen, Justin and Davey are easy to get along with. When combined with the wildlife sightings and beautiful weather and scenery, this was the perfect end to my state quest.

For tourists seeking to avoid the big city feel of Honolulu, I strongly recommend Kauai. It is only 553 square miles and only 10% of the island is accessible by road. It has great hiking trails in the mountains and canyons, and excellent watersport opportunities. There are also wild chickens all over the island that add to its rural feel. I cannot wait to return.

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