If you're familiar with native Hawaiian fish, you'll know that the Akule fish is quite abundant along Hawaii's shallow coastal waters. These tiny fish are little zippers with a punch of flavor and only grow to 15 inches (38 cm) long. Though tiny in size with many tiny bones and scales, they are absolutely scrumptious to eat raw in sashimi slices, fried, baked, grilled, steamed, smoked, and even dried. Because of this fish's popularity and flavor, we put together the Ultimate Guide to Akule fish just for you!
History of the Akule Fish
The Akule fish, aka big-eyed or goggle-eyed scad) and not to be confused with the Aku Fish, was historically known for its delicious umami flavor when dried. It is also similar in size to the 'Opelu fish, another native Hawaiian common fish. Generally, they flock in schools with the 'Opelu, too.
These fish travel together in large massed schools and are extremely prolific in Hawaiian sees. They are also integral to the underwater ecosystem in Hawaiian shores, accounting for a significant amount of the food source for larger aquatic life.
The scientific name for the Akule fish is Selar crumenopthalmus. Other names for this fish are purse-eyed scad, goggle-eyed scad, chicharro, charrito ojon, jacks, matang baka, mushimas, and couulirou.
Currently, the Akule fish is fished commercial, where global catches are about 200,000 tons per year.
How to Catch Akule Fish
In order to optimize catching akule fish, you're going to have to gear up to fish at night. Akule fish are most abundant along the shorelines at night time since they are active. The trick is to get the right lighting, the right baits and flies, and the right fishing technique
One way to get good lighting is to light from the top of the surface and also in the water. Some fishermen will use 12V bulbs that are hooked to a batter on the top surface or on a boat. Then, you can sink some green fluorescent lights about 20 feet below the surface.
The best time to go is right before a new moon, when the night is the absolute darkest. This makes the lights more bright and attractive to the akule. Also, you can go at daybreak as well just when the sun starts to hit the horizon.
The Best Akule Fishing Lures
This variety pack is the perfect bait set for your next akule fishing trip. Most akule fishers generally make their own baits. However, if you want the easy of having it already made for you, this is your best bait, erm...bet.
The kit comes with 102 pieces of fishing lures with 6 crankbaits, 10 metal spinning lures, 4 spinner baits, 2 top water fishing frog lures, and 18 worms (3 varieties). The best baits in this kit for akule are the colored spinner baits, perfect for whipping akule fish. Also, the pack comes with a 12 month warranty. Plus, their customer service is excellent and highly remarked.
If you're planning on testing your fishing skills at night, you're going to wan to look into these incredible lures. The key to fishing for akule at night is getting the right lure that they can see. Many use UV lures or they paint their lures with a UV activated glue. This allows the lures to be seen by the akule.
The curly tail lure set comes with 10 different colors and approximately 25 pieces for each color. They are about 1.57 inches and have a small profile, which work well with all species of fish along with akule. Plus, they are effective in both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
The Best Akule Fishing Flies
Barnsley Fly Box + 100 Assorted Fly Fishing Fly Kit
Though most akule fisherman like to tie their own fishing flies, this is an excellent all-inclusive kit for those who are just getting their feet wet in akule fishing. The flies we are looking at in this kit are #14, 16, and 18. These flies will work well at night since they will illuminate with UV. Also, the great thing about this kit is it comes with 100 assorted options, so it will last you a lifetime of fishing.
Overall, this is an excellent kit that comes with all you need for akule fishing.
For those of you who want to try out making your own flies, this is the material you want to try. These UUV ice dubbing flyyiy tying material work perfectly for catching akule at night. Plus, they are extremely durable and have a high UV iridescent shine.
The great part of this material is it works for flies that are already previously made as dubbing material, or you can actually tie your own flies as shown in the video below.
The Best Akule Recipes
In Hawaiian culture, the akule fish has been a part of their meals for centuries and generations. These delicious fatty fishes have an unctuous flavor and tons of healthy omega-3 oils and fatty acids.
Akule is most popularly prepared by pan frying or drying, but there are various ways too prepare this native fish. You can even find akule sashimi at local Hawaiian restaurants. Most young akule are found along the shore since they are protected by bays and harbors, which is great for sport fishermen. However, the larger adults can be found offshore and are fished commercially.
Here are some recipe options for cooking your delicious catches!
This delicious Hawaiian-style grilled fish is bursting with Asian inspired flavors. It's packed with a little heat and salt that accompanies the rich flavor of Akule very well. Plus, its an excellent healthy alternative to the standard frying that most Hawaiians love to prepare akule.
What's great about this preparation is that it works well as a regular dinner or even an elevated evening dish. Also, it pairs extremely well with your favorite local beer.
Pan Fried Akule
By far, this is one of the most popular preparations for akule in the Hawaiian Island. With a simple touch of salt and butter and a delicious soy dipping sauce, the pan friend akule recipe is the perfect flavor balance that brings you right to the shores of Hawaii. Though it's not for the faint of heart or people who are looking to be on a diet, it screams with flavor and makes a memorable meal.
Steamed Black Bean Akule
For a refreshing and healthy kick to your fish, try the steamed black bean akule. With a burst of fresh ginger and a delicious black bean sauce, this steamed fish is a Hawaiian asian fusion delight. The flaky flesh of the akule is cooked with hot peanut oil that sizzles the fish meat and goes well with steamed white rice.
Foil Baked Akule
If you've ever foil baked fish, you'll know that the foil is the perfect wait to lock in all the seasonings and juices into your fish. This rendition of a foil baked akule is easy to do and great for the family. It also creates the perfect cooking conditions for your fish which keeps the flesh opaque and moist. You can serve it with white rice or with a tasty tropical salad.
For those of you who love sashimi, akule makes a great fish for eating raw. The flavor of akule is very fatty and oily, which gives off the perfect unctuous texture as sashimi. You can prepare it as you would any sashimi. However, we love this sashimi recipe with soy sauce, sesame seeds, and chives.