By Rich Holland

Jon Jon finally catches a money fish, though a 30-pound tuna is a far cry from a marlin, much less his much-hyped pursuit of the biggest billfish taken in a kayak. Yet in this sneak peak at Friday night’s episode of Discovery’s Pacific Warriors, Jon Jon says catching fish and making some money, basically living off the Hawaii sea, is what really defines him.

So, with only one more episode to follow (Nov. 27) this season, the big question for those of us who have stuck with Discovery’s latest fishing reality show is, what the heck defines Pacific Warriors?

Hopefully it’s not the early episodes with their lack of safety (no PFDs, partners allowed to drift away in the waves and current, going when conditions say stay) or the choppy editing that so badly fails the scrutiny of anglers acutely aware of their kayaks and what goes in to rigging a fishing machine. Worse has been the way many of the islanders have come out looking bumbling and/or petty. All of the aforementioned caused many, if not most, hardcore kayakers to switch the channel or catch some shuteye before getting up early to go fishing.

Then there are those of us who have stayed to watch this deal out. Why? Speaking just for myself, it’s easy to recognize the real Hawaii in this reality show, and it’s just as easy to see the true warrior spirit in the kayakers protrayed on TV. The scenery, the incredible footage, the crazy size of the tiger sharks…

…and they are finally catching fish!

Well, with the exception of a couple intrepid kayakers they send off into to the wilds of Kauai’s Na Pali coast. Anybody heard from those guys?

Once the producers stop forcing people into situations where they are either unwelcome or not qualified (whether in reality or for dramatic effect), the sea, the weather and the creatures that live in it become the worthy adversaries the Pacific Warriors have meshed their lives with since birth and for generations.

The good news is that while there are still laughable details picked up by the trained (and not so trained) eye and forced, lame drama uncomfortable for character and audience alike, the good reality of aloha, ohana and intense Hawai kayak fishing seems to be happening more often — more than enough to make watching Discovery’s Pacific Warriors a good trip to the islands.

Without having to worry about those damn big tiger sharks!

Jon Jon gets in the money with his first catch of consequence on the Friday, Nov. 20 episode of Pacific Warriors.

Jon Jon gets in the money with his first catch of consequence on the Friday, Nov. 20 episode of Pacific Warriors.