Inter Island Sport Fishing was established in 1950 by Eddie and John DeRego on Oahu, Hawaii. Soon after the war, they purchased a navy surplus boat and began to run charters. Kewalo Basin, right next to Waikiki, did not have any ships, so the operation was based out of Ala Wai. However soon the piers were completed in Kewalo and the business was moved to its present home; slip J Kewalo Basin. In 1958 , the DeRego brothers contracted with Tuna Packers Ltd to build a 44′ sport fisher. Hawaiian Tuna Packers had for the most part built commercial tuna and bottom fishing boats up to this point. Late 1958, the Islander was launched. She was the beginning of a new era; the haole sampan sport fisher was much better equipped for deep sea charter fishing. The Islander was powered by twin 4-71 GM diesels. The Islander was one of the first twin engine boats built here on Oahu, Hawaii. The Islander was famous for its fish attracting capabilities but most famous for its appearance in Gillangan’s Island. The original pilot series showed a boat leaving Ala Wai with everyone aboard. That boat was the Islander. Not totally pleased with the performance of the Islander, John and Eddie contracted with Mr. Tanimura and Sons to build another sportfisher for their deep sea fishing charter business.
In 1962 the Comet was launched. The Comet was 46′ long and featured twin engines. The Comet was a better sea boat; heavier and a softer ride. The Comet was kept until 1979. In 1972 we caught my grander 1070lbs as crew with Captain Duke Beckman outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. The Comet was also the first boat I captained as a sport fishing captain. I had the opportunity to take the boat everywhere. In fact, my first trip to Kauai, Niihau and Kaula Rock was on the Comet.
As the business changed and grew, the decision was made to pursue a fiberglass boat. After nearly a year, John and Eddie decided on the Viking 40′. This particular Boat was Viking Yachts demonstrator and personal fishing boat. It was named Catfish. Catfish was the first boat that Viking installed diesels ion and these particulars engines were a new series called 3208. The Viking was the first charter boat in Honolulu, Hawaii to feature air conditioning. You can imagine how important that can be during some of our warm Hawaiian days. She was also fast; 15 knots top speed, which in 1974 was seriously fast for Hawaii. The boat was renamed Viking and became a very popular and successful boat. The Viking also started a surge of new fiberglass sportfishers in Hawaii within the charter fishing business.
As retirement got closer, Eddie and John decided that a more comfortable and capable boat was needed. So the planning and search was started for Maggie Joe. In May of 1980 the Maggie Joe was launched. The boat was built in Hoquiam, Washington and after many trips to the northwest to check on the progress of the boat, Maggie Joe was christened by Grandmother Margaret DeRego and sailed back from Washington to its current home in Kewalo Basin, next to Waikiki, Hawaii. Maggie Joe is named after my grandparents, Margaret and Joe DeRego.
The photo on the right is one of the companies founders, my father John DeRego, on his way back from Hoquiam, WA aboard the Maggie Joe to Honolulu, HI. The photo on the top left is of the Maggie Joe at the dock in Hoquiam, WA before it’s voyage back to Oahu.
Capt. Mike De Rego