August 23, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 34

Coho coughs up diamond engagement ring

Kai Kaino and Terri Hamamoto of Hawaii became engaged on a fishing boat captained by Craig Curtiss Aug. 4.

Submitted Photo
Kaino hid the ring in a salmon in order to pop the question while teaching his hopeful bride-to-be how to clean a fish in Petersburg.

Kaino has always considered Petersburg a second home and has been coming here to fish for the past 10 years.

“I brought Terri here this year hoping she would love Petersburg as much as I do,” Kaino said. “Luckily for me, she does.”

It rained the entire week, but they did get one day of sun for that special day.

“I had stressed that I wanted to catch a Coho salmon, because I think they are prettier,” Kaino said. “After about 40 minutes trolling we got one on Terri's line.”

While Terri was napping on the way back to the dock, Kaino placed the engagement ring in the fish’s mouth. “I used my finger and one of the other fisherman's straws from his drink and shoved it way down its throat,” Kaino said. “It was great because the fish had eaten silver colored food and it blended right in with the ring.”

Kaino's biggest fear that day was making sure the resident sea lion didn't jump up to get the fish as he was “teaching” Terri how to clean the fish.

As he removed the guts of the fish, the ring was found. One of the other fishermen on the boat remarked that a hook was in the fish.

“His remark played just the way I wanted,” Kaino stated. “She had no idea what I had planned and was completely surprised. It was perfect.”

Kaino turned to Terri with the beautiful ring, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Speechlessly, she nodded her response and their new lives began.

Kaino and Hamamoto have been together for approximately two years and met in the customer service department of Dave and Busters.

“She doesn't think that is very romantic,” Kaino said. “So I wanted to make sure this part was memorable.”

The two have plans to make salmon a big part of the wedding in a year and a half.

“We will have a salmon cake with a ring in it,” Kaino stated. “There will also be salmon centerpieces. I plan to milk this for the rest of our lives.”

He explained that his efforts were completely worth it and he was just so glad she said yes.

“I hope this is one of our kids’ favorite stories before they go to sleep at night.” Kaino said.

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