I’ve seen this shoal of sharpnose mullets several times, always in the same area. They hang out where a ledge borders deeper water. On this day, breaking surf washed them back and forth over the ledge, along with an assortment of other fish and me if I’m not careful. It’s important to pay attention in these situations as it would be easy to end up in too shallow water and get raked over the coral – not good for it or me. When I got out of the water I met a friend who understood that. He’d had that happen to him just a few days earlier.
In my attempts to identify what I see in the water, I use John P. Hoover’s book The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes, Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals. His website is hawaiisfishes.com.