The marlin bite for the month was pretty good. If the number of charter boats going out were like they have been in recent years, there would be more caught and you could probably call it a really good bite but the lack of boats going out is keeping the marlin catch numbers down. Summer months are usually pretty busy with tourists here in Hawaii but thereís a definite slow down of tourists. Most likely the result of a slowing economy. As I said last month, the smaller male marlin showed up and are the biggest part of the Kona catch now. Nearly all the marlin are being released. Even many of the big ones. Yesterday there was a 967 pound blue marlin weighed in and another marlin about that same size released. Only about six years ago Kona was a kill all marlin fishery. Without a single regulation being made it became mostly a catch and release marlin fishery. Did we all of the sudden become fish huggers? Not really. The main reason for the change is that selling the marlin became a big hassle. Itís just not worth the frustration of trying to get rid of it when you get in at the end of the day. There was a time that when you pulled into Konaís harbor and there was a fish truck waiting at the weigh-in scales ready to buy any fish you had. It was easy and profitable. The main fish wholesalers here now import more fish than they buy locally and the truck waiting at the scales is a thing of the past. There are a few boats here that still regularly kill their marlin and have created a network to get them sold but most of us have decided the hassle factor of getting marlin to market just isnít worth the few bucks you get. Even with most marlin currently being released with no regulations, you can expect the sale of Marlin in Hawaii to be totally outlawed soon.
The yellowfin tuna bite slowed down but itís still a decent bite. Thereís been some mahi mahi around too. Spearfish are still making a good showing but the ono bite just isnít happening this summer. Too bad. Thatís one of the best eating fish we got here.
Normally the summer months arenít considered a good season for bottom fishing. Most of the good eating bottom fish are illegal to keep right now because of Hawaiiís first ever closed season for certain offshore fish and typically, the bottom bite seems to slow down in the summer anyway. Fish are not always predictable though. Big amberjacks moved into the Kona coast and I got the biggest one of the year last week weighing it in at 122 lbs. Iíve also caught several others recently around the 100 lb. range. Big jacks are a lot of fight and fun.
I had the great opportunity to be the escort boat for nationally acclaimed kayak fisherman Jon Schwartz. www.bluewaterjon.com last week. I took Jon to my best amberjack spot and Jon caught and released several big jacks. Youíll see the story and photos soon in Sport Fishing Magazine. While it was great fun and good fishing, I feel just a little disappointed that I didnít get to see the ultimate goal achieved. Jon has never caught a shark from his kayak. Jon and I talked over the scenario and risks at length and we both felt good about it. While Jon indeed did hook into a couple of sharks that took his yak for a good ride, he was unable to get them up. Iím looking forward to the rematch! Yes, I understand the potential for disaster there. Thatís why Iím the one in the boat and not the one in the kayak
See Ďya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
<A href="http://fishinkona.com"> Kona Hawaii Sport Fishing</A>