I did last month’s wrap-up a day before the end of the month and in last month’s report, the big news was Kona’s first “Grander” of the year. The very next day after that report, last day of the month, another “Grander” was caught. It was an awesome battle! I know because I was the captain on the boat! It’s a huge milestone for any captain to bag a grander and most Kona captains never attain the goal. A lot has to go right in order to get one. It really is a combination of skill and luck. We came close to loosing her a couple of times and then, once we had her subdued, we almost became a sad “almost a grander” story. Three Oceanic white tip sharks attacked the marlin as we were trying to pull her in the boat. They took about 150 lbs. of meat off of her in about 1 minute but even with that, she still weighed in at 1056 lbs. There’s more about the trip at FISHinKONA.com on the “Hall of Fame” page and for only about a week more, on the “Fish Photo’s Page”. The angler also wrote about the trip in the “Guest Book”. A note for you fish huggers out there, I release almost all my marlins and I don’t feel bad at all for killing this fish. If I ever get another grander, I’ll kill that one too. Any blue under 1000 lbs. is free to go. I keep small striped marlin to eat. Any big ones are free to go. It’s most likely that because I target a wider variety of fish than any other captain in Kona and, I let most everything go, that I lead the Kona fleet in released fish and have for many years.
Mid size fish are plentiful right now. Spearfish, mahi mahi and ono are the most common fish being caught. There’s also plenty of shibi (small yellowfin tuna) in the 5 to 20 lb. range and Skipjack tuna in the 5 to 15 lb. range. I caught some shibi trolling in the deep yesterday and filleted them for my customers. It was saddening to see what they were feeding on. They’re stomachs were stuffed with 4” to 5” baby spearfish! False killer whales were also in the area feeding on the shibi. It’s a tough life cycle out there.
Bottom fishing was pretty good for most of April. The current started moving North pretty fast and hard this week so it’s been more difficult to work it. With the current finally moving though, the baitfishes are congregating in their usual spots. With baitfish fairly easy to get, the bottom bite for sharks, trevally, amberjack and almaco jack has been the easiest way to score some hard fighting fish. With a decent trolling bite going on at the same time, it’s been a fun month for fishing even though a few of the 3/4 days I fished drew a blank. Bites and fights but no catches other than small tuna. I said earlier that to catch a grander, a lot has to go right and it’s also a combination of skill and luck. I think that also applies to fishing, or I should say “catching” in general.
See ‘ya on the water ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,