The marlin bite is picking up quite nicely especially compared to the end of last month and the beginning of October when the bite was pretty poor due to the water conditions. The waters have cleared up and the marlin have moved in on the abundant tunas that are swimming along the ledges and FADís. October has usually been a good month for catching blue marlin in Kona but tourism remains slow so Iím not getting out as much as I have in years past but Iím not complaining because Iím actually having good fun doing several ďto doĒ projects around the house that Iíve let slide for far too long.
October is the beginning of the Fall mahi mahi season. Of all the varieties of fish we have here, the mahi mahi are among the most predictable. True to form they showed up with more consistently as the month progressed, November is the peak month for them and then (usually) the bite slows again by the end of December. We can have a run of mahi mahi any time of year but thatís usually associated with unusual water temperatures or currents bringing in a variety of debris where mahi mahi love to hang out. The Fall run is the time of year that the biggest mahi mahi show up. The ono run hasnít produced much lately but there were several small ones being caught in the deep this month. As mentioned above, there has been a lot of tuna activity on the FADís and ledges. Yellowfin tuna from a mere 1 pound to 30 pounds and over are pretty abundant so catching some for the dinner table has been a regular part of my fishing days.
Shark! Thatís the common call while youíre trying to get those tunas in. The FADís have been loaded with them and so have the ledges. A wide variety of them too. Drag any tuna along the surface and it wonít take long for one or more to show up. Drop a tuna to the bottom and it wonít take long either. My fish photos page currently looks like all I do is go shark fishing. I havenít been putting the tuna photos on it except for my last trip. People are usually thrilled to catch one or two tunas but after that, itís not much of a challenge anymore. Sharks are another story. Theyíre almost always a challenge to do battle with. We caught one shark this month that Iíve never seen before. It was a surprise when the shark jumped several times just after hooking up. That behavior prompted an investigation and made a good story for the local paper when added with the 300 lb. marlin we caught on a bait rod that same day. The final result, a black-tip. Not the reef black-tip but an open ocean one. With no black tip on the dorsal fin and black spots all over the body, I wouldnít have guessed a black-tip but a close examination of the photos did reveal black on the underside of both pec. fin tips. I was further convinced when another charter captain showed me a photo he has of a shark he caught jumping in mid air during the fight and it had the same markings. I hope more of those show up because it was a VERY exciting fight. As for the marlin on the bait rod, that was exciting too and I was lucky to have a good angler on board that day. The only reason we got it (photo and released it) is because the marlin stayed on the surface where I could out maneuver it with my boat. If it wanted to fight deep, we had no power with the bait rod to lift it. I always say, ďIíd rather be lucky that good any day of the weekĒ but usually, it takes a combination of the two to get the job done.