There has been some big blue marlin around lately and the spearfish run has started early but still no striped marlin to speak of. Iíve only heard of one caught recently. They should be here by now but we really havenít had a good striped marlin run in years. The one that was brought in weighed over 100 lbs. and one thing that seems consistent with the striped marlin run is that they tend to be all around the same size. I remember one year where they were all around 30 lbs. and another year where they were all in the 80 lb. range. Last year they were averaging around 50 lbs. and there were very few caught that made the 100 lb. mark but the year before there were several. When the average size of the stripies runs big, I tend to get a little nervous about hanging on to my claim of catching the biggest striped marlin of this decade. Actually, by the end of this week, it will be the start of a new decade so Iíll need to change it to the biggest of this century. Weighing in at 186 lbs. I figure itís going to be fairly safe, as our striped marlin here very rarely reach more than 150 lbs. 2009ís biggest so far weighed in at 117 lbs. There are places in the world where the striped marlins are much bigger on average but they donít travel to Hawaii.
The mahi mahi run is still going pretty good but it will be over soon as the water cools down. We had a nice little spurt of an ono run in December but it was short lived. The winter yellowfin tuna bite has been good this year. We can always count on the small yellowfin and bigeye around the FAD,s this time of year but there has also been 100+ pounders being caught on the FADís and in the porpoise schools.
I did very little bottom fishing in December. In fact, I didnít even fish much. The trolling bite has been active enough to keep things busy but when I did target the bottom; I mostly fished where I knew I stood the best chance of catching sharks. I really have a lot of fun watching people try to match their strength against an angry shark. The typical reaction starts off with a very shocked look on their face as they realize that itís taking all the strength they can muster just to not get pulled overboard during the first run. Then comes the look of determination as they realize this is not going to be an easy battle. Then comes sheer exhaustion! Sometimes before the battle is even over. After the catch, photo and release, almost without fail, the anglers are in a very weakened state and just speechless as they try to catch their breath. Then comes the joy of accomplishment and the highlight of their Hawaii vacation.
See Ďya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers