The early part of May was pretty good as far as the trolling bite was concerned. Ono topped the list as the easiest bite but there were also several yellowfin, marlin and spearfish coming in. As usual, when the current direction switches, the bite slows and that’s what happened a little over a week ago. Even though the bite slowed, there remains a bite from some BIG blue marlin. Nearly every day, one or more “best” marlin are being caught or fought and lost. In fact, one marlin that was brought in recently was a “grander” when it was hooked up but during the fight, it threw up the live bait that was used to hook it, a 10+ lb. skipjack tuna, along with everything else that was in its stomach. The weight at the scale was 995 ˝ lbs. Close but no cigar. Every year there are marlin brought in that end up being just under the coveted 1000 lb. mark but in the grander game, close never counts! Many of Kona’s career captains have fished here for many years and will even retire (like my dad) having never landed a “grander”.
The mahi mahi are basically gone and even the ono bite has slowed. There are small yellowfin and skipjack tuna on the ledges, in the deep and on C and OT buoys but there is also an unusual amount of sharks around. The buoys are especially plagued with them to the point where you can hardly get any fish to the boat before they’re eaten by a shark. Galapagos, whit tips and bronze whalers are the most common but even some tigers have been getting in on the action near the ledges. Sharks make for a great fight because unlike marlin, they don’t tire out easily. When they get near a boat, that’s when they really put the brakes on. For most anglers, targeting sharks is the easiest way to catch something that weighs more than you do and the last minutes of the fight when they get near the boat can be very challenging. Shark attacks have also caused some beach closures this week. Two surfers were attacked and their boards were bitten. Both were in the same surfing area but it’s not known if it was the same shark that did it. The boards will be examined by experts to determine that. Neither of the surfers were injured. A tiger shark is the most likely suspect since they don’t mind swimming right next to the shoreline and are known to be aggressive but there are other aggressive types out here also. There’s one tiger hanging out around Kona waters that is estimated to be just over 2000 lbs. I first encountered this one a little over a year ago and actually hooked it after it ate a 60 lb. amberjack we were fighting. I angled it all the way to the boat where we got several photos and video. It’s been spotted by both fishermen and divers this year but I don’t figure it’s the one doing the attacks. If that monster wanted to eat a surfer, it could just about do it with just one bite. I just hope someone doesn’t kill that big tiger for the publicity.