After “grander” blue marlin were caught both in January and February, It was looking good for another one in March because March is known to be a good month for granders here. While there is still today left to make the mark, the biggest blue marlin of the month weighed in at just under 900 lbs. In the beginning of March there was a pretty good marlin bite and there were a few “beast” status (over 500 lbs.) marlin caught but the bite has really slowed down lately. Striped marlin and spearfish are still being caught as expected and have also slowed down lately.
The big news of the month is tunas. Strange thing, I remember that it was March of last year that I wrote about a great tuna bite and also wrote about my theory as to why the tuna bite has been increasing over the past several years. I have that March 2011 report archived on my web site and I got several emails about it, even from the scientific community. Now the story’s getting even better. Albacore and bigeye tuna seem to be increasing in population also. Here in Kona we’re use to having small tunas around the FAD’s and ledges. Recently there were big albacore caught during the daylight hours at VV buoy. Our albacore fishery is usually a summer time bite and is a night time fishery also so that kind of bite out of season and in the day is unheard of here. Not only was there albacore at the buoy but some 100+ lb. yellowfin and some good size bigeye tuna were caught there as well. This month we have seen more 100+ lb. bigeye tuna caught than I’ve ever heard of and most of them were caught while fishing in bird piles and schools of otaru, a tuna we normally see in the late summer. In fact, there were a few 200+ Lb. bigeyes caught this month also to include a new state record at 231 lbs!
Mahi mahi are still a regular catch and that bite should be increasing over the next few months. Right now there seems to be a bit of an ono run happening even though it’s not really season for them yet but the cool thing about ono is that we can have a good run of them in any month of the year. Last summer when they were supposed to be here, they didn’t show up in the numbers they should have.
About 4 years ago we had a huge influx of Galapagos sharks come to Kona. They devastated the bottom fishery here. The fish that didn’t vacate the deep ledges soon became shark food. The Galapagos sharks seemed to have moved on because I haven’t caught one in nearly a year now. As a result of them leaving, I’m finally starting to see a good increase in the amberjack bite on the deep ledges like it use to be. I see this as a good indicator (and the marks on my fish finder) that the other fish are returning to the ledge also. I hardly ever see the commercial snapper fishermen on “The Grounds” anymore because it was just wiped out and not worth the effort. Right now the currents are moving too fast to be able to fish it well but as soon as the currents slow down, if I were a commercial snapper guy, I’d be dropping some hand lines