Just days before I wrote last monthís report, another ďgranderĒ Pacific Blue marlin was landed in Kona but I didnít know about it. Thatís the 4th grander this year but this one is VERY special. Capt. Gene Vander Hoek with his boat the Sea Genie II has weighed in more Pacific Blue marlin granders than anyone in the world! This was his 4th grander marlin. Most Kona captains, even those who have been charter fishing here for many years donít even have 1 grander to their credit. To top it off, Capt. Gene has actually caught 5 granders in his career but after weighing in a grander in í06, he caught another one that he says was even bigger later that same year but decided to tag and release it. Also, when it comes to tag and releasing billfish, Capt. Gene tops that category too. He has been the top tag and release captain in the Pacific many times over for both Pacific Blue marlin and spearfish. Iíve been the top catching captain in Kona for the last 15 years in a row based on sheer numbers of fish and Iíve also released more fish than anyone else in Kona but Iíve been able to do that by targeting a wider variety of fish than anyone else. I also have several state and world records to my credit but my accomplishments donít even come close when compared to those of Capt. Gene Vander Hoek. On top of his accomplishments that Iíve already mentioned, he has also lead anglers to a whopping 32 world records! Most captains here never get one of those either. Now on to the October reportÖ.
Tourism is still extremely slow in Kona so there wasnít much fishing effort going on. For the few boats that were fishing, the marlin bite and the ahi bite seemed to be just above the ďfairĒ mark. The mahi mahi bite should be happening right now but weíre not seeing the numbers that we should. November is the peak of our Fall mahi mahi season so Iím hoping for a better turn out than weíve seen so far. Thereís been some ono being caught even though their peak season is over.
The bottom bite has been good but the bait fish have been hard to catch. The best bait is small live tuna or mackerel but the only way to get them is to catch it yourself. No one sells live bait here, nor is there a market for anyone to sell them since few people here even use live bait. Like I said earlier, I fish a wider variety of fish than anyone else and because of that; I rely on bait fish a lot. If I canít catch bait, I throw jigs to the bottom but it involves a lot more work to jig and the end results usually arenít as good as using bait either. Iíve used frozen or day old bait in the past but most times, those are even less appealing to the fish than jigs. This much is certain though, when it comes to a successful day of fishing, variety is the spice of life that gets consistent results.