May started off pretty slow but it ended with many nice catches. Several “Beast” blue marlin (over 500 lbs.) have been caught recently. Most are getting tagged and released. This is just one of the things that marks summer time in Kona. With the big females will also come many smaller male marlin to join in the fun. As I mentioned in last months report, the summer yellowfin tuna run is marked by “blind strikes” and that’s starting to happen now also. A few boats got a big surprise while trolling for ono this month when a school of big yellowfin tuna went cruising into the ono lane looking for breakfast. Everyone who was in the lane near the airport got multiple bites from 100+ lb. tuna. The lane is very close to shore and 40 to 60 fathoms deep. The big tuna usually don’t like coming in so close to shore but that particular area has a unique topography and as a result, often gets a mix of both near shore and off shore species. It was the hottest spot for ono around the middle of May and besides regular catches of tuna under 100 lbs., there were also some nice size mahi mahi caught in that same area.
In Kona, the speed and direction of the current is the most important factor when it comes to the bite being good or bad. Moon phase comes next followed by the tide height and times. The current was really weird in May and made the fishing very unpredictable. In many parts of the world, water temperature and tide changes are the most important factors. Here is Kona the tide is only about two feet and the water temperature remains about 80 degrees +/- four degrees between summer and winter. A temperature “break” is usually less than one degree and hardly a factor when fishing. The reason I’m mentioning this is that visiting fishermen will sometimes try to plan their particular day(s) of fishing around a moon phase or the solunar tables. I’ll admit that there is a slight factor there but in Kona, the current is the king and as far as I know, no one has figured out a way to predict what it will do. I suggest the high tech method of throwing a dart at the calendar.
The bottom bite has been pretty good for jacks and big sharks. These types of fish are a specialty of mine. In fact, I’m officially recognized as the discoverer of almaco jacks in Hawaiian waters (2002) and my oldest daughter caught a world and state record dusky shark that also was thought to be, but not proven to be in Hawaiian waters until her record catch in August 2000. While I do like trolling for billfish, tuna ono, mahi mahi and such, I’ve found with my years of experience that deep sea trolling is mostly just a game of luck. With bottom fishing, you can go where the fish live and get into some (almost) guaranteed fishing action. Doing both styles during the day mixes up the action and provides a bigger opportunity for a successful trip. Either way, luck or skill, come visit the flat blue waters of Kona and let’s catch some big ones.
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
<A href="http://fishinhawaii.com"> Kona Hawaii Sport Fishing</A>