The big female marlin are still around but the big question for most of the month was, “where are all the males”? Normally when someone is hooked up to a big female, you will find several 150 lb. size male marlin in the same area not to mention the daily catches of this size marlin. They just showed up in the last few days so the Kona marlin fishery is looking up. A near grander marlin was caught by a skiff in the Ahi Fever tournament this month and weighed in at 953 lbs. They missed the weigh-in cut off time by just a bit and the fish was disqualified. Bummer. There’s been a fair amount of spearfish being caught lately along with some mahi mahi and striped marlin. The ono bite has been a feast or famine thing. The bite has been jumping from hot to cold with no luke warm ono bite to be found. The area and time of the hot bite has been unpredictable.
There were three skiff tournaments this month. The “Wee Guys” tournament is perhaps the most popular of them. Most of those guys go after the ahi and there have been plenty of those caught by the skiffs lately. The technique for skiffs is to stop and drop bait and chum. The charter boats mainly just troll. Many times it’s trolling that gets the best bite in the ahi schools but lately it’s the stop-n-drop technique that the ahi are going for.
Shark, sharks and more sharks. There sure is a bunch of ‘em around. For years the sandbar shark was the most common shark I caught but a couple of years ago I started catching some galapagos sharks. Now that is my most common shark catch and there’s plenty to be had. Tiger sharks are also common in Kona and almost every year I catch and release at least one that weighs over 1000 lbs. Last year I had a couple of 800 lb. size ones and those were the biggest of the year. I finally got my “grander” tiger for this year a couple of weeks ago. It beat the 1000 lb. mark by more than 100 lbs. Since I release them, it’s just an estimate but I’ve seen grander tiger sharks and grander marlin hanging at the scales. This one easily made the mark. It burned through two anglers and when I got it to the boat it was tail wrapped. Dragging a tiger by the tail can actually kill it and this beast was real tired after the long fight. I worked fast to get it’s tail unwrapped because I didn’t want to hurt it, then made a discovery. Unlike the old saying “don’t grab a tiger by the tail” (probably not a good idea for land tigers), a tiger shark is much easier to deal with at the boat tail first. It turned and tried to bite me but couldn’t. It was after I got the tail unwrapped that things went nuts. That was one P.O.’d tiger! Real scary but I made the release OK. Lesson learned, next time, (if I can) I’m keepin’ control of the end without the teeth!
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
<A href="http://fishinhawaii.com"> Kona Hawaii Sport Fishing</A>