I’ve said before that it’s the current direction and strength that is the most important factor when it comes to the bite being good or bad in Kona. For most of October we had a prolonged bad split current situation. There will always be some fish around during a bad current but they are certainly few between. The best news is that it’s finally over! The current has stabilized to its typical North direction and although it’s moving a bit fast, the fish are coming back. It started with a sudden influx of blue marlin catches and what soon followed was a fantastic mahi mahi run that is still going strong.
Mahi mahi is a fish that can be caught any month of the year here but we get two seasonal runs per year. The spring run is commonly the smaller variety known as “schoolie dolphin” or “smurfs” (little blue guys) and are typically about 5 to 20 lbs. but it’s the Fall run that brings in the big ones. Right now a typical mahi mahi runs anywhere between 20 and 50 lbs. with a few even bigger. The Hawaii state record of 82 lbs. was landed in Kona in ’87 and I remember it well because just a week after that fish was caught, my dad and I landed an 80 pounder that would have been the new state record if the 82 pounder hadn’t been caught.
Targeting the bottom fish and nailing a few nice tuna on the troll was the ticket for scoring a %100 catch rate for the month. Some of those days it took a lot of work to get a fish though. The commercial snapper fishery re-opened on October 1st and in my Nov. wrap-up I made kind of a prediction. What actually ended up happening was something I don’t think anyone would have guessed. There were indeed a bunch of boats fishing the Kona snapper grounds the first week. Many that I’ve never seen fishing there before and only a couple of the old regulars fishing it. By the 2nd week not many boats were fishing it at all. I think the current was messing up that fishery too. The 3rd week had even fewer boats. So here we are now at the end of October and what I see are the same few regulars that fished the area before the closure going back to work. They’re bringing in about the same numbers of fish that they were before the closure so it seems like business as usual. Fisheries people will be crunching numbers over the next few months to attempt to analyze the effect of the closure on fish populations. Reports will be made and people will analyze the reports. The worst part of all that is, the powers that be have already set their plans for the future closures and the data collected from this first closure won’t make any difference in their plans anyway. That bites!
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
<A href="http://fishinkona.com"> Kona Hawaii Sport Fishing</A>