I normally start out with a billfish report but I know many are wondering how Kona was affected by the Tsunami. Out of about 400 boats in Konaís harbor, all went out to avoid damage except 20. Some of the boats I saw gone were a surprise because I didnít even think they still ran. I saw only one boat in tow. Myself, I didnít venture far from the harbor and was one of the first back in. We actually have worse harbor conditions when we get high surf out of the West. This type of harbor water action was WAY different. Instead of boats getting jerked from side to side, in and out, the water level in the harbor just went up and down at about 30 second intervals. We were preparing for a significant harbor surge but the water only fluctuated about a foot up and down and wasnít surging at all.
The biggest blue marlin spot for the year now stands at 665.5 lbs. I was fishing that same area and my customers got film of the event. Another captain had stated that he had released an even bigger fish this month. Iím all for releasing marlin but some crews are good at estimating the weight of a marlin while some are always way off. The captain claiming a bigger fish in February has so little experience, thereís no telling what it could have been. Bigger or smaller than the current leader weíll never know. The proof is at the scale. Spearfish continue to be a regular catch here as we near the middle of the peak season for them. Several people emailed me wishing me well during Tsunami day and a couple have emailed saying ďIsnít that you in this monthís Marlin Magazine with the spearfish? Yes, thatís me. Full page photo. Though Iím not mentioned in the article it is a nice shot to hang on my wall.
Itís not yellowfin tuna season but you would almost think it was. Several 100+ pounders are being caught daily in the porpoise schools. There are a few that specialize in these guys and they are the ones catching most of them. Mahi mahi are still a good bite and now weíre entering season for them so hopefully thatís a good sign that it will be a good spring run. Ono are showing up sporadically also so the ono lane is always an option for the day.
We just hit the start of the peak season on almaco jack and amberjack and they are THICK! Not just the numbers but also the sizes. They are a year-round catch with the peak being in the winter but last winter fell short due to the massive amount of sharks that showed up. Thatís my opinion on why it happened anyway. The shark population has thinned out and the jacks have come back to take their place as the most common catch when dropping bait near the bottom. Whether thatís a good thing or a bad thing depends on whoís fishing. The sharks are a lot tougher fight but also harder to find and fewer catches during the day. The jacks are a hard fight too and you can basically catch them all day long right now but usually after just a couple, itís time to go trolling and give the angler(s) a little rest time. If you really want to pull on them all day long, better be hittiní the gym often before coming to Kona.