This month was one of the best months for blue marlin that Kona has seen in quite a while. With that, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, the Lazy Marlin Hunt and the Big Island Invitational Marlin Tournament were all BIG successes. The marlin are still here in numbers but since the tourism has slowed (as usually happens toward the end of summer) there aren’t many boats going out. Even with a good marlin bite going on though, the only guarantee that you’ll catch one is if you fish multiple days. Even the best marlin captains can come up with a zero during a hot bite. I don’t consider myself one of the top marlin captains here but just yesterday we had 4 marlin bites and that’s some pretty good marlin action but by the end of the day, we only ended up with 1 mahi mahi in the box. I didn’t do any bottom fishing on this trip at the request of the customer. More on that later.
The ono bite has picked up so there’s still hope for some kind of end of summer run. The ono bite has been pretty good way down South but the “ono Lane” right in front of the harbor and the airport has only been producing a few. There are still some spearfish biting but we’re heading toward the slowest season for them over the next 2 months. Mahi mahi seem to be showing up here and there so maybe we’ll get an early run on them. Customers often ask me if I like eating ono or mahi mahi the best. The two both taste excellent but here’s my take; if I’ve been eating a lot of mahi mahi, an ono sure does taste good. If I’ve been eating a lot of ono, a mahi mahi sure does hit the spot.
Now it’s time for the “more on that later”. Hawaii’s bottom fishing season opens up in just a couple of days on Sept. 1st. the season closed last March and it’s illegal to bottom fish out of season. Hey, wait! I bottom fish year-round. How does that work? Am I breaking the law? No. Luckily there’s a loophole for us that are targeting the big game bottom fish instead of the fish known here as “the deep seven”. It has to do with the specific type of gear I’m using so us catching one of “the deep seven” only happens on rare occasion. While I think any of the deep seven bottom fish beat out an ono or mahi mahi for taste, they just aren’t very exciting to catch. Especially for people that come here to sport fish and aren’t interested in eating their catch as was the case with yesterday’s charter. He only wanted marlin. I’m OK with that though. That means mahi mahi for dinner tonight. I’m so spoiled when it comes to good eating fresh fish