As usual September is the slowest time of year for tourism and with the economy still in bad shape; it’s even slower than normal so there’s not many boats out fishing, including me. I used the extra time off to do some work on my web site and I made a videos page. Not only are there some videos that I took myself but also some customer videos and a Hawaii Goes Fishing show. FISHinKONA.com is the largest fishing web site in the state of Hawaii especially with archived fishing reports form the past 10+ years. The next project I’d like to do is an angling “how to” video for fighting fish out of a fighting chair. The deckhands are usually the ones that give the instructions on how to fight a fish from a chair and many simply suck at it. Knowing proper technique not only makes catching easier and more fun but many of the fish aren’t hooked too good and one mistake like jerking hard on the rod, letting the fish have slack line and other rookie mistakes can easily cost you the fish . With all my years of experience, I know I can help many. It just remains to be seen if I can do a good job of explaining it in a short video.
The marlin bite remained good throughout the month of September. That’s really nothing unusual. The last of the summer marlin tournaments was the 3 day September Challenge and there were plenty of marlin to go around for the anglers. The winning marlin was taken by the Sundowner weighing in just under the “grander” mark at 943 lbs. Several boats caught marlin during the tournament with the average marlin running about 200 lbs.
By now it’s safe to say that there was no ono run this summer. We can get them any month of the year but the summer months should pretty much be a guaranteed bite. Hawaii is just a little speck in a big ocean so they’re out there somewhere, just not here. The big skipjack tuna are here as is typical for this time of year but they’re not biting very well and all of us are having trouble hooking ‘em. It’s frustrating to see the tuna jumping all over the place and the customers looking at you with a look like “what’s the matter with this captain?” The biggest concentrations are on “The Grounds” and many boats are just staying away so they don’t have to see “the look” from the customers. The yellowfin tuna bite got really good this month on a FAD (fish aggregation device) right in front of town. That particular FAD hardly ever has fish on it! Not only were the commercial fishermen getting yellowfin tuna of all sizes there but also albacore tuna. Albacore are usually only caught at night here but they were even getting them during the day at the FAD. There were so many small boats concentrated there that us charter guys on the troll couldn’t get in close to the FAD where the fish were biting.
I mentioned that the bottom fishing season opened September 1st for “the deep 7”. In past seasons there was a big rush to get them while the price and demand were high but I’m not seeing that this year. Most of the small boats that I would normally see fishing the ledges for snapper and grouper have been targeting the tunas instead. The bottom bite for bigger game like giant trevally, amberjack, almaco jack and sharks has slowed down quite a bit but bottom fishing is still on average the most productive method for catching. Some trips this month though, I’ve had to put up with “the look” after being unable to entice a bite from the bottom. Sometimes it is fishing and not catching.