Iím going to start this monthís report with a quote from the fishing season calendar page on my web site because itís so appropriate. Quote; ďA good blue marlin run can happen for a short period of time in any month of the year.Ē And weíre luckily experiencing that right now. February certainly isnít known as a good blue marlin month but this month the blue marlin bite has been better than both the striped marlin bite and about equal to the spearfish bite. Itís currently the peak season for stripes and spears. The size of your average blue marlin is of course much bigger than that of the stripes or spears and the blue marlin weíre seeing right now are averaging 200 or more pounds. Itís also not mahi mahi season but again I will quote from my fishing season calendar page. Quote; ďone thing you should know is that fish don't know how to read calendars. Like party guests, they don't always show up when they should and sometimes they still hang around when they're supposed to leave.Ē In case youíre wondering, yes, I came up with that one on my own. Itís original content so donít steal it
Adding to the (somewhat) unusual bite for February is the big yellowfin tuna. Weíre use to the smaller yellows we call ďshibiĒ hanging around the buoys and ledges in the winter but the big yellowfin are more of a summer bite. Iíve been claiming for a couple of years now that the yellowfin tuna population is on the rise and the local catch stats show it so weíre now kind of getting use to the bigger yellows biting year-round. The only fish not joining us in the off-season fun is the ono. Thereís always a few around here and there but thereís certainly not a ďgoodĒ bite on them right now.
Bottom fishing has been taking a back seat as part of my normal fishing routine for a couple of reasons; one is because of the good out of season top water bite weíve been experiencing. I often state that the bottom bite is more of a guarantee of catching something than just trolling the top water all day and thatís usually true but for the past few months Iíve been stating in my fishing reports that the bottom bite hasnít been all that good. February turned out to be more of the same. Iím still doing some bottom drops here and there when the trolling isnít panning out but with limited success. Just to let you know, winter is supposed to be our best season for bottom fishing. The currents on the Kona coast have been unusual in both direction and speed for a while now. Iím sure the bottom fish are more affected by that than the top water fish.
In December I wrote about the new Coast Guard regulations that were just passed and signed into law. I think the new regs are taking a path kind of like when ObamaCare got passed and then the waivers and other tweaking of the new law started. I had a commercial fisherman from Alaska out with me this month and he told me that Alaska got an exemption to the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit requirement. The Coast Guard has also backed off of the 2 year dockside exam requirement that they implemented last October. In the new legislation that the Coast Guard got Congress to pass, the Coast Guard wanted a requirement for a dockside examination every 2 years but Congress edited the legislation and extended the requirement to every 5 years so the Coast Guard had to do some backtracking. The new 5 year dockside exam wonít be implemented until October 2015. Another exemption that I head about but havenít verified yet is part of the life raft requirement. I was told that there was an exemption if you have 3 or less persons on your vessel and donít fish more than 12 miles out. The life raft requirement isnít even due for a few more years and is actually still under review by the Coast Guard to see what other tweaks should (need to) be made so like ObamaCare, we need to ride it out and see what actually becomes the final law. While Iím on the subject of ObamaCare, just to let you know, the ďpenaltyĒ (read ďtaxĒ here) you will need to pay if you DONíT have any medical insurance will be based on your 2012 tax return. Just thought you might want to know.