Hawaii is the Blue marlin capital of the world for several reasons and we can add a couple more reasons this month. March has always been known as a month that the BIG blue marlin show up. In fact, there’s only one month that beats out March for “granders” (marlin over 1000 lbs.) caught in Hawaii and that’s the month of June. The first marlin this month that looked like it would make the 1000 lb. mark was caught on the “Rod Bender” and though it came in just a little shy at 958 lbs., it will soon be (not verified by the IGFA yet) the new woman’s world record marlin cath. A woman has yet to bring in a grander marlin and though we’ve had a few close calls here in Kona, that goal is still proving to be just a little out of reach. Less than a week after that big marlin was caught, a grander was brought in on the “Fire Hatt” and weighed in at 1058 lbs. That’s grander #2 in Kona this year! There’s a web site called “Grander Watch” and they list any grander marlin caught anywhere in the world. There’s only 3 listed so far for 2013 and Kona has 2 of them. If you go to the Grander Watch web site you will soon notice that Cairns Australia caught several so called “granders” in 2012 but one difference is that those are black marlin, not blues and another difference is that the weights given on the site are estimates of the weight because they were released. In Kona, you can claim that you released a grander and people may believe you or maybe not. They only “grander” that counts here is the one that the weigh scale says it is. Case in point, the 958 mentioned above. Right after I did last month’s fishing report we had another nice striped marlin bite but it didn’t last for long. The season for them is pretty much over now. We’re in the middle of spearfish season but there were very few caught this month.
The mahi mahi bite is picking up as it should this time of year. There’s been some ono around also even though it’s not season for them yet. Some ahi tuna have been caught also, the big ones out of the porpoise schools and small ones on the South FAD buoys. For the Kona charter fleet, there are 4 main FAD buoys that we fish on because they’re within easy reach of the harbor. Last month one of them, F buoy broke loose and drifted off and this month another one, OT buoy did the same. We will have to wait several months for the state to replace them. F is scheduled for replacement sometime this summer and no date set for OT except it will probably be some time after the buoy programs fiscal year ends in October.
The bottom bite has been picking up but the bait fish have been hard to catch lately. Speed jigging is the best alternative if you can’t catch fresh / live bait because unless the fish are really aggressive or hungry, frozen bait usually doesn’t work very well. Most people have no idea what speed jigging is and when they see me do the technique for the first time, most are certainly amazed by it. This is not a technique for the weak and out-of-shape. Jerk-wind, jerk-wind, jerk-wind, jerk-wind as fast as you possibly can, 20 to 30 reps and then let the 10 oz. to 14 oz. jig back down (300 to 600 feet) again and start the process over. The average person who hasn’t trained to do this technique will only last about 20 to 30 minutes doing it, fish caught or not. I haven’t been jigging much in the past several months because I injured both of my triceps doing uh…. jigging. I do love the action though. Just got some new jigs in the mail yesterday, a couple of different styles that I’ve never used or even seen before so I’m pretty excited about testing them out on Monday. I just need to be careful that I don’t re-injure myself doing it.