Kona Hawaii fishing report – January wrap-up.
The striped marlin have arrived. Not many of them yet but it is the beginning of the season for them so it should get better. Unlike the blue and black marlin, the striped marlin are a schooling fish so it’s possible to get more than one hooked up at the same time. That’s what I thought was happening to me last week when the line started tearing off my short rigger rod and right after, the long rigger rod hooked up too. I saw a good size splash on the first hook up and when the 2nd one took off I yelled “YES! Striped marlin” I haven’t hooked up a stripe this season yet so I was pumped. The meat on a striped marlin is a lot better than blue marlin meat. The blue marlin meat is white where the striped marlin meat is usually pink but sometimes you can cut open a striped marlin and the meat is pumpkin orange. That’s the best sashimi there is. I’ll take that over ahi any day of the week. I think I was already salivating just thinking about it when we got the first fish up to the boat and what? It’s a mahi mahi. It ended up being a double mahi mahi bite even though it’s not the season for them. As I explain on my Fishing Season Calendar page and even in last month’s report about the out of season ono bite, we can catch any fish at any time of the year. While I was just a little disappointed that it wasn’t striped marlin, the mahi mahi that ate the short rigger bait ended up being a 34.5 lb. bull. That made Kona’s “Big Fish List” as the biggest of the year so I got some publicity out of it plus another entry for my “Hall of Fame” page.
There have been a few, very few, blue marlin around but there was a good ahi bite in a porpoise school recently. I worked a porpoise school for a while on a couple of trips, towing two live skipjack tuna baits on one trip and using lures and even the green stick method on another trip. No bites. There were several other boats working the schools each time. It seems to me that the more boats that work the school, the less the ahi seem to bite. It’s always best to be the first one to find the school. I’m still waiting for the bigeye tuna to show up on the buoys. Last year at this time I was catching some nice ones. The spearfish showed up as expected and the bite should be good until the water starts heating up in the summer.
Bottom fishing turned up mostly sharks this month and the bite is still less than it should be. There were some days that the bottom fishing grounds were just too rough to even go fish there. The best bottom fishing grounds are North of the harbor up near the airport where the deep ledge is at an angle to the prevailing current. That’s what makes it good there. There’s another ledge that’s just South of the harbor and goes for several miles but it runs parallel to the current so it doesn’t hold fish as well. I said in last month’s report that I was experimenting with some other bottom fishing techniques and I had to buy even more gear this month in order to proceed. I’m sure I’ll still need to buy even more stuff before I can find out if another technique will work better than what I’m doing now. I still haven’t caught any GT this winter even though it’s their peak season. They got to be around somewhere!
See ‘ya on the water soon ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,