Kona Hawaii fishing report – May wrap-up.
As we head into summer, the total number of fish being caught off the Kona coast will rise just like it does every summer. Why is that? I’m glad you asked. It comes down to just simple math. More boats out fishing = more fish being caught. There are more boats out fishing in the summer because summer is when most people take vacations. We also have some seasonal changes with more ono (wahoo) typically moving in during the summer months. At least they’re suppose to. Last year we didn’t have a really good ono bite all summer. This year they have moved in early and ono took the lead in May as the most common catch. The bigger skipjack tuna called “otado” in Kona moved in early also and the ahi tuna bite was pretty good for May. The fish that hasn’t arrived yet is the blue marlin. There were several days in May when not even one marlin was caught in Kona waters. I think some of that had to do with low fishing effort. Now that more boats will be out fishing for them, marlin should be caught on a daily basis for the next few months. May is the peak of the mahi mahi spring run but the number of catches on those for May weren’t great, just fair. The spearfish bite for the month was almost non-existent. It’s definitely not striped marlin season but I caught one this month and a couple of other boats did the same. That just reinforces the idea that fish don’t know how to read calendars.
The bottom bite has been pretty good. It’s nice to see the amberjack and almaco jacks finally coming back in good numbers. Several years ago, hundreds of Galapagos sharks showed up in Kona and cleaned the fish off the deep ledges. Fish that didn’t leave the area became lunch. The Galapagos hung around for about a year and then left about as quickly as they came. Even though the Galapagos have been gone for years, the amberjacks and almaco jacks are just now returning to the numbers that use to be here. For the past several years, I’ve been catching more sharks than jacks. Like I said, the Galapagos sharks took off but prior to them showing up, the most common shark I caught was the Sand Bar shark. They were kind of a rare catch and range in size from about 35 to 130 lbs. but as a general rule, the jacks in the area grabbed your bait before a Sand Bar shark had a chance. The Galapagos sharks are much faster, bigger and more aggressive than a Sand Bar shark so when the Galapagos showed up, even the Sand Bar sharks vacated the ledges. They were also the first to move back in. Now that the jacks are back too, the bottom bite is your best shot at doing some catching instead of just fishing. Both the sharks and the jacks put up a good fight and are a good challenge for any angler.
See ‘ya on the water ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
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