Kona Hawaii fishing report – April wrap-up.
As the striped marlin season is ending, the biggest striped marlin of the year was weighed in this month and weighed in at 114.5 lbs. One thing to consider is even though the peak season is nearly over, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any more striped marlin around. Case in point, it’s supposed to be the peak mahi mahi season right now but there are hardly any being caught. It’s not ono season but we kept having spurts of good ono bites throughout the month. Here in Kona, “any fishy, any season” is more the norm rather than the exception. “Seasonal” fishing here in Hawaii is a loose term because our “seasons” on the ocean don’t change much. The water temperature here is 79 degrees year-round, plus or minus only three degrees. Even the air temperature on our ocean doesn’t change much. Once you head up one of our massive mountains though, the changes are drastic. Of 13 climate classifications in the world, the Big Island has 11 of them. We’re only missing the two extremes on either end.
Blue marlin were somewhat scarce this month but the spearfish bite was pretty good.
Several months ago, a fish farm operation moored a boat and fish cage just a little over 3 miles off shore just a little South of the harbor and because there is so much structure; several buoys, a WWII landing craft and a large fish cage, there’s tuna hanging around it all the time. Yellowfin, bigeye, albacore and skipjack. Those tunas are eating the massive amounts of even smaller fish hanging around the structures and the fat content on the tunas is off the charts! I’ve been making that my first place to go in the morning to make sure that my people have some fish to eat and to also get some extras to use for bottom bait later. This summer, I expect to see a lot of boats pulling live baits nearby looking for those big blues.
High winds and rough water kept me from the bottom fishing grounds for the first half of April but once the winds died down and I was able to go there, the bottom bite was good. I weighed in a 100+ lb. giant trevally (GT) this month, not really by choice though. I would have let it go but it died during the battle. The GT made Kona’s “Big Fish List” so that’s my 2nd time making the list this year. The amberjack slot is vacant and even though I catch them pretty regularly, I tag and release them. Just like with some of the big GT’s, the big amberjacks sometimes don’t survive the fight either so if that happens …... I caught and released a hammerhead shark the same day as the GT. If you’re a regular reader of my reports, in last month’s report I mentioned that the State of Hawaii was proposing a new law to make it illegal to “intentionally” kill, capture, harm or harass (or even attempt to kill, capture, harm or harass) a shark. I definitely “intentionally” harassed, captured and released that hammerhead. Good news, that bill has been killed! The reason was that the scope and language in the bill was too broad. Also, State waters only extend to 3 miles from shore so determining if a shark was caught inside or outside of State waters also posed a problem. Back to the fish farm. It’s just outside of the State’s 3 mile jurisdiction. That’s why they put it there. Any sharks there? You bet! It was April. Tax collector time.
See ‘ya on the water soon,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
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