Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – March wrap-up.
Again, for the third month in a row, it’s the spearfish that are dominating as the most common catch. That bite should continue through April. The striped marlin made a decent showing this month as would be expected and tapering down as the summer gets closer. The blue marlin trickled in this month and since March is the month that the most “granders” are caught here, we were expecting again for Kona to catch the first grander of the New Year. Nothing yet, from here or anywhere else in the world but as time moves on, our chances dwindle. Not for getting any granders this year, just for being the first in the world to do so.
Mahi mahi season is starting but this season will be a little different this season than in years past off of the Kona coast. If you know anything about mahi mahi, you know that they like hanging around anything of size floating in the water. A significant number of the mahi mahi caught here each year are caught on the FAD’s. I talked about the FAD program and its importance is January’s report and since then, we have lost yet another FAD. F buoy is gone. So of the FAD’s that are supposed to be off of the Kona coast, VV, C, F and OT, all of them are gone. In fact, VV and C have been gone for about 2 years! So what happened to the program? I’m glad you asked I said in January that funds have been released and the buoys will be replaced. VV and C buoys are scheduled to go in this next month. It won’t be ‘til about July until we get F and OT back. The whole FAD program relies on both state and federal funding. It turned out that it was the feds; NOAA to be exact that has been screwing things up. Someone there had decided that in order to continue to fund the project, they would require an “Environmental Assessment”. Kind of like an environmental impact statement. It was completed but then they wanted more information, then more, then more. In other words, some bureaucrat decided to personally screw up the whole process. It’s a typical bureaucratic move. Gum up the process with a huge load of un-needed paperwork and hope that by sheer frustration, the task won’t (or can’t) be completed and the whole program goes by-by. Lucky for us here in Hawaii that we have some of our own bureaucrats that understand how important the FAD buoy system is to us fishermen. Not just to Kona but to all of the islands. I got some inside information and it was a long hard fight but, while the feds held up the replacement of the buoys, our state guys kept up on the purchase of all the hardware. Buoys, rope, chain and all the other gear needed for the FAD replacements are already sitting there ready to be launched. Thanks for not giving up on us state guys!
Ono have started to move in as we head toward summer. There were some big ahi caught in the porpoise schools but the smaller ahi, with only the farm buoy left as a FAD, we didn’t and won’t be seeing many of those for a while. The ledges will hold some tunas but not like the FAD’s do.
I did some bottom fishing this month but not much. The current switched around screwing the fishery up and we’ve also been having high winds and rough seas to the North where the bottom fishing grounds are. On the days that were nice and the mackerel (bait) were easy to catch, it didn’t take long to hook something up. BTW, I just found out this month that some people are looking to make a whole bunch of new regulations (restrictions) to what types of fish and what type of fishing tackle can be used on the top corner and backside of “The Grounds”. I personally have already started the process of fighting a whole bunch of very stupid fishing restrictions that have been proposed by people who don’t have a clue about the fishery there. This report is already getting too long so on the subject of the “Kaupulehu Marine Reserve” extending out even beyond the 3 mile state waters limit....... To be continued.
See ‘ya on the water soon ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
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