Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – Feb. wrap-up.
Spearfish remains as the most common billfish being caught. They’re not a hard fighting fish at all. In fact, their favorite trick is to match the same speed that the angler is reeling in making the angler think that it came off. This is where the experienced angler and the inexperienced angler part ways. The most common mistake of the inexperienced angler is that when they think a fish might have come off, they stop reeling and wait to feel if there’s still some kind of pull on the rod. With the fish swimming right at you, that stop creates slack in the line and even if the fish didn’t come off earlier, now with no tension on the line your fish is in the position to easily shake the hook out and it usually does. An experienced angler will start turning the handle even faster. If the fish is still on, you’ll know it almost right away. With my many years of experience, I would have to say that slack line is by far the reason most fish are lost.
The striped marlin bite remained pretty good this month and so was the blue marlin bite but the big surprise was when some “beast” size (500+ lbs.) blue marlin showed up. Some were released and some kept but it’s not something we expect at this time of year. I mentioned in last months report about black marlin and sailfish being a rare catch here and it’s usually several months into the year before either is caught but this year is different. The first black marlin was already caught this month but it won’t make the “Big Fish List” because it was released. The first sailfish caught this year was also released and that was by a charter boat but remember I said in last months report that it’s the kayak fishermen are more likely to catch a sailfish? Yes, a kayak fisherman weighed in the first sailfish of the year but..... he was ousted out of the Big Fish List a little later in the day when a private fishing boat that was trolling for ono caught another sailfish and beat the kayak fishermen’s sail by 5 pounds.
The mahi mahi bite is still pretty good even though the water temp is cooling down. I’m still seeing a few ono coming in but the couple of times I tried it myself this month I came up empty. The ahi bite is spotty at best but there were some sizable catches made this month. Even the bigeye tunas made a showing this month with some weighing more than 100 lbs.
Rough water conditions took bottom fishing off of my activities list several times this month but when conditions allowed, the bottom bite was pretty good.
I started last months report talking about the “Big Fish List” and again its part of the fun in this months report too but why would someone release a fish that could make the list? Get your name in print and some bragging rights? Well, sometimes you just look at that awesome fish you just caught and decide, that’s just too awesome of a fish to kill just so I can get my name in the paper. That just happened to me on a trip last Friday. While bottom fishing we caught an amberjack around 100 lbs. that would have taken the top position on the list but, it fought hard, came up healthy and strong. So I let it go and it swam away healthy and strong too. I could have weighed in the first gray snapper of the year but it wasn’t really that big so I didn’t. I just cut it up for the customers. I even thought that I had the biggest skipjack tuna of the year but it turns out that someone else had weighed in one just 2 lbs. bigger earlier in the day. Oh well, maybe the next fish.
See ‘ya on the water soon ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
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