Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – Mar. wrap-up.
While March isn’t known to be a hot month for blue marlin, there were certainly plenty caught this month. March has long been known as the best “grander” month for Kona but so far, no granders yet for the year. Last year was the first time in a long time that no granders were caught here. There were very few striped marlin caught this month even though it’s still season for them. We’re right in the middle of spearfish season and it’s been a good month for them. There were even some sailfish caught. Overall, March was a good month for billfish.
As I said last month, mahi mahi season has started and so far it’s been a good one. We get a spring run and a fall run on mahi mahi and as a general rule, the spring run mahi mahi tend to be small in size but this spring, the majority of them have been pretty good size. Speaking of good size, it’s not ono season yet but the guys who have spent their time trolling the nearshore waters for them, while not catching very many, they have been catching some real big ones. The ahi bite has been pretty decent for this time of the year.
Normally I wind up the fishing report with bottom fishing but this month I will end with the crazy FAD (fish aggregation device) situation. As I mentioned last month, F buoy was replaced and was only out there for 9 days and then it went missing. The rumors started flying. All of the rumors are of course FACT and not fake news. One rumor is that a bunch of skiffs (small boats) tied up to it in a chain and broke it loose. The only thing is, unless they were all trying to pull it somewhere, just tying up to it wouldn’t exert enough pressure to break it off. It’s a pretty stout set up. C buoy was once pulled deliberately for several miles until the cement blocks at the bottom got hung up on something on the bottom and the boater gave up. It didn’t break off. Another rumor is that a guy deliberately cut it off because he had put in his own Pfad (private fish aggregation device) nearby, was afraid that people would spot him fishing his Pfad. The only problem with this theory is that there is 85 feet of chain underneath the FAD and with the weighted bottom post and the draft of the ball, he would have had to dive over 90 feet to get to the rope. Of course this could be done with scuba gear but the scenario just seems pretty unlikely. Another rumor is that someone shot it full of holes and sunk it for the same reason as the “cut it off” rumor. The only problem with this rumor is that the buoy was spotted drifting up North near OT buoy the day after it went missing. I talked to the guy in charge of the state buoy program and he fully believes that something went wrong with the deployment. It has happened before and he said that if it’s recovered, he will figure out how it failed. Like I said last month, with all of those connections on it, there’s a lot that can go wrong. He hopes to have F buoy replaced before the end of the year.
There are a number of Pfads out there and the way I see it, the more the merrier! We just lost a good one that was near OT buoy and of course, the rumor is that it was deliberately cut off. Why would someone do such a stupid thing? It is of course a possibility and I know that it’s has been done before because I know the Guy that did it. In this case though, I think it was most likely an accident. Just a few days before it went missing, a guy hooked up to a nice fish right next to the buoy and the fish wrapped around it. He tried to maneuver his boat around it but couldn’t get it unwrapped and then ended up getting his own line tangled in his prop. I went by him and yelled at him to cut the line and he yelled back that he was trying to. The buoy survived it but the buoy was small and often hard to see so running it over was certainly a fairly high risk. All of the Pfads are designed to be hard to spot but because of the calm Kona waters, and the fact that there are a number of boats just trolling around looking for anything they can spot that might mean fish, the Pfads eventually get found, marked on GPS and fished. Even the one near where F buoy was is known by a lot of boats. FADs are often a gold mine if you’re looking to catch small tunas for the dinner table. Sometimes the big ahi are there with them. Mahi mahi frequent there too. Live baiting near one is a good way to catch marlin. If there were enough FADs out off of the Kona coast, our fishery would become so hot that getting skunked would become a thing of the past. Who wouldn’t want that?
See ‘ya on the water soon ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
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