March has been a great month for catching billfish. We're in the middle of spearfish season and the bite for them is good right now. Striped marlin season started slow but has really picked up this month. It usually slows down in April but because they came in late, April should be a good month for them also. Both spearfish and striped marlin are good eating. Spearfish cooks up well but not so much for marlin. Marlin meat is dense and gets tough when cooked so other than smoking it, marlin is best eaten raw as sashimi or an island favorite "poke". I've mentioned in my reports before about orange striped marlin meat being the absolute best. Shortly after publishing last month's fish report, I caught two striped marlin and both of them had orange meat. If this web site allows photos, I'll provide a photo of the meat along with a package of poke mix. The blue marlin bite picked up this month also. March is known as the best month to catch a grander and while there was one landed last month, March didn't produce one this year. That doesn't mean that they weren't around, it just means that they all won the fight and got away.
It's now officially mahi mahi season and they were the most common catch of the month. The big ahi have been biting pretty good in the porpoise schools and the smaller ahi have been abundant on the FAD's and sometimes on the ledges. Even some ono have been showing up so overall, March was a good trolling bite month.
Sandbar sharks topped the list as the most common bottom catch this month followed by amberjacks and almaco jacks. There were several days this month that I couldn't go to the bottom fishing grounds because it was just too rough to fish it. Some of the days we're so rough that even trolling was difficult. Kona is known for its calm, flat sea conditions but it's not like that every day, just most of the days. We're so spoiled here that some of the boats will cancel a trip if it's only a little rough out. I take the "wait and see" approach. I wait for the people to show up to the boat and see what I have to work with. If real fishermen show up to the boat, we go. If it's grandma and grandpa or people with their little children, no way. I figure I'm doing them a favor by not taking them out on a trip that would be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers