I mentioned in my January report that Kona has had the distinction for the past several years in a row of being the first place in the world where a "grander" (1000 pound +) marlin is caught each year. While there were some granders fought here in Kona since the beginning of the year, most of the really big ones win the fight because many things have to go just right to get the really big ones in. March has always been known as a good grander month here and Kona's first grander of the year was caught this month on the 27th but this time it wasn't the first in the world. We got beat out by Kenya. Who wouldda thunk. It's only the 2nd time a grander has been landed in Kenya and the last one was a decade ago but congrats to Kenya on a fine 1062 lb. fish. The Kona grander was caught on the "Nasty Habit" by angler Robert Steffens with Capt. Dave Unger at the helm and Kai Hoover running the deck and weighed in at 1211 lbs. Capt. Dave Unger comes from a long line of Kona captains and the Unger family was also one of the first to produce the popular resin head trolling lures that are commonly used worldwide today. Capt. Dave is no different than his elders and handmade the lure that caught the grander from a mold that has been handed down through the family line.
The striped marlin bite remained pretty good during March but definitely shows signs of slowing down lately while the blue marlin bite is picking up. Spearfish season is at its peak but the bite on those has been somewhat spotty this month. Mahi mahi season is just starting but if you're one of the many that read my monthly reports, you already know that the mahi mahi bite was good all winter. It should only get better from here. Ono (wahoo) and big ahi (yellowfin tuna) have been showing up in spurts for the past few months.
High winds and rough water have kept me away from the good bottom fishing grounds several times this month but the times that it has been calm, I've been doing OK dropping to the bottom. The catch has been mostly sharks with a couple of almaco jacks thrown in. Almaco jacks make great "grander" baits. Not grander marlin but if you're hunting for a 1000+ tiger shark, that's the bait de jour. Oooops, maybe I shouldn't say that. The Hawaii politicians are now debating a law ( HB2380 ) making it illegal to "intentionally" kill, capture, harm or harass (or even attempt to kill, capture, harm or harass) a shark. I'm sure this is in retaliation of what those stupid kids did to a tiger shark in Honokohau harbor last August. On YouTube, use the extension /watch?v=fhAWTzjG5RU and you'll see it. These punks probably don't know this but as a result of what they did, that tiger shark is now blind in one eye. It was a stupid thing to do but does there really need to be a new law? And, if I'm bottom fishing with bait, could it be said that I am "intentionally" targeting sharks? What a mess those punks created. I catch some of the same sharks over and over. Some of them even get to sport a fashionable circle hook lip ring for a little while but what I do certainly doesn't need to be made illegal. Does it?
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers