Some nice size blue marlin showed up this month with several "beast" status marlin caught. Some were kept but most of them were released. FYI, a 500+ lb. marlin is a "beast". Kona is usually the best place in the world to land the coveted first "grander" (1000+) of the year but the first grander of this year was caught in Australia. They are famous for black marlin but this year Australia landed it's first ever grander blue marlin. Kona (or anywhere else in Hawaii) hasn't seen a grander weighed in since 2015. In 2015 there were four granders caught in Kona, one in Hilo and another one in Maui. There's no doubt that granders have been hooked and fought since then but those big girls usually win the fight. The last marlin I had on was a big one that just kept digging for the deep right near the boat. I had no choice but to crank up the drag but not long after that, the line snapped. A lot needs to go right to land the big ones. It's striped marlin season but very few have been caught this season so far. Kona's first black marlin of the year was caught this month. It's also the peak of the season for spearfish and while the season started out great, February was a bit slow for them. I pretty much always dedicate the top paragraph of the fishing report to the billfish and while you may think I covered 'em all, we have just one more, sailfish. Sails are a pretty rare catch here but not lately. Several have been caught so far this year just North of Keahole point and also outside of Keauhou bay. The sails aren't likely to take the normal Kona trolling lure so if you want some sail action, you need to bust out your special techniques.
This has been a good off season bite for mahi mahi. We've had a lot of marine debris floating by the island and if there's any size to it, any time of year, it's a mahi mahi oasis in an otherwise big blue desert. Oahu had a debris field come by their island that was so big that a marine warning had to be posted because of the danger. Getting huge chunks of rope or netting stuck in your props REALLY sucks! Marine debris also makes good fishing for tuna and ono. There was a good ono bite this month but most of them were caught in the traditional "ono lane". I did really well catching the "chunk light" tunas this month. The big ones (aka Otaru) have been around and again, out of season.
The bottom bite wasn't all that great this month but I did do pretty good on a few of the attempts. There were several days this month that bottom fishing was impossible due to high winds and rough water. January and February are usually the most challenging months for us boat captains because of the weather. This year has been mild compared to recent years. Another January / February hazard for us is big surf. Almost every year we loose a boat or two at the harbor entrance because of it. It doesn't look like were going to get ANY of the big surf this year that Hawaii is famous for. Sorry surfers :( Even the famous "Bonzai Pipeline" on Oahu didn't produce the big ones. March usually is the beginning of the calmer waters here.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers