We're past the middle of our striped marlin season and I had given up on there being a striped marlin run this winter but all of the sudden, some started showing up. That's a good sign but I'm not getting up my hopes for any kind of a good run this year. I'd sure like to see the stripies prove me wrong on that. Spearfish were the most common catch of the month and they will be a common catch on into summer. The blue marlin run did kind of a faucet hot / cold thing this month and the "hot" part really depended on where you were fishing. While the water temperature and currents were very stable this month, the blue marlin bite was anything but stable. There were pockets of marlin abundance and pockets where nothing could be found. The blue marlin "cold" pocket seemed to follow me around wherever I went this month.
There were some mahi mahi around this month even though it's not season for them. The season for them starts now. One of the big factors on a good mahi mahi season is the FAD (fish aggregation devise) program. That's where the majority of mahi can be found. Any floating debris will hold them but the FAD's are in a known location, or at least they should be. Kona has been missing two of its best FAD's for over a year now. They just got replaced. OT buoy and F buoy. F buoy has always been my favorite buoy to fish not just for mahi mahi but also for the smaller ahi and bigeye tuna. I was so happy to find out that F was replaced that I went looking for it but I couldn't find it. With favorable sea conditions I should have easily spotted it even though it has a few mile swing depending on the current speed and direction. I went out to the area again the next day and I wasn't the only one looking for it. The people who replaced it must have done something wrong because it broke off. It was only in place for a little over a week. Anchored in 10,000 feet of water and over 13,000 feet of rope under it, I would imagine there's a lot of rope splicing done, shackles, chain and with all those connections, something went wrong, somebody screwed up. Bummer!
There were some 100+ lb. ahi caught this month and some big ono too but it's not season for either so it's a total "luck" kind of a bite.
High winds kept me off of the bottom fishing grounds a lot this month but when I was able to do some bottom drops, I did OK. Not great, just OK. Being forced to go South pretty much takes bottom fishing off of the table. There are some places to drop but they are far apart from each other and never as good as the North fishing grounds. The North fishing grounds are also my favorite place to go for top water trolling. January and February are our windy, stormy, rough water months so I'm glad March is here. Also, March is when the humpback whales really start putting on the show with tail slaps, fluke flaps and breaching. Usually right next to me while I'm bottom fishing.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers