April was pretty decent for the blue marlin bite. Some good size ones were caught but we still haven't seen a grander so far this year. The spearfish bite was on and off throughout the month and even a few striped marlin were caught but about the middle of the month, the trolling bite really slowed down. Even the mahi mahi bite that had been going strong slowed. Then the ono arrived! They showed up early this year. Fish showing up early in their seasons seems to be an ongoing trend lately. If you're a regular reader of my fishing reports you might remember that the spearfish showed up early and so did the mahi mahi.
Ahi season usually kicks off about the middle of May but they too have been showing up with more frequency. I recently had a trip where only 30 minutes out of the harbor, we caught a mahi mahi. Then another, then another. The next hook up was a marlin about 150 lbs. Soon after that we caught an 82 lb. ahi. All of that happened in a two hour period. I only had one guy on board with me that day and after the ahi, he said he had had enough so we trolled home. Captains and crews back at the harbor asked if I had gone into ono lane on the way home to try to get the "sweep" (The 4 major flag fish). Although I had thought about doing that, it was a hectic two hours for me too. I run a 35' flybridge boat single handed so with all the back-to-back action, I was as tired as my angler. I just figured that if the sweep was meant to be, I would catch an ono out in the deep. A couple of trips later, that's where I did catch my first ono of the season.
When the top water bite got slow this month I started hitting the bottom more than I have in quite some time. The odds of catching something from the bottom are usually a lot higher than just trolling all day with a mixed bag of sharks, amberjack, almaco jack, trevally and a number of "what the heck is that?" fish. There's just a lot more variety of fish swimming near the bottom than there is swimming near the top.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers