The fish aren't afraid of the volcano! That's the headline. And guess what? The people in Kona aren't afraid of it either. I've been getting calls all month from concerned relatives and vacationers who have booked fishing trips with me. Let me state here with clarity that Kona is in no danger. We are far away from any active lava events. I will add that the air quality can be a little rough on some days. It depends on how much forest is being burned by the lava and the direction of the wind. Some days it's not bad at all and other days visibility drops down to about 5 miles. Some people have minor effects to their throat or eyes but most people don't. With that said, the fish don't mind it at all! The blue marlin bite has been pretty hot and there were even a few striped marlin caught this month. The spearfish bite is the hottest bite going on right now. While marlin will take a lure of about any size, the spearfish are a little more picky and mostly choose small lures. Some boats only pull big stuff because they're more interested in marlin so they're totally missing out on the spearfish bite but if you pull small lures, also plan on loosing some when that big marlin decides to come and eat it.
The blind strike ahi bite is going well and my luckiest catch of the month was when a 100 lb. ahi ate my smallest lure with the 100 lb. test leader. Not only that, but on its first run, it got tail wrapped! I'm also pulling those little lures with Penn 30 stand-up tackle with 80 lb. test main line. We probably shouldn't have landed that fish but a combination of skill and a lot of luck won us the prize. The mahi mahi and ono bite is doing well along with the smaller tunas along the ledges. All of them good eating but I prefer the smaller ahi to the big ahi because the taste is more mild.
The seas have been a little rough because of high winds up North past the airport and that's the best bottom fishing grounds. I didn't spend many days up there just because it was so much nicer to fish the flat waters to the South and even with that, I still managed to do pretty good on the bottom fish. I've been mostly having good luck catching almaco jacks using jigs and sharks using cut up tunas.
That strong North wind has also helped keep the volcano smoke pushed to the South of the harbor but when you're fishing South of the harbor, the wind is blowing out of the South and bringing the smoke along with it. The two opposing winds are keeping the smoke trapped. I've lived on the Big Island for 33 years and I've seen thick smoke even when the news media wasn't reporting it. I've also seen it clear up quite nicely even when there are active lava flows. So, we're dealing with some smoke right now but the seas are mostly calm and the fish are biting so that more than makes up for it.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers