Just when I thought that the blue marlin count would take over the top spot for most common catch, the spearfish bite picked back up and re-took the lead as the most common catch of the month. Only the big game trophy hunters are complaining about it. Most of us captains are fine catching spearfish on every trip if we could. They're an easy fight for even the weakest of anglers and as good if not better eating than mahi mahi and ono. The blue marlin bite is really kicking in though as it usually does in the summer. The best months for blue marlin is July and August while the spearfish bite tends to slow down in the summer months. The striped marlin bite slows way down as we get deeper into summer but there's still a few coming in.
The ahi bite has really turned on! Not the little ones either. FYI, while yellowfin tuna of any size is known as ahi by the general public, we Hawaii fishermen distinguish them by two different names. A real ahi is one that's 100+ lbs. The smaller ones are called "shibi" (She-Bee). Most of the ahi being caught right now are the real deal at 100+ to 200+ lbs. There aren't many shibi around right now mostly due to the FAD problem that I've talked about in recent reports. The two FAD's we got replaced still don't have enough growth on them for the very tiny life to feed on. It's getting there though.
The ono bite is pretty good as it should be for this time of the year. I use the term "should be" because last year, our ono season sucked! This year it seems to be back to normal. We still have some mahi mahi coming in but not many.
I took some time this month to do some bottom fishing with good success. Normally I prefer to bottom fish with live bait or fresh dead whole baits but the tuna I've been catching have been way too big to use for the bottom. Sometimes I cut the bigger baits into what I call a swimming meat ball but a lot of the time the really small fish just tear the bait apart, one little bite at a time. If there's a lot of little ones around, it's useless to even try a swimming meat ball. If there's not many little ones around though, they work really well.
When there's no good fresh bait to be had, I resort to high speed jigging. "High speed" is kind of an understatement because the way it works, the faster you jig, the more likely you are to hook up so, "as fast as you possibly can" jigging is more like it is in reality. While some people can jig for hours (like I use to when I was 10 years younger) usually after about 30 minutes to an hour of jigging, it's time to go back trolling so we can catch our breath, fish caught or not. Bottom fishing is successful more times than not and relieves everyone from the boredom of just trolling all day.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers