I wrote the July wrap-up last month while the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) was still going on and I didn't even following what was going on during the tournament. I had other things going on that week. The HIBT is always scheduled around the new moon phase because many fishermen believe that the moon phase is the most important factor when determining when the marlin bite will be at its best. I've always said that in Kona, it's the current speed and direction that turns the bite on and off and the moon phase has very little to do with it or maybe even nothing at all. That subject has been beat to death and probably will continue to be argued without ever having any scientific backing either way. The bite the week before the HIBT was good and so was the bite the week after but unfortunately, HIBT week itself didn't produce many fish. More than half of the teams got skunked. The current was definitely to blame. The marlin bite picked up right at the beginning of August and remained good all month long. We had a little lull about the middle of the month but I was in dry dock during that time anyway so I didn't miss much. Even though the current got weird, the ahi bite remained really good for August even during the "super moon" event and we've seen some really big ones come in this summer. There's also been some nice bigeye tuna on the offshore fish farm and on F buoy. I didn't see very many ono flags flying this month but I think it has more to do with a lack of fishing effort more than anything else. You fish near shore for ono but, because the offshore bite was so good this month I don't think many boats even gave ono fishing a try. Just like last month, I mentioned that we've been having some mahi mahi and spearfish showing up even though it's not season for them and the same was true for this month. With the good offshore bite going on, I didn't even try to go bottom fishing on most trips and the few drops I did make this month didn't amount to much. Again, I'll blame the current. When bottom fishing, the current speed and direction affects the bottom fishery even more than it does the offshore fishery. With the right current speed and direction, bottom fishing is easy and almost always results in some nice catches. When the current is going the wrong way or going too fast, I don't know where all those fishies go to hide but sometimes my best bottom fishing spots can turn into an underwater desert. I can go work other spots with some results in that case but there's nothing like those days with perfect current conditions and it doesn't matter what the moon is doing. Full, none or even super.
See 'ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers