Kona Hawaii fishing report - Dec. wrap-up
The year ended with a bang as Kona's 2nd "grander" marlin was weighed in. Usually there's more than one grander caught in Kona each year but this year looked like it would be the exception. During a year there are several granders hooked up but most of these fish win the fight. There's also the tag and release factor and this factor alone almost kept Kona's grander count down to only one this year. The grander, weighing in at 1011 lbs. was caught on the "Game Plan". It was brought to the boat in only 45 minutes and then tagged and released but after the release, the fish just rolled over belly up, floating, dead. Some fish, especially the old ones just can't survive a battle. We don't know how many granders die each year during a fight and sink, making them nearly impossible to get back up. Getting spooled by a grander will also likely cause its death as they can't continue to swim and feed towing nearly 1000 yards of line behind them. Some granders are released in good health but you get no credit for releasing an "estimated" grander. The only proof of a real "grander" is at the scales.
Some striped marlin showed up this week so we may actually have a run this year. We haven't had a good striped marlin run in several years. There's been some spearfish being caught also. With both of these billfish, the season is just getting started.
Mahi mahi actually tops the list as this month's most common catch and there's also been a fair amount of big yellowfin tuna. We often find the small yellowfin (shibi) on the FAD's and ledges this time of year with only a few big ones being caught in the porpoise schools during the winter but for the last few years, the winter bite for the big ones has been pretty good.
The bottom bite hasn't been all that good but the variety of fish caught has. Sending a jig, live bait, dead bait or chunks has been producing snapper, grouper, trevally, sharks, amberjack and almaco jack.
Do you have your Federal fishing license yet? Many people don't even know that such a thing even exists but as of last year when the law went into effect, if you're fishing outside of state waters (3 miles here in Hawaii) you could be fined heavily for not having one. In 2010 the license was free. This year it's $15, next year It will be $25 and you can expect it to go up even more in years to come. Many of us fishermen in Hawaii have a CML (Commercial Marine License) so we can legally sell our catch and having that makes us exempt from needing the Federal license but, since the Hawaii CML is issued to an individual and not the vessel, the Feds have the right to require each individual person out fishing beyond 3 miles to have their license, even on a charter. Look out tourists, my guess is that will be just around the corner. The Feds NEED more money. So, think you're safe in state waters? Not for long. On July 19th President Obama signed an executive order to form the National Ocean Council. Part of the power given to this new bureaucracy is to regulate coastal waters, effectively giving them the power to tell the states how to regulate their own waters. Some states have taken the Feds to court on both of these issues but Hawaii has a reputation of being like an old marlin on Federal fisheries issues. It will likely roll over, belly up and let the Feds do whatever they wish.
See 'ya on the water ,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
About The Author: Captain Jeff Rogers
Company: Hawaii Sport Fishing
Area Reporting: Kona Hawaii
Bio: Whether you're looking for that big trophy catch of a lifetime, some delicious fish to take home or just wanting to catch fish after fish after fish until your arms are too weak to haul in another, I'll do my best to give you the best Hawaii fishing trip you've ever had!