Kona Hawaii fishing report - July wrap-up
This morning as I'm writing this report the Wahine (female in Hawaiian) Tournament that hosts only female anglers is happening. In recent years it has been the biggest tournament in Kona but the economy has slowed it down to about half of its normal size. Marlin are the prize money fish with a minimum of 300 lbs. for weigh in and only a trophy going for the most tuna, ono and mahi mahi points. The marlin bite has been slow so as far as the number of marlin catches go, I don't expect much but there have been some big wahine marlin around and it's those female marlin that are the 300+ ones. I hope some Hawaiian girl has the muscle it takes to bring in a big marlin girl. The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament starts Monday and goes for the whole week and there also, I suspect there won't be a large number of marlin caught as happened last year where every team caught at least one marlin but I suspect there will be some real big ones brought in this year. I use to fish most of the Kona tournaments but I don't like fishing them anymore for a variety of reasons.
Both ono and mahi mahi are the most common catch right now. Ono are usually caught close to shore but sometimes there are plenty of them caught offshore in the deep and that's happened to plenty of us this month. Some of the mahi mahi are being caught in the ono lane also but most of them are in the deep and there are also some spearfish around. Summer time is also the time of the year you can expect "blind strike" yellowfin tuna. Generally you need to work a porpoise school to get the big yellowfin but in the summer, when a line goes screaming, it just might be a big yellowfin on the line and that has happened to a few of the boats this month just proving that trolling offshore in the summer can get you hooked up to just about anything.
While summer is Kona is usually a better trolling bite, it's usually the slowest bottom fishing bite of the year but that's not what's happening this summer. The bottom bite has been HOT! In fact, on my boat the Aloha Kai we caught the new state record amberjack this month. When I saw it come to the surface it was hard to believe. When I pulled it in the boat I told the anglers that it might even go a hundred and a half. Three of us on the boat fought the fish and weighing in at 151.5 lbs.(good guess huh), it's the new Hawaii state record. More than one angler is allowed to fight the fish for a Hawaii state record but for a world record, that's a big no-no. It was 3.5 lbs. shy of the world record anyway. Sharks have also been a regular catch while bottom fishing but it's the GT that are the big out-of-season odd ball. I drop bait to the bottom more than any charter boat in Kona and normally I'll catch only a dozen or less GT in a whole year. I've caught GT's on my last 8 consecutive trips and have caught and released 16 of them. One of them that we weighed on a spring scale was a 95 pounder! Pound for pound the GT is one of the hardest fighting fish you'll ever hook in to and it's one of the most highly prized trophy fish in the Hawaiian Islands. We've also fought and lost several REALLY big ones. At this catch rate on the GT's we just might be able to catch the new state record on that one too. Wishful thinking anyway.
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!