Kona Hawaii fishing report - March wrap-up
What a difference between February and March. The trolling bite went from "soooo good" (last months report) to "not so good". Typically March is better than February but as I've stated before, pelagic fish have no idea what month it is. There going to be swimming around somewhere in the ocean and the Kona coast is just a very small part of it. Very few striped marlin were caught this winter, the season when there are more caught. By this time I think it's safe to say that for the 4th year in a row now, the showing of striped marlin in Kona was pitiful. It's my hope that they were just swimming around elsewhere and hope that the schools have not been decimated by the many fish catching and processing factory ships that roam the seas. Our blue marlin bite can be hot or cold any time of the year and the blues don't tend to congregate as tightly as striped marlin. With that in mind, blues would be less vulnerable to being caught and processed by factory ships. OK, so I'm (kind of) doing some finger pointing without any proof. I really don't know how many metric tons of what kinds of fish they're catching and processing, only that they do it. I know that yellowfin tuna is a big one on their target list of fish and with that said, I'm about to contradict the "they did it" theory. Usually the big (100+) yellowfin tuna start showing up in bigger numbers around May and the bite can be good through September. Some years the summer run is poor but for the last two years, the yellowfin tuna bite has been good. It's really too early to tell but it looks like it's going to be another good year. There are a handful of boats in Kona that specialize in yellowfin tuna year-round. These few boats go out and target the yellowfin on nearly all their charter trips and if they think they can catch enough yellows to sell and make it worth their while, they go out without a charter. These few boats have been doing quite well lately catching big yellows, some over 200 lbs., that are in the porpoise schools. When/if the summer yellow run really kicks in, we start getting "blind strikes" while trolling anywhere off the Kona coast. Kind of like, if there are enough nuts lying around, even a blind squirrel can find one.
The trolling bite hasn't been all bad. Also showing up bit early for their summer run has been some ono. They're biting mostly on the South ledges and should be starting to show up near the harbor soon. Personally I like the North ono run and have been trying it a little but haven't had any luck there. We have a good network of captains here so when they start showing up on the North run, I'll know it. Mahi mahi are currently the most common fish being caught on the troll. Sizes are ranging from large to small and good eating no matter what the size.
The bottom bite has been producing a good number of giant trevally. They are one of the most prized fighting fish in the tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Personally I love watching anglers match strength with these fish only to find the shocked look on their face when I bring the fish on board (for photo, tag and release) and they see that it's only half the size they thought it would be. The shark bite has been pretty good too. Most of them have been sand bar sharks in the 40 to 80 lb. range and they put on a good fight too. I split up my charter days by doing both trolling and bottom fishing but it's the bottom fishing that gives me the most anticipation of a bite. The key to the bottom fishery is using bait fish, live bait being best. If a blind squirrel were looking for a nut and that nut was shaking and smelling very nutty…… well, you get the picture.
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!