Kona Hawaii fishing report - Sept. wrap-up
The beginning of September was pretty good fishing but I haven't been getting out much. September is the slowest month for tourism. I'm one of the busiest captains in Kona so if I'm not going out, hardly anyone else is either. It's not that bad of a thing though because the water has been real dirty and that hurts the bite. We call it "dirty" here when the water clarity is low but in this case, it's not dirt. It's all living organisms. Coral polyps are released at certain times and float to the surface. Usually it's not much and the current takes it away pretty fast but this time it was a lot more than usual and it stayed around for a longer time also. As the coral grows it gets heavier and starts sinking. That's how it distributes itself. As it starts that slow sinking process, it stratifies in the water column and the fish don't like it. Especially if there are several layers of it. Along with that we had a bloom of Sea Wasps, Portuguese man-o-war and some other stuff I couldn't identify. The water clarity got pretty bad for a while and although there were still some marlin, mahi mahi and ono around to be had, it wasn't our normal bite. I haven't been out lately but I'm sure it's cleared up and the fish are back by now.
The yellowfin tuna bite has been hot way down South. That's more commercial fishing territory because it's so far from the harbor in Kona. There are a few launch ramps down South for skiffs to launch but for the bigger boats, it takes most of the day just to troll down there and back. You can blast it down there if you got lots of fuel money to spare but because so many skiffs are down there catching yellowfin, the price on the tuna has gone way down and even hard to get rid of.
The bottom fishing season opened up for the protected snapper and grouper on the 1st but there wasn't a whole lot of commercial boats out there trying for them. I'm not sure, but I think the dirty water may have affected that fishery too. I've been catching sharks and jacks from the bottom when I have been out but I'm generally not going as deep as it takes to get into the red snapper. They hang out in about 800' of water, or the pink snapper in about 600' of water. A couple of years ago Hawaii implemented the first ever recreational fishing license requirement for fishers targeting the deep snapper. It was a foot-in-the-door tactic that was forced on Hawaii by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. They have jurisdiction in federal waters starting three miles from shore but most of the deep bottom fishing is closer, within state waters. The Council forced the state back then to regulate the fishery as they deemed necessary and now they are wanting to go even further! Today there is a WPRFMC meeting and on their agenda is the proposal to mandate reporting of all fishing activities in not just federal waters but in state waters also. In other words, federal fishing licenses and reporting for all fishing activities even if those activities are within state waters! And it looks like the state is going to protest but still bow down to their demands. Hawaii has another option and that is to implement their own fishing license program but it doesn't look like they are going to do that. The fed's are going to cram this down our throats. Get ready Hawaii fishers. Like it or not, it's coming.
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!