The Big Island made Big Blue Marlin history when charter boat Lana Kila caught a 1,041 lb blue marlin on Nov.19th. It was the first grander ever caught in November off Kona. The magnificent fish checked off the only remaining month that a grander had never been caught. It’s now probably safe to say that Kona, Hawaii is the only fishing destination that can claim a grander has been caught every month of the year. On top of it, the story behind this grander is a good one.
Jen and Evan Brooks decided to have a little fun and book a half day charter while their cruise ship stopped in Kona for the day. They booked Lana Kila, a 35′ Owens, captained by Bomboy Llanes along with mate Ricky Perkins. With the blue marlin bite being exceptionally good for October/November this year, it was no big surprise to captain and crew when the short corner reel started screeching off line. No one saw the bite, but the big surprise came when the fish jumped and all on board lit up as much as the grander blue.
Jen hopped in the chair and the battle began at 8:45 a.m. Bomboy knew the fish was over the 1,000 mark the minute he saw it ( he actually called friends and said they had a 1,050). He also knew he had to hammer the drag to catch the fish in time to get the Brooks back to their cruise ship before its 5 o’clock departure. After fighting the fish for six hours, the bewitching hour came and the captain asked Jen if she wanted a boat to come out and pick her and her husband up so they could catch their cruise ship. Both adamantly informed the captain they were in for the duration. You gotta like that! Meanwhile, the submarine-sized fish had been leading them away from the calm waters off the Kona coast into the seriously rough seas between Maui and the Big Island.
Near 5:00 p.m., the crew was exhausted, with mate Ricky having to help lift the rod each time Jen cranked and Bomboy having to manage big seas. After several attempts they could not wire the beast close enough to gaff. The 1,000 plus pound energetic fish stayed behind the boat just out of range each time they tried to wire it in. Safety became an issue and the captain decided to call for reinforcements. Bomboy called his cousin, Capt. Randy Llanes, who in turn called the A-Team. With the sun dropping into a high-sea horizon, the support team arrived, consisting of brother Ronnie Llanes, Ruben Rubio , Kama de Silva and Sam Choy. Shortly afterwards, the fish was in the boat after a 9 hour battle.
The fish weighed 1,041 and was Bomboy”s second grander , his first being a whopping 1,258 fish. After the excitement of the weigh-in, the owners of the Kona Bay Hotel offered a room to the exhausted honeymooners. Jen and Evan caught a flight the next day to Kauai to rejoin their cruise ship with a good story to tell about their half day charter in Kona. Something tells me they will not forget that memorable day and to top it off, Jen’s catch added to the lore of big game fishing in Kona. She, captain and crew made a little history too.
If interested in contacting Bomboy- Bomboy Big Game Fishing (808) 987-0300
Also worth mentioning is the blue marlin bite has been unreal here in Kona. Charter boats have been catching 300-400 lb.blue marlin on a regular basis, and an 800 was caught the day after the Lana Kila fish.
Big blues aren’t the only big bruisers to battle off Kona. The day after the grander, , Capt. Russ Nitta on the Lepika put a young San Diego angler on a 245 lb ahi. The angler was in town with his two friends for a Big Island wedding, adding to a theme of romance= big fish in Kona this month. I had to good fortune of helping out in the pit and the bite was off the charts. Another reason while Kona is the best in my book. A world -class, year round big game fishery! Please come join us !
Aloha, Mark Johnston