Big Blues Hawaiian Style – The Granders!
Images Courtesy of the Charter Desk.
It has been an amazing year for big game fishermen in Hawaii, especially on the Big Island.As of mid- September, seven grander blue marlin have been caught in Hawaii’s beautiful waters. Six granders were caught off the Big Island, five off of Kona (two over 1,300 pounds) and one on the eastern side of the island off Hilo, the other huge blue was caught off Maui, approximately 30 miles away from Kona.
Rich in tradition and sportfishing history, Honokohau Harbor in Kona is the heart of the action in Hawaii. Undoubtedly one of the best sportfishing destinations in the world, Kona is home to some of the world’s finest captains and crews. The fleet here is always ready for battling big fish, evident not only by the remarkable grander catches, but by the good portion of big blue marlin that get released on a regular basis.
With El Nino keeping water temps well above average. The blue marlin bite should be strong into November; it would be no surprise if another grander got reeled in before 2016. Worth noting is: with four months to go in 2015, the fifth grander caught in Kona more than doubles the long-term average of two Kona granders per year. The Kona fleet has met or surpassed four granders only six times since 1960. The year 2015 joins Kona’s hottest years hot years for granders – 2012 (4 granders), 2001 (4), 1986 (5), 1985 (5 including, 1 black marlin), and 1978 (6).
Maybe Honokohau Harbor should be known as – Grand Central Station! A brief review of the seven Hawaiian granders, and congrats to all involved, including those who may not be mentioned.
- February-Kona: Capt. McGrew RiceandCarlton Arai on Ihu Nui put angler Kai Rizzuto on a 1,058 pound blue marlin.
- May-Maui: Captains Jay Rifkinand Chris Cole on Jun Ken Po caught a 1,058 pound blue marlin.
- May- Kona: Capt. Chip Van Mols and Shawn Bebeauon theLuna landed a 1,226 pound blue marlin for angler Dean Lamman after a two-hour battle. This was the fourth grander for Capt. Chip Van Mol’s career.
- July- Hilo: the 25′Liberty Dreams caught a 1,010 pound blue marlin. Boat owner Paul Andrade and crew Damien Ching, Chante Ching, Gilbert Abalos and Levi Boteilho caught the fish in about 3 1/2 Hours.
- July – Kona: Guy Kitaoka caught a monster 1,368 pound blue marlin while fishing for ahi on the 21’ skiff Dayna. The boat was captained by Darrell Omori. The fish was caught on an electric reel – so it would be automatically disqualified by IGFA rules – regardless, this was an impressive feat and a huge fish, worthy of attention.
- August- Kona: Capt. Kevin Nakamaru on Northern Lights II put angler Brent Nelson on a 1,075 pound blue marlin. Capt. Mat Bowman and Kyle Vannatta were along as crew. The fish had a 143” short measurement and a 77” girth. The tail stump girth was 21”; this measurement coincides with a 1,100 pound fish.
- August- Kona: Capt. Mat Bowmen and deck hand Kyle Vannatta onboard the Northern Lights I put angler Michael Bilch on a 1,309 blue marlin. The fish was landed after a 2 ½ hour battle. Both Bowmen and Vannatta were working the deck on Northern Light II when that grander was landed a week before. Worth noting: this fish broke the tail stump rule – the girth of the tail stump was 19.5 inches, which predicts a weight of 950 pounds.