By Mark Johnston
Lightning strikes twice, as Captain Kerwin Masunaga wins InTheBite’s Captain of Year Hawaii Division for the second year in a row. To say his repeat performance is an impressive feat would be a major understatement. Not only is the competition in these tournaments is fierce, but they feature some of the world’s finest sportfishing captains– Marlin Parker, Kevin Nakamura, McGrew Rice, Chip van Mols, Gene Vander Hoek- just to name a few. Winning the InTheBite Hawaiian Division Captain of the Year Contest in 2015 and 2016 paints a picture of how good this captain really is.
From late May to mid-September, the fishing is so good off the Big Island’s coast that Kona’s Honokohau Harbor hosts tournaments practically every week. InTheBite sanctioned 13 major tournaments for the 2016 competition. The tournaments included; Hawaiian Marlin Tournament Series (7), The Hawaiian Billfish Series (2), the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, Rock and Reel Tournament, The Wahine and the Marlin Magic Tournament. Masunaga, along with angler Steve Spina, placed in 6 of these tournaments. He and Spina also won the Top Boat and Top Angler in the Hawaiian Marlin Tournament Series
Masunaga has been fishing off the Kona coast since 1975. He is one of the most humble individuals you will ever meet and does not wish to be in the limelight – just trying to get a picture of him can be a challenge! He is a great guy- who just wants to fish. The old school waterman is good at it too. Masunaga makes his own lures and has two grander blue marlin under his belt.
For more on Captain Kerwin Masunaga’s incredible run, please see the December issue of InTheBite Magazine.