Since the beginning of the year, the fishing off Kona has been as red hot as the lava flowing 100-miles away on the other side of the island. With the upcoming tournament season approaching, including the infamous World Cup, it’s worth noting that the 500-pound plus blue marlin bite off Kona has been off the charts.
As a dedicated professional fisherman, working the deck on the 47- Cabo Nasty Habit, and writer for West Hawaii’s local paper, I have documented the blue marlin catches of this amazing fishery and challenge any fishery in the world to match the numbers of blue marlin that have been caught or tagged and released since the first of January to May 26, 2018. The numbers of big blues are staggering, and Kona should certainly be considered as a tournament destination by anyone interested in world-class blue marlin tournament fishing, especially the World Cup.
From New Year’s Day to May 26, 2018, anglers fishing Kona’s calm waters have reeled in and either caught or tagged and released a total of 59 blue marlin over 500-pounds. Of those 59 blue marlin, 12 were between 700-800-pounds, 21 were between 600-700-pounds, and 26 were between 500-600-pounds. Worth noting is, these are only the fish that are reported or that I know about from working on the docks. Many private and commercial boats do not report their big blue releases or catches to the Honokohau Charter Desk or the paper.
On top of that, in the past two months, two granders eluded capture when leaders broke on both fish when they were next to the boat. I have seen both pictures and videos of the two fish, and both would have easily gone over the mark. That’s just the big fish too! The numbers for blue marlin under 500-pounds that were caught or tagged and released during this same time frame is in the hundreds.
We have a saying in Kona that these numbers exemplify. When someone asks “when’s the best time to fish Kona?” The answer is “whenever you can”
Aloha, Mark Johnston