Fellow Fire Fighter Releases His First Striped Marlin. Rod Bieller and Lisa Yellowlees from Victoria BC has been fishing in Kona, Hawaii on Fire Hatt for the last Six Years. He and Lisa have been troopers when it comes to fishing. Over the years our adventures with Rod and Lisa include many attempts at catching the elusive trophy blue Marlin. We have not checked that one off his bucket list ….yet! We left the harbor around 8:00 AM and headed north to where bait had been reported. We were about about 1400 fa off “Pine Trees” when the stinger line started screaming off line. We are Hooked Up! Once lines were cleared, Angler Rod Bieller had the striped Marlin to the boat in just over five minutes. Crewman Brett Lazenby had a tag in the fish and made a quick release. Rod’s Stripey was caught on a “Silver Fox Bullet Lure” made by longtime luremaker Al Bento from Honolulu. Rod and Lisa have caught several food fish here in Kona including Mahi Mahi, Ono and a nice dinner size Big Eye Tuna they took home for shashimi last night. His real target yesterday was to land a Shortbill Spearfish. The Spearfish and Striped Marlin are here in numbers now. We did have a Spearfish come into the pattern and poke the stinger several times but did not take the lure. this is quite comon with this species. Sometimes you can tease them into taking the lure… however, not this time. We look forward to continuing the adventure next year.
Wintertime fishing in Kona Hawaii, no gloves, no scarves, no boots, only sunscreen needed! There are few months out of the year when something is not biting in Kona Hawaii. In December however, there are still several species hanging around. This December there was a Grander Blue Marlin caught, another 900+ pound Blue Marlin caught along with several nice size Bull Mahi Mahi and Shortbilled Spearfish showing. These guests aboard Fire Hatt had a great day landing these nice Mahi Mahi.
Betti’s first billfish. Betti DeRoy long time resident of Kona Hawaii, and an activist in the community working on projects such as the trails at the Old Airport allowing hikers to explore the ocean areas where they did not have access before. Everyone knows Betti. Betti was not feeling wwll and went down below into the salon area when the lines went off. We are Hooked Up! One fish escaped while the other one gave Betti an exciting fight. She was quickly in the chair and captured her first ever billfish, a Shortbilled Spearfish weighing an estimated 35 pounds. Everyone was beaming when she landed it. Lots of meals for her and the other guests of hers that accompanied her . You will see the fish listed in local resturants as “Hebe”. It is a delicious white meat fish.
Featured in the photo is First Mate Brett Lazenby along with angler Betti DeRoy and her 35 pound Shortbilled Spearfish.
Bomboy Llanes, a native of Kona Hawaii and a world-renowned fisherman and fishing lure maker. Bomboy has over 37 years of experience in hawaiian waters,and sports a reputation of winning over 36 tournaments,including Worlds Largest blue marlin ever caught in a tournament at the weight of 1258.5 pounds. over the years Bomboy has been featured in numerous top magazine and 3 tv shows. Owner of the legendary “Bomboy Lures” he is sponsored by numerous tackle companies around the world.
Nice going Bomboy!
Fishing “floaters” in Hawaii is our version of fishing the prized kelp paddy in Southern CA. This time of year there are still some Pacific Blue Marlin around. There are still some Ono too. But honestly, if we can spot a floater this time of year, stand back because we will be in for a great episode of catching. Heading offshore with a watchful eye, and really good binoculars, we encourage our guests to report anything that is NOT water. We are looking for birds, trash and current lines. Our guests really get into it. This floater pictured to the left consisting of old nets and line was spotted about 10 miles offshore and proved to be loaded. Our guests spent a couple of hours pulling in nice Mahi Mahi and a few Ono. After several passes the fish tend to get wary. Now we get the ballyhoo out and enjoy some light tackle fun! Of course there is always the possibility that a predator is nearby. These floaters are considered “refrigerators” for Marlin and other Prey fish. We always make several passes just outside the area before we leave. Bigger fish tend to hang just outside and know a meal is there when they are ready to eat.
Featured in the photo is the “Lucky Linda” Lure made by Bomboy Lures
Richard Batton and his wife Joy from
Macon, Georgia came to Kona late in the season to try their luck at catching a Pacific Blue Marlin and to enjoy a family fishing trip. They had never caught a fish larger than 20 pounds. They baitfish in Georgia and I believe it was their wedding anniversary. They are a very cute and very gracious Southern couple. When they met, Joy was 15 he Richard was 16. (She said no, you were 17.) Not to mention this was on their “Bucket List”. We left the harbor and had been fishing for about 2 1/2 hours and got our first bite! The fish was on and taking line for about five minutes and then shook the hook. As the day was coming to an end and the thrill of the first fish was merely a memory, we were headed back towards town when the long rigger line came down. We are Hooked Up! Richard is in the chair and the battle begins. It is such a thrill for me to look at an angler make their way to the chair, get locked in and hear the screaming reel and feel the weight of the fish! As we clear the deck and start backing down we are at a standoff. Richard gets into rhythm and we start collecting line back. After a half hour fight, we have the fish beside the boat and Brett holds it until Richard can get out of the chair and touch the beautiful estimated 225 lb Pacific Blue Marlin before we release it. Check this off the Bucket List!
We have joined the masses and launched our very own Instagram account and can now be found as @firehattsportfishing. We thank you, our loyal fans and supporters for helping us follow our dreams and passion for fishing off the shores of Kona. If you are on instagram, please follow us and stay tuned for more photos from our fishing adventures.
Check out this gem of a drawing from our archives which was created to launch the ‘Firehatt Sportfishing Charters’ brand many moons ago.
Another Lucky Frank, also known as Frankie Lopez has just fought and released his very first Marlin. A nice 200+ pound Pacific Blue Marlin. Not bad for an eleven year old! Frank Lopez brought his family to Kona for a Family Fishing Vacation from Fallbrook, CA where Frank and Frankie spent three days fishing with us aboard Fire Hatt. On the first two days we did not get a fish, We had some missed shots where the fish did not stick and we saw Tuna that would not go. Having to face the fact that we did not get Frankie his first Marlin was not a happy moment for me and the crew on Fire Hatt. About midway through the second day still not having a bite, I received a call from the guest that would be fishing with us the following day stating he had to cancel his trip and hoped it would not be a problem. Frank heard this and jumped at the opportunity to give it another try and booked a third day to try to capture the elusive Marlin for Frankie. DAY THREE, we are all anxious about the day and want a fish real bad. As we head out, Brett and Linda select today’s arsenal. We have a bright sunny sky and fairly calm water. We head out and south. It is early afternoon and we do not have a bite….arrgh! As the afternoon clouds start to build and the water gets a little huffled, Brett and Linda change out the lures for larger dark ones. We are headed back up the line and just about the time we are second guessing our lure pattern, wham…we are Hooked Up! The fish took the lightest line in the pattern, on 80lb test Frankie worked on landing his Pacific Blue Marlin for about 35 minutes. He was awesome! As the fish ran, jumped, charged the boat and sulked it never shook Frankie. He was determined to land this one. Once the fish was released, you should have seen the the proud Dad beaming over his son that I think now holds the family record for the largest Blue Marlin in the family. Frank Lopez is no stranger to Marlin fishing. Having fished the waters of Southern California and Mexico he has several Billfish species under his belt including a Swordfish. Frank does not have the flag yet for a Shortbill Spearfish which are commonly caught in the Kona waters. I’m thinking he will be back to tag one of those soon.
The Mighty Mellinger’s in particular we are referring to John Mellinger. Colin Mellinger and his two sons John and Bert boarded Fire Hatt for an afternoon of family fishing in Kona Hawaii having hopes of breaking the family big fish record. After my crew, Linda and Brett got the lines out and the deck ready, we had the guys gather for the “Chair Talk”. As they were determining who the first angler would be, the Short Rigger line starts screaming! We are hooked up! After we got John in the chair and got him strapped in the fish was off… we looked at him and stated “And that’s how we do the chair talk!” We worked the area for a while then headed south. As the afternoon started to wind down we were hoping for another chance at what would be John’s first Marlin. Then our wishes were answered with the same Short Rigger line getting hit. John fought the fish for about 30 minutes before successfully tagging and releasing his first Pacific Blue Marlin estimated at about 200 lbs. At age 16, from Houston, TX. John Mellinger is the 2014 Texas Cycling Champion for his age group. Now he is adding the largest fish of the Mellinger Family to his list of accomplishments.
Brother Firefighter Bob Franck, a retired Captain from Redondo Beach Fire Department in Southern California along with his wife Mary and son Alex were visiting from Huntington Beach, CA and spent the day with us aboard Fire Hatt. Bob and Mary are longtime friends and we were thrilled to have them come for a visit. Alex Franck was treated to a day of family fishing in the silky blue waters of Kona Hawaii. After a long day of hitting all the spots where we had gotten fish in the prior days leading up to their trip, we were already late in the afternoon without a bite. I think Brett and Linda changed lures a dozen times hoping to put something out there that looked appetizing. Then Finally! We have our first bite. We are Hooded Up! Alex is in the fighting chair and has his largest Yellowfin Tuna to the boat in an impressive 10 minutes using Ken Matsuura 50 pound tackle. Nice Work! Brett placed a perfect gaff shot and the fish is on board. The Tuna weighed in at a solid 100 pounds! Sometimes when you want a fish sooo bad for someone…it just dosen’t happen. Im glad Alex and his family have a story to take home with them. Alex now lives in North Dakota, a Hawaii adventure is just what he needed. Nice going Alex.