A Spectacular day aboard Fire Hatt with Captain Joe Shumaker and first mate Austin Toth today. Monte Collins from Rossmoore, CA along with his two sons, Max and Ethan are keeping this crew hopping! The family is back on the Big Island celebrating Max’s Graduation from Los Alamitos High School. The day started before 7:00AM with Max Collins tagging and successfully releasing his first Pacific Blue Marlin estimated at about 150 pounds. Ethan Collins then proved me right today when I commented earlier that there were Ahi busting on the surface for the past several days and then at about 9:30AM, we are hooked up! Ethan lands his first Ahi weighing approximately 140 pounds! Not bad! After securing the Ahi and getting lines back out….we are hooked up again, this time Monte Collins is in the chair and brings in this nice Ono! These guys are fishy! It isn’t even noon yet! The family fished with us two years ago and released a Pacific blue Marlin about this same size… so someone has to break the tie now. We are hoping for a Mahi Mahi today to earn these guys a Grand Slam!
Holy Cow! This was the term used by Monte Priest after landing this big cow tuna! Our Son Monte and his family are visiting us from Killeen, Texas. Monte is a 20 year Firefighter/Paramedic in the Central Texas area. Along with his wife Nicole and Son Miles they have been to the Big Island several times and spent many hours aboard Fire Hatt trying for the trophy Marlin….or anything. In all his years of fishing in Kona Hawaii and in Southern California we had not been able to get him his Marlin. Until today! With Captain Chuck Wilson at the helm, we left Honokohau Harbor at about 6:30 AM and around seven o’clock we had a grand explosion on the short rigger….we are Hooked Up! Monte fought the Ahi for about 18 minutes and had the beauty in the box! We had just finished putting the lines back out and were still hosing the blood off the deck when the short corner line started screaming. We are Hooked Up again! Monte was back in the chair, still worn out from fighting the first fish. Captain Joe Shumaker leadered the Blue Marlin after another impressive short fight. Monte was out of the chair and Tagged his first Marlin. Captain Chuck commented “When you want a fish so badly for someone, that is the hardest fish to catch.” Congratulations Monte! #FireHattSportfishing #BestCharterFishingInKonaHawaii #MarlinFishingInKonaHawaii #AFTCOProTeam
Kona Hawaii – The Anglers Paradise
May is the beginning of the two month transition of water temperatures to summer fishing here in Kona, Hawaii. The cooler (78 to 79 degrees) water will change to the July through October 80 to 84 degree water temps. Some of our fish population such as Striped Marlin and Mahi will move on as the water warms up. They prefer the cooler water temps, and are replaced by vast numbers of Blue Marlin and large Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna.
No question we have year round populations of Blue Marlin and Mahi, it’s just that their numbers diminish with the warmer summer season.
Expect great fishing in Kona Hawaii as our Ono (Wahoo) run has started. There have already been healthy catches and 40 to 50 pound size increasing up to the expected big fish of the year in the 80 plus pound range. We fish “Ono Alley” or a depth of 40 fathoms (240) feet and some of the best populations are found right outside Honokohau Harbor. Nothing starts a day of fishing better than an early catch right outside the harbor of one of these prized fish. FIRE HATT had a double a couple days ago on Ono and got one that weighed 35 pounds. Fishing south a few miles below Captain Cook is considered a safe bet to get some of the big Ono (Wahoo) …Ono is .a Hawaiian word for delicious…
We will see our water temp rising to around 80 and increasing numbers of Blue Marlin and Ahi.
If you are considering fishing one of the Kona Marlin Tournaments in summer 2017, now is the time to book your boat and crew. The end of June and first two weeks of July is no doubt one of the best one month of Tournament Marlin fishing found anywhere in the World, right here in Kona. Contact me at 808.987.0038 for information either fishing with us or one of our recommended boats.
Come on over to Kona and enjoy some of the safest and fun family times you will ever have here in Paradise.
Striped Marlin for Illinois Folks aboard Fire Hatt. I was just talking to an old friend, Rob Webster from from Southern CA this morning who has the boat Magellan while reminiscing about our legendary Striped Marlin days. We have not seen a Stripey here in Kona for a while. Rob was saying that rumor has it, a Striped Marlin was just hung in Dana Point, CA over the weekend. Then low and behold, just an hour after my conversation with Rob, our stinger line is bit. We are hooked up! Dave Schafer from Newton, IL on a full day charter aboard Fire Hatt with Captain Joe Schumaker and First Mate Brett Lazenby brings in his first Marlin. Previously Dave’s largest fish was a Sailfish. Still time for the elusive Ahi Tuna today! Peak fishing time in Kona, Hawaii right now!
To those of you that are interested in fishing some of the Kona Fishing Tournaments in 2019, we are wide open for bookings this year and we have availability. With an El Nino developing we expect an awesome year. We have seen some big fish at the scales and the big ahi tuna are starting early.
Below is the Tournament Schedule for 2019. Contact us to discuss and we can go from there.
2019 Kona Fishing Tournaments
Kona Kick Off
June 22nd & June 23rd, 2019
June 29th & June 30th, 2019
The Kona Throw Down
July 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2019
Skins Marlin Derby
July 5th, 6th & 7th, 2019
The Hawaii Lure Makers Challenge
July 12th, 13th & 14th, 2019
Big Island Marlin Tournament
August 16th, 17th & 18th, 2019
Please feel free to contact us about availability and information about these events.
The forecast for March and April typically is slightly warmer water arriving, an uptick in the numbers of Blue Marlin and strong numbers of Striped Marlin, Shortbilled Spearfish and big Ahi (Yellow Fin Tuna) under the porpoise schools. Mahi are in peak season and some of the larger Bulls will be caught now.
One way to look at how water goes by the Islands is to imagine a bathtub of water over 1500 miles across between 77 and 79 degrees. That is the one here now and is a little cooler and Mahi, Spearfish and Striped Marlin love our coolest water. Coming next in the 79 to 81 degree “Bathtub” will be big numbers of Ono (Wahoo) usually starting in late March and April, and some Black Marlin. One thing for sure, the Black Marlin here are small, a 300 pound one is big in Hawaii, compared to Australia and the Southern Hemisphere where they go to 1500 pounds.
Bait fishing will also improve and the offshore FAD’S (Fish Aggravating Device also known as Fish Attracting Device) will start collecting bait and their predators’ which is great news for anglers. When you a book a Charter boat in Kona, most of the Captain’s will have fresh information on what happened and where it happened over the last few days.
In February, the Mahi and Spearfish bite had been excellent and FIRE HATT boated a 45 pound Short Billed Spearfish in early February as well as an almost daily Mahi Mahi. Blue Marlin are still around in the 77 degree water we have off the Kona Coast now and their numbers will only continue to grow as we head to our peak summer season.
Speaking of our peak season, it is just around the corner, so if you plan to fish a Tournament, NOW is the time to book if you want a particular boat before the good boats are gone. Our economy is picking up, and there is improving interest in sport fishing on all the Islands and many top boats are booking the summer now. If you want specific information or we can help in any way, do not hesitate to call us at: 808.987.0038
Never Underestimate The Will Of An Eight Year Old Boy. Sultan Linjawi, his wife Astrid and two young children, Sammy and Yasmine fished three days with us. Their mission was for the children to catch fish! Unless of course a Grander came on scene, then that one was going to be Sultan’s. On Day one, shortly after leaving the harbor, we are hooked up to the perfect fish for Sammy A 40+ lb Shortbill Spearfish. Sammy is in the chair with the help of his Dad and we are able to land the fish for Sammy. We let the children pick the lures they wanted to run. Sammy chose a Blue and Green Super Ninja lure that Bret put on the stinger. It was the one that the Spearfish took…Carma? It is Sammy’s first Billfish and his first “Flag Fish”.
On Day Two of their adventure, I spot birds and splashing just short of town and we make a pass to see what might be biting. Within seconds we are bit. Astrid is in the chair and wastes no time bringing in a nice 140 lb tuna. Again we let the family choose lures… This family is incredible.
Day three explodes right out of the harbor with a Tuna strike. Sammy is in the chair again and with the help of his dad and my crew, a nice 114lb Tuna is on deck! Yes, Sammy chose the lure…this time a blue Super Ninja lure. With lines back in the water, we head offshore and south towards Captain Cook. Linda spots splashing and birds on the horizon and we go to check it out. We have the whole area to ourselves as Tuna start boiling around us. We are Hooked Up! This time the explosion on the long rigger tells us this is a big fish. After a lengthy tug of war with the fish, we are able to land Sammy’s biggest fish A nice 180lb Ahi Tuna! Amazing…. I think Dad set the bar kind of high now for this young man. The family has a 38 ft Bertram in Australia and are avid fishermen. Now we have to work on Sammy’s first Blue Marlin…hopefully we will get it for him next time when the family returns to fish in Kona Hawaii. No Pressure!
When a Woman Loves her Man, She Takes Him Fishing in Kona Hawaii. That is what Lisa Yellowlees from Victoria, BC did for her sweetheart, Rod Bieller. Rod loves to fish, especially in Kona Hawaii, so for a “milestone birthday”, Lisa called us months in advance and arranged the surprise fishing trip for him. There was a good prpbability that he would be calling to book a trip anyway, so we had to steer him to the date already planned for him. This was so much fun to be a part of. Rod and Lisa have fished with us several times in the past and we were looking forward to going again. Rod is a retired Fire Battalion Chief from Victoria so we have a lot in common. So now we have a surprise charter for Rod, we are out almost all day before we finally get a bite. This nice Ono (Wahoo) was just what we needed. You don’t want to get skunked on your birthday.
January and February into March are excellent months for Shortbill Spearfish, Ono and Striped Marlin. There are some nice Ahi Tuna around too. These months transition into the famed Pacific Blue Marlin months ahead. Although Pacific Blue Marlin are caught here year around, they show up in numbers in the summer months.
Featured in the photo above is Rod Bieler and Lisa Yellowlees proudly showing off the nice Ono.
Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team
Record Ahi for Gary Nardi Aboard the Fire Hatt. Gary Nardi and his Father In-Law, Bill Chase from Northern CA have been fishing the Kona Hawaii Tournaments for years going back to the 70’s. Having been aboard many boats over the years, we were delighted to have them as team mates for the World Cup Marlin Tournament and the Fire Cracker Open this year. They brought along a nice collection of old stand by proven lures from their arsenal to pull. The World Cup left us with out a Marlin. We had one nice strike and the fish did not stick…. This did not phase our team. Gary and Bill returned two days later with the same enthusiasim and the game was on! With lures set, including a favorite chrome jet of theirs on the stinger. (A friend of theirs caught an 1100 pound Marlin on one just like it, so they have complete faith in it.) Sure enough, our first bite of the day…on the stinger, on their chrome jet! Gary fights the fish to the boat and knowing the feel of the fish, he knows it is probably an Ahi. A beautiful 111 pound Yellowfin Tuna is boated and we are on the board for day one. With spirits high, we are now on day two of the Tournament. We set our pattern and wait. We had an early bite that did not stick. Then just after 3:00pm the long rigger line is bit. We are Hooked Up! The fish took an old Joe Yee Mini Plunger. Line is screaming off and Gary once again is in the chair. It is a much heavier fish than the day before and in just a short 20 minute fight the fish is to the boat. With Adam at leader and Linda at gaff, we have boated what is clearly a tournament contender and a new boat record for Yellowfin Tuna. The Ahi weighs in at 235 pounds taking the Dailies for day two in the Ahi division. The biggest Ahi of the tournament was caught by Team Maui Jim weighing in at 236.5 pounds. So close!
Featured in the photo representing AFTCO as one of their Pro Teams is Captain Chuck Wilson, First Mate Adam Ludwig and Second Mate Linda Wilson along with team mates Gary Nardi and Bill Chase.
Fishing in KONA HAWAII – The Anglers Paradise, I wonder which October will show up in 2012? We have not had our usual warm water yet in 2012 and just like the last two years, October may bring us the warmest water of the year, or not. Funny about that Mother Nature thing, and the more you think you can predict future pattern, the more it seems you get fooled. Today in mid-September, we had 81 degree Ocean water temps, almost two degrees cooler than last year at this time. If our last two years pattern holds, we should see 83 degree water temps and an increase in big Blue Marlin hook-ups so come on over to Hawaii and get in on thelate season bite. Several big Blue Marlin were caught over the last two days with a couple over 600 and three over 400 so the big ones are still here. There are still Ono (Wahoo) around and even a 100 pound Striped Marlin was caught two days ago. It is a mixed bag and I sure hope the numbers of bites rise with some warm water. In October, we can expect, barring Mother Nature’s curve balls, to see great fishing since all this warmth and bait are here. There should also be lot’s of 50 plus into 200 pound Ahi here. There have been some Ono (Wahoo) also taken on the ledges. You just gotta love the year round big game fishing in KONA – The Anglers Paradise.
Expect mid 80 degree highs and just plain wonderful weather in October. Give us a call, we would look forward to taking you out on a great Hawaiian Ocean adventure. See this story and many others in COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE