It was a Five Star Day aboard Fire Hatt for a family visiting from Los Angeles. Our guest released his first Blue Marlin today. To add to the thrill, Captain Joe Schumaker and First Mate Austin Toth hooked another one on the way back to the harbor. Our guest released two trophies in one day! Making this family fishing trip in Kona, Hawaii a memorable one for his two Sons on board too!
Well, they’re back on the snowy East Coast and regretting every minute of it. It’s 28 degrees and they have 10 inches of white on the ground. a reality check for this East Coast Family, and fellow Texans as well! The Bolton family has fished aboard Fire Hatt with Captain Chuck Wilson for several years, nothing compares to the day they had this time…Christmas Magic?
John Bolton and his son, Kyle, both from Northern Virginia, and John’s nephews Kevin and Alex Harrison from Beaumont, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, respectively, booked a half-day of family fishing in Kona Hawaii aboard Fire Hatt for the day after Christmas.
We took off from Honokohau Harbor around 7:00 AM with Captain Joe Shumaker at the controls and first mate Anthony De La Cruz setting the lines. About 10 minutes out, we’re hooked up on two lines! Kyle is in the chair reeling in the larger fish, while John tries to bring in his fish from the starboard aft. Kyle’s fish makes a couple of long runs, so Anthony first helps John bring in a nice striped marlin, which we estimated at about 80 pounds. Anthony successfully tags and releases the striped marlin, then goes to help Kyle bring in and then release a blue marlin, estimated at 175 pounds. Also tagged and released.
A great start to the morning only gets better. After trolling near an offshore buoy, Kevin and Alex spot whale spouts closer to shore, and Captain Joe brings Fire Hatt to a spot where we see at least four humpback whales frolicking. One of the whales puts on a spectacular breaching display. After about 30 minutes whale-watching, we’re off to do more fishing, and not long after we’re hooked up again!
This time, Kevin is the chair, and after 15 minutes of hard reeling, he brings another blue marlin — this one estimated at 225 pounds — to the boat. Beautiful fish, as you can see from the pics.
Unfortunately, we could not get a fourth fish for Alex to bring in, but Fire Hatt entered the harbor flying flags for three marlin.
Reality Check for East Coast Family
Mahi Mahi Makes Memories for Six Year Old Gavin Kelln. Serena and Steven Kelln, Steven’s dad, Elton, and their (soon to be 6 year old) son, Gavin along with brother in law, David Dwyer and his daughter, Sarah spent the day on a family fishing trip here in Kona Hawaii and had the privilege and wonderful experience of heading out on the water with Captain Joe Shumaker and Captain Brian Shumaker on a gorgeous morning in March. Sightings of dolphins on the way out of the harbor were amazing and the beautiful blue sky and calm water made for a relaxing and wonderful experience. The first couple hours of their trip passed uneventfully without a nibble but the newness of being on a boat kept 5 year old Gavin entertained and excited to be out. They all just enjoyed the beauty of the water and the friendly company of the Captains. This was an extended family fishing trip but also the unique opportunity to fulfill the exceptionally special birthday request of Gavin’s, to be able to fish for the very first time for his upcoming 6th birthday. Then, within the last half hour of their trip, we had two strikes! We are Hooked Up! Gavin and his Dad had the thrill of a lifetime hauling in a beautiful Mahi Mahi together. Gavin had a bout of shyness and didn’t get a picture with the Mahi Mahi but Steven happily stepped in and took his place. Although there was little action on the first part of the trip it was absolutely chalked full of firsts and amazing memories that they will all look back on with such incredible fondness. Thank you Kelln’s and Dwyer’s for your great spirit and friendliness, we are looking forward to seeing you folks again in the future! #familyfishinginkonahawaii
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.
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.
Ono Day is a “Good Day”. Ono (OH-no). Actual Hawaiian word, meaning good or delicious. Ono in Hawaii is Wahoo in other parts of the country. Linda Shive and her husband visiting from South Bend, Indiana were attending a conference on the Big Island and took a day to enjoy some fun family fishing. We headed out early and had a bite right out of the gates! Having just finished putting the lures in the water and rounding the point headed south, the short rigger line came down! We are hooked up! Linda gets in the chair and quickly brings the 16+ pound Ono to the boat and proudly announces this is her biggest fish ever. I am certain it was her that got hooked for life… We cleaned and packaged the fish for the couple to take back with them to the Four Seasons Resort where they were staying during their trip to the Island.
Featured in the photo is Linda Shive along with Fire Hatt Crewman Rob Dawson from Kamloops, Brittish Columbia
Summer Fun for Families and Kids Aboard Fire Hatt. I just can’t stress enough over the years how satisfying it is to see the face of a child fighting his or her first fish, biggest fish ever or seeing Porpoise and Whales for the first time in their lives! We are witness to so many families experiencing what we may take for granted having done this for so many years. When you see a proud Mom and Dad so delighted that their child has just landed their catch it brings what I do into perspective. When you tell a child that “we are going fishing in Kona Hawaii”, they expect to catch a fish! If this does not happen, the educating of the young ones (and old ones) begins. I always tell the guests that I wish I could make the fish bite. We want to catch a fish as bad as you do! I tell our guests, sometimes the fish win. We always encourage the child to keep trying, and tell them someday they will catch the fish of a lifetime, you just have to keep the faith. I wanted to share the faces of the Kids so far this summer and just see the excitement and the anticipation in their eyes.
BIG Surprise for Tucson Family Fishing in Kona. All the Roddy family wanted was some small fish for their children to pull on…. That’s how it goes in Kona, Hawaii. The family from Tucson, AZ boarded Fire Hatt for a half day charter with the anticipation of entertaining the kids and letting them pull on some small fish. We were headed offshore to “F” Buoy where there were some reports of bait holding. With the idea we might catch something a little bigger for Mike (Dad) we had out a nice assortment of lures that might snag a nice Shortbill Spearfish or Mahi Mahi along the way. Shortly after giving the family the “Chair Talk” we settled in for the ride to the buoy. At 8:15 Adam saw a dorsal fin slide up behind the short corner lure. Adam quickly started teasing the fish by dropping the lure back and retreiving it a few times, finally after just a few seconds the fish opened his mouth and Adam dropped it right into its mouth. GAME ON! We are hooked up! Mike is in the chair fighting the fish of a life time. After a 55 minute fight, we have the Pacific Blue Marlin to the boat. The fish is weak and not responding to the efforts to revive it. It is evident we are not going to be able to save the fish, so we are boarding it and headed to the scales. The Pacific Blue Marlin weighed in at 697.5 pounds and was 125 inches long. Caught on a Bomboy Lure, this is the biggest marlin for Fire Hatt this year. The bittersweet of the story…it is two days before the start of the H.I.B.T (Hawaii International Billfish Tournament) and we would really love to have had this fish next week! It was a good warm up.
I think they will be back to try for the small fish they promised the children.
Family Fishing At It’s Best! Our Cutest Little Angler Yet. We love having families, especially children on board. This family from Michigan marvels at the determination of their 8 yr old son as he brings in a nice size Ono. I know we mention this many times…but watching the thrill on a child’s face whent they are hooked up and when they land their fish is priceless.
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