A Break From Alaska

Monica and James Lavell with their 40 pound Short Bill Spearfish

A break from Alaska finds this charming couple their largest fish ever!  James and Monica Lavell were on a delayed Honeymoon here in Kona Hawaii.  It was their first trip to the Islands.  The couple live in Eagle River, AK where James is a Operating Room Nurse and Monica is an ICU Nurse.  While charter fishing in Kona Hawaii aboard Fire Hatt, they were hoping to catch anything!  That anything turned out to be a  nice 40 pound Short Bill Spearfish!   James said “It all happened so fast!”  Captains Joe Schumaker and Brian Schumaker had James swiftly  in the chair and fighting the fish in a matter of seconds.  With Monica cheering him on, he brought the Spearfish to the boat in just under 15 minutes.  Fishing in Kona Hawaii was sure to hold a lot memories for this couple.  Hope to see them again on another break from Alaska and have Monica get her biggest fish too!


Hawaii Market Name: Hebi
Scientific Name: Tetrapturus angustirostris
Hawaiian Name: A`u
Japanese Name: Fuuraikajiki

Shortbill spearfish are commonly known as Hebi in Hawaii. Its dorsal fin is shorter than that of other billfish species, and its bill is very short in comparison. Hebi caught in Hawaiian waters are usually between 20 and 40 pounds in weight.

Hebi has white to pink colored flesh that is somewhat softer than that of Nairagi or Kajiki. Its flavor is mild (although more pronounced than ahi). It is one of several species of billfish, which are suitable for grilled or broiled “catch of the day” menu items in restaurants.

Fire Hatt is a proud member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and AFTCO Logo 2read their amazing story.

Joshua Huehn’s First Pacific Blue Marlin

Joshua Huehn’s first Pacific Blue Marlin was released aboard Fire Hatt while visiting Kona, Hawaii on a family fishing trip.  Joshua and his family,  Stephanie, Jeff, and Madison, were visiting from Tsawwassen, BC.   We fished down to Captain Cook’s Bay, where the family snorkeled and saw dolphin.  On the way back up the line, just outside of Captain Cook the long rigger line started screaming…we are Hooked Up!  Joshua fought the fish for about 20 minutes before bringing the fish to the boat where Captains Joe and Brian Shumaker released the estimated 150 pound Marlin!  A nice note along with the photo was sent to us by the family stating this memory is one the family never forget!  We hope to see them again. (That fish will only get bigger….)

Featured in the photo are Joshua Huen and Captain Brian Schumaker.

Fire Hatt is a proud member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and AFTCO Logo 2read their amazing story.


Kona Tournament Series Schedule

2017 Kona Tournament Series Schedule:

June 10 & 11, 2017

Kewalo Harbor Big Fish Chase


June 24 & 25, 2017

Kona Kick Off

The Tournament that kicks it all off. Local Style. Largest flag fish of each category splits purse.


July 1 & 2, 2017

Firecracker Open

Kona’s signature Big Game tournament. Marlin and Ahi points are scored for base purse.


July 4, 2017

World Cup Blue Marlin Championship Tournament

No other big game tournament allows teams to fish anywhere in the world for 8 hours in their time zones. The World Cup is for 1 day only, for 1 species only and with 1 winner only. There is no second place in the World Cup.


July 4, 5 & 6, 2017

The Kona Throw Down

Winner Take All for the Biggest Marlin of the Tournament from the Base Entry Fee. Two Biggest Marlin Winner Take All Categories.


July 7, 8 & 9, 2017

Skins Marlin Derby

Patterned after the golf format. Daily purse is available for the largest marlin over 500 lbs.


 July 14, 15 & 16, 2017

The Hawaii Lure Makers Challenge


The Hawaii Lure Makers Challenge fishes exactly like the September Challenge did, we have simply added a category for teams sponsored by lure makers to compete against each other to prove which is the most productive lure brand.


August 23 – 27, 2017

Big Island Marlin Tournament

Kona’s first high stakes, big game tournament to pay cash for tag and release AND big marlin. Founded in 1987.


Sept. 9 – 17, 2017

Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament  

Built on prestige, trophies and strict International Game Fish Association (IGFA) rules for world records, teams from around the world gather to fish the world-famous waters off the Kona Coast and a chance of capturing the HIBT’s prestigious Governor’s trophy.


Sept. 20 – 24, 2017

It’s a Wrap Tournament

This tournament will follow the HMT Series Points scoring system, so that all teams in the running can Wrap the season competing for all possible points.

One Of The Most Productive Blue Marlin Seasons Of All Time

One Of The Most ProductRittenhouse Releaseive Blue Marlin Seasons Of All Time.  This month a 1075 pound Blue Marlin was weighed.  That is indeed a World class Marlin.  The summer news up until yesterday was that during the week before, over 112 Big Blue Marlin were released.  Jim Rizzuto, a famous Author and Hawaiian fishing History authority has been writing about how in a one week period in August 2015, Kona Hawaii may have had the most Blue Marlin releases of all time.  Clearly in the Charter Community this is an inexact statistical endeavor, but all documented evidence points that way.

Gotta tell you, between the several Tournaments held by different tournament Organizers, and the daily boats returning to the Harbor, it has been a hugely successful season

What we look forward to in September 2015 is continued warm Ocean waters, bait remaining in near shore waters and fantastic fishing.  Over the past five years, the warmest Ocean water of the year has been occurring in October.

Just for the record, we have Blue Marlin catches year round to release and weigh, and we are reaching peak season right now.  What does this mean???  I honestly believe we are in for great fishing in September and October barring any great weather upheaval.  There has been an increase in Mahi catches as well and it is great to see the busy fishing action for our guests.  I promise you, all of the Charter Captains want to see our guests succeed and catch their new lifetime record fish, it’s just that we cannot make them bite.

** Credits to Joe Rittenhouse and his Family for the Release Photo of their 200+ Pound Pacific Blue Marlin.  The Rittenhouse’s were one for two on releases.  

  AFTCO Logo 2Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Striped Marlin for Illinois Folks aboard Fire Hatt

Gordon Paul's Striped Marlin Released March 7, 2011Striped 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!

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  Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.


Barks Family Trophy in Kona Hawaii

Barks FamilyThe Barks Family have a Trophy Shortbill Spearfish,  compliments of Kona Hawaii.  Fifteen year old Dillon Barks along with his parents Gary and Susan Barks and his sister Reagan fish aboard Fire Hatt for two days with lots of action.  Day one started with Susan and Reagan both landing a couple of Mahi Mahi followed by the very nice Shortbill Spearfish being boated by Dillon.  The Spearfish weighed in at 45 pounds.  Not bad for this young man!  Day two was a little slower in action but Dad did release a small Spearfish.  The weather was not picture perfect for Kona during their visit, there was some light rain, swells and some clouds….but the fish didn’t seem to mind at all.  This Fort Worth family proved to be troopers!  A perfect Family Fishing Trip!

Featured in the top photo is Fire Hatt Crewman, Brett Lazenby along with Dillon and Gary Barks.  

Featured in the lower photo is the Barks Family; Gary, Dillon, Susan and Reagan from Fort Worth, TX.  

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Fellow Fire Fighter Releases His First Striped Marlin

Rod and Lisa 7Fellow 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.

Featured in the photo is Lisa Yellowlees and Rod Bieller with their release flags.  Rod is a retired Fire Battalion Chief from Victoria,

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Wintertime Fishing in Kona Hawaii

mahi mahi fishingWintertime 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.





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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Betti’s First Billfish

DSCN0081Betti’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.



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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.


Second Grander for Bomboy Llanes in Kona Hawaii

Bomboy Llanes Grander November 2014Capt. Bomboy Llanes on Lana Kila weighed a 1,041 lbs. Blue Marlin. This is Capt. Llanes 2nd Grander in Kona. The fish took over 8-Hours to get to the boat.

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!

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.