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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 AFTCO.com and read their amazing story.

 

Awesome Spring Break for Corbin Kinder

DSCN0136Awesome Spring Break for Corbin Kinder and his Dad, David from Houston, Texas.  I start the story with Corbin and his Dad because it was an all Corbin day.  As we headed straight out of the harbor to the 1000 fathom line things got busy right away.  Just after the chair talk, the short rigger line came down screaming off line.  We are Hooked Up!  Corbin gets into the chair and the fight begins.  Corbin brings in what turns out to be his first fish of the day.  A nice 45 pound Shortbill Spearfish!  While the deck is being cleared and lines go back out, we are still taking photos of the Spearfish when another line comes down.  Hooked Up again!  This time it’s a nice blue bullet on the stinger and line  is screaming off as Corbin is back in the chair fighting what turns out to be an impressive 30+ pound Mahi Mahi!  The stamina this young angler has is phenomenal.  An hour goes by and things have settled down.  The crew today,  Captain Joe Schumaker and First Mate Brett Lazenby are feeling quite proud of the activity so far when they get another strike, the stinger is bit again.  Assuming that his Dad, David would bring this fish in was so wrong!  Corbin jumped in and brought the fish to the boat, another Shortbill Spearfish!  These are the days you dream of especially when you have young ones with you.  We love having children on board and try our best to get something for them to pull on.  This day will not be forgotten by Corbin and his Dad any time soon.

Corbin has enjoyed fishing since he was 4 years old.  Each year his Dad tries to take him to a different spot to fish.  From offshore trips in Louisiana and Texas to the Caribbean and Central America he has caught Red Fish, Flounder, Barracuda and others.  His Mahi Mahi he caught in Kona Hawaii aboard Fire Hatt was the biggest he has ever caught.  He also enjoys fresh water bass fishing on our farm.   Corbin has great patience in fishing and gets the “fishing bug” from his grandfather and great grandfather. 

We hope to see you guys again.

Featured in the top photo is First Mate Brett Lazenby with David and Corbin Kinder

Featured in the lower photo is David and Corbin Kinder from Houston, Texas

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

 

The Bucket List

Richard BattoBatton 1n 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!

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

Another Lucky Frank

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother 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.

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

The Mighty Mellinger’s

Release Flag 02 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.

 

 

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

Big Blue Marlin Fishing In Kona Hawaii

Bailey Release 600lb 2Big Blue Marlin Fishing In Kona Hawaii.  We probably should report this as Big Blue Marlin Catching in Kona Hawaii!  This has been a phenomenal month here in Kona with at least 11 Tag and Releases for Fire Hatt.  We only kept one Marlin as we could not revive him.  To top our scorecard, Brett Bailey from Saskatoon, has our boat record so far this year with an estimated 600+lb Pacific Blue Marlin release.  Bret and his co-workers chartered Fire Hatt while the other group chartered another boat.  They had a friendly wager on which group would produce the largest fish.  We started out with a Shortbill Spearfish bite that put them ahead of the game with angler Garry Fawcett landing the 50 pounder!  About an hour later we hooked the 600+ pounder.  Brett was the angler and after 45 minute fight we had the fish to the boat with a clean and healthy tag and release. I hear the wager was Infinity Drinks at the Four Seasons?

 

 

DSCN9817 Honeymoon couple John and Erica Heckathorn from Kansas City, MO had a banner day releasing two Pacific Blue Marlin.  Erica was “first up” bringing in an estimated 275lb trophy.  Now the competition is on!  We needed to get John a fish too.  We stayed true to the area as there were reports of more fish.  We worked for about two hours when finally we were hooked up with a fish for John.  John’s Blue Marlin was estimated at about 175lbs and was successfully tagged and released after a short 20 minute fight.  Nice going you guys!

 

 

 

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Never Underestimate The Will Of An Eight Year Old Boy

40lb Srearfish Sammy and Sultan June 2014Never 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!

A Family Affair

DSCN9796 1A Family Affair.  When Howard and Deb Tieden from Wasilla, AK booked their Charter they stated that they only wanted food fish.  Any food fish.  They see many trophies in their business and cater to guests in the same manner we do.  The couple own and operate Arrowhead Outfitters in both Alaska and Texas.  Howard is a Brush Pilot and Air Taxi, transporting guests to hunting and fishing camps in the two states.  You name it, Moose, Texas Deer Wild Boar,Caribou, Bear, Sheep Fish and more.  This trip was a Family Affair.  Their Daughter Stephanie was getting married.  As a wedding gift they booked the charter.  Deb shared a story with me about carrying Stephanie in a backpack while hunting and fishing….so fishing is in Stephanie’s genes.   With over a dozen family members wanting to fish, we had to have two boats available.  Fire Hatt had the privilege of taking the Bride and Groom, the Tiedens along with the Grooms Father Leo Gunderson and Grandson Jason Gunderson.   Captain Bill Casey aboard Pacific Blue took half of the group including Deb’s parents, Snooks and Kenny Moore .  We had a mini tournament between the two boats to make it interesting.  Game On! We started out in what we refer to as “Ono Lane” hoping to bag a food fish.  After several hours of no bites, birds or life we decided to move offshore to the pens and see if we could catch a few tunas.  As we approached, we could see the Steno Dolphin there and knew our efforts would be wasted.  So we moved off to “F Buoy”.   Bingo,  the first line in the water is bit.  Jason Gunderson is on the rod and pulls in the first fish!  Nice!  We stayed for several more passes and the Stenos found us.  We couldn’t get any more fish to the boat without having them bit off.  We head further offshore and put out the lures and hope for a tuna.  After about an hour of trolling, the group decided they wanted to go back and take their chances with the Stenos and try for a few more small tunas.  This paid off!  The Stenos had moved on and we were able to pull in several more small tunas.  With time running out, we had to leave and head back to the harbor.  With lures back in the water we head in.  About half way there, the long rigger line is bit!  The line comes down and the fish comes off.  We are able to tease the fish and keep it interested.  He takes a few more strikes at the long rigger bait and then switches to the stinger line.  We are hooked up!  Larry Gunderson  (AKA “The Groom”) is in the chair and makes for a short fight bringing in this 40 pound Short Bill Spearfish.  Talk about a perfect finish for a day!  Oh…we won this little competition.  All in good fun!

Featured in the photo above is Howard Tieden. Stephanie Gunderson, Deb Tieden, Jason Gunderson and Larry Gunderson.  www.arrowheadoutfitters.com

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team