Yellowfin Tuna Are Here In Numbers. John Lewis and his Son, Tim visiting the Big Island from Pasadena, CA just wanted to catch something bigger than the 4 pound Trout that currently holds the family record. As avid fly fishermen, they know the trials of getting a fish. Today, we are hearing of Tuna “boiling” in several different areas. We headed to an area where there was some action and were lucky enough to hook one. This did not come early in the day. After the father and son duo had a nice continental breakfast followed by a short nap and then a little lunch followed by another short nap, we were headed back from “F” Buoy in about 1100 fathoms when I saw two white birds circle and crash in front of us. A sure sign that something is below the surface. About that time, Tuna boiled up and as I was making a pass through them, I told John and Tim to get ready! As they were getting off the bridge, the short rigger is bit! We are Hooked Up! Tim is in the chair and brings his 115.5 lb Yellowfin tuna to the boat. The Yellowfin Tuna was caught on a Ken Matsuura 50# reel. Did I mention it took the “Lucky Linda” lure by Bomboy Lures? The 4 lb family record for Trout has been shattered!
Ono Becomes Last Minute Delight for Brothers Rob and Ron along with their Dad Robert and his twin Brother Ron. No kidding, all we had to remember was two names. The day started with the usual anticipation. We headed out of the Harbor with offshore lures in the water hoping for Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Shortbill Spearfish or Marlin. These guys wanted a fish! Period! As mid morning arrived and no bite for us yet, the mood was changing along with the lures. Still no bite. There was a tournament going on and we were listening to the radio chatter. Or lack of radio chatter. Turns out, there just wasn’t any fish being caught. Although, we had fun not catching! These guys bantered back and forth with Adam, Linda and I all day. They even joked about wanting to know the best place to buy fish. Now the lures are being changed out again and we are headed in to “Ono Lane”. We are still putting out the lures and we are Hooked Up! (Never so happy to hear a line scream!) Earlier in the day, Adam had spotted a lure we had not run before. He rigged it up and had it ready for the afternoon Ono run. This is the lure that got bit within a few minutes of being set. We appropriately named it “Yummy“. Robert Sr. is in the chair and fighting his fish. After a short fight he had the fish to the boat. Dinner Tonight! As you can imagine, the mood quickly changes. Smiles all around.
Cameron along with his family from San Antonio, TX had a mission. Catch a fish! Last year Bob Collins brought his family to do some fishing in Kona, Hawaii and we had two days of terriffic fishing! His two daughters pulled on everything from rainbow runners to mahi mahi and Ono and even a shot at a marlin. Now he is back with his Grandson, Cameron hoping for a little action for him. Sure enough, we had some fun. The first day was a little slow with a small mahi mahi. Now on the second day things pick up. We had a few shots at an elusive Shortbill Spearfish that hit two lines and did not stick…Arrgh! Then as we headed offshore, this nice mahi mahi strikes. We are hooked up! Cameron lands the fish effortlessly. Fun Family Fishing! Cameron will be attending college in the fall on Oahu, I think the Islands agree with him.
Wahoo! Fishing in Kona Hawaii. One word sums up today. Textbook. Rick and his family from Massachusetts boarded the Fire Hatt for a fun filled day of fishing down to Captain Cook Bay, getting in the water for a little snorkeling adventure and then fishing back to the harbor. On the way down the coast, one line goes down, then another, then another. J.T. is in the chair, Mom Peggy and Rick are fighting theirs out of the gunnells. We call this “Controlled Chaos”. Three lines hooked up, three fish landed. Everyone is still excited about their morning catch as they are getting into the incredibly clear pacific blue water to snorkel. With much anticipation about the trip back up the coast, and Suzie the only one that has not caught a fish, we leave the cove and put lines back in the water. Heading offshore this time to hopefully find a Blue Marlin, we are hooked up again, Suzie is in the chair and she brings in her prize. Her first Wahoo! (Also known as “Ono” here in Hawaii)Suzie’s parents now realize they have just created a fishergirl for life! She couldn’t get enough and her excitement was a sheer joy to watch. I think we will see this family again….
Local Lady Angler Lands Shortbill Spearfish. Kay Kolt, a passionate angler that resides on the Big Island brought along several friends for a day of fishing. Kay managed to land a nice 30 lb Shortbill Spearfish while being jolted awake from a short snooze. It was late in the afternoon, sandwiches had been eaten and there had been a lull in activity since two small Big Eye tuna were caught earlier by Steve Landis. Everyone had their turn at “Being Up” when the short rigger line went off. We are Hooked Up! Kay was out of the salon and in the chair fighting the fish as if she had been sitting there all along….She appeared out of knowhere! With her expert knowledge of the local fishing techniques, she had the Shortbill Spearfish to the boat in minutes. Crewman Adam Ludwig gaffed the prize and immediately was able to control the fish and let everyone get photos. See that smile, for Kay it is the same one if she brings in a Blue Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Spearfish or any species! She is considered our good luck charm. Having been out on the Fire Hatt several times and having fished many of the local tournaments with us, and other boats over the years, she is very lucky, that Lady Luck thing…. Kay has fished all over the world and has several “Trophy” fish to be proud of. Though this is not her largest spearfish, it was just as trilling!
Big Eye Tuna Family Style. Cliff, Elise, Connor and Dalton are visiting the Big Island from Arizona. A typical family with a not so typical fishing adventure! Just after Adam gives 13 year old Conner the “chair talk”, we are just begining to enjoy the beautiful fruit and muffin platter that Linda prepares for each charter, when the bait rod goes screaming off, then the short rigger, then the stinger, then the long corner! We refer to this event as Organized Chaos! With Conner in the chair and (Mom) Elise assisting him, Dalton is fighting his fish on the short rigger rod with Dad (Cliff) fighting his on the long Corner. The bait rod line has now been broken off…. Adam and Linda are clearing the rest of the rods and preparing the deck. The first fish comes in, a very nice BIG EYE TUNA! Then Dalton’s line goes slack…Shark Bite! One Big Eye Tuna was sacrificed. We then land the last fish, another nice Big Eye Tuna. With our guests eyes wide and their smiles big, we secure the Tunas and put lines back in the water. Before the Tuna bite, we had been in a nice bird pile with lots of bait. Now there are about 15 boats on scene… the fish are pushed down and we notice no other boats are hooked up. Linda spots the bird pile a few miles away and we light it up and head for it! We are back in the zone and now two lines are screaming. Elise is in the chair. She is the true fisherman of the family and desperately wanted a shot at a fish. Wellll, she got it! One fish is lost to another shark and her’s is still on. Elise lands her Big Eye Tuna and we are now concentrating on getting Dalton a fish. Remember, his was sacrificed earlier to a shark. As we continue to concentrate on the area, we spot a tailing Blue Marlin. I turn the boat and put the lures right in front of him. He goes for the stinger line. While Adam is teasing him in, the Marlin hits it and does not stick! I call it a “swing and a miss“. Now we are heading back in for the day and we are bit again, a Blue Marlin attacks the stinger line again and does not stick…aargh! And so the story ends with five hook-ups, three boated Big Eye Tuna, two happy, well fed Sharks and two missed Blue Marlin. Not bad for a day on the water. Did I mention beautiful Blue Hawaii water?
Featured in the above photo is Captain Chuck Wilson, Conner, Elise, Dalton and Cliff. Adam and Linda were busy….
Kathy’s Kitchen Owner visits Kona Hawaii. Kathy (Illinois State Fair Winner for over 30 years) along with her Husband, Darrell spent the day fishing with us, what a treat to finally meet her. For Years we have been purchasing wonderful products from Kathy’s Kitchen, a family owned business from Virginia, Illinois. Most notably for us, we use her Vidalia Onion Relish. Some of you probably saw my recipe in an article I write for Coastal Angler Magazine. Back to fishing… once we left the harbor we returned to an area where we had several bites the day before. Once we got there we found a porpoise school we headed for it. After just a few passes we are hooked up. Adam’s new favorite lure that had been getting the bites all week is bit. Light tackle, porpoise school, screaming reel and five other lines to clear, you get the picture. Kathy gets to the chair, Adam transfers the rod to her and after just a few moments the line goes slack! Ouch! Now we realize that not only is the fish off, so is Adam’s lure! Another painful loss. (Last week Lucky Linda was lost.) Luckily, we have photos of the lure and now the search is on to find another one just like it or one similar. I always tell our guests, “The best lures made are on the bottom of the ocean”. Adam is now going through all the lures on the boat looking for a temporary replacement. Do they have support groups for situations like this? We finished our day with several more strikes with nothing sticking. Still very exciting.
Recipe for Vidalia Onion Coated Fish: (Spearfish and Ono our favorites, works wonderfully on skewered shrimp too.) Basically, we soak a cedar plank for hours and then prepare the relish along with real mayonaise and coat the fish. I place very thin sliced lemons or limes under the fish and arrange them on the cedar plank. Dust the fish with a little smoked paprika and place on the grill on medium and cook for about 20 minutes. You should try it!
Contact Kathy at 217-452-3035 for everything from Beet Pickles to Jalapeno Jelly
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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Lucky Lady Hooked Up and Lucky Linda Lure is Lost! This is true. Katherine and Mark from Lincolnshire, IL boarded Fire Hatt for a day of snorkeling at Captain Cook Bay and an afternoon of fishing. After trolling to Captain Cook and enjoying some snorkeling, which by the way had two Humpback Whales just yards from shore. What a sight to see. The two whales leisurely hung in the bay for hours. Several kayakers and many boats got to hover a safe distance and watch them. Truly a remarkable sight. Spinner Dolphin joined up later as we were leaving the cove. Now with lines back in the water and lunches being eaten, we are headed out to the deep. Not many boats out today and not many reports of fish except a few Mahi Mahi, it didn’t look too promising. We were headed back to the harbor and had just started to put things away and start to bring in the lines when Linda saw a fish coming in straight for the “Lucky Linda” on the short rigger. One strike, then another and the fish was on. A nice Pacific Blue Marlin! Kathy was the designated angler and was in the chair in seconds after the hook up. The Marlin came up jumping and running, we could clearly see it was a nice fish. After about 15 minutes the line goes slack, the fish is off. Ouch! And the Lure is gone too. Not to fear though, Bomboy (Bomboy Lures) made the lure for me and will have another one (or five) to me as soon as possible. Kathy hooked up to a marlin a few years ago in the Bahamas and it came off after about an hour of fighting it. Looks like third times a charm for this Lucky Lady Angler.