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Fleeting Marlin Moment

Michael and Kia Worth aboard Fire Hatt celebrating their Honeymoon.

A Fleeting Marlin Moment for Michael and Kia Worth while aboard Fire Hatt this week.  The Worth’s booked a 3/4 day Charter Fishing trip in Kona Hawaii  with the hopes of catching a Pacific Blue Marlin.  The Worth’s are celebrating their honeymoon after just getting married in Maui.  Kia is from Minnesota and Michael from Australia.  With busy careers, the two have enjoyed some down time in the Islands.

After a quiet morning with Captain Joe Shumaker and first Mate Anthony De la Cruz,  an estimated 350 pound Pacific Blue Marlin exploded on the long rigger line.  While Michael jumped into to the fighting chair, the marlin jumped and ripped out line the whole time.  A minute into the fight…the marlin threw the hook.  Ouch!  While getting out of the chair Michael made a spontaneous comment that I’m sure he will be reminded of for years to come… “That was the most exciting minute of my life!”  Kia will surely grin every time this story is told.

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

Six Species in Two Days for Joe Gunja aboard Fire Hatt

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Six Species in Two Days for Joe Gunja aboard Fire Hatt.  Now and then a person enters your life and it is almost as if they were sent for a reason.  Joe Gunja called me and we discussed a two day fishing Charter on FIRE HATT, fishing for Blue Marlin in Kona Hawaii in November 2017.  A little history on our adventure, Joe is from Springfield Missouri.  I was born in Harrisonville about 90 miles away about the same time.  Joe is a retired high ranking Federal Bureau of Prisons Regional Supervisor, effectively making him the second in Command, supervising over 20 Wardens. Myself as a retired Chief Officer in the Fire Department we both had a lot of stories to share on our Public Service times and experiences.

Joe had fished many of the Lakes and rivers I had as a youth and he updated me on the new (40 year old) Harry S. Truman Dam and Reservoir that is in the middle of the Southern Missouri Fishing and Hunting Region.   Joe’s wife passed away suddenly this past year with no previous illnesses and he himself had suffered Leukemia and is now in remission.  Joe is a former Army Military Policemen and then rose through the ranks of the Federal Prison System including being the Warden at three prisons.  While a disciplined and structured Man, Joe has a love for adventure and fishing.

Joe, my backup Captain Joe Schumaker and I set out and started combing the waters off Kona Hawaii and shortly later caught a 40 pound Shortbilled Spearfish, a rare species World Wide and only found in the waters of the Central Pacific.  Many Anglers throughout the World come to Kona to try to capture this rarest of Billfish as they had caught most of the other Billfish Species that lived in their Ocean waters.  This turned out to be just openers as over the next two days Joe caught six different species of Gamefish that reside here in Kona Hawaii.  Finishing off our first day adventure was a 20 pound Skip Jack and later a 15 pound Barracuda.

Day two began with an early morning bite with the first species being an Ono, also called “Wahoo”, followed by a small Mahi Mahi and then came the Big Pacific Blue Marlin.  Estimated at 300 pounds while being released, it was by far Joe’s biggest fish of his life, so far.   Attached are some glimpses of the Blue Marlin as we hooked up brought it to the FIRE HATT.

Joe Gunja and I have become solid friends and we will share many more of these adventures as time goes by.  Thanks Joe for coming out to fish FIRE HATT in Kona Hawaii!

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

From Two Pound Bass to 200 Pound Blue Marlin

From Two Pound Bass to 200 Pound Blue Marlin.  Today on Fire Hatt, Daniel Perez broke his personal all time record for the largest fish he has ever caught, (a two pound Bass). This estimated 200 pound Pacific Blue Marlin will give him bragging rights for a very long time. Daniel brought the beauty to the boat in just under 20 minutes. The Marlin was tagged and released, tired but unharmed by Captain Joe Shumaker. Nice!  Daniel is from the Bay Area of Northern California.  Fire Hatt was in about 1200 fathoms just outside the Honokohau Harbor Marina when the fish exploded on the short bait.  Captain Joe Shumaker likes to run the well known “Smash Bait” in tight close to the boat…for this reason!  The Big Blue jumped at least fifty times and tired itself out giving Daniel the upper hand.

 Tagging and Releasing of Pacific Blue Marlin

Scientific name: Makaira nigricans.  The blue marlin is the largest of the marlins, common to 11 feet, and known to exceed 2,000 pounds. It is cobalt blue on top shading to silvery white on bottom, although colors can vary by region.   In common with striped marlin, they are rarely encountered in shallow nearshore waters, preferring blue, oceanic waters.  

Tag and recapture data show that blue marlin travel long distances and routinely make trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic crossings.  One recent tag return indicates the first inter-ocean for a blue marlin  that earlier data on genetics suggested occurred). In the Pacific, blue marlin tagged in Kona, Hawaii have been recaptured in the South China Sea, in the Marquesas, and off the western coast of South America Some of these movements have occurred in relatively short time scales.

In August of 1997 a pilot project was undertaken on blue marlin in Pacific waters off the coast of Kona, Hawaii.   In this project the first generation pop-up satellite tags were set for durations of 60-90 days and fish ranged in body size between 130 and 300 lbs.   Three of the tags successfully surfaced and transmitted data, and one fish was caught within a week after release within a mile of the initial tag and release event. Remarkably, one blue marlin traveled from Hawaii to an area west of the Galapagos (a distance of approximately 3000 nm) in 90 days. At the time people doubted a marlin from Hawaii could travel this far. The remaining five tagged blue marlin did not report back for unknown reasons, possibly tag failure due to antenna interaction with the fish or mortality. The tagging data provided a short term view that was consistent with the acoustic tagging data- marlin were primarily fish of the surface 50m but occasionally dove to deeper depths.

                   

 

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

 

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 AFTCO.com and read their amazing story.

Two-for-Two Blue Marlin Releases

Marlin Release 1We were two-for-two with blue marlin releases today!  Welcome back Captain Joe Shoemaker. We had two releases before noon for our guests from Ontario, Canada. The group are vacationing aboard the Pride of America Cruise Ship and spent the day fishing aboard Fire Hatt.

 

 

 

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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.

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

When a Woman Loves her Man, She Takes Him Fishing in Kona Hawaii

20140109_124322 1 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

Tenatious Fight by 9 Year Old Aidan Hunter Lands Blue Marlin

Justin and Lenora Hunter are completing a full year of traveling around the world with their two sons.  Fishing in Kona Hawaii is one of their last trips before heading to Alaska.   9 year old Aidan and 12 year old Zach are experiencing opportunities of a life time while getting to fish in places like South Africa and various other destinations in the South Pacific.  Having caught some impressive fish along the way, they could only dream about hooking a Pacific Blue Marlin.  They Did!  We left the harbor at 7:00 am for a 3/4 day charter and headed South towards Captain Cook.  They enjoyed a beautiful snorkel in the bay and anxiously got back to the boat to continue the quest.  So far we did not even get a bite.  The boys are begining to look at Me and Adam and Mom and Dad giving the “Where’s the fish?” look. No pressure there… On our way back up the line just after noon, the long rigger line is bit and line is screaming!  The Ice Blue Lucky Linda Lure comes through for us again, we are Hooked Up!  It is a Blue Marlin and 9 year old Aidan is in the chair.  With lines cleared and Adam at his side, the battle begins.  I was so amazed at the tenacity of this young man!  He fought sooo hard.  After about fifteen minutes Aidan gave his older brother Zach an opportunity in the chair.  Knowing this was Aidan’s fish, Zach lets Aidan back in the chair to finish the fight.  This fish was to the boat quickly, we had it to leader two times and had to let go. On the third try we were able to successfully get the hook out and release a nice healthy fiesty Pacific Blue Marlin.  We estimated Aidan’s fish to be about 400 pounds.  This crushes the family record Marlin held by Aidan’s Grandfather, a 300+ pounder.  I think the bar has been set quite high for Zach now!

Featured in photo above is Adam Ludwig with Aidan’s Pacific Blue Marlin to leader wearing AFTCO Release Gloves.  The Lucky Linda Lure is by Bomboy Lures.