A Spectacular day aboard Fire Hatt with Captain Joe Shumaker and first mate Austin Toth today. Monte Collins from Rossmoore, CA along with his two sons, Max and Ethan are keeping this crew hopping! The family is back on the Big Island celebrating Max’s Graduation from Los Alamitos High School. The day started before 7:00AM with Max Collins tagging and successfully releasing his first Pacific Blue Marlin estimated at about 150 pounds. Ethan Collins then proved me right today when I commented earlier that there were Ahi busting on the surface for the past several days and then at about 9:30AM, we are hooked up! Ethan lands his first Ahi weighing approximately 140 pounds! Not bad! After securing the Ahi and getting lines back out….we are hooked up again, this time Monte Collins is in the chair and brings in this nice Ono! These guys are fishy! It isn’t even noon yet! The family fished with us two years ago and released a Pacific blue Marlin about this same size… so someone has to break the tie now. We are hoping for a Mahi Mahi today to earn these guys a Grand Slam!
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.