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 Kona Hawaii fishing report - Oct. wrap-up

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Capt. Jeff Rogers

Posts : 8
Join date : 2008-04-05

PostSubject: Kona Hawaii fishing report - Oct. wrap-up   Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:14 pm

Kona Hawaii fishing report – October wrap-up

While tourism is still down for the state of Hawaii, the amount of blue marlin in Kona was on the upswing in October. Marlin are odd critters in that they tend to run in packs of about the same size when a run starts and also about the same aggressiveness. We get runs of “light biters” that have a tendency to come in and check out the lures and nose around a little but not really come after them. On other runs that happen they may be collectively very aggressive and that makes for many great catches. Unlike Cabo where marlin hunting involves searching for fins on the surface, here in Hawaii seeing free-swimming marlin is rare. In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen more free-swimming marlin than I usually see in a whole year. The problem is, they don’t seem interested and there are no signs of aggressiveness at all when I drive past them with my lures. The color brightness of a marlin usually gives you a hint as to its attitude. All lit up brightly shows aggression. That’s the kind of fish that’s going to come in and smack your lures. The marlin I’ve been seeing the last couple of weeks are dark, swimming slow and for the most part, disinterested in those bright splashing and popping objects trailing behind my boat. I’ve heard the same description form a couple of other captains but at the same time, there are fair numbers of marlin being hooked up by the few boats going out. I really don’t want to kill any but I think my chances with a harpoon might be better than lures at this point.

The Fall mahi mahi run has started and, as is typical for the Fall run, they’re BIG! Thirty to fifty pounders are a common size this time of year. A great fight and great eating. The ahi bite slowed for October but as is typical for the winter months, the small yellowfin and bigeye tuna (shibi) will be here and some have already started to show up on the buoys and ledges. The ono bite was real slow this month but it’s not a good time of year for them anyway.

Some great news on the bottom fishing front. The biggest amberjack of the year was caught last Monday on the Monkey Business and weighed in at 137 lbs. That’s a big one! Bottom fishing for sharks, jacks and trevally was pretty good in October. As we come into winter, it will only get better. I had what you could call a spectacular catch myself this month. I started tagging amberjack, almaco jack and trevally in 1998 and I was a part of getting the statewide jack tagging program started. We caught an amberjack this month that had previously been tagged and was #225 of the number series that is now in the 10,000’s. I knew right away that this fish had not been tagged on the Big Island. Records show that this fish had been tagged at Maro Reef more than 1000 miles to the North of Kona in Sept. 2000. At a recorded length of 21” that put this fish at less than 10 lbs. when it was tagged. When we caught it (and released it again) it was 51” and weighed about 75 lbs. When the tagging program was started, the “known science” was that jacks live their whole life on one section of reef. The tagging program soon proved that to be false. In fact, it became apparent that the jacks around the island of Hawaii trend to circle the island in a counter-clockwise direction while on Maui, they circle in a clockwise direction. On Oahu, they do six months clockwise and six months counter-clockwise. Cool data! Also, this isn’t the first time a tagged fish has gone between islands but this is the longest distance traveled and may be the longest time span (more than 8 years) from tagging to recovery. I’m proud and privileged to be a part of one of the best fisheries in the world, Kona, Hawaii and also to be involved in the study of our ocean resources (I’m also on the billfish advisory committee for DAR) so my children’s children can have as much fun as I do rippin’ fish lips.

See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers
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