There certainly would have been more marlin caught in October if there had been more boats out. We expect the tourism to be slow in September but it should have picked up in October. It picked up a little but not like it should have. The State of Hawaii keeps tabs on tourism numbers and even the amount of money they spend. Tourism has actually increased this year compared to last year but at the same time, spending has been down. That makes the more expensive activities like charter fishing hard to compete with the ever growing list of cheaper activities that are available. I would seriously consider guided kayaking fishing trips if I thought there would be enough people interested in doing that. It would definitely be cheaper to do but I doubt that enough people would be interested in doing that to warrant turning it into a full time business. I know kayak fishing is becoming a big thing all over the US so maybe sometime in the future. Catching a marlin from a kayak certainly would be a challenge!
Peak mahi mahi season is in November and there were some around this month but not many. We get a spring run and a fall run. Usually the fall run brings in the big ones but so far, most have been medium to small size. There are also some spearfish and ono stragglers coming in. In the winter we get small bigeye and yellowfin tunas around the FAD’s and the fish farm. They’re here! A friend of mine called me and said he was a C buoy all by himself and loading up with mahi mahi and small tunas. He was wondering why there were no other boats around? He later caught a marlin at the buoy too.
The best bottom fishing grounds are North of the harbor and I’ve been noticing the same thing, that there’s no boats around. OK, more fish for me. In fact, the bottom bite has been HOT but catching bait fish has been a problem up North so I’ve been picking up small tunas for bait around the fish farm that’s South of the harbor and then trolling up North to my bottom spots. The trevally bite has been really good this season and the season for them is just getting started. There are several species of trevally but one type that I haven’t caught in over a decade is the black trevally. I got a real nice one recently and it even had one of my old tags in it. The tag was so old it was all blown out with no readable numbers. It would have been interesting to see how long ago I tagged it and how much bigger it had grown. We also caught a huge (~ 140 lbs.) amberjack on a jig and it was the same thing. An old tag of mine that was totally unreadable. I’ve been tagging bottom fish for as long as I’ve been doing these monthly fishing reports. A little over 2 decades. Hey, after more than 2 decades, I think I might actually be getting the hang of this fishing and writing thing.
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers,