Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – October wrap-up.
It can sometimes be quite difficult to gauge the bite in Kona and even more so lately. I use to be able to read the weekly catch report in the local newspaper but just a little over a year ago, the author of that weekly column, Jim Rizzuto passed away and the weekly column disappeared. No one has picked up Jim’s torch and it doesn’t look like anyone will.
We also have “The Charter Desk” that writes the daily catches that are weighed in on a dry erase board. For one thing, if you don’t weigh in your catch there, It’s not written on the board. Second, there’s a scale fee that just went up by double so if you don’t require an electric chain hoist to get your fish out of your boat and into your truck, they’re lifted by hand(s). That’s what most of us do most of the time.
The other method is looking at the fish flags flying on the outriggers. That’s always been the best indicator for what’s biting because there is a different flag for each fish so they’re easily recognizable and when you start seeing a lot of ’em, the bite for that kind of fish is on! But if you’re just an occasional fisherman, not so much. The flags go up after a successful trip and stay up until the next trip. It’s not unusual to see the same set of flags flying on a boat for a week or more. I always scan the boats for flags on my way out fishing and on my way in. I notice the new ones flying and also take note of the ones that have been up for a while.
I can safely say that there has been a good marlin bite happening. Kona is still suffering from a lack of tourism due to the recent lava flows and hurricanes (BTW, Kona was never effected by either of those except for the tourist shortage) so there are very few boats out fishing but the ones that are going out, marlin are pretty much a daily encounter.
The tuna bite has been pretty good and it’s about to get even better! Tunas are more easily caught around structure and Kona’s biggest offshore structure just went back in. It’s an offshore fish farm for Almaco jacks but the massive structure holds all kinds of fish around it. Especially tunas. Mahi mahi and ono are also frequent visitors looking for something to eat. It will take a little while for it really start producing on a regular basis but it’s a given that it soon will. I mentioned last month that the otaru tunas hadn’t shown up but they did this month up on “The Grounds”. They’re not showing on the surface but an easy catch following the ledge.
The bottom bite has been spotty and I would have to say that the reason is more because of my choices. I’ve been quite spoiled successfully hitting up the same honey hole for a long time but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that my #1 honey hole needs to change from time to time. They don’t last forever. I’m not sure why that is, only THAT it is. I’m absolutely positive that there are now other bottom spots with more fish so it’s time to look at some of my old honey holes to see if that’s where they’re hiding.
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers