Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – September 2019 wrap-up.
The marlin bite remained good at the beginning of the month but as the month progressed, the bite slowed down. Most of the marlin around are small males under 200 lbs. with only a smattering of bigger females. It’s the end of the peak season for blue marlin and soon the striped marlin will be showing up. There was a surprising number of striped marlin caught throughout the summer. That’s fairly unusual so I’m hoping that’s an indicator that the winter striped marlin run will be better than the pitiful showing we had last year. Spearfish season is officially over but there is still the occasional straggler around in the off season.
Right on time, the mahi mahi are showing up. We’re still a month away from the peak of the fall run for them. We’re at the end of ono season but there’s still some around. It’s also the end of ahi season but only for the big ones. The smaller ahi along with bigeye tuna will start being caught with more abundance around the ledges and buoys. As I’ve stated before, the offshore fish farm is the exception to the norm with ahi of all sizes present most of the time. The resident ahi are very smart and line shy. The dumb ones have already been caught. The otaru tunas are around in abundance even though it’s late in the season for them. Most are running 15 to 20 lbs.
Rough seas kept me out of the good bottom fishing grounds way too often this month but when I did get to fish the area, the bite was really good. Mostly I caught and released sharks ranging from 50 to 200 lbs. along with some amberjack, almaco jack and even a bluefin trevally. Those are usually in shallower water.
The breaking big news is that ‘The Charter Desk’ has gone out of business. It’s been an institution in Kona fishing for decades and used to be the main hub of activity at the harbor. When the boats came in and weighed their fish, it was The Charter Desk that operated the scales. They also offered professional photos and were also the largest charter booking agency. It’s been going down hill for a long time due to their failure to adjust with the times. In recent years they mostly just became a small T shirt sales shop and “the operators of the scale” and there’s little money in that. So now the big question is, how are you going to weigh a big fish? That’s the only scale in the whole harbor. I’m sure someone is figuring out the next step on that one. There was also an electric hoist to get the fish from the scale and into your truck but for now, you better have some strong friends around to help you lift it in. A bunch of friends if you bring in one of those big female blues like last months 1,035 pounder.
See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers,