Kona fishing

Kona Fishing with Sea Strike on Hawaii Island's Kona Coast

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The island of Hawaii is one of the world's best marlin and big-game fishing destinations. The Big Island's Kona Coast is uniquely situated on the sheltered, leeward side of the island. This coast is protected from heavy seas and Pacific trade winds by mountains nearly 14,000 feet tall. (Click here for a map.) Nowhere else in the world is such successful big-game fishing found in such calm waters. Sea conditions off the Kona coast are typically calm and sunny, and the island's steep bottom puts big-game fishing just 1/4-mile offshore. Most of Kona's 1,000-pound marlin have been caught only 2 to 5 miles from shore!

Six species of billfish roam the Kona coast: blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, shortnose spearfish, Pacific sailfish, and broadbill swordfish. Large yellow fin tuna, weighing 100-250 pounds are a prized catch and are included in many of Kona's fishing tournaments. Ono (wahoo) and mahi mahi (dolphin/dorado) are somewhat seasonal but can be caught any time of year and are exceptional fighting fish. Several species of shark (the world-record mako was caught here) and a wide variety of prized bottom fish, including snapper, grouper and ulua (giant trevally) over 100 pounds are caught in Kona waters.

Fishing styles vary depending on target fish and season. Marlin are caught on trolled lures or on live bait -- typically using aku (skipjack tuna) between 2 and 20 pounds. Boat speed, rigging techniques, depth of bait, and skirt color are some of the variables that we employ. Mahi mahi, spearfish and ono can hit at any time, with ono caught closest to shore. Bottom fishing and night-time fishing for certain types of tuna and broadbill swordfish requires different techniques and gear.

Click here for a detailed description of Hawaii's game fish.

Kona fishing
Ono and Mako dual catch

Many times a variety of fish may be caught in one fishing trip, whether it is intended or not. In a half day trip aboard the Sea Strike, Sal and Anthony Navarra, from San Francisco, got more than they bargained for. It was a slow day, but fishing is always slow right up until it isn't. After no action for most of the 4-hour trip, we got a strike from a spearfish on the way back to Honokohau Harbor. Sal brought it in fairly fast and we noticed the tail had been bitten off. Captain Dale gaffed the spearfish and put it in the boat, removed the hooks and tossed the lure back in the water. Then Sal says "I got another one on"! It was a Mako shark, the same one that had just bitten the spearfish. Apparently, he was still hungry! You never know what is going to happen out here.

tuna catch on Sea Strike
Give that fish a kiss!

Bait schools abound this summer. The weather is nice, as usual, and small marlin and tuna are here. Mahi mahi and ono are also prevalent.

The Sea Strike took a party out for a morning half day charter this week. Part of a large group meeting up in Kona for a get-together, the party required 2 boats to accomodate everyone who wanted to fish.

Unfortunately, the other boat didn't have any luck that day. However, the anglers on the Sea Strike, on their first ocean fishing excursion ever, landed a nice ahi. Yellow fin tuna are exciting to catch, even though they don't usually put on an aerial display like some of our other sport fish. She was pretty happy with her catch. Not too often do you see a girl kissin' a fish!

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