Posts by Capt. Jeff Rogers

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - June 2022 wrap-up.


    It's summer, blue marlin season, and that means tournament season. There have already been a couple of tournaments. The "wee guys" and the Kona Kick Off tournaments are going on right now. The 4th of July weekend will have several overlapping tournaments and a lot of boats. That should relate to a lot of fish caught. The marlin bite right now has been decent and the BIG girls are in town. More lures in the water usually equates to more marlin being caught. There's also been a pretty good spearfish bite going on. In some tournaments, these count, and in others, they don't. Each tournament has its own set of rules. Even if you don't get any points for your spearfish, at least you have some good eating fish for the table.


    The ahi bite picked up quite well this month. In most tournaments, ahi count. The night-time small boat guys are catching plenty. The Oahu ahi bite is still on fire! That means there's a lot of ahi on the market. That means the price is down. Not something our fishermen need as the price of fuel and ice continues to skyrocket. The otaru tuna bite slowed down a lot. Not many aku are around either.


    The ono bite was pretty good for most of June but it slowed down recently. Since I'm the captain that openly advertises that I routinely cut up fish for my customers, I mostly get people who are looking to eat some fresh fish while they're here. Because of that, I've been mostly targeting (and catching) ono. Sorry, no photos of the fish caught this month. I had a technical glitch and now I don't have any. We still are seeing the occasional mahi mahi flag flying in the harbor.


    Since there haven't been any small tunas around, I haven't been doing any bottom fishing. Fresh tuna and mackerel are the key to catching the big game bottom fish. They are picky eaters and believe it or not, even sharks are picky eaters. We have several types of small bottom fish here that don't even get above 2 pounds and sometimes they accidentally hook themselves on my large hook while picking at my tuna. I call them "peckers". Sometimes there are so many of them pecking on my bait it's like being in a school of piranha. Most times, I know when a pecker is stuck on the hook but it does no good to leave it down there. Not even the sharks will eat those peckers.



    Go catch some fish,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - May 2022 wrap-up.


    The marlin bite didn't change much since last month with the exception that some nice size females are showed up. Some were weighed in and some went to the smoker. There should still be a spearfish bite going on but few were caught in May. The season for them isn't quite over yet so there's still a chance of getting one.


    The "blind strike" ahi bite started right on time. It usually starts in May. Throughout the winter, if you stand any chance of getting ahi while trolling, it's by working a porpoise school. From May through August, when that line starts tearing off your reel, it just might be a 100+ lb. ahi. Oahu is still having a great ahi bite that has been going on for months now. A lot of the ahi being consumed here on the Big Island is being shipped over from Oahu but the ahi bite is getting better here in Kona. In the summertime, there's also a nighttime fishery for both ahi and albacore. Some otaru tunas have been showing up. I've been eating otaru poke for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


    May is still peak mahi mahi season but there are not many being caught. We should still be catching some through June. I've been spending each morning trying for ono with only limited success. Other boats are having the same results. The peak of the ono season starts now so it should pick up. Last summer was one of the best ono runs we've seen in about a decade. In the years previous, they showed up early and then basically disappeared in the early summer months. I should know which way this season is going to roll by next month's report. Targeting ono is my deckhands' favorite thing to do.


    I hardly bottom-fished at all this month. Some of it was a simple lack of opportunity and other times, I just thought that targeting ono or offshore trolling would give us the better shot although statistically, I know that's not true. Big game bottom fish usually will put an angler to the test but that's a near 100% release fishery. Yes, it's fun but it doesn't put meat on the table. But then again, marlin fishing really doesn't do that either.


    See 'ya on the water,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - March 2022 wrap-up.


    I'm not really sure what to write this month because I was in a bed, both in the hospital and at home for most of it. Some may have noticed that I did last month's wrap-up several days before the actual end of the month. That's because I had to go to Honolulu for colon cancer surgery the day after I wrote it. I only fished 2 days near the end of this month and while I did catch some tunas trolling and a couple of jacks while bottom fishing, It's nothing to write about really. But, I think I can still make this worth reading.


    While I was out of action, I kept hearing news of how great the bite was. Last month, the marlin, spearfish, and ono were all biting pretty good so I was happy to hear that it was still going well for Kona anglers. When I got back to the harbor to clean a month's worth of parking lot dirt off of my boat, I expected to see fish flags flying all over the harbor from the hot bite going on. What I found was a bunch of empty riggers. Talking to some of the guys, I found out the action on marlin and spearfish was slow but the ono bite was pretty good. Some of the captains get really pissed at me when I don't write a glowing report on how great it is to be fishing in Kona right now but, if each month I wrote like that, you guys would soon realize that I was full of #&*@ and not worth reading. I try to tell it like it is. Yes, there was some action in April but not much.


    I came back to work in a fairly weakened condition so, for the first time in 20 years, I knew I needed to use a deckhand on the 'Aloha Kai' (previously named 'Carnivore'). It's really hard to find a good deckhand. One of the most common complaints that you hear from both the captains and the deckhands is how hard it is to get along. I made several attempts to find a good deckhand prior to surgery but was not having much luck.


    A long-time friend who crewed with me back in the mid-'90s said he would help me out. He has his own small boat and goes commercial fishing pretty much every week. And he usually catches! He owns his own house painting business that he pretty much put on hold in order to fish with me. He's so well acquainted with local fishing that I have very little to worry about when it comes to handling the deck. The other part of being a good deckhand is customer relations. He gets an A+ in that category too. but, here's the part that's coming, as it happens to pretty much all boat crews.


    Right now we're in the honeymoon stage. Each being on our best behavior. It's only a matter of time when something will happen on the boat that we will each blame the other for. Animosity will start. Then something else will go wrong. Blame will fly in both directions again. More animosity. Grudges. Little snipes at each other will start. It's not like I want these things to happen, it's just a common scenario that happens more often than not. Pretty much how most marriages play out over time. I've been married for 42 years and a lot of grace needs to come from both sides in order to make things work. I have more surgeries to go through before the end of the year so I'm really going to try to keep the cool head of experience rather than a hot head and a fleeting temper tantrum.


    See 'ya on the water,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - March 2022 wrap-up.


    This month has been a wild yo-yo ride. The sea conditions and the currents have been switching all over the place and the bite has been doing the same. Some days when you come in at the end of the day, there's fish flags all over the place so you know that most boats caught, but the next day, about the only boats you see flying flags are the ones that were left up from the day before. Or, we can have a few days of good fishing followed by a couple of days that it was hard to find anything. It gets that way sometimes.


    The blue marlin bite is still doing quite well but the striped marlin bite had dropped off. The spearfish bite has become real good as this is the middle of the peak season for them. They came in a little late so maybe they will hang around longer in the months to come.


    There were some nice size ahi caught this month but the smaller ahi bite around some of the fish aggregation buoys really perked up the action, if you could get close enough to them. Once word got out that the ahi bite was on, it was like navigating a parking lot. There have been some tunas on the ledges but that action was also sporadic because of the currents changing so often.


    Mahi mahi season has been going nicely but the real surprise was, all of the sudden I started seeing ono flags flying. It's not ono season but sometimes they show up in the off season. Then you need to start asking, "are they being caught in the deep or close in on the ledge?" It turns out that the bite has been out in the deep so it's a pretty random bite. A good eating catch but it's not so nice if one of them destroys one of your good marlin lures.


    The bottom bite was pretty good for the first half of the month but then it dropped off drastically. Normally I can count on catching when I go to the bottom. Sharks, amberjack, almaco jacks, snapper, and more but this month wasn't normal. Again, the currents. Some days the swells were so big in the most productive bottom spots that there was no way I could fish it. Calmer spots had no fish. It gets that way sometimes.


    See 'ya on the water,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - February 2022 wrap-up.


    So the striped marlin finally arrived. Not in any kind of numbers though. The blue marlin bite is still out-pacing the striped marlin bite. Some really nice size blues have been showing up. I had a shot at a 500+ pounder a couple weeks ago until my angler accidentally shoved the drag lever all the way to the 'break it off' setting. The lure was an old-time lure that a friend had given me for helping him out fixing his boat. It was only my 3rd day pulling it. I knew it would be a good one as soon as I saw it. Now it's in the place where all really good lures end up, at the bottom of the ocean. The spearfish bite has started out slow but should pick up over the next couple of months.


    There have been porpoise schools off the Kona coast and some nice size ahi have been caught. I worked one for almost 3 hours on one trip but didn't get a bite. I didn't see anyone else catch either. Ahi are very finicky. I've been catching the otaru tunas though and that's made for some happy customers.


    The mahi mahi season starts now so we should be seeing some show up this month. Some guys have been trying for that off-season ono in the 'lane' but without any luck.


    Speed jigging the bottom has been quite productive but also a lot of work. I've been speed jigging for a long time and you never know when you're going to get one of those "firsts". I had my first time ever catching two almaco jacks at the same time on a single jig. They both hit it at the same time. Photo included. I've also lost some really nice jigs due to sharks. Sometimes I get part of the fish and my jig back and sometimes not.


    See 'ya on the water,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - January 2022 wrap-up.


    If you're a professional fisherman, bleeding is just part of the job. Getting poked by fish spines and hooks happens. It takes a special talent to get hooked like this though. On my last fishing trip, the ceramic tip insert came out of one of my jigging rods. I always JB Weld these guys in but sometimes it needs to be done again. I took it home and was smoothing in the JB Weld while holding the rod upside down and my grip slipped. I really should have been paying more attention but luckily my kids were home downstairs so I could get help cutting the hook. It looks worse than it is.


    There's been a pretty good blue marlin bite going on but the striped marlin haven't come in yet. The peak of spearfish season starts now and although some were caught this month, I really was expected a better bite because they started showing up even before the season started.


    I've seen some ahi flags flying in the harbor but I don't know any details. Usually, the only way to get ahi in the winter time is to work a porpoise school. I ran across some fast-moving otaru tuna schools this month and while I got some, mostly they were hard to catch up to and sometimes not biting at all. It's off season for mahi mahi and ono but there's always a chance of finding a straggler.


    Bottom fishing with fresh bait like mackerel and tuna is the most productive. After that comes frozen baits when I'm able to catch extra and take some home and stick it in the freezer. My third choice is speed jigging but it's hard work. Now there's a new method gaining in popularity called "slow pitch" jigging. I've already had a few inquiries to see if I offer that. Not only would I need to buy a couple new rods, reels, and several jigs, I would also need to find whole new areas to fish in. I'm normally fishing 400+ feet deep and speed jigs are designed to sink fast. Slow pitch jigs sink slowly so if I went to slow pith jigs, I would be forced into fishing shallower waters and need to learn whole new areas that hold fish. I like trying new techniques but slow pitch jigging might just be a bridge too far.


    See 'ya on the water,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers,

    http://fishinkona.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - December 2021 wrap-up.


    The blue marlin bite remains pretty good and there was even a 900 pounder caught this month but most of the marlin being caught right now are the smaller males averaging about 150 lbs. It's striped marlin season now but the blue marlin bite is out-pacing the striped marlin bite by far. The Spearfish came in early and now it's season for them and so far it looks like it's going to be a good one.


    There's been some ahi around along the ledges but it's hard to get them to bite. The same is true with the otaru tunas. It's bigeye tuna season now but I haven't seen any around. Mahi mahi season just ended but there are still some stragglers to be caught.


    The bottom bite has been good but only if I could get to the good fishing grounds to do that. We had several high wind days in December and that sometimes makes the seas too rough to fish in the prime areas so I'm forced to fish in less productive but calmer waters. January and February are known to be our rough water months and sometimes it's even too rough to go out at all. Some people don't mind getting pounded by the ocean all day but as a general rule, tourists prefer the calmer ride. I kind of a fan of the calm ride myself.


    See 'ya on the water ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - November wrap-up.


    If you've been following my reports for the past several months you know that both the marlin and ahi seasons have been all out of whack this year. We didn't have a good marlin bite in peak season but then we had a good marlin bite in September, when the season was winding down. The bite in October wasn't so good so I figured that that marked the end of the season run but "out of whack" now seems to be the new normal. Right now, after peak marlin season has ended, there are marlin "hot spots" where IF you find one, you can catch several marlin in a day. In fact, it's the best multi-catch run we've had all year, IF you find the spot. Then IF you find it, you notice all the boats that didn't find it that day. No fish. It's not the first time this type of bite has happened in Kona and I'm sure it won't be the last.


    The spearfish have started to show up even though it's not quite season for them yet. I've always done well catching those so I'm looking forward to a good spearfish run.


    The ahi bite has been whacky too. They weren't around when they were supposed to be and most of the ahi right now are being caught off of a couple private FAD's and along the ledges but not many. VV buoy has been loaded with baby ahi and aku. Some days they're easy to catch and some days not.


    November is the peak of the fall mahi mahi season but few have been around so far. I hope they're just running late. There aren't any ono around but they have an excuse. It's not season for them.


    Bottom fishing was mostly sharks this month with a mix of both oceanic blacktip and sandbar sharks. Giant trevally season has started but I only got one this month. The sharks might be keeping them out of their favorite area. I also got kampachi and snapper this month.


    See 'ya on the water ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - October wrap-up.


    So I have good news and bad news for all of Hawaii's fishermen. The good news is that the FAD's are going back in. Here in Kona we already got all of our FAD's back except F buoy. I saw the picture taken on the work boat when it was on it's way to Kona with all of the FAD's on board and F buoy was on there too. Something must have gone wrong with the deployment because it's not back in. Too bad, that one was always my favorite. Now the bad news. They won't be around for long.


    The fishermen have been complaining for some time now that the FAD's are breaking off in less than a year and hardly ever stay around more than two years. Fishermen were blaming each other for the break offs but the real cause was a change in the materials used to anchor the FAD's to the bottom. So the new FAD's are in but with the inferior materials again. This problem is supposed to be fixed in future deployments.


    Tourism should have picked up in October but with our Governor publicly telling people not to come, some people took that advise so it was a slow tourist month. There are some marlin around but not much for fishing effort. It's not spearfish season but there were a few around. Ahi season is over but this is the time of year that the bigeye tuna show up around the FAD's. The only problem is, the FAD's are new and it usually takes a few months of marine growth on the FAD's to get them going. There has been some otaru tunas around and aku on the ledges.


    There's some mahi mahi around and November is usually the peak month for the fall mahi mahi run. We get two runs a year, a spring run and a fall run. The fall run usually has bigger ones than the spring run. I tried for some ono again this month but no bites. I've heard that same story from a few other captains. There's always that off season chance that some come back in.


    The bottom fishing has returned to more of a variety catch once again. There's still oceanic blacktips around but not as many. I'm now able to catch amberjacks, almaco jacks, sandbar sharks and Galapagos sharks again. The giant trevally should start showing up any time now. They seem to be running a little late this year. I lost a few catches to sharks this month but when they take the whole fish, I can't be sure what it was that they ate. While most fishermen hate sharks with a passion, I never get tired of the thrill of catching them.


    See 'ya on the water ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report - September wrap-up.


    The blue marlin finally showed up. The standard that I use to determine if the marlin bite is good or not is two fold. Number one is, are some boats catching more than one marlin in a day? Number two is, are close to half of the boats fishing for marlin all day catching? A 3 day marlin tournament near the middle of the month provided me with a 'yes' answer to both standards. also, as I mentioned in last months report, marlin flags flying.


    It seems like the ahi have started to show up too but still not in the numbers that we normally have. The otaru tunas still haven't shown up.


    Mahi mahi season starts now. I only had a shot at one on a trip this month but it jumped and threw the hook. I also spent one whole 8 hour trip fishing for any straggler ono but didn't even have a single bite. They really are GONE!


    Bottom fishing is now ALL shark catches and ALL of them are oceanic blacktips. It's been about a decade since the last time I caught an oceanic blacktip and back then, it was only one. Now they're everywhere and anything we hook up that isn't a blacktip is soon eaten by one.


    The most common shark I usually catch is the sandbar shark but even they have run away from these blacktips. Oceanic blacktips are crazy fighters, making several runs especially when they get near the boat. At the boat, they're harder to deal with than most marlin are and range in size (so far) from 120 lbs. to just over 300 lbs.


    Recently I came real close to getting smacked in the head by the tail of a real big one when it did a somersault and flew into the back of the boat. It hit hard and one of the people on the boat got it on video. I had no idea how close I was to getting hit until I watched the video. WOW! I just got lucky that it missed me.


    Sharks have basically ruined our fishery for snapper and grouper. Just like with these blacktips, it was a little over a decade ago that hundreds of galapagos sharks showed up.


    Normally you would see around a dozen bottom fishermen on "The Grounds" fishing along the ledge but when it became nearly impossible to get any of your catch to the boat, they just gave up. On top of that, the state of Hawaii imposed a closed season and catch limits further making it a fishery that just wasn't worth your while. When the galapogos basically moved on, sandbar sharks moved in and took their place.


    Since then and to this day, on most days there isn't a single person bottom fishing for snapper and grouper along the Kona coast and if you do see someone trying, generally they're not doing it for long because of the sharks and because there aren't many bottom fish anymore. The state thinks that over fishing is the problem with the bottom fishery. Common sense, talking to the fishermen and just a little research on "fishing effort" would easily prove that it's sharks and not fishermen that ruined the fishery.


    See 'ya on the water ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Some may ask the question; "how do you know what fish are being caught in Kona?" The answer is simple. Flags. On the way in at the end of the day, the boats fly a variety of fish flags from the right outrigger to brag about the days catch. There are different flags for different fish. August is supposed to be a peak blue marlin month so there should be marlin flags flying all around the harbor but there isn't. This whole summer has been less than impressive for marlin. Spearfish have a flag also but sometimes an upside down marlin flag is used instead. Peak spearfish season is the spring with very few being caught during the summer.


    We also had a less than impressive ahi season this summer but only here on the Big Island. Oahu and Kauai had one of the best seasons they have had in years and Maui was pretty good. It's currently otaru tuna season and there are some but not like what it should be. I'm hoping they're just running late this year.


    As I've been saying for the last few months, we've been having an awesome ono season. The best we've seen in several years but ono season has officially come to a close. We were hoping it would continue for a little while more. Since ono like it close to the shoreline, what usually sends them running away from Hawaii is high surf because the water gets all churned up. We had high surf in the middle of the month so the ono are gone with the exception of just a few stragglers. Mahi mahi season starts in another month and we are already seeing some show up.


    Bottom fishing has produced mostly 100+ lb. shark catches. One shark that's been showing up lately is the oceanic blacktip, sometimes called a coastal blacktip but very different from the blacktip reef shark. These guys often leap, jump, spin and fight with everything they got when hooked. Because of that, they are more successful at breaking line or pulling hook especially when near the boat.


    Covid is still on the rise in Hawaii but the government hasn't shut us down..... yet. I had no idea that there were so many ant-vaxxers here and our hospitals are being overwhelmed and at the current pace, the government may not have a choice but to lock us down again.


    See 'ya on the water (for now) ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Tourism remains strong in Hawaii even with the Delta Variant threat. Many of us are concerned that our governor will lock us down again. Pretty much anyone who wants to be vaccinated in Hawaii can do it with ease and the Delta Variant has only minor effects on vaccinated people.


    With a lot of tourists in town, there are also a lot of boats out fishing. One thing that stood out for July was the lack of marlin flags. For this time of year and the amount of fishing effort, it's obvious that the marlin bite isn't very good right now. Very few spearfish around.


    The ahi bite has finally reached Kona! While the other islands have been experiencing a really good ahi season, they just didn't seem to be this far South until lately. The smaller skipjacks are hanging on the ledges but no big ones around.


    Ono remains the top catch in Kona. It's been several years since we've had a run this good for this long and with all of the tourists around demanding fresh fish to eat, we're getting a good price for them.


    The bottom bite has been quite fickle. The problem is an abundance of small junk fish chewing up my bait before a big fish has a chance to grab it. Sometimes the small fish are so thick; it's like throwing meat to piranha. And you can't use the junk fish for bait either because no even the sharks want to eat those things. You may not know this but sharks really do tend to be picky eaters.


    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http://FISHinKONA.com


    More and more tourists continue to pour into Kona and that means more and more boats going out fishing. In fact, some of the tourists are getting quite frustrated because they can't find a boat that isn't already booked up. That's not just for fishing charters but diving, snorkeling, dolphin swim, manta swim and more. It's pretty much back to a normal pace that if you want a good boat and captain, you better get your reservations in early.


    The marlin bite got a little spotty due to some whacky currents but even with that, there were some big females around. Right after I published the May fishing report, a "grander" was landed in Kona weighing in at 1028 lbs. There have also been several other marlin caught that can claim the title of a "beast". That's a marlin weighing over 500 lbs. The majority of the marlin being caught right now are the smaller males weighing in the 100 to 200 lb range.


    Our yellowfin tuna bite just doesn't seem to be going yet in Kona but the news from the other islands is that the ahi bite is good. The most consistent place to catch tuna in Kona year-round has been the offshore fish farm outside of Kona town but strong currents made the mooring break so it's gone. The fairly massive structure has been recovered but the last time it broke off; they didn't put it back out for almost 3 years. Most of our fishing FAD's have also broken off and are gone. That makes catching tunas even harder because the only thing we have left are the ledges which are more prone to current speed and direction turning them on or off.


    The ono bite was also affected by the whacky currents but remains the most common catch for Kona. Mahi mahi season is over but that doesn't mean that there won't be any caught during the summer months, it just means that there won't be many.


    And last, the bottom bite. Of all of the fisheries here, the bottom bite is affected by the currents more than any other. Unlike the fish swimming around in the open ocean, the currents make the bottom fish move to another nearby location. I know a lot of their hiding places but when the current starts moving at high speed in totally abnormal directions, getting skunked while bottom fishing is a probability.


    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – May 2021 wrap-up.


    The latest tourism statistic for Hawaii is that tourism is at 75% of the normal average. From my end, it seems like it's back up to 100%. I'm turning down people looking for fishing charters almost daily because I'm already booked up and I'm hearing the same from the other captains. Our Governor just lifted the outdoor mask mandate and the vast majority of people 16 and older here have been vaccinated. You still need to go through a lot of BS to fly here but it's looking like things might be back to normal soon.


    Striped marlin season is just ending while blue marlin season has just started. There have already been some big blues showing up and the bite overall seems like it's on track for a good season. This has been the best spearfish season we've had in several years and we still have another month to go before that slows down.


    The ono bite has also been exceptional so far this season compared to previous years so it might remain good throughout the summer. It's still mahi mahi season and the bite on those is pretty good too. The "blind strike" big ahi bite really isn't happening but there are plenty of smaller tunas to be had.


    The bottom bite has been excellent and even though giant trevally season technically ended last month, I'm still catching some. The sharks have been brutal though. Pretty much any smaller trevally, amberjack and almaco's are getting eaten by sharks on the way up. The commercial tuna and snapper guys are having the same problem. Sharks are commonly known as "The Tax Man" and as the way of taxes always goes...... the more they get, the more they want.


    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http//FISHinKONA.com



    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – April 2021 wrap-up.


    Tourism numbers continue to ramp up even with the Covid restrictions. One guy that wanted to fish with me called me up because it was getting close to his flight time and he still hadn't received his negative Covid results. He asked how strict Hawaii was about the 10 day quarantine. In other words, he thought they could just act like normal tourists and not get caught. Absolutely NOT! "Don't even try" was my advice. Luckily they got the results just in time to make their flight (we fished and caught plenty) but their story is a common one.


    The test is only good for up to 72 hours and some places won't guarantee the test results in less than 3 days. Well? Find a place that will! The local authorities are not taking this lightly.


    More and more blue marlin are showing up and the official blue marlin season basically starts now so things are looking good. It's still spearfish season and the bite on those for April was pretty good. It's also time for some black marlin to show up as May is the peak season for them.


    It's now both mahi mahi season and ono season. Currently ono seems to be the most common catch in the harbor. It's also the start of "blind-strike" ahi season. Every year at this time we start seeing a random and single BIG splash on the water. That's a 100+ lb. ahi coming up from down below to eat a fish swimming near the top. If you're in the right place, at the right time, it could be your lure that ahi has its eyes fixed on.


    The bottom bite was very good to me this month. Getting fresh bait was often harder to catch than hooking up sea monsters from the deep. It's near the end of giant trevally season but there's more of those around now than at the peak season. There are also a lot of sharks in the same area so getting smaller fish from the bottom to the top has been a challenge.


    My bookings for May are almost filled up and the rest of the summer is filling up fast. It looks like I'm done getting that free government income for staying home. It's time to get back to work fulfilling people's dreams of catching the BIG ONE in Hawaii.


    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http//FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – March 2021 wrap-up.


    Tourism isn't up to 100% yet but it's getting fairly close. One very noticeable change is the behavior of the tourists. The majority of people who go on vacation make at least some plans on what activities they are going to do when they get there. What we're seeing a lot of is people arriving and then trying to figure out what activities they are going to do after arrival.


    It's true that some businesses that cater to the tourists haven't' opened back up yet but most have. We still have some fairly harsh restrictions that are affecting what many activities are allowed to do. Luckily those restrictions don't really apply to the fishing boats.


    The peak striped marlin season is winding down and blue marlin season is coming soon. For several years in a row, the Striped marlin season has been basically non-existent. The stocks have been heavily depleted on an international level and have been designated as "over fished". While the U.S. fishing vessels are fairly heavily restricted, the international fishermen get to have a marlin free-for-all. Even our blue marlin and spearfish numbers are being affected.


    The mahi mahi season has started and we're seeing some around. It's not ono season yet but they too have arrived. The offshore fish farm, FAD's and ledges have been seeing a fair amount of ahi, shibi, bigeye, otaru and aku tunas.


    In last months report I talked about almaco jack and a few people asked if I kept them to eat or released them and the reason for the question is about ciguatera poisoning. If you are unfamiliar with that term, look it up and ask yourself if eating that fish is worth the risk?


    I did some research on cases of ciguatera poisoning in the islands and it's a fairly low incidence. The Big Island had several reported cases in 2018 caused by what seems to be one incident where they ate giant trevally caught from shore. Kauai, Oahu and Maui have had a few incidents each year and almost all were incidences caused by eating shore caught fish that any local would know that those fish were at high risk. FYI, the majority of local people don't report ciguatera poisoning. They know what they got. Only if it's severe enough to get them hospitalized does it get reported.


    So, I'm catching the jacks in deep water away from shore. Shouldn't they be safe to eat? Well, maybe safe-er but by no means risk-free. Between the symptoms of ciguatera poisoning and the time it might take you to get over it along with the severe diet and even the activity restrictions you need to go through for some time after the initial effects of eating that fish are gone, I think it's best to say NO THANKS!


    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – February 2021 wrap-up.



    The tourists are coming! In fact, my phone has been ringing all morning with people looking to fish. I went from not fishing for over 2 weeks to having to turn people away because I'm already booked up. What a nice feeling.



    The few trips I did in February resulted in catches of tuna, shark, and kampachi. We had some marlin action but as happens with the majority of marlin hook-ups, the hook was thrown after several jumps. It's striped marlin season right now but I wouldn't say the bite is "on". The spearfish are showing up and I'm really looking forward to catching them. They're one of the best-eating fish out there but because of Covid, it's been a year since I've had any.



    It's not mahi mahi season, ahi season or ono season but I was surprised when a friend of mine told me that he caught 3 ono on a recent trip. I'll be out on Wednesday and I definitely want to give the off-season ono bite a try. That will be on my way to the area where I heard the tunas were biting. It happens to be the same place where I scored tunas on 2 out of my 3 February trips.



    I only bottom fished on one trip in February and it was fast action. Three sharks in a row caught and released. After those sharks left the area, we caught a kampachi. Or is it kanpachi? There seems to be ongoing confusion about this fish. The word itself is Japanese and when I researched this term years ago, it was just a variant in the spelling of the same fish. But then it turned out that, what was once thought to be "the same fish" turned out to be two different fish that very closely resemble each other. For you fish ID egg heads, the difference is Seriola dumerili (greater amberjack) vs. Seriola rivoliana (almaco jack). There are currently 2 fish farms raising almaco jack in Kona. One farm calls them Kampachi and the other one calls the same fish Kanpachi. It might be a "branding" thing so it could easily remain a dilemma for years to come. As a side note, I'm credited with the discovery of almaco jack in Hawaiian waters. It took me over a year to prove that Seriola dumerili were in Hawaiian waters. It's a pretty common bottom fish.



    See 'ya on the water,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers,


    http://FISHinKONA.com



    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – January 2021 wrap-up.


    Just a decade ago, if someone would have suggested that one day soon there would be more snorkel and dive boats going out per day than fishing boats, they would have been laughed out of the harbor. But here we are. The snorkel and dive boats are pretty busy but few charter fishing boats are moving. It boils down to competition for the tourist dollar and it's been trending in that direction for some time.


    There was a time when you needed to get 'certified' to be able to scuba dive. Then a thing called an 'intro dive' was created so it's real easy to go scuba diving for the first time. For snrokelers, not only can you go to popular spots not readily accessible from shore but you can swim with the spinner dolphins and swim with the manta rays. A decade ago, those two activities really didn't exist.


    I'm not ready to trade in my rods, reels and lures for mask, snorkel and fins just yet. The thrill of the hunt and my ability to often put people onto the biggest fish of their lives is still one of the best jobs a person could hope to have. The big problem now is that job has become very part-time employment instead of full time employment. Fishing only a couple days a month won't pay the bills and the Covid relief payments I've been getting are running out soon. I'm hoping that tourism will be back to near normal by this summer because that will give me a fighting chance.


    With only 2 trips this month, there's not much to report. On one trip, I couldn't find any fish. That happens when hunting sometimes. The next trip made up for it. Dropping two baits to the bottom resulted in two quick hook-ups. Both were sharks. The first one pulled hook several minutes into the fight. The next one, at about 120 lbs. was foul hooked under the pec. fin. That's a hard way to bring in any fish.


    We had a good size blue marlin come in and do some light lure taps but it was really uninterested in taking one. Then we did find one willing to attack. We caught and released a 170 pounder. During the fight, another blue marlin came in swimming between the boat and our hooked marlin, checking out the activity that was going on. We trolled the area for a couple more hours after, hoping it was still around but then it was time to head home.


    Hopefully I'll have more to report on next month but so far, it's not looking very promising.


    Aloha from Kona ,

    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,

    http//FISHinKONA.com



    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – December 2020 wrap-up.

    The week between Christmas and New Years' has always been the busiest tourist week for Hawaii. People looking to get out of the cold and get just a little bit more summer in.

    While there are definitely a lot more tourists around than we've seen since last April, it's nowhere near the normal numbers. After the holiday season, Hawaii will return to very few tourists. It happens that way every January and February but current virus conditions and ever changing infection rates and new "rules" will amplify that.

    Even with Hawaii opening back up for tourism a couple months ago, the Covid infection rate has remained pretty low. People in Hawaii in general take distancing and mask wearing more seriously than most places on the mainland. Tourists have told me that seeing people in stores or gathered together without masks is common on the mainland but you don't see that here. Knowing that we're the most isolated populous on the planet might tend to give us islanders a different perspective.

    Striped marlin season has started but we're not seeing them yet. The blue marlin bite has been picking up the slack. The spearfish came in early but then slacked off. The beginning of spearfish season actually starts now.

    Mahi mahi season is winding down but there are still some around. It's months past ono season but running in ono lane, there's still a pretty good chance to hook one or two. This is the time of year for smaller but more abundant tunas around the buoys and ledges and they're here but not very eager to bite.

    The big news for the month here on the Big Island was another volcanic eruption. The volcano has been very quiet since it stopped flowing a little over two years ago. It was nice not having a constant supply of volcanic smoke covering our island but we all knew it was only a matter of time before it would start up again. It's got to come out somewhere. The only 'somewhere' where it can come out but still leave us with smokeless skies would be the new island forming to the South East of the Big Island called Lo'ihi. That will happen sooner or later. The sooner the better.


    See 'ya on the water,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers,
    http//FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – November 2020 wrap-up.


    It's working! The Hawaii visitor Covid pre-testing program has been in effect for 6 weeks now. Tourism has been picking up and the daily number of Covid cases in all of Hawaii has remained at about the same level since mid September.


    Hotel and vacation rentals are starting to fill up. Charter fishing boats, dive boats, snorkel boats, manta boats and more are starting to move. A lot of other tourist related activities are starting to open up. In December, tourism usually picks up with the week between Christmas and New Years being the busiest tourist week of the entire year.


    So what's going on with the fish? With more fishing boats going out now, the harbor information loop is active again. The marlin bite has been relatively slow as is normal for this time of the year but the spearfish have moved in a little early. Striped marlin season is right around the corner. Ono season has come and gone but there's still a lot of action in ono lane. It's peak mahi mahi season so there's a good shot there.


    Right now pretty much every state in the US is having an upsurge in Covid cases and more lockdowns are going into effect. We are feeling fairly safe here being isolated in the islands. It's not like some infected person can drive into our state and stupidly spread it around. In fact, it's quite nice knowing that the people coming in are known NOT to be infected. Well maybe. The state needs to stop letting people fly in here un-tested. We still have a 14 day quarantine option for people who either didn't test or hopped on the plane before they got their test results. One or more of those could be infected and spread it to others on the plane.


    With that being said, "rules" are changing all the time. Here in the islands, each island is its own county, with its own mayor and its own "rules". Make sure you know the current rules before you even try to come here and please.... don't bring the Vid with you.


    Stay safe,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – October 2020 wrap-up.


    In a total change of pace for the governor of Hawaii, rather than extending the 14 day quarantine rule until November 1st like he said he would, the Covid 19 pre-testing program started on October 15th allowing visitors who test negative for the virus prior to arrival get to skip any quarantine.


    The very next day, they started allowing '6 pack' fishing charters to resume pretty much unrestricted on the islands of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. Boats that are licensed for more than 6 passengers are restricted to 50% carrying capacity. Oahu is under stricter regulations because of a recent spike in Covid 19 there.


    Finding out what the latest regulations are can be near impossible. You can go the Department of Land and Natural Resources web site and you won't find anything there. OK, how about the Division of Aquatic Resources? Nope, dead end. One more place to try, the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation but you will have a hard time finding any new rules there. Under "Most Current News", nothing! There is a link above that that says "VISIT DOBOR'S COVID-19 QUESTION AND ANSWER PAGE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON HOW BOATING IN HAWAII IS BEING AFFECTED" (I'm not shouting, it's all in caps on the page like nearly everything else) and even when you get to that page it would appear that there's little to no updated information. It appears to be another dead end but if you keep scrolling down that fairly long page to about the half way mark, you will finally find the info you need. It's almost like they're hiding it but I'm sure it's just pure incompetence. The order that the information is laid out on the page is really stupid.


    So, while the latest "rules" are in place, we need the tourists. Locals rarely do charters because practically everyone who lives here also knows someone with a boat. Spikes in Covid 19 cases, as everyone across the country knows, means more sporadic "rule" changes. Our governor has been one of the most restrictive in the nation. The mayor of Hawaii Island has done such a poor job that he didn't even make it through the primary elections so we will soon have a new mayor. One candidate has political experience and the other has absolutely none and the two are polar opposites on most issues. Oh what a fun time we're living in.


    Stay safe,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – September 2020 wrap-up.


    The Hawaiian Islands had a huge surge of Covid 19 cases last month and shortly after my report last month, they shut down the charter fishing again. They didn't say we couldn't do any charters but the new ruling effectively did just that. The new rule limits us to no more than 2 people on a boat. For almost every operation here, that means captain and deckhand and no one else. I run single handed so the only way I can do a charter is if only one person wants to book the whole boat. I do a handful of trips just like that every year but they are far from the norm.


    Several times our Hawaii governor has said that he would implement a pre-travel testing program so people could come here without having to do a 14 day quarantine but each time he sets a date, he backs off and extends the quarantine. Currently the pre-testing travel option is set to start November 1st but we've heard that song before.


    No one in their right mind would make Hawaii vacation plans right now and who could blame them. We are getting some tourists but only the ones that take LONG vacations. Most tourist activities are shut down and you're not even allowed to sit on the beach.


    I know this is supposed to be a fishing report but since China accidentally released a lab created virus on the world, everyone's life has now changed and new options need to be considered. I'm debating with myself if I should suspend doing my monthly reports or not. I'll let you know in about a month.


    Stay safe,Capt. Jeff Rogers
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – August 2020 wrap-up.


    Most of Kona noticed that there were a bunch of charter boats out fishing this month even though we still have a 14 day quarantine for the tourists. So how does that compute? That's because the boats out fishing were the gamblers. 4 tournaments with 11 days of fishing with some pretty big money to be made for the winners. It's also some big money to even get in so that left me out.


    The Firecracker Tournament had the most boats and there were several small marlin tagged and released during the 2 day tournament but there were no big marlin seen and several boats saw no action at all. That all changed with the 3 day Kona Throw Down Tournament. Almost every boat in that tournament caught and there were 4 marlin that were big enough to qualify for a weigh in. 411 lbs., 642 lbs., 672.5 lbs., and 765.5 lbs.


    There was a lot of excitement for the 3 day Skins Marlin Derby now that the big girls showed up. Again there were several small marlin tagged and released but this time only one big one. 833.5 pounds! Then came the 3 day Big Island Marlin Tournament and again, several small marlin tagged and a 589 pounder was weighed in. There were a bunch of 100+ lb. ahi tunas caught in each tournament. Tagging a couple small marlin didn't put you into any money but every ahi caught was a bonus that might earn some tournament money but even if it didn't, you could sell 'em at the market or you and your friends can eat a lot of fresh sashimi.


    The state of Hawaii got slammed hard with a 10 fold surge in Covid 19 infections this month. Hawaii went from being one of the best prevention models to one of the worst in just a month. So that means no quarantine restrictions will be lifted any time soon. Most of the infections were on Oahu so that island is under Stay-at-Home orders. Maui had the 2nd most cases in the islands until recently. The Big Island has now surpassed Maui to be #2 in the islands. That sucks! For people here that have "underlying conditions", that's scary news.


    Stay safe,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – July 2020 wrap-up.


    Anyone with half a brain knew that once businesses opened up again and people started to congregate more that there would be an up tick in Covid 19 cases. We just didn't know how much of an up tick. Some states got hit hard while others had basically no change.


    Hawaii has had a 14 day quarantine for new arrivals to the state and that was due to be lifted for Covid 'pre-testers' on August 1st. My August fishing calendar schedule was filling up but as the Covid up tick happened, the Governor of Hawaii freaked out and moved the pre-testing date to September 1st. My fishing schedule quickly went to 0. With what he just did, anyone can now realize that even the September 1st date might get changed. We're in "wait and see" limbo.


    Summer time is fishing tournament time in Kona and we were shocked when the Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series decided to go ahead with the several tournaments that they do each year. There were 3 tournaments in July. 4 more scheduled for August and the last one scheduled in September. While not many boats participated this month, there were enough teams to make it worth their while. Some of the boats here are owned by very rich people so putting out several thousand dollars for a tournament and boat expenses is just pocket change. I'm definitely not in that category.


    Hawaii's main employment engine is tourism and with so few tourists willing to do a 14 day quarantine, the state of Hawaii ranks #8 out of 51 (don't forget D.C.) for the most unemployment per capita. Many of the tourist shops in Kona along the waterfront in town have closed permanently. There are a lot of empty store fronts. The place where my wife worked is among them.


    For those thinking that I can just go fishing and sell my catch to make some money, think again. Even when there was a good market for fresh fish, the expense of running a luxury charter fishing boat costs a lot more on average than you can make selling fish. The most common commercial fishermen use small tailored boats and even those guys have a hard time covering their expenses. Maybe it's time to try a kayak?


    Stay safe,


    Capt. Jeff Rogers


    http://FISHinKONA.com


    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – June 2020 wrap-up.


    I know I have more than 10,000 monthly readers on the web and one or more of those readers work for the Department of Aquatic Resources. Just 3 days after posting last months report where I complained about not being able to charter fish, along with that and an influential phone call, the charter fishing ban was lifted. I wasn't the only one working toward lifting the restriction but hope I had something to do with that.


    But we're not out of the woods yet. I also wrote about how the 14 day quarantine is killing the charter fishing business and how to get around it with pre-flight testing. Pre-flight testing wasn't my idea; I stole that idea from Alaska. Just a few days ago, Hawaii adopted a similar policy and is scheduled to implement it starting August 1st. Yea!


    I instantly started emailing people about the rule change from the mainland who wanted to fish with me but couldn't (or wouldn't) because of the Covid 19 rules. Some bookings are coming in now but some others are still waiting to see what's going to happen due to infection surges happening around the country. I can't blame anyone for wanting to be cautious.


    It doesn't look like July will be any good for charters but August is already starting to fill with people from the mainland. I'm not expecting things to get back to normal any time soon. Not even by the end of the year. Then winter comes and so does the flu season and most likely, more Covid 19. I don't think vacation travel will be the same for quite a while.


    Hope to see 'ya in Hawaii,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – May 2020 wrap-up.

    We still have no idea when charter fishing will be allowed to resume in Hawaii. Even if they did allow it right now there wouldn't be much business because of the current 14 day quarantine mandate.

    If you fly to Hawaii, you cannot leave your hotel, condo, house except to obtain medical services. You can't even leave to get food. You need to have your food delivered. When this first went into effect, many tourists just ignored it and did what they wanted to but now it's being strictly enforced. Not too many people are willing to jump through that hoop to be in Hawaii and I can't blame them.

    Moving forward, the state is looking at Covid 19 testing in order to stop the 14 day quarantine. That seems like the smartest way to do it. Pre-testing before you can even get on a plane is needed. Not after arrival and exposing everyone on the airplane.

    I plan on staying in business and I'm finding that I have a pretty big advantage over many to stay financially healthy. The charter fishing business is largely a cash business and because of that, many fishermen hide most or even all of their charter income. I've been called a fool by several of them when I tell them that I pay my taxes on my charter income. Now that programs like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) are around, I was able to prove my income (schedule C – business income) so now I'm getting sizable weekly checks. It's not as much as I would make fishing but it's enough to keep me financially afloat 'til things get back to normal. The cheaters are having a harder time.

    Aloha,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
    http//FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – April 2020 wrap-up.


    You would think that during this pandemic that the ever changing rules concerning fishing in Hawaii would be easily found but they're not.


    In last months report I provided information to help navigate industry wide USCG "charter" laws and I was quickly (and "officially") reported on for violating the law. Even for days that I wasn't out. I got a phone call from the local authorities on the accusation(s) and I asked if he had read my latest fishing report. Yes, he did. And yes, I know I put a target on my back when I wrote it but that doesn't make the law any less valid. I stood by the law and won.


    This month there were several local rule changes but how are you suppose to know what they are? One source is the official 'Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation' (DBOR) web site but that hasn't been updated since April 14th. I found out through an email that there were some even newer rules that weren't on the DBOR web site. In writing this report I tried searching Google for any new rule changes but came up empty. The email I got gave me a hint though so I went to the 'Division of Aquatic Resources' (DAR) website and found even newer rules dated April 16th.


    The local fishing and boating rules went from "it's OK to go fishing but no charters" to "no more than 2 people on a boat" with the exception of commercial fishing as long as everyone on the boat has a Hawaii commercial fishing permit. Six foot social distancing. That's a good one for the small boats to try :) Many big boats are only operated from the flying bridge so one person driving and only one person on the deck to do all the angling, leadering and gaffing. That's OK with small fish but not very easy and even dangerous with the big ones. I'm actually set up for the 2 man scenario and do it often but most big boats are not set up that way.


    At one point this month, the harbor was blocked off by the state to anyone who didn't have "legitimate business" for being there. As I understand it, after the first day of this, it was stopped. There are several businesses inside the harbor entrance that are open daily. We still need parts, repairs, supplies and fuel for fishing and they're staying open for us. As long as our overlords allow them to stay open.


    This coming month will be one of the most interesting in my lifetime. As some states give people their freedom back, there is also a risk that the virus will have a resurgence. It could be big deal or it could be minor. That's the biggest question right now and we will know the answer soon.


    See 'ya on the water,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers,
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – March 2020 wrap-up.


    I know you're tired of hearing about Coronavirus already and you're looking forward to reading about fishing and I'm going to get to that but first I want to tell you about Hawaii's over reaction to the virus. On March 20th, the State "suspended" all "commercial permits" for charter fishing, sailing, kayaking, surfing, whale watching, diving, snorkeling, paddle boarding ..... ANY ocean activity that charges money to do it.


    They also shut down All state parks so there is no beach access to any state beach. That's almost all of them. But, here's the kicker, the "stay at home" order still allows people to go fishing, hunting, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling and so on. The problem is, if you don't have your own equipment, you can't rent any! All of the companies that rent equipment are also required to have the same commercial permits that have been suspended. There are some ways around it though and I'll wrap up this months report with that.


    March is always one of my favorite months to fish. Things really start to change for the better weather wise, sea condition wise and fish abundance wise. The marlin bite was pretty hot for blue marlin but the striped marlin bite looks like it will continue to be another slow, not so good season. Last month I said that I was hoping the spearfish bite was just running late and it turned out that it was. When March started, all of the sudden there were spearfish flags flying everywhere. We're about mid season on spearfish.


    Mahi mahi season started this month and so far it's looking good. The peak of the spring time run is just starting and runs through June. Ono season starts in May and really kicks into gear in June. Add that to spearfish season and there's plenty of white meat fish to be had. If you're looking for red meat fish, the otaru tuna bite is pretty good right now even though the season isn't suppose to start until May. Pretty much like clockwork, the ahi tuna bite will be picking up. Especially when May comes.


    The bottom fishing conditions finally got better and so did the bite. I was out last Sunday and it was hard to drift fish my favorite spot because there were so many other boats drift fishing the same area. "Social distancing" is a lot more difficult with drifting boats and fishing lines.


    I'm going to limit the wrap up to my particular charter fishing situation but I would think that the same would apply to the rest of the businesses that are required to have a commercial permit. I'm going to give you the gist of the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993: Any "consideration" for going out on someone else's boat in the form of cash, gas, food or ANYTHING in "trade" constituted a "charter", so all of the required licenses and permits are required. In 1999 the definition of "consideration" was changed to differentiate between "voluntary" and "mandatory". So, if I "require" you to compensate me for gas, ice, beer...whatever. By law, that's a charter. If you "volunteer" to help me out with any of those, we're all good. That's the Federal law anyway. So who's going fishing?


    See 'ya on the water,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers,
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – February 2020 wrap-up.


    February is always a tough month for the Hawaiian Islands because that's the month that we get the worst weather. Not at all bad weather compared to most places but we're spoiled here so when the temperature gets down near 60, we complain. When we get too much rain, we complain. When the winds are too strong, we complain. Here in Kona we are even more spoiled than other island spots because we are the dry side of the island and the huge mountains here protect us from the trade winds. Right now, the other side of the island is being pounded by 20 to 30 mph winds and it's been going on for most of the month. In Kona, we get the 'wrap around' wind effect that can be quite unpredictable. Fishing while trying to stay out of the rain squalls and away from the rough seas created by strong winds really has an affect on where you can go and what kind of fishing you can do. March is here and it will soon be flat waters and sunshine.


    The blue marlin bite has been quite good for winter. We expect to have striped marlin around in the winter but the blue marlin bite has been outpacing the striped marlin bite. It's also spearfish season but they really haven't been around much. They are usually thick around Kona at this time of the year so I'm hoping they're just running a little late and it's not an indicator of a poor season for them.


    Mahi mahi season is just starting and we're seeing a few come in here and there. The ahi tuna bite has been pretty good while working the porpoise schools. Those are the 100 lb. + size tunas. I was in a school yesterday for hours but couldn't get a bite. I think more than 1/2 the boats working it didn't catch. The smaller ahi tunas have been around the ledges and buoys. The offshore fish farm has had rough tooth dolphins hanging around it so every tuna you hook up there is quickly eaten off of your line.


    I did get some bottom fishing in this month and some days went quite well but there were several days that the bottom fishing grounds were just unfishable or the currents were all messed up so the fish had moved out to somewhere else. I always look forward to the arrival of March when the humpback whales are most active, flatter seas, more sunshine and pretty much always, better fishing.


    See 'ya on the water,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers,
    http://FISHinKONA.com

    Kona Hawaii Fishing Report – January 2020 wrap-up.


    I said in last months report that the striped marlin bite was pretty good and that the peak season starts in January so the striped marlin bite should pick up and it did. So you might be thinking, Duh.... no brainer because it's the season. But, it doesn't always work out that way. If you're a regular reader of my monthly reports you know that sometimes the season for ahi, mahi mahi, ono and other fish can start off like it's going to be a good and then it dies a sudden death early in the season. In the past decade we've have more bad striped marlin winters than good ones. It's a big ocean and there are many places they can be other than the tiny dot that makes up the Kona coast. I'm going to make a prediction that this winter will remain a good one for striped marlin.


    The blue marlin bite has been doing well too. Not too many big ones are being caught but the quantity is pretty good. It's a new year and more years than not, Hawaii brings in the first "grander" (1000 +) marlin of the year so Happy New Year....Game On! Spearfish season is just starting with the peak season starting right now. I can't remember ever have a "bad" spearfish season, only ones that weren't as good as others.


    Last winter we were catching mahi mahi even though it wasn't the season for them. This winter they are vacationing somewhere else. Ono is another rare winter catch for the most part but not always. Currently they are also a rare catch. Even the small ahi and bigeye tunas are pretty sparse so far this winter so all of these really good eating fish are hard to come by right now. Good thing there's a spearfish bite.


    I usually finish up my reports with the bottom bite but last month I didn't. It was quite depressing to have such little bottom fish action even though I was putting a lot of effort into it. This month the bite was only slightly better. Winter is supposed to be the top season for bottom fishing but Duh..... It doesn't always work out that way.


    See 'ya on the water,
    Capt. Jeff Rogers,
    http://FISHinKONA.com

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