Ben, Zach, Nate, David, and Aaron a fun group of guys all here to watch the Ironman, joined us on the High Noon for a six hour fishing trip. The guys packed good with some food and a bunch drinks looking forward to a fun boat ride with the possibility of catching something. About two two hours into the trip long rigger came down and we hooked a Mahi Mahi. After getting David in the chair the short rigger came down and we had a double on. Zach jumped on the second one and they carefully got both fish to the boat. We made another pass through the same area and hooked an awesome spearfish unfortunately just as we pulled out the cameras he gave a good head shake and got off the hook. Great trip with an awesome group of guys and not to mention our own personal dj keeping the jams going. Thanks guys and hope to see you next year.
Kona Hawaii Blue Marlin Fishing Techniques
Blue Marlin are the most sought after big game fish in the world. Their explosive strikes, incredible aerial acrobatics and awesome strength are a great test of an angler and their skills. There are two main ways to catch Blue Marlin in Kona. One method is trolling lures (this technique developed in Hawaii). It is the most popular and the most productive way to Blue Marlin fish. I will start with this technique.
Trolling lures requires two main skill sets. One is to set out the proper lures. The second is to go the proper speed with a lure spread that give the lures action without having them flying out of the water. These lures imitate bait fish going through the water which entices the strikes. Blue Marlin are opportunistic feeders. By that, I mean the feed on a wide variety of fish. While their main diet consists of skipjack tuna, they will also feed on most every other fish they can catch and swallow.
I have seen Blue Marlin attacking and eating 40 lb Spearfish, 30 lb yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo and and 6 inch flying fish. Therefore, we want to run a variety of lures with different actions to maximize our fishing efforts. Kona charter boats generally run five rods and reels while trolling. This means that five lures are in the water at all times. They are designated as short corner, long corner, short rigger, long rigger and stinger.
Here are a variety of lures:
The number one question I get is “aren’t we going too fast”? Let’s get that question out of the way very quickly. No, we are not going too fast. Specifically, we troll at about 8.2 mph, or 8 knots. Blue Marlin have been clocked at 70 mph, so no, we aren’t going too fast. A few boats will even put out two lures while running at 20 knots going to a specific area. Listen, having a Blue Marlin slam a lure while going 20 mph is like hooking a Mac truck going the other direction. It is spectacular.
The closest lure to the boat is one the short corner. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “isn’t that lure too close to the boat”. No it is NOT! Generally the biggest lure is run closest to the boat because it causes more commotion and is easily visible to the marlin. Many experienced Captains think the biggest attractor of the marlin is the noise and white water of the boat going through the water. One illustration. I personally was bringing in a lure to the boat, grabbed the leader to take the lure out of the water, only to have a Blue grab the lure 3 feet from the boat and rip the leader right out of my hand. Generally the short corner lure is run on the second or third wake on the boat.
Here is a typical short corner lure. It is about 14 inches long
The long corner lure is on the opposite side of the boat on the 3rd or 4th wake. It probably is the most productive in terms of numbers of hits. The short rigger is on the 5th wake, the long rigger on the 6th wake and the stinger on the 7 or 8 wake. The smaller lures are generally run on the long rigger and stinger while the bigger lures are on the short corner, long corner and short rigger.
Here are typical lures run on the long rigger or stinger rods
Most lures are locally made here in Hawaii by some of the finest lure makers in the world. We take these lures, put skirts or vinyl on them and rig up a hook. So, the lure itself consists of the lure, skirts and hook or hooks.
Theresa, Rachel, Nate and Robert booked High Noon for a three quarter day of fishing. Unfortunately because of bad weather we had to cut it to a half day. The morning started off great just as we were leaving the harbor Rachael was in the chair getting a lesson on how the gear works when a 200 pound Blue Marlin ate the lure connected to the rod she was hooked up to. After a awesome couple jumps it threw the hook. Then about an hour later another Marlin, almost the same size as the first one, ate the short corner. Theresa jumped in the chair and did a great job of fighting the fish, and just before we were able to grab the leader it came off the hook. We tried to continue fishing but the weather was getting bad so we called it a day. Over all it was a pretty successful day on the water given the circumstances.
- Roger Culotta and and Patty Mince live here in Hawaii and Roger’s cousin Joelle, was making her first visit to Hawaii from Louisiana. So they decided to book a fishing trip. Having a full day trip we were able to try a few different things. We put out the lures in hopes of an early morning bite on the way to catch some bait. With the bait cooperating for once we were headed over to a buoy locked and loaded. Once there Joel landed a nice Skipjack. We switched back to trolling looking for something a little bigger, and bigger is what we got. First we missed something on the stinger, then at 11:30 the short rigger was on and peeling line off the reel. While the fish was jumping away off in the distance Roger got in the chair and started the battle of a lifetime. About thirty minutes later Roger had this beautiful 200 pound Blue Marlin at the back of the boat. After a few pictures we released it to swim another day. We had another marlin up behind the boat playing with one of the lures but couldn’t hook it. Awesome day in the water, thanks Roger, Patty and Joelle…. see you around. And congratulations on a beautiful fish!
Mike and Tanya Anderson from Sacramento, California went fishing on High Noon today. They emphasized that their main goal was getting something good to eat rather than a huge Blue Marlin. We put our best two smaller lures out….pinky and baby blue since we have had good luck the past few day catching great eating Spearfish. That way, we could go for both good eating fish and maybe a Blue Marlin.
We got out to the thousand fathom ledge, turned south….and about 7:40 am, the long rigger lure (pinky) came slamming down. Tanya jumped in the fighting chair and did a good job getting this billfish to the boat.
A few hours later, a Blue Marlin crashed the long corner lure but didn’t stick. Just after that, we missed another Spearfish. All in all a great day.
During the charter, our crew member and chef, Stu….cut up the the Spearfish and made some fresh poki for Mike and Tanya. Here are Mike and Tanya enjoying a very very fresh fish poki dish: