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Kona Offshore Update Fishing Report - October 19, 2016

Date of trip: October 19, 2016
Posted October 19, 2016 by FishTrack Member
  • Shorecaster John Nakata scored a 14.5-pound bluefin trevally from the pier in the center of Kailua, Kona. Photo courtesy of the Charter Desk. 1 of 3
  • Josh Fulton hauled a 39.5-pound ono aboard his kayak after it gobbled a fresh bait. Photo courtesy of the Charter Desk. 2 of 3
  • Paulette Pama caught a husky bluefin trevally while casting from the shoreline along a remote section of the Kona Coast. Photo courtesy of Paulette Pama. 3 of 3
Bluefin Trevally Please Shorecasters

Two summers ago, Hawaii coves, bays, harbors, and reefs swarmed with juvenile bluefin trevally. These hand-sized youngsters promised great shorefishing ahead when they grew to fighting size. A lot of these “papio” (trevallies weighing less than 10 pounds) are now “ulua” (trevallies weighing 10 pounds or more). These larger, hard-fighting jacks are now delighting shore fishermen like John Nakata who brought a 14.5-pounder to the Fuel Dock scales to be weighed.

Bluefin trevally go by the Hawaiian name “omilu” (oh-Me-loo), which, in itself is a puzzle. The Hawaiian word also means “insignificant.” Believe me, this tough gamefish is extremely significant. Ask a shorecaster to list his favorite gamefish, and he would put omilu second, behind only the giant trevally, or third behind the GT and the o`io (bonefish). Depending on when you asked me my favorites, I would put it at the top — especially if I was trying to pull one in at the time you asked.

They fight hard, are beautifully colored with neon blue hues and golden spots, and are delicious table fare.

John caught his 14.5-pound omilu while casting from the pier in Kailua Bay, but you might expect to find them within a long cast from shore anywhere you can find a safe perch.

Over the years, I have been most successful hooking them on live bait. I use live ballyhoo when I can hook them on the scene but other types of reef fish work, too. (Even hinalea.) They also hit lures of all kinds. You’ll need to work your lures fast and noisy.

You are likely to see big omilu in Honokohau Harbor as they swim around with big sea turtles and scavenge leftovers. Last week, I saw a few as big as John’s catch working in between the boats in their slip. Be aware that fishing inside the harbor is greatly discouraged. Hooked fish wrap the line around mooring lines, break free, and leave hooks behind to stab boat owners when they moor their boats.

Those same fish go in and out of the harbor, so you might be successful fishing non-mooring waters at the entrance.

In late summer, the omilu head inshore to feed on oama (young weke). They stay near shore for the halalu run (young akule). Right about now, they are spreading out along the coastline. Fish early or late. And when you catch juveniles, unhook them carefully and toss them back to grow to ulua size like John’s 14.5-pounder.

Korean General Wins Sea Battle

On Kona Blue, Capt. David Crawford and crew Chris Hudson hosted a visiting Korean military man and hooked him up to one of the biggest fish caught here last week. The visitor was introduced only as “General Woo” when he arrived at the boat’s slip in Honokohau Harbor with two officials in tow for a four-hour charter.

The battle kicked off at around 10:00 am when the aggressive blue marlin attacked a lure punching through the white water commotion churned up in the wake of the 53-foot Hatteras battlewagon. As Capt. Dave worked a hot spot on the 1,000-fathom edge a mile or so off Kaiwi Point, the marlin grabbed an Aloha Lures Deep Six and took off on a blistering run.

“The marlin screamed out a lot of line as it headed straight away from us,” Capt Dave said. “It took the topshot and was well down into the Dacron backing before it slowed down. That’s at least 500 yards of line.”

The long sprint exhausted the marlin but the hard part of the fight for the angler was still ahead. General Woo had to retrieve well over a quarter mile of line in order to claim victory.

He cranked line onto the reel for the next half hour without needing much help, Capt. Dave said. When Chris grabbed the leader to control the fish, they got a good look at the marlin at boatside and estimated the fish conservatively at 450 pounds. You can see for yourself by checking the video on the Kona Blue Sport Fishing Facebook page.

After all aboard got a good look at the fish and took all of the trophy photos they wanted, Chris set about reviving it for release. The marlin still had good color despite being exhausted so they grabbed its bill to keep it swimming, released it from the hook, and took hold of the dorsal to keep it upright. Then they “swam” it throught the water as the boat moved slowly forward. With the water pushing through its gills, they got its motor going. When the tail started kicking strongly, they let it go to swim away in good shape for a healthy recovery.

Lepika Scores Biggest Fish of the Week

And the “beasts” go on. Hawaii’s big-game fishermen catch big marlin around the calendar throughout the year. Whether the sea temps are up to a “hot” 84 degrees in mid-summer or all the way down to a “chilly” 75 degrees in the winter, blue marlin enjoy cruising comfortable island currents looking for companions and commestibles. (Yes, they come here to eat and mate.)

So it’s mid-October. No matter. On Friday, Lepika hit the beast list with a 550-pound blue marlin.

Russ hosted Tim Jauthum aboard his highly successful fishing vessel on a day when the search for a big fish was beginning to get a little desperate. At about 1:00 pm, they were trolling offshore of the Airport when a hole opened up inthe water at the spot where their black Koya Poi Dog lure had been.

Even though the sun was nearly straight up overhead and they were both staring at the wake, they didn’t see the fish. No bill, dorsal or tail popped up into view. Just a deep pocket marking the spot where the lure had been sucked under.

That’s the kind of strike you expect from a tuna. So, for the first 200 yards of the run, they were thinking about ahi sashimi. Then the marlin burst out of the water and started jumping high and hard.

When a fish works that hard against the line and the water, the angler’s job gets a bit easier. Tim, who is in great shape, was able to bring the fish to the boat in about 15 minutes.

The marlin spent its sprint muscles, which is the best reason for keeping the fight as short as possible. When a marlin settles down into using its marathon muscle structure, the fight gets long and the chances of recovery get shorter.

Russ fishes without a crew so he gets very busy when the fish is within reach. He has to handle the helm, the tag stick, and the leader. Then he has to tag the fish, revive it and release. All while estimating the size from its length and thickness. All went well and the 550 pounder is swimming south and east to be ready to return next October.

From his success with blue marlin, you might not suspect that Russ specializes in fishing for tuna. He doesn’t always tell us about how the tuna wars are going, but he did let slip that he caught his 100th ahi of the year just last Friday. That list includes only yellowfins of at least 100 pounds. Call those tuna “beasts” if you would like. And if it helps you remember that beast marlin are often found where beast ahi travel.

Big-Fish List for 2016. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we'll accept hand line catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2016 in each of 22 categories. They are listed by species, weight, angler, skipper, boat, and date. The list is updated every Sunday throughout the year (copyright 2016 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (rizzutojim1@gmail.com).

Blue marlin, 865, Louis Paulo and grandson Kalamaokalani Kelekolio-Crivello, Anela okaikea. April 16.
Black marlin, 310, Tim Flint, Capt. Butch Chee, Duck Soup, June 21
Ahi, 233, David Diaz, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II, June 5
Bigeye tuna, 173, Dave Remillard, Miles Nakahara, Puamana II. Jan. 11.
Striped marlin, 136.5, Mitchell Romero, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier. Jan 22.
Spearfish, 54, Nick Humpries, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner, Feb. 26
Sailfish, 91, Mike Foster, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Mar. 24.
Mahimahi, 53, Nainoa Murtagh, Aulani. Feb. 10.
Ono, 62, Charlie Ford, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Mar. 18.
Kaku, (barracuda), 49.5, Koi Lorance and Tyson Fukuyama, Miki. May 7.
Kahala, 70, Jessica Yell, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 22.
Ulua (giant trevally), 74, Bochan Johnson, from shore. Apr 3.
Omilu (bluefin trevally), 18.5, Mikey McCrum, Shoreline. May 13
Otaru (skipjack tuna), 28. 5, Ray Mohammond, Capt. Jim Wigzell, Go Get Em
Broadbill swordfish, 224, Matthew Bolton, Kahele, June 14
Ahipalaha (albacore), 52.5, Devin Hallingstad, kayak, Aug 13
Kawakawa, 23, Tom Schachet, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. July 1
Kamanu (rainbow runner), 12.5. Tom Britton, kayak. Apr. 13
Opakapaka (pink snapper), 9.5. Butch Chee, Sueto Matsumoto, Sandee. Mar. 12.
Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), 19.5, Greg Hong, Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai. Feb 25.
Uku (gray snapper), 31, Josh Fulton, kayak. July 31.
O`io (bonefish), (vacant)

Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more, including releases).

Oct 14: Blue marlin (550R) Tim Jauthum, Capt. Russ Nita, Lepika

Released Fish:

Oct 09: Blue marlin (450) General Woo, Capt. David Crawford, Kona Blue
Oct 09: Blue marlin (100) Nick Forhearct, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
Oct 09: Spearfish (25) Sawyer Bean, Capt. Kenny Forgarty, Hula Girl
Oct 10: Blue marlin (160) Ciaran O’Sullivan, Capt. Reuben Rubio, Sundowner
Oct 11: Blue marlin (200) Bob Breen, Capt Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
Oct 15: Blue marlin (100) Charlie Thor, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl

Weighed/ Boated Fish:

Oct 09: Mahimahi (20) Capt. Neil Isaacs, Anxious
Oct 09: Ono (39.5) Josh Fulton, Kayak
Oct 10: Ahi (110) Tod Dedwler, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
Oct 12: Mahimahi (20) Voss Markov, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
Oct 14: Omilu (14.5) John Nakata, Shoreline
Oct 14: Ahi (120) Julie Sliver, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II

Report by Jim Rizzuto

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