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The Heat Goes on in Kona Fishing Report - October 12, 2016

Date of trip: October 12, 2016
Posted October 12, 2016 by FishTrack Member
  • Birthday "Mercy Bite" for Paul Dolinoy on Sapo. Blue marlin Tagged and Released on Koya 12" Bullet with Kai Hoover helping Capt. Chris Choy. Courtesy Sapo Sportfishing. 1 of 4
  • High Noon hooked a "kickoff" fish for a young angler who was in the chair for the morning rundown lesson in how to fight a fish. Photo courtesy Stuart Clements. 2 of 4
  • Flashaboo has become a favorite skirting for bullets and jets in Kona. Photo by Jim Rizzuto 3 of 4
  • Angler Tim Davidson (left) boated Kona's biggest Kona blue marlin of the week. Tim fished on Anxious with crew Shawn Palmer (center) and Capt. Neal Isaacs (right). Photo courtesy of The Charter Desk. 4 of 4
And the heat goes on. Sea temperatures remain near mid-summer highs, which may explain why some Kona fishermen are seeing July/August action in September and October. On Tuesday, Capt. Neal Isaacs weighed a 573-pound blue marlin as his sea-temp gauge read a balmy 82 degrees. That same day, Capt. Marlin Parker on Marlin Magic II released blues estimated at 400 and 150 pounds and Capt. Kenny Fogarty let go a blue estimated at 325. The previous day, Ihu Nui II released two blues and a shortbill spearfish. And that’s just a fraction of the hot fishing report.

Neal’s 573-pound October fish was nearly twice as big as any blue marlin caught in the August Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Neal, crew Shawn Palmer, and angler Tim Davidson got their fish at the end of a 4-hour trip.

Tim fought the feisty fish to the boat in about 15 minutes. As Shawn was getting ready to put a tag in and release the marlin, it took off straight away from the boat. The hard run kept the leader against the side of the fish and the tail kick wrapped the leader around the tail stump. They fought it backwards for another half hour. By the time they got it to the boat, the fish was spent beyond all their efforts to revive it. Neal is commited to releasing every fish he can, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Are warm September/October waters the trend for the future? Neal has fished all of his life and is skeptical. Conditions change every year, he said; next year it will be cold again.

Bear in mind that off-season sea temps drop down only into the mid-70s. Blue marlin tolerate seas as “cold” as 74 degrees. Colder waters are very inviting for striped marlin, shortbill spearfish and mahimahi. We’ll see growing numbers of those three important gamefish in the months ahead. Indeed, the mahimahi can hardly wait . Neal boated a very active 40-pounder on Saturday.


Neal’s 573-pound blue marlin hit just as Anxious was getting ready to pull in lines outside the harbor and “surrender” for the morning. Add “mercy bite” to your glossary of fishing terms. For another example, note that Paul Dolinoy was doing a Friday birthday run on his boat Sapo with Capt. Chris Choy. He was hoping for a blue marlin, but the fish gods seemed determined to ignore his birthday wish right to the very end. At 3:00 pm, a 100-pound blue hit to add a little joy to the day. This one turned out to be a “mercy bite” of the second order. Chris and Paul were able to release it to ensure many more Happy Birthdays.

Add “rundown bite” to your vocabulary, too. On Sunday, High Noon went 1 for 3 on blue marlin, and the first fish hit right at the start of the charter while the crew was giving guests their run down on how to fight the fish.

“Just so happened we had a 12-year-old in the chair so he got to fight the the blue,” Capt Jah Nogues said. “Dad thought that was so cool he mounted the fish.”

Some folks call this the “runback bite” because it is a big score right at the kickoff.


On Anxious, as well as many other successful boats, the lure for the season seems to be a big blue bullet head with a pink and silver “flashaboo” skirt. That’s the trade name for a shiny, filamentous material that billows out behind the lure to give the lure the full look of a healthy baitfish.

“Ninety percent of our bites have been on the flashaboo bullet,” Neal said. “The secret is in the shine.”

He thinks the “flash” of the skirt makes the lure more visible than rubber and plastic skirts do. Oddly enough, the hair-like material is surprisingly durable even against the sharp teeth of hard-hitting ono. They can’t cut it and the filaments seem to act like dental floss, Neal said.

To fish it properly, you have to use straight-running bullet lures. If you tie it to a lure with any kind of wobble, the lure comes back in as a hair ball, Neal says.

In some ways, the blue bullet with the shiny skirt may work because it imitates the size, shape and color of an opelu. Opelu are the favorite food of a wide variety of gamefish. Right about now, opelu are becoming more abundant. The ones coming in to market are averaging 9- or 10-inches in length.

Neal notes that Halloween is coming up soon, which is an important lure-selection factor on Anxious. He likes to celebrate the seasons by selecting colors related to celebratory events. He is already getting his orange-and-black lures ready for Halloween. In fact, his Saturday 40 pound mahimahi hit an orange and black Softhead lure.

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 4: Blue marlin (573) Tim Davidson, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

Oct 3: Blue marlin (160) Tom Trevarthen, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl
Oct 3: Blue marlin (200, and 150), spearfish (40) Tony Clark, Capt. Ed Mueller, Ihu Nui II
Oct 3: Blue marlin (150) Paul Dolinoy, Capt. Chris Choy, Sapo
Oct 4: Blue marlin (325) Yong Chen, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
Oct 4: Blue marlin (400) Kyle Mosley, and (150) Steve Mosley, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
Oct 7: Blue marlin (100) Paul Dolinoy, Capt. Chris Choy, Sapo
Oct 7: Blue marlin (120) Greg Stuonedock, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II

Oct 3: Mahimahi (45) Paul Dolinoy, Capt. Chris Choy, Sapo
Oct 3: Bigeye tuna (120) Kevin Gallagher, Miss Mila

Report by Jim Rizzuto

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