Sixty years ago, Capt. George Parker made headlines around the world when he caught the first certified, world-record grander Pacific blue marlin. Since that 1,002-pound giant in November 1954, Hawaii’s lee eddies have churned up a stream of 1,000-pound blues that continues today. Kona waters average two or (as in 2013) three granders per year, along with more Pacific blue marlin IGFA records than any other sport-fishing hot spot. That parade of records continues. In March 2013, Alex Nuttall boated a 958-pound blue marlin with Capt. Chip Van Mols on the Kona charter boat Monkey Biz II to claim the IGFA women’s 130-pound-class record.
Kona’s consistent billfish success sparked a worldwide revolution in big-game fishing because these big fish were caught on lures pioneered and developed in Hawaii waters. Meanwhile, big-game fishermen elsewhere had been saying you could catch billfish only with bait. Even those doubters caught the Kona wave and started catching marlin on Kona-style lures. Kona is also the perfect starting point for novices who have never caught a fish in their lives. It happens every day, 365 days a year. Newcomers are well served by a well-maintained fleet of top-of-the-line boats and expert captains.