The good and the lucky

Fishermen say it all of the time: “I’d rather be lucky than good.”  But does it have to be one or the other?  Last week, Arnie Wolfe tied for biggest ono of the year by being good and lucky.

Here’s the good part.  Arnie fishes out of Kawaihae nearly every day aboard his 18-foot outboard Kiana Kai.  Other small boaters zip up and down the stretch of coastline from Kawaihae to Mahukona towing lures for ono and mahimahi.  Arnie pulls lures, too, but only until he runs over a welcoming opelu school.





Topshape reported Kona’s biggest blue marlin of the week, a 650 pound release. Photo courtesy of Topshape Sportfishing
High school football buddies Dave Morgan and Capt. Al Gustavson show off tag flags for Dave’s three marlin releases. Photo courtesy of Topshape Sportfishing.

Capt. Al Gustavson is on a roll after he and his boat Topshape were laid up for maintenance. In his second week back on the water, Al and his crew John Bennett put Dave Morgan on three marlin estimated at 100-, 125-, and 650-pounds.  The weights are estimated because all three were released. The 650 is the largest reported here last week.

Al and Dave are high school football teammates who have not seen each other for over 40 years.  This was Dave’s first time fishing for big-game and both old buddies teamed up to make it look easy.

Big fish have been hanging around structure lately, so Al started out by testing the area around the “pipe.”  It’s the floating end of a submerged section of equipment and aggragates fish when the current was right.  Topshape stayed around just long enough to check out the current.  When Al realized the current had picked up and was headed for the top corner of the Grounds, he followed the current’s advice and headed there, too.




Big-Fish List for 2015. 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 2015 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 2015 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail ([email protected]).

  • Blue marlin, 1,309, Michael Bilich, Capt. Mat Bowman, Northern Lights.  Aug 26.  (1,368*, Guy Kitaoka, Darrell Omori, Rayna. July 28, *electric reel).

* Black marlin, 209, Tim Flint, Capt. Butch Chee, Duck Soup. Sept. 7.

  • Ahi, 233, Ken Smith, Capt. Bobby Cherry. Cherry Pit II, May 1.
  • Bigeye tuna, 189, Meg Stern, Capt. Tracy Epstein, Last Chance. Feb. 19.
  • Striped marlin (tie), 141.5, Capt. Rocky Guaron, Hooked Up, March 26 and 142, Jody Pintar, Capt Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV.  April 8.
  • Spearfish, (tie) 52.9, Floyd Pansano, Capt. Dale Leverone, Sea Strike, March 10; and 52.7, Kasey Buising, Capt. Mark Schubert, Captain Jack, March 6.

* Sailfish, 101, Craig Cugnit, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan. 31

* Mahimahi, 53, Ray Mohammed, Capt. Jim Wigzell, Go Get Em. March 15.

* Ono (tie) 58.5, Asa Sugitan, Crazy Ann. Jan. 31,  58.2, Kawika Devine, Arnie Wolfe, Kiana Kai. Nov. 16.

* Kaku, (barracuda), 49, Ben Bermoro, from shore. Aug. 14

* Kahala, 44.5, Todd Shiraki, Treeny 2. July 8.

  • Ulua (giant trevally), 104.5, Adam Hodgson, Kayak.  March 31.

* Omilu (bluefin trevally), 13.5, Bruce Lentz, caught from shore.  April 2.

* Otaru (skipjack tuna), 29, Unknown, Capt. Chad Contessa, Bite Me. June 2.

* Broadbill swordfish, 50.5, Tony Clark, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui. June 6.

* Ahipalaha (albacore), (vacant)

* Kawakawa, 17.5, Todd Shiraki, Treeny 2, June 20 and 17.2, Moorea Suguitan, Asa Sugitan, Crazy Ann. Oct. 8.

* Kamanu (rainbow runner), 21, Adam Hodgson, kayak. May 28, and 21.5, Jim Demand, Capt. Greg Kaufmann, Reel Screamer.  Sept. 8.

* Opakapaka (pink snapper),  (vacant)

  • Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), (21) Earl K. Hind, Kilohana. Sept. 11.
  • Uku (gray snapper), 16, Todd Shiraki, Treeny 2, June 20.
  • O`io (bonefish), 5.4, James Cintas (6 years old), Shoreline.

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

None weighed but note the 650-pound release on Topshape


November 15: Blue marlin (450) Raul Salazar, Capt. Chris Cawthon, Ohana

November 15: Striped marlin (60), blue marlin (150) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

IHUNUIAndersonPBM release
After 29 years, angler Doug Anderson finally caught a marlin estimated at over 400 pounds (tagged and released). Action on Ihu Nui with Capt. McGrew Rice and Carlton Arai. Photos courtesy of Ihu Nui Sportfishing.

November 16: Blue marlin (200) Seree Harrison, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani

November 16: Blue marlin (180) Ashley Huldton, Capt. Tobin Hudgins, Silky

November 16: Blue marlin (80) Wade Bog, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II

November 16: Blue marlin (200) Jared Keller, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika

November 17: Blue marlin (200) Darryl Thompson, Capt. Chris Cawthon, Ohana

November 17: Blue marlin (100) Jeff Wilks, Capt. David Crawford, Kona Blue

November 17: Blue marlin (150) Lisa Futanich, Capt. Steve Epstein, Huntress

November 18: Blue marlin (120) Doug Anderson, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui

November 19: Blue marlin (225) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

November 19: Blue marlin (50), striped marlin (90) Fay Dear, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick

November 19: Blue marlin (400) Doug Anderson, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui

November 19: Blue marlin (100, 125, and 650) Dave Morgan, Capt. Al Gustavson, Topshape

November 19: Blue marlin (180) Chad Lake, (180) Ben McWhorter, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II

November 19: Blue marlin (180 and 250) Winston Tennant, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika

November 20: Blue marlin (300) Denny Walker, Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV

November 20: Blue marlin (30) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

November 20: Blue marlin (180) Doug Anderson, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui

November 21: Blue marlin (80 and 175) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor


November 16: Mahimahi (10.5) Laakea, Capt. Lokahi, Haruko
Marlin Magic II brought in the week’s biggest mahimahi, a 40 pounder on a Marlin Magic Ruckus lure. Photo courtesy of Marlin Magic sport fishing.

November 16: Mahimahi (30) Jared Keller, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika

November 18: Mahimahi (34.5) Phil Smith, Capt. Paul Gouveia, Lolo Malolo

November 19: Mahimahi (40) Chad Lake, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II

November 20: Mahimahi (26.5) Unknown, Capt. Rich Young, Au Struck