Giant AJ and solo double blue marlin

On Saturday, angler Ernie Schroeder pulled up the heaviest kahala (amberjack) weighed here in over 5 years.  Ernie caught his 124-pounder while bottom-fishing on the charterboat Night Runner with Capt. Shawn Rotella and crew Jah Nogues.

Kahaka124When the fishing is slow up on top, Shawn and Jah keep their guests happy by going down deep where the bruisers hide out.  By sending jigs and baits down into the depths, Night Runner people bring up kahala, ulua, omilu and uku.  The typical kahala ranges from 15- to 30-pounds, Shawn says, so he wasn’t really sure what they had hooked when this giant jack latched on.

Jah knew they had hooked something unusual when the big fish started yanking harder than expected and taking line aggressively.  Because they were fishing the 100-fathom ledge, Shawn suspected that their live opelu had been intercepted by an ahi on the way down.

On the other hand, they had already battled four kahala up to the surface including one estimated at about 80 pounds.  Clearly, they had found a kahala hotspot with a school of jacks that were bigger than usual. For the rest of the story





Two blues headed in opposite directions. The chair reel is nearly empty.

On Friday, Capt. Dale Leverone was fishing alone on his charterboat Sea Strike II when he hooked a pair of marlin at the same time. With a 500-pound tag team of blue marlin pulling him in opposite directions, and no one else aboard to help, Dale went into action.  He had been in the same situation before, and his game plan for success makes a textbook chapter worth keeping in your own notebook.

Dale had not intended to fish alone that day, but his guest didn’t show.  It was, however, a special day which he had wanted to mark with a special trip.

“It would have been my father’s birthday, so I was thinking a lot about him,” Dale said.

Charters have been slow lately, even though fish are being caught every day, and Dale had not been out on the water for over a week.  So call that rule one, if you want:  Take advantage of any excuse to go fishing when the fishing is good.

At about 7:30 am, Dale headed straight out from Honokohau and trolled until he was about 10 miles offshore.  At that point, he was about 2 or 3 miles north of the F-buoy FAD so he turned left and lined up with the fish-aggregator and trolled toward it.

For the rest of the story


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, 55.2, Heidi O’Grady, Capt. Andy Diehl, Bite Me 3

* 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, 124, Ernie Schroeder, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Dec.12.
  • 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



December 6: Blue marlin (150) Unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

December 7: Blue marlin (180) Chris Futter, Capt. Keoni Llanes, Go Big

December 7: Blue marlin (160) Tucker Tooley, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II

December 7: Spearfish (45) Unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

December 9: Blue marlin (150), striped marlin (90) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

December 11: Blue marlin (225) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

December 12: Blue marlin (175) Gena Einchenberg, Capt. Chris Cawthon, Ohana

December 12: Blue marlin (250) Ren Whaitley, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious




December 6: Ono (24, 34, and 36.5) Mike, Brad, Steve, Reel Desperate

December 7: Ahi (174) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor

December 7: Blue marlin (487.5) Dean Lingelbach, Capt. Jim Wigzell, Go Get Em

December 10: Spearfish (41.5) Jesse Korn, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II

December 12: Kahala (124) Ernie Schroeder, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner