The year 2016 is already off to a fast start for Kona. It was only 3 days old when Hula Girl boated a 625-pound marlin to lead the Big Fish List. Last year, we didn’t see our first 600-pounder for over a month. And less than a week had gone by this year when Capt. Russ Nitta caught a 227-pound tuna. Last year, no ahi of that size showed up at the scales until May. Spearfish and striped marlin have been regular catches, enabling several boats to report “triple-billfish slams.” (The “slam” trio includes a shortbill, blue and stripe.)
And the list goes on but let’s start at the top with the year’s biggest-to-date blue marlin. When the 625-pound blue hit, Capt Kenny Fogarty was running the Hula Girl with his brother “Stretch” Fogarty along as crew. Not only did it top our blue marlin list, it was also the third fish of a triple slam for the day, Kenny said.
“We hooked a stripe and let that one go,” Kenny said. “Then we hooked a spear on a long-corner bite. Then the big one hit a Haole Boyz bullet soon after we put the baits back in the water.”
All bites were in the same area (between “the elbow” and the harbor) with action lasting just over two hours right around the tide change. What attracts one type of billfish attracts the others. (Or maybe they attract each other. More on that later.)
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 ([email protected]).
- Blue marlin, 625, Sunny Water & Marc Hembrough, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl. Jan 3.
- Black marlin, (vacant)
- Ahi, 227, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika. Jan 6.
- Striped marlin, 101, Ric Palumbo, Capt. Kenny Llanes, Lehuanani, Jan 9.
- Spearfish, 48.5, Andrew Bristow, Capt. Dale Leverone, Sea Strike. Jan 7.
- Sailfish, (vacant)
- Mahimahi, 36, Larry Peardon, El Jobean, Jan 2.
- Ono, 28.5, Dominic, Capt. Trevor Child, High Noon, Jan 3.
- Kaku, (barracuda), (vacant)
- Kahala, 1(vacant)
- Ulua (giant trevally), (vacant)
- Omilu (bluefin trevally), (vacant)
- Otaru (skipjack tuna), (vacant)
- Broadbill swordfish, (vacant)
- Ahipalaha (albacore), (vacant)
- Kawakawa, (vacant)
- Kamanu (rainbow runner), (vacant)
- Opakapaka (pink snapper), (vacant)
- Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), (vacant)
- Uku (gray snapper), (vacant)
- O`io (bonefish), (vacant)
Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more).
January 3: Blue marlin (625) Sunny Water & Marc Hembrough, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl
January 3: Blue marlin (450) Gale Otare, Capt. James Dean, Blue Hawaii
January 4: Blue marlin (150) Julian Tooman, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick
January 4: Blue marlin (60) Denny Marc, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
January 4: Blue marlin (300) Nick Eaden, Capt. Bomboy Llanes, Bomboy’s Toy
January 5: Blue marlin (150) Polly Rasmussen, Capt. Lance Gelman, Medusa
January 6: Striped marlin (40) Jack O’Brien, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II
January 6: Spearfish (25) Robert Whitenberg, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui
January 6: Blue marlin (275) Joe Pascoe, Capt. Kerwin Masunaga, Rod Bender
January 6: Blue marlin (175) Greg Garlagher, Capt. Al Gustavson, Topshape
January 6: Spearfish (20) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor
January 7: Spearfish (20) Carol Herren, Capt. Bruce Herren, Raptor
January 7: Blue marlin (150) Greg Marsolais, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
January 7: Blue marlin (350) Ryan Heisen, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
January 7: Blue marlin (400) Bill Tarvek, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
January 8: Blue marlin (400) Christina Wilson, Capt. Don Strutheit, Kona Spirit
January 8: Striped marlin (120) Scott Setniker, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick
January 9: Blue marlin (100) Cheryl Hotchkiss-Loos, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II
January 3: Blue marlin (483) Paul and Keoni, Breezin II.
January 3: Ono (28.5), Dominic, Capt. Trevor Child, High Noon.
January 6: Striped marlin (100), Sierra Rathdon, Capt. Dale Leverone, Sea Strike
January 6: Ahi (227), Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika
January 7: Spearfish (48.5) Andrew Bristow, Capt. Dale Leverone, Sea Strike
January 8: Blue marlin (454) John Boyd, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner
January 9: Striped marlin (101) Ric Palumbo, Capt. Kenny Llanes, Lehuanani
January 9: Spearfish (43) Kevin Moe, Capt. Lisa Hubbard, Miss Veronica
January 9: Blue marlin (432) Li’i Purdy, Capt. Ryan Jarvill, Cloud Nine
January 9: Spearfish (24) Davin (age 4) and Mark Leong, Leilani.
Harvey Carlsmith: Reading your article about the bill fish tagging and releasing program is fantastic. I spend a lot of time tagging bull trout and other fish in addition to radio tagging and tracking. What a great thing to keep that fishery strong and healthy.