Kona’s biggest blue marlin catch of the year-to-date came with a pedigree from four decades back. In April, 1978, Louis Paulo of Milolii boated a 1,209-pound blue marlin on his 19-foot skiff to record Kona’s 13th grander of all time. A week ago, almost to the same date, Louis’s son and great grandson fished the same spot on the same boat and pulled in the marlin that now tops our list for 2016.
In technical terms, marlin are “opportunistic feeders.” You’ve just read about the enormous marlin that munched on a 7-inch snack it could barely see. A second wild story from last week provides another dimension on what “opportunisitc” means.
On Thursday morning, Capt. Kenny Fogarty and his brother “Stretch” Fogarty found a “nest” of shortbill spearfish offshore from Keauhou. Angler Robert Gage, their guest aboard the charterboat Hula Girl, would hook 5 shortbills as they trolled back and forth between the 200- and 400-fathom lines.
The spearfish were acting more wary than usual, however. They seemed to be playing with the lures with an eye over their shoulder. Perhaps something had spooked them because they were not hooking up well. In fact, Robert was able to reel in only one of their first four striking spearfish.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Blue marlin, 865, Louis Paulo and grandson Kalamaokalani Kelekolio-Crivello, Anela okaikea. April 16
- Black marlin, 160.5, Jim Ives, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Mar. 30.
- Ahi, 227, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika. Jan 6.
- 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), (vacant)
- Kahala, 70, Jessica Yell, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 22.
- Ulua (giant trevally), 74, Bochan Johnson, from shore. Apr 3.
- Omilu (bluefin trevally), 15, J. J. Balucan, from shore. Apr. 10.
- Otaru (skipjack tuna), 26, Randolph Fort, Capt. James Dean, Blue Hawaii. Marc 7.
- Broadbill swordfish, (vacant)
- Ahipalaha (albacore), (vacant)
- Kawakawa, 18, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Apr. 2.
- 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), 17.5, Devin Hallingstad, kayak. Mar. 24.
- O`io (bonefish), (vacant)
Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more).
April 16: Blue marlin (865), Louis Paulo and grandson Kalamaokalani Kelekolio-Crivello, Anela okaikea.
April 24: Blue marlin (175) Don Bryant, Capt. Don Strutheit, Kona Spirit
April 26: Spearfish (30) Robert Gage, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
April 27: Spearfish (25) Austin Schell, (30) Emily Schell, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui
April 27: Spearfish (25) DeAnne Cole, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Makana Lani
April 27: Spearfish (40) Kent Gutierrez, striped marlin (100), Fred Vanois, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick
April 29: Blue marlin (385) Kai Auld, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick
April 24: Ono (5 fish from 20 to 40) pounds Bill Keigan, Capt Don Strutheit, Kona Spirit
April 27: Ahi (105), Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
April 27: Blue marlin (125), Capt David Unger, Nasty Habit.
April 28: Ahi (101, 112, 136.5, and 142), spearfish (30), Ken Johnson, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika
April 28: Ono (21, and 28), Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV.
April 28: Ahi (84), Capt. Jeff Rogers, Aloha Kai.
April 29: Bigeye tuna (85) Ben Fruland, Capt. Howard Whitcomb, Intrepid
April 29: Striped marlin (50), mahimahi (10), spearfish (30), Harry Cohen, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
April 29: Ahi (101), Capt. Molly Palmer, Camelot.
April 29: Spearfish (28), Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II
April 29: Spearfish (25), ono (10), Capt. Bruce Evans, Raptor.
April 29: Mahimahi (22), Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV