Big blues, “short bait bite,” celebrate tuna


Capt. Jaff Kahl may have sent Kona its next grander.  Jeff runs the Maui charter boat Piper.  Last week, Jeff hooked a fish he estimated at 900 pounds or more.  He used the designation “900+,” a kind of code for “mighta been a grander.”  They got the marlin to the boat in about three hours, placed a tag and released her.

“She had plenty of fight left in her,” Jeff said.  “It was a good feeling turning this majestic monster free to continue her marauding ways down below!  Breed on!”  More 


This year’s good run of shortbill spearfish is the gift that keeps on giving. Spearfish may be the smallest of the world’s 10-member billfish family, but catching one of these spectacular-looking gamefish can be a big event for the neophyte as well as the veteran.



In the 45 years this column has appeared here, we’ve collected a very diverse readership ranging from the world’s best pro fishermen to a curious non-fishing general public.  For the latter (and some times the former), the fishing jargon can be befuddling.  We try to unbefuddle from time to time. More 


When a fisherman watches someone else do well on a day when he hasn’t, he’ll shrug his shoulders and say “It was his turn.  We’ll get ours.”

Last week, it was unarguably Capt. Chuck Wigzell’s turn.  More 


May 2, was United Nations World Tuna Day.  The observance shines a special spotlight on Hawaii as a central focus of the US tuna industry.  Among the “wherases and therefores” in the official proclamations for the day, you’ll see a few facts you may never have heard before.  More 


Oldtimers will remember the late Dr. “Kid” McCoy.  Doc was an avid fisherman, and his boat Happy Hooker was a regular sight offshore whenever his veterinary practice allowed.  He preferred to fish with live bait rather than lures because he said lure-fishing was an exercise in futility.  During the 1977 HIBT I fished on Happy Hooker for a week and our team got exactly one strike in 40 hours of towing lures.  “If marlin are endangered,” Doc said, “It’s not by any of us.” More 


Big-Fish List for 2017. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we’ll accept handline catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2017 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 2017 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (

Blue marlin, 925, Guy Terwilliger, Capt. Cindy Cary, Cindy Lu. Apr. 2

Black marlin, 357, Todd Nakatani, Keola Toriano, Breezin. Apr 6.

Ahi, 242, Shawn Takaki, Clarence Minamishin Jr., Malama Lama. Apr 13.

Bigeye tuna, 121.5, Kelsey Bestall, Capt. Jah Nogues, High Noon. Jan 14

Striped marlin, 107, David Benson, Capt. Kevin Hiney, Kuuipo. Mar 31

Spearfish, 56, Mac Jorgensen, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl. Mar 13.

Sailfish, 93, Justin Kaber, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner, Mar. 25.

Mahimahi, 46.5, Brita Campbell, Capt. Bob Beach, Reel Screamer. Mar 2.

Ono, 75.5, Jason Wong, Donny Kobayashi, No Name. Mar. 22.

Kaku, (barracuda), 39, Chad Culbertson, Capt. Jeff Rogers, Aloha Kai. Jan 23

Kahala, vacant

Ulua (giant trevally), vacant

Omilu (bluefin trevally), vacant

Otaru (skipjack tuna), 24, Marie Hulletel, Capt Kevin Hiney, Ku`uipo. Feb 10.

Broadbill swordfish, vacant

Ahipalaha (albacore), vacant

Kawakawa, 22.5, Britt McCurdy, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 31

Kamanu (rainbow runner), 20.5, Britt McCurdy, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 31

Opakapaka (pink snapper), 14.5, Greg Hong, Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai. Jan 12.

Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), 21, Greg Hong and Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai. Mar 6.

Uku (gray snapper), 37.8, Billy Wakefield, Kiakahi. Apr 4

O`io (bonefish), 10.5, Hansen Gardling, shoreline. Mar 30.

Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more, including R for releases).

None reported


Apr 23: Blue marlin (150), blue marlin (400) Vicki Pickens, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, EZ Pickens

Apr 24: Striped marlin (100) unknown, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, Hooked Up

Apr 26: Blue marlin (125 and 225) Mark Kinsler, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

Apr 27: Spearfish (35) unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

Apr 27: Blue marlin (180 and 350), spearfish (30) Laura Kingsbury, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, Hooked Up

Apr 28: Blue marlin (400) Parker Nguyen, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, EZ Pickens

Apr 28: Blue marlin (175) Katy Hansen, Capt. James Dean, Blue Hawaii

Apr 29: Blue marlin (250) James Golia, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II


Apr 23: Blue marlin (134.5) Cyrus Machi, Genesis Marks, Naia Lele

Apr 24: Ahi (99.5) Taylor Lund, Capt. James Dean, Blue Hawaii

Apr 24: Ahi (80) Tony Mascone, Capt. Molly Palmer, Camelot

Apr 25: Blue marlin (142) Isaac Fleming, Jerry Waliezer, Miss Cindy

Apr 25: Mahimahi (three pieces from 15 to 18) unknown, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II

Apr 26: Ahi (120) Bill Manns, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier

Apr 26: Blue marlin (133) Henderson family, Dennis Bishop, Koko

Apr 26: Spearfish (28.5) Carol Ott, Capt. Chris Donato, Benchmark

Apr 26: Ahi (100), ono (20 and 25) Nicole Hewitt, Capt. John Bagwell, Silky

Apr 26: Ono (30 and 30) Mark Kinsler, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

Apr 27: Ono (20) unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious

Apr 27: Spearfish (25) Laura Kingsbury, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, Hooked Up

Apr 28: Spearfish (30), mahimahi (15) Parker Nguyen, Capt. Chuck Wigzell, EZ Pickens

Apr 28: Ono (21 and 23) Nathan Nielson, Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV

Apr 29: Blue marlin (490) Kevin Powers, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier

Apr 29: Blue marlin (304.5) Roger Beasley, Keith Chapman, Kalele

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