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Kona Hawaii fishing report, March wrap-up
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Capt. Jeff Rogers
Posted: Mar 30 2006, 08:41 PM


Kona Hawaii fishing report – March wrap-up .

Big billfish top this months fishing report. Kona’s biggest blue, biggest striped marlin, biggest spearfish and biggest sailfish for the year were caught this March. There actually were several big blues caught this month and the biggest was Kona’s first “grander” of the year weighing in at 1,049 lbs. and boated on the Sea Genie II by angler Tommy Werner. Other marlin estimated as granders were also reported as fought and lost this month. While this typically isn’t the time of year known for big billfish, it’s proved many times through the years that a run of big ones can happen anytime. With that, just when we thought the striped marlin season was over, a run on those came in also. The biggest of the year was caught on the Hookele weighing in at 138 lbs. I got my fair share of stripe action too. Although very good eating, I released all of them this month, my biggest estimated at about 120 lbs. I still maintain the biggest stripe of the decade so far weighing in at 186 lbs. Each winter I stand a chance of loosing that claim but so far, so good. The biggest spearfish of the year came in early this month and weighted in at 63 lbs. Sailfish are rare in Hawaii and the boat that caught this years biggest one (so far) at 84 lbs. is even more rare. A 15’ Hobie Power Skiff with a 50 HP. outboard motor. The sailfish jumped into the boat during the fight and landed in the lap of one of the two occupants who was sitting on a bucket. No injury was reported. .

Mahi mahi season has started and though Kona maintained a fair amount of mahi mahi throughout the winter, we should be seeing even more in the months to come. The ono seem to be biting lately also. Small bigeye and yellowfin tuna are still on the buoys and ledges and March even produced some blind strike big yellowfin weighing well over 100 lbs. .

The bottom bite has been slow. The main reason I think is that the baitfish have been rather large this season and the bottom fish running rather small. Sharks and jacks usually run in the 40 to 100+ lb. range but there seems to be a bunch of small ones down there this year. Jigging has been the key to getting ‘em and I’m sure glad that Shimano started promoting the “Butterfly Jig System” in the US recently. I’ve been using the Japanese style jigs for almost 10 years now. The problem was that I could only get good jigs by bumming them from my Japanese jigging clients. In the US, you could get Diamond, Tady and Salas jigs and it was even harder to find them in the size and weight it takes to deep jig the Kona waters. The Shimano jigs work much better by design and are now available at two of our local tackle shops. The jigs are expensive as are the hooks and connecting rings but the price is well worth it. The reels that they promote for jigging are expensive too. Instead of Shimano reels, I’ve been using self-modified Penn 9500 spinning reels and 5’5” spinning rods for years. The trick on the Penn reel is to install a 2nd silent anti-reverse dog and Loc-tite all the screws and nuts. Jigging is really hard on a reel and if you just take a 9500 out of the box and go jigging, it may not even last a single day. I also attach a 2nd handle. By shimming the handles up so they face the same direction, it really balances out the reel and it’s much easier on the arms after a long day of jigging and a lot of fights. If anyone wants more information on my mods, shoot me an email. Jigging isn’t just tough on equipment, it’s also tough on the body. If you really get into this aggressive style of jigging, you’re in for a work-out. When just one arm starts looking like it belongs to Popeye, you may want to take my 2 handle advise. It’s IGFA legal!

See ‘ya on the water,
Capt. Jeff Rogers ,
Kona Hawaii fishing
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