Grander 1058 lbs Marlin

A Grander (1000+ lbs.) for FIRE HATT

Grander 1058 lbs Marlin

Something truly amazing happened for our little fishing charter company here in Kona. We landed a “Grander” which is a fish that most fisherman only dream of, weighing 1000+ pounds.

The 1,058 Pound Blue Marlin was caught by our guest and client, Salil Simon Kharat, on a black and Pink Moldcraft Softhead Lure. It took Salil only 2 hours and 35 minutes to land the Grander on a Ken Matsuura 50 Reel loaded with 650 yards of backing with a topshot of 130 lb Amilon Mono. Salil was visiting from Folsom, California with his wife and two little girls on an afternoon fishing charter and just wanted to enjoy a family adventure while vacationing in Hawaii. I’m thinking he has a lot memories to share with his family for a very long time.

This photo below was shared with us from Leigh Ann Stumfoll on the boat Sapo. Sapo was beside us when the Grander struck. This is an awesome action shot, showing the sheer size and magnitude of this giant fish.

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Check out this YouTube video below that Salil put together for us. Nice Work!

This catch also secured our entry into an exclusive and prestigious group called the World Grander Club.

A Grand Time Aboard Fire Hatt

A Grand Time Aboard Fire Hatt.  This is my first day back on the boat in twelve days.  I was on the mainland teaching my Fire Department classes and could not wait to get back on the water.  While I was away, I had a backup Captain, Lloyd Potter.  Every day I would check in with him and Adam and tell them both “NO GRANDERS!”  They just chuckled and went fishing.  Today I had double charters. I took a family to Captain Cook in the morning for a snorkel/fishing trip.  I brought those guests back to the harbor without having a bite all morning.  We did see a fabulous display from a mighty Humpback Whale though.  With the afternoon guests on board for a four hour trip, we head back out.  Salil Kharat just wanted to catch something!  Being from the Folsom, CA area, Salil loves to fish.  Having caught his share of  Trout and other species, he wanted at least a food fish today.  He brought along his wife and two little girls for a family fishing day who waited almost the whole trip for some action.  Salil’s oldest daughter told her Mom she was praying for a fish for her Dad.  With only a half hour left and heading back to the harbor, I saw something slashing the water ahead of me.  I went to check it out….now the short rigger line is screaming.  We are Hooked Up!  The fish exploded and ran fiercely.  Saul is in the chair fighting the fish of a lifetime.   The line  ripped off the reel in seconds and I had to turn the boat an chase the fish to get line back.   A fter a two hour fight on a Ken Matsuura 50 reel spooled with a topshot of 130lb mono with 650 yards of backing, we have subdued the fish.  We are all overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Marlin.  Adam leadered the fish and held her while I gaffed.  After several minutes and a come-along, we have the fish through the transom door and we are headed to the scales.  1,058 pounds later, we have our Pacific Blue Marlin Grander!  Salil has the greatest fishing story ever and his family have memories of a lifetime!  All is good in paradise!

Banner Day Aboard Fire Hatt

Banner Day Aboard Fire Hatt.  It just doesn’t get better than this!  Heather and Rob Dawson from Kamloops, Canada spend a few weeks a year here fishing in Kona.  The Dawson’s own a boat and are avid fishermen at home.  This year the two of them put in three full days of fishing.  The first day did not even produce one bite!  It has been a frustratiing couple of months for fishing here in Kona.  the bite has definately been off.  A few fish being caught each day is all that has been reported.  Every year that the Dawson’s arrive, Rob announces that he wants to go Shark Hunting.  A few years back we landed Rob a 300+ pound White Tip Shark that we tagged and released.  Last year we did not produce one for him.  So this year he wants to try again.  So on this day we head way south to “UU Buoy” to give it a try.  We head out and will troll to the area and hope to at least catch them a food fish on the way.  Then just10 minutes out of the harbor we are Hooked Up!  Four lines are screaming! A quadruple Stiped Marlin Bite!   Heather is in the chair and Rob is deciding what line HE wants.  Rob gets his fish to the boat first and it is successfully tagged and released.  The fish is estimated at about 50 pounds.  Heather brings her fish to the boat after about a 10 minute fight.  Hers is also successfully tagged and released.  Her fish is the bigger of the two estimated at about 80 pounds.  This is Heather’s first billfish ever.  Nice Work by these two anglers.  With lines back in the water we are under way for the anticipated shark encounter.  We are hooked up again.  Heather is in the chair and this time she lands her first Shortbill Spearfish.  Now we arrive at the buoy and there are a few boats fishing the area so we know there are bait fish around.  We stop outside of them and begin to put chum in the water and within a few short minutes we have our first shark sighting.  Looks like a White Tip Shark.  We bait a single hook and offer it.  One bump, two bumps, a short run and the bait is gone.  We try again and after about an hour, we have another visitor.  All we see is a big dark shape in the water and it is interested in the bait.  Again, the fish bumps the bait a few times, takes it for a short run and we set the hook.  Rob is in the chair with a huge grin on his face.  He got his Shark.  When we got it to the side of the boat, we were surprised to see that it was a “Blue Shark”.  They are known to be in the area, but not seen that often.  Rob wanted to be the one to release it, so with assistance from Adam our crewman, he held the leader and let Rob cut him loose. We photographed the fish and successfully released it back into the deep!  The score at the end of the day…Three Striped Marlin Releases, one Boated Shortbill Spearfish and one Released Blue Shark.  A Banner Day!

Big Kahuna nets a Big Ka-tuna Kona Fishing

Chet Chiara, a retired Fire Captain from Anchorage Alaska, spends many days a year here in Kona fishing, hoping for the Big One.  On this day, we decided to head off shore.  Armed with two pair if Gyros, we scanned the horizon for a Porpoise School or a “Floater”.  With just Linda and I on board today, we were quite excited about what this day might bring.  Then, I heard those three words from Linda that get me going!  “I got something!”  I then look to see what direction she is viewing and turn the boat.   She gives me an estimate on distance and tells me what she sees.  This time she sees splashing about three miles out.  A porpoise shcool with no one around!  We changed out lures to smaller ones and made our first pass.  We are Hooked Up!  The Short Rigger line is bit!  Oh, and it is the “Lucky Linda Lure”.  Chet is in the chair and the battle begins.  After a twenty minute fight, Chet has his prize to the boat.  A 97 pound Yellowfin Tuna!  His biggest tuna to date.  Chet, an avid hunter and fisherman, will definately add this trophy to his collection.  Chet has been Kona fishing for 20 years and always anticipates capturing a new personal record.  Chet was on Fire Hatt when we got the 978.5 pound Pacific Blue Marlin in 2011.  We consider him a good luck charm.