Big Sky Big Ocean

Big Sky Big Ocean for this family from Big Sky, Montana.  John and Laura Michel were here on the Big island visiting our neighbors Bruce and Kathy Wilson.  The four of them, long tme friends and business partners were hoping for a little action and maybe a food fish to take home.  For John, his biggest fish until now had been a Trout.  Not just any trout, but a 22″ Rainbow caught in Yellowstone Lake.  There was not a lot of action early in the day.  Linda was in the glasses looking for a floater that was reported earlier that morning around the area where “F” Buoy used to be.  On the horizon, we could see about six boats in that area and assumed they got the same information.  On the way to check it out we came through an area with a little life and birds.  Jackpot!  The long rigger line is bit.  John takes position in the chair and the fight is on.  There is a little weight there and we are thinking small tuna?  Then the fish shows itself and we see it’s a nice Shortbill Spearfish!  John has the fish to the boat in just a few minutes and Adam skillfully gaffs it and in the boat it comes.  We have the food fish they wanted.  With lines back in the water we are on our way to check out the area we were headed to.  As we approach we can see porpoise.  We made several passes and did not get any action.  With that, we left the area and tried to find the reported floater.  As we headed back north towards the harbor, the short rigger is bit, we are hooked up again!  This time Bruce was supposed to be in the chair.  The line was screaming and Bruce was not in the chair yet.  Soooo, John jumps in the chair and begins to fight the fish thinking he will give up the rod when Bruce get there.  Not so much!  John lands the nice Mahi Mahi and now has two of the biggest fish of his life, his first two Flag Fish and alot of memories to take home.  There was some mention of a new nickname for John…something like “Rod Hog”.  It was all in good fun and it turns out, Bruce did not want to bring in a fish, he wanted his friend to enjoy the opportunity to fish the beautiful Kona waters.  Truly a Family Fishing experience.

Featured in the photos above are Bruce and Kathy Wilson from Kona, Hawaii and Laura and John Michel from Big Sky, Momtana

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Fire Hatt joins AFTCO Pro Team

Fire Hatt joins AFTCO Pro Team.  We are so very proud to accept the invitation from AFTCO to become one of their Pro Teams.  As a long supporter of AFTCO and their products, we are looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship while representing this organization here in Kona Hawaii. 

No fishing tackle or clothing company has done more for the ocean and its creatures than AFTCO and the Shedd family.

Some of their ocean involvement includes:

• The co-founding of SeaWorld
• The founding of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
• Several million in cash contributions
• More than 10,000 hours of donated time to conservation issues by AFTCO’s president
• Playing a major role in the elimination of gillnets and longlines.

AFTCO stands for the American Fishing Tackle Company and was established in 1958 in Newport Beach, California by J.C. Axelson, a pioneer in big game tackle development.  In 1973, Milt Shedd (a legendary innovator, himself) and wife Peggie purchased AFTCO, and a new company evolved with a concern for both the fishing customer and marine resources. In 1974, son Bill Shedd joined the company, and in 1989 he started the AFTCO Clothing Division, with the introduction of what became the world’s finest fishing shorts. In 1999, AFTCO began a relationship with Guy Harvey by manufacturing and distributing “all over print” shirts incorporating Guy’s art. Then, in 2004, Guy officially partnered with AFTCO for the manufacture and distribution of all Guy Harvey sportswear, including the immensely popular Guy Harvey T-Shirts. In 2007, AFTCO partnered with world famous wildlife artist, Al Agnew, to produce and distribute a line of clothing for the fresh water angler and those who appreciate inland game and wildlife.

You can go to and read the rest of their amazing story.

Family Fishing Adventure Aboard Fire Hatt

Family Adventure Aboard Fire Hatt.  Mark Nikkel from Chicago, his father John and his father in law Wilber, both from Michigan joined us last week for a day of family fishing.  Mark has fished with us in the past and he landed a nice 450 pound Blue Marlin.  Now returning with his family, he wanted to give it another try…maybe something bigger?  With that said, we head out.  Reports from the few days prior told us that it was lumpy up north on the “grounds” so I headed south.  It was a pretty quiet morning with no action.  Then mid day, just off Captain Cook  about 1:30 in the afternoon one of the rigger lines came down.  Nothing forcefull, it acted like a rubber band failure.  While Adam was putting that line back up, the stinger came down pretty hard.  I could see a fish still tracking the lure and Adam immediately started to tease it.  We are Hooked Up!  The Marlin took the absolute smallest lure in the pattern.  A small slender bullet made by Al Bento.  The fish was fought on a Ken Matsuura 50 with 130 lb Amalon mono.   With lines cleared and his Father the chair, the battle is on!  John fought the fish for about 45 minutes and then turned the fight over to Wilber.  Wilber fought the fish to the end.  Total fight time was 1 hour 40 minutes.  Both of these fishermen are 75 years old!  Until now, the largest fish for these men was a 40 pound Salmon.  Once Adam got the fish to leader, we gave Mark the honor of setting the first gaff shot.  I placed the second gaff and the three of us pulled the trophy on board.