When a Woman Loves her Man, She Takes Him Fishing in Kona Hawaii

20140109_124322 1 When a Woman Loves her Man, She Takes Him Fishing in Kona Hawaii.  That is what Lisa Yellowlees from Victoria, BC did for her sweetheart, Rod Bieller.  Rod loves to fish, especially in Kona Hawaii, so for a “milestone birthday”, Lisa called us months in advance and arranged the surprise fishing trip for him.  There was a good prpbability that he would be calling to book a trip anyway, so we had to steer him to the date already planned for him.  This was so much fun to be a part of.  Rod and Lisa have fished with us several times in the past and we were looking forward to going again.  Rod is a retired Fire Battalion Chief  from Victoria so we have a lot in common.  So now we have a surprise charter for Rod, we are out almost all day before we finally get a bite.  This nice Ono (Wahoo) was just what we needed.  You don’t want to get skunked on your birthday.

January and February into March are excellent months for Shortbill Spearfish, Ono and Striped Marlin.  There are some nice Ahi Tuna around too.  These months transition into the famed Pacific Blue Marlin months ahead.  Although Pacific Blue Marlin are caught here year around, they show up in numbers in the summer months.

Featured in the photo above is Rod Bieler and Lisa Yellowlees proudly showing off the nice Ono.

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Fish Of A Lifetime for Alberta Canada Family

Fish Of A Lifetime for Alberta Canada Family.  On January 14 Kyle Moodie, his wife Sue, along with his Father Doug and Mother, Verna spent a full day on a family fishing trip aboard Fire Hatt. The waters were dead, silky calm and the sun was hot. We ran lines from 7 am to noon with no action, but knew “it” could happen at any time. As we worked our way south to Captain Cook Bay for a little afternoon snorkel we were pleasantly surprised the spinner dolphin were there.  I put our guests in the water and let them swim with the dolphin.  Turns out this was definitely on their bucket list.  Let’s check that one off.  Once they were back in the boat, we put lines in the water and headed out.  After finding a pod of dolphins offshore we cruised through them with no luck. Then on our way out of the pod it happened. Wham! We are Hooked Up!  Kyle is in the chair and let me tell you, as a fly fisherman from southern Alberta, Canada I’m sure he had never experienced anything like this. With over 1500 feet of line off the reel, he cranked and cranked.  We thought it was a Blue Marlin at first.  The fish tracked the lure and exploded on it.  After an intense 40 minute fight, Kyle has the fish to the boat only to have the hook pop out within in a few feet from landing it. Ouch!   A nice Yellowfin Tuna estimated at about 180 pounds… Kyle has landed hundreds of fish in his days but had never experienced a fight like this.  Truly a Fish Of A Lifetime.  As a catch and release fisherman he had no problem with the popped hook. It was a landed fish in his books.  As Captain, it is just deflating to see a trophy come undone.  Brett and I appreciated the understanding from Kyle and he knows “That’s Fishing.”  There is one way fish get hooked and a thousand ways they come off.  We hope Kyle and his family leave our beautiful Island with a lifetime of memories and come back again to claim their trophy.  That fish is only getting bigger.

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Family Fishing in Kona Hawaii at its Best

DSC_0262Family Fishing in Kona Hawaii at its Best. The Dean Family from Eldorado Hills and Clear Lake California should purchase Lotto Tickets when they return home. Thats the kind of luck they had fishing the beautiful silky calm waters of Kona.  As we left the harbor we headed south.  The day started with the first bite, a nice Mahi Mahi just fifteen minutes out of the harbor.  Mike Dean is in the chair and although the fish came undone, it set the mood and pace for the rest of the day.  About forty five minutes later as we are headed farther south, we  have two lines come down, we are hooked up!  A double on Ono!  This time Mike Dean and Mike Dean Sr. are on the mark.  They each landed their fish.  Dinner for the family! Now just off Keahou Bay, we are patroling the area  and twenty minutes later the stinger line comes down,  and then wham, the long rigger line comes down.   We are hooked up again! A double on what turned out to be Blue Marlin.  Once again Mike and Mike Sr.  were the anglers.  The blue marlin were estimated at about 100 lbs and 40 lbs.  We are not done yet… as we were leaving the Captain Cook area we had anoher bite.  This one escaped, we think it was a Shortbill Spearfish.  And finally, after a two hour lull in activity, the stinger line is ripped down again, we are hooked up!  With Gina in the chair, she lands a Striped Marlin!  We sucessfully release it and we are now on our way back to the harbor. This is a banner day of fishing in Kona!  Going to need taller outriggers to hang this many flags.  A good problem to have.

Featured in the top photo is Fire Hatt First Mate Brett Lasenby with Gina Dean and her Shortbill Spearfish along with her husband Mike Dean and Mike Dean Sr. after landing their 20+ lb Onos.  The photo above is one of the Marlin that were sucessfully released.
Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Kona Hawaii and Captain Chuck Wilson Number 1 for Largest Weighed Blue Marlin

Grander of the Year Kona PhotoKona Hawaii and Captain Chuck Wilson Number 1 for Largest Weighed Blue Marlin.

Year round Big Blue Marlin, fishing in calm sapphire blue waters with a volcano back-drop and less than half a mile offshore. Does it get any better than that? Well, we don’t think so. This is the third straight year Kona, Hawaii has made the Top 10 Billfishery List. This may not be a numbers fishery, but it is a Blue Marlin powerhouse. Kona recorded three (3) Grander Blue Marlin, with Captain Chuck Wilson on FIRE HATT, a 43’ Hatteras weighing the heaviest Blue Marlin in Hawaii this year at 1,058 lbs. Chuck also has the second largest Blue Marlin weighed in the world in 2013.   Chuck’s fish was caught on a Ken Matsuura Custom 50 lb Reel with a 130 lb Amilon mono topshot.  The heaviest Marlin weighed in the world came from Ascension Island , the famed big blue marlin fishery. Capt. Olaf Grimkowksi put angler Kevin Gardener on an absolute beast of a Blue Marlin, weighing 1,320 lbs

Captain Kerwin Masunaga on Rod Bender weighed the second heaviest Blue Marlin in Kona at 1,043 lbs with Captain Doug Pattengill on Holo Holo weighing in a 1,008 lb Blue Marlin. Kona is No.1 in the World with ninety-four (94) Blue Marlin over 500 lbs in 2013 which is also No. 1 in the World. From the ninety-four (94) there were four (4) weighed over 900 lbs and fourteen over 700 lbs

While the crews in Kona may not want to claim it, Kona is absolutely the best fishery in the world to catch a Shortbill Spearfish. While they don’t pack the punch of a Blue Marlin, they can be targeted reliably here on light tackle. In addition to the Shortbill Spearfish, the winter time brings a good run of smaller Striped Marlin and when the bite is on, catching 3+ in a day is not out of the question.

While adding some species variety makes it interesting, anglers continue to return here in search of that “special” Blue Marlin. Kona remains King of the Pacific when it comes to getting a shot at a Grander. Kona has weighed eight (8) Grander Blue Marlin over the past three years. Once again, No.1 in the World.

*For Statistics and Information on all Granders weighed and released in 2013 and prior years, visit  GRANDERWATCH .

Spearfish Are Here and They Are Hungry.

Sreve Dahl SpearfishSpearfish Are Here and They Are Hungry.  With fishing or should I say “catching” having been slow for a few weeks, the bite finally turned on.  There have been reports of Striped Marlin and Spearfish in numbers showing up daily.  We have had nice bites on Mahi Mahi too. Recently, on a half day afternoon family fishing trip,  Ken Shaw from Edmonton Alberta landed this impressive 35+ lb Shortbill Spearfish.  The past few days we have had multiple hookups.  We’ve had a good couple of days landing two nice Spearfish and a Mahi Mahi and an Ono.


Featured in the photo representing AFTCO as one of their Pro Teams is  First Mate Brett Lasenby with angler Ken Shaw.