One of My favorite Family Fishing Stories

One of My favorite Family Fishing Stories.  This family of six including two young Sons and their Grandmother from Canada wanted to snorkel and fish.  So, we headed out to do just that.  On the way down to Captain Cook Bay to Snorkel we saw Pilot Whales and Porpoise.  Everyone aboard marveled and took photos of the spectacular sight.  even though we are on our way to snorkel, we do have have five lines in the water hoping for a bite.  However, not a single nibble was had on the way down.  With all the guests in the water enjoying a mid morning snorkel and swim in the pristine bay, Adam and I are planning our strategy for the return trip back to the harbor.  I decide to head out to the 1000 fathom line and try our luck on the outside.  As I approached the area, I turned north and headed up the coast.  Then as anticipated, the long corner line is bit.  We are hooked up!  In the chair is Grandma, 63 year old Donna Stewart is now fighting her fish of a lifetime!  With help and encouragement from her son Eian, they sucessfully land the beautiful Pacific Blue Marlin.  I tagged the fish and as we are attempting to release it when we see that it is not going to live.   As we get the marlin secure in the cockpit of the boat,  Eian’s wife yells out SHARK!   With cameras snapping shots of the shark, we realize that would have been the Marlins fate in the end if we had released it injured.   We bring Donna’s fish to the scale and are pleased with the 444 pound weight.  What a memorable day.


Featured in the photo is the Stewart Family with Donna’s 444 Pound Pacific Blue Marlin

That’s Fishing in Kona Hawaii

That’s Fishing in Kona Hawaii.  Dave Greathouse and his wife Barbara from Wisconsin enjoyed a leisurely morning aboard Fire Hatt waiting for a bite.  A real leisurely morning.  Nothing, not even a rubber band failure.  Originally, the couple intended to do a little snorkeling at Captain Cook Bay but someone forgot to pack their swimsuit.  Then it was discovered that their underwater camera was dead and they did not have the power cord to recharge it.  However, these slight misshaps gave them more time with hooks in the water.  This is their first time to fish in Kona Hawaii and the anticipation was contagious.  After several hours of no action, Dave broke out a prize cigar and ask if there was any way he could smoke it….. we closed up the Salon and let him light up on the back deck.  Once he finished the cigar and noted it had not brought him the luck he anticipated, he donated the remaining stub to mother ocean.  Within seconds the stinger line is bit and line is screaming off.  We are hooked up!  It’s a Marlin!  Dave did a wonderful job bringing in his first Pacific Blue Marlin.  It took him all of 25 minutes.  The Marlin was released unharmed and took off jumping and putting on a great show.  When our guests asks me if I ever get tired of this, I always tell them “Are you kidding?  Fishing here is like driving through a mine field…you never know when one of the lines are going to explode!”

The Honeymooner’s Fishing in Kona Hawaii

The Honeymooner’s Fishing in Kona Hawaii!  Yet another story about wedded bliss and the lucky Bride!  Linda thinks there is something about a newlywed couple and luck on the water.  I am beginning to agree with her… Rob and Kendra from Southern California boarded Fire Hatt with the anticipation of getting in a little snorkeling at Captain Cook Bay and a little fishing that hopefully will include some catching.  Adam had just completed the chair talk and they had settled in on the bridge when I was telling them how we “look with our brain” for any activity or floaters on the water.  I wasn’t even finished telling them when Kendra spotted a floater.  Turns out to be a nice net.  Perfect!  On our first pass, we are hooked up!  Rob is in the chair and he lands a nice 31 pound Bull Mahi Mahi.  Nice way to start the day.   A couple more boats showed up and after making several more passes without another bite, we moved on.  Off to Captain Cook to snorkel now.   The water was absolutely calm and clear while we were greeted by porpoise at the bay.  Having finished a wonderful swim, we are headed back out.  With lines back in the water we are about 10 minutes straight out from Cook when BAM!  The short rigger line is screaming!  We are hooked up again!  Did I mention it was the very Lucky Linda Lure….Kendra is in the chair fighting her fish of a lifetime!  She is a petite little thing and fights the Blue Marlin literally standing in the fighting chair.  After a  35 minute fight, we are able to release her approximately 225 pound Pacific Blue Marlin.  She did such a great job!  To summarize the event, I go back to Honeymooners, Lady Luck and the Lucky Linda Lure!

Good Luck for the Soon to Be Groom

A guys day out before the Big Day proves to be very lucky for the groom and his soon to be brother in law.  Danny and Anthony along with their Dads  John and Tony boarded Fire Hatt for a day of family fishing just like every one of our guests…hoping for a little action!  Let me tell you about how much action…  Shortly after the chair talk while I was headed to an area where I had been seeing fish and had a few bites the day before, the long rigger is bit.  We are hooked up! Considered to be Good Luck for the Soon to Be Groom, Danny is in the chair first.  He should after all have the first fish.   The bite turns out to be an Ono.  A rouge Ono in the deep!  Danny brings the fish to the boat in just minutes and the lines are put back out.  We continue to scout the area until we are bit again.  This time the short corner is bit.  Hooked Up again!  This time it is the real thing!  A nice Blue Marlin took Linda’s favorite Hi-5 lure.  As Tony is getting in the chair the fish is screaming off line.  After a 30 minute fight, the fish is to the boat and is tail wrapped in the line.  We are able to quickly get the fish turned around and remove the hooks.  With determined effort, the 200 pound Marlin is revived and swims away healthy.  The Ono was Danny’s first and the Blue Marlin was Tony’s first.  The group were experienced fishermen from Florida and this was their first time fishing in Kona Hawaii.  I don’t think it will be their last…..   The Groom was able to bring fresh Ono to the family that evening.

One Day Was Not Enough Fishing in Kona

A swing and a miss!  Sightings of fish either jumping in front of us or in the distance, we could not get one to go!  This group of six friends and family came to fish Kona last week.  They booked their family fishing trip a few months ahead of time and anticipated the trip from then on.  The group arrived early and we headed out.  We had so much fun with this group from the time they boarded till they departed that afternoon.  Linda was the deckhand today, she was a busy girl. The day was just getting started when one of the girls spotted a tuna roll out to the side of the boat, I turned that way and in seconds we are hooked up with the line peeling off the reel. Unfortunately it dropped it after a couple of seconds. We ended up having an excellent day with porpoises swimming beside the boat, great snorkeling in Captain Cook Bay and many sightings of fish, even a huge blue marlin jumping 50 feet in front of boat.  This proved to be so much fun for them that they called the next day and ask if we had an opening so they could go again because one day was not enough fishing in Kona ….we did!  Needless to say, the second day was equally fun with no fish to report.  They are good sports and assured us they are avid fishermen and women and understand you don’t catch all the time.

BIG Surprise for Tucson Family Fishing in Kona

BIG Surprise for Tucson Family Fishing in Kona.  All the Roddy family wanted was some small fish for their children to pull on…. That’s how it goes in Kona, Hawaii.  The family from Tucson, AZ boarded Fire Hatt for a half day charter with the anticipation of entertaining the kids and letting them pull on some small fish.  We were headed offshore to “F” Buoy where there were some reports of bait holding.  With the idea we might catch something a little bigger for Mike (Dad) we had out a nice assortment of lures that might snag a nice Shortbill Spearfish or Mahi Mahi along the way.  Shortly after giving the family the “Chair Talk”  we settled in for the ride to the buoy.  At 8:15 Adam saw a dorsal fin slide up behind the short corner lure.  Adam quickly started teasing the fish by dropping the lure back and retreiving it a few times, finally after just a few seconds the fish opened his mouth and Adam dropped it right into its mouth.  GAME ON!  We are hooked up!  Mike is in the chair fighting the fish of a life time.  After a 55 minute fight, we have the Pacific Blue Marlin to the boat.  The fish is weak and not responding to the efforts to revive it.  It is evident we are not going to be able to save the fish, so we are boarding it and headed to the scales.  The Pacific Blue Marlin weighed in at 697.5 pounds and was 125 inches long.  Caught on a Bomboy Lure,  this is the biggest marlin for Fire Hatt this year.  The bittersweet of the story…it is two days before the start of the H.I.B.T (Hawaii International Billfish Tournament) and we would really love to have had this fish next week!  It was a good warm up.

I think they will be back to try for the small fish they promised the children.

Family Fishing In Kona

Family Fishing In Kona.  I want you to meet the Hamilton family from MA.   I dare you find anyone in this family without a smile.  All day long the smiles were contagious.  From the time we met them on the dock until we brought them back to the harbor,  the enthusiasm and camaraderie in this family never faltered.  We started out inshore with the Ono lures in the pattern.  We are headed to Captain Cook to do a little snorkeling.  On the way down the coastline Linda spotted something floating off in the distance.  Knowing this family really wanted food fish, I quickly headed a little offshore to check it out.  There it was, a nice big coiled rope.  Not only that, we had no other boat in sight and it was holding Mahi Mahi.  One pass and we are hooked up!  Dad (Jim) is in the chair.  He lands the first Mahi Mahi effortlessly!  High fives all around and Adam and Linda get the lines back in for another pass at the floater.  Hooked up again!  Caitlin is in the chair fighting her Mahi Mahi.  She too brings her fish in with little effort.  At this point, Dad’s fish is biggest.  Lines back in again and we are making another pass to try for something for Sarah.  One pass, nothing.  Second pass, nothing.  We try several more passes without a bite and then decide to leave it and head back inshore to “Ono Lane” and on to Captain Cook.  When we arrived at Captain Cook, there were Spinner Dolphin in the bay entertaining several kayakers.  We approached with the family on the bow filming the action.  It was awesome!  Later after we finished our snorkel the Dolphin were still in the bay and I was able to put Caitlin and Sarah in the water to swim with them.   What a thrill.  The girls are both Rowers and are very strong swimmers, they had no trouble swimming with the graceful animals.  Now as we are headed back up the coast to the harbor, we have the Ono lures back in the water and as planned…..we are hooked up!  The Ono we have been waiting for.  Now Sarah is in the chair and this is a much stronger fish than the Mahi Mahi.  Sarah buckles down and starts cranking.  She has landed the largest fish of the day!  With that, we decided to head back offshore and try for a Pacific Blue Marlin for Jim.  This is just one of those days… we are hooked up again!  A Pacific Blue Marlin!  Jim is getting to the chair, the stinger line is screaming , the Marlin makes a few jumps and it is off.  AAARRRGG!  Still the excitement was thrilling.  This is one of those perfect Family Fishing in Kona days.  Something for everyone!

Teen Tenacity and Tuna

Teen Tenacity and Tuna were the equation for the new family record fish!  15 year old Jamie was the first angler today and this would be her first fish EVER.  (I always lean toward Lady Luck and first timers as good omens.)  Back home in Florida, Jamie is a Varsity Cheerleader and is very strong.  This proved to be helpful today when she jumped in the chair as the stinger line is screaming off.  We were making a pass on the 500 fathom line straight out from the cruise ship when we hooked up.  They even commented on that because they arrived today on that same ship.  Jamie fought this fish with everything she had and never tired.  Her Dad, Ron was beside her the whole time coaching her on keeping the line going back on the reel even and encouraging her to keep winding until the tuna was landed.  When the fish came to the boat, we were not actually expecting a Tuna, the fish did not sound into the deep as tuna tend to do, it stayed pretty shallow.  (Maybe because Jamie did not give it a chance to dive.)  It was too heavy for a Spearfish and it never jumped like a Marlin…needless to say, she set the bar pretty high for the rest of the family.  With lines back in the water our goal is to get her older brother Justin a fish too.  The day is almost over and we have to get the family back to the Cruise Ship.  Justin will have to wait to claim a new family record.  We are looking forward to having this family back soon.

Lucky Linda Lure is Back!

Today we had the Sorenson’s,  a “Ready to Fish” family from Arizona aboard Fire Hatt full of energy and true Team Spirit, right down to the neon yellow team shirts they were sporting!  They self labeled themselves as the “Highlighters”.  Today it was all about Mom (Amy) getting a fish.  Sooo, Linda had Mom in the chair with the rest of the family closely listening while she went through the run down.  We are ready!  Now all we have to do is wait for the fish.  There had been a couple of Blue Marlin releases today and reports of Ahi and Spearfish too.  Nothing for us by lunchtime…..ouch.  There had been a lot of bait at “F” and “C” buoys the last few days so our plan was to check them out first.  As we approached each buoy and talked to a few of the other Captains, it was apparent that the Steno Dolphin were around both buoys today so we kept moving.  It is impossible to land a fish with these Rough Toothed thieves around.  We changed out lures a couple of times hoping to put something out that would interest a fish.  Finally, Amy ask which line had the Lucky Linda Lure on it?  Well, it wasn’t out.  It had not been bit in a couple of weeks and was not in the lineup.  So with the suggestion from Amy that we run it, it was put into the pattern on the long corner where it likes to run.  The family had gone to the bow of the boat to take a few photos and hang out for a while when the fish hit!   You can probably guess the rest of the story.  The Lucky Linda is bit!  We are Hooked Up!  Everyone is trying to get to the cockpit as line is screaming off.  With the bite almost into the backing, Mom suggests that Stephen aka Dad get in the chair.  Stephen fights the fish effortlessly and brings in the family’s prized Shortbill Spearfish!  The Lucky Linda Lure is Back!  Now we still have to satisfy the need for Amy to get her fish, I think they will be back to fish again in Kona Hawaii.

Featured in the photo above is the Sorenson Family proudly displaying their team colors and the Spearfish Flag.

Not Always Bigger in Texas

Not Always Bigger in Texas.  When Chris, Jana, Nick and Tyler boarded FIRE HATT they were all smiles and full of anticipation for what the day might bring.  The 14 year old brothers, Nick and Tyler had just finished a Scouting trip at BSA Sea Base out of Marsh Harbor, Abacoa Island, the Bahamas. They lived and crewed on a 65′ catch for a week where they ate, slept, etc on boat. They got to snorkel, fish and visit the cays. Their boat caught 2 mackerel, 4 mutton snapper and 4 barracuda.  Until then the largest fish Tyler had ever caught was a Perch.  Now here they are, fishing in Kona Hawaii where we are home to some of the largest Blue Marlin, Ono, Spearfish, Tuna and Mahi Mahi in the world.  They have no idea what is about to happen.  (We don’t either)  Adam has given the chair talk to everyone.  Each having had a “lesson” in the chair it is determined that Dad will go first.  We are a couple of hours into the trip listening to the activity on the radio from a local tournament.  There are a few hook ups, and a few boated fish.  Nothing for us yet.  Then, the stinger line comes down screaming and we are Hooked Up!  Chris is in the chair and has the fish to the boat almost as fast as we can get the other lines cleared.  A nice Ono about 25 pounds.  Out in the deep!  Normally we are pounding the 40 fathom line close to shore hoping to get one.  With the fish subdued and put on ice, we are off for another fish.  This time Nick will be the angler.  Sure enough, about an hour later the long rigger is bit.  Nick is in the chair and the fight begins.  We aren’t sure what it is.  A blind strike on the 1000 fathom line.  As Nick gives all he has to bring in the fish, it is a Shortbill Spearfish!  A nice 30 pounder!  Not a bad day on the water for this Texas family.