Six Species in Two Days for Joe Gunja aboard Fire Hatt

Six Species in Two Days for Joe Gunja aboard Fire Hatt.  Now and then a person enters your life and it is almost as if they were sent for a reason.  Joe Gunja called me and we discussed a two day fishing Charter on FIRE HATT, fishing for Blue Marlin in Kona Hawaii in November 2017.  A little history on our adventure, Joe is from Springfield Missouri.  I was born in Harrisonville about 90 miles away about the same time.  Joe is a retired high ranking Federal Bureau of Prisons Regional Supervisor, effectively making him the second in Command, supervising over 20 Wardens. Myself as a retired Chief Officer in the Fire Department we both had a lot of stories to share on our Public Service times and experiences.

Joe had fished many of the Lakes and rivers I had as a youth and he updated me on the new (40 year old) Harry S. Truman Dam and Reservoir that is in the middle of the Southern Missouri Fishing and Hunting Region.   Joe’s wife passed away suddenly this past year with no previous illnesses and he himself had suffered Leukemia and is now in remission.  Joe is a former Army Military Policemen and then rose through the ranks of the Federal Prison System including being the Warden at three prisons.  While a disciplined and structured Man, Joe has a love for adventure and fishing.

Joe, my backup Captain Joe Schumaker and I set out and started combing the waters off Kona Hawaii and shortly later caught a 40 pound Shortbilled Spearfish, a rare species World Wide and only found in the waters of the Central Pacific.  Many Anglers throughout the World come to Kona to try to capture this rarest of Billfish as they had caught most of the other Billfish Species that lived in their Ocean waters.  This turned out to be just openers as over the next two days Joe caught six different species of Gamefish that reside here in Kona Hawaii.  Finishing off our first day adventure was a 20 pound Skip Jack and later a 15 pound Barracuda.

Day two began with an early morning bite with the first species being an Ono, also called “Wahoo”, followed by a small Mahi Mahi and then came the Big Pacific Blue Marlin.  Estimated at 300 pounds while being released, it was by far Joe’s biggest fish of his life, so far.   Attached are some glimpses of the Blue Marlin as we hooked up brought it to the FIRE HATT.

Joe Gunja and I have become solid friends and we will share many more of these adventures as time goes by.  Thanks Joe for coming out to fish FIRE HATT in Kona Hawaii!

Fire Hatt is a proud member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and AFTCO Logo 2read their amazing story.

Fire Hatt Family Loses A Dear Friend


Barbara Collins and beloved Grandson, Cameron timber proudly showing off Cameron’s Trophy Mahi Mahi!

Fire Hatt Family Loses A Dear Friend.  Ten years ago almost to the date, we met a wonderful family from my wife Linda’s home state of Texas.  Bob and Barbara Collins from San Antonio and their family chartered with us.  This meeting started a long time friendship.  Bob and Barbara brought their Daughters, Leigh Ann Timber and Lori Collins along with their Grandson, Cameron Timber almost every year after that fateful first Fishing Charter.  We caught many fish over the years and came up empty handed several times too.  They loved fishing in Kona.  We enjoyed golf with Bob and his Grandson.  Then the love of Bob’s life, Barbara passed away suddenly, leaving a void in all of our lives.  The Collins’s traveled together, played together and most importantly Prayed Together.  Bob and daughter Lori came back to Kona this past month and lovingly scattered some of Barbaras ashes along the beautiful Kailua Kona Coast that she loved so much.  We were so honored to perform the ceremony aboard Fire Hatt.  A part of Barbara Collins will always be here with us…

Mahi Mahi Makes Memories for Six Year Old Gavin Kelln

Beautiful Morning Sunrise aboard Fire Hatt with the Kelln and Dwyer Families, Waiting for the Mahi Mahi bite!

Mahi Mahi Makes Memories for Six Year Old Gavin Kelln.

Serena and Steven Kelln, Steven’s dad, Elton, and their (soon to be 6 year old) son, Gavin along with  brother in law, David Dwyer and his daughter, Sarah spent the day on a family fishing trip here in Kona Hawaii and had the privilege and wonderful experience of heading out on the water with Captain Joe Shumaker and Captain Brian Shumaker on a gorgeous morning in March.  Sightings of dolphins on the way out of the harbor were amazing and the beautiful blue sky and calm water made for a relaxing and wonderful experience.  The first couple hours of their trip passed uneventfully without a nibble but the newness of being on a boat kept 5 year old Gavin entertained and excited to be out.  They all just enjoyed the beauty of the water and the friendly company of the Captains.  This was an extended family fishing trip but also the unique opportunity to fulfill the exceptionally special birthday request of Gavin’s, to be able to fish for the very first time for his upcoming 6th birthday.  Then, within the last half hour of their trip, we had two strikes! We are Hooked Up!  Gavin and his Dad had the thrill of a lifetime hauling in a beautiful Mahi Mahi together.  Gavin had a bout of shyness and didn’t get a picture with the Mahi Mahi but Steven happily stepped in and took his place.  Although there was little action on the first part of the trip it was absolutely chalked full of firsts and amazing memories that they will all look back on with such incredible fondness.  Thank you Kelln’s and Dwyer’s for your great spirit and friendliness, we are looking forward to seeing you folks again in the future!    #familyfishinginkonahawaii 

Fire Hatt is a proud member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and AFTCO Logo 2read their amazing story.

Kona Hawaii – The Anglers Paradise

Kona Hawaii – The Anglers Paradise

May is the beginning of the two month transition of water temperatures to summer fishing here in Kona, Hawaii.  The cooler (78 to 79 degrees) water will change to the July through October 80 to 84 degree water temps.  Some of our fish population such as Striped Marlin and Mahi will move on as the water warms up.  They prefer the cooler water temps, and are replaced by vast numbers of Blue Marlin and large Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna.

No question we have year round populations of Blue Marlin and Mahi, it’s just that their numbers diminish with the warmer summer season.

Expect great fishing in Kona Hawaii as our Ono (Wahoo) run has started.   There have already been healthy catches and 40 to 50 pound size increasing up to the expected big fish of the year in the 80 plus pound range.  We fish “Ono Alley” or a depth of 40 fathoms (240) feet and some of the best populations are found right outside Honokohau Harbor.  Nothing starts a day of fishing better than an early catch right outside the harbor of one of these prized fish.  FIRE HATT had a double a couple days ago on Ono and got one that weighed 35 pounds.  Fishing south a few miles below Captain Cook is considered a safe bet to get some of the big Ono (Wahoo) …Ono is .a Hawaiian word for delicious…

We will see our water temp rising to around 80 and increasing numbers of Blue Marlin and Ahi.

If you are considering fishing one of the Kona Marlin Tournaments in summer 2017, now is the time to book your boat and crew.  The end of June and first two weeks of July is no doubt one of the best one month of Tournament Marlin fishing found anywhere in the World, right here in Kona.  Contact me at 808.987.0038 for information either fishing with us or one of our recommended boats.

Come on over to Kona and enjoy some of the safest and fun family times you will ever have here in Paradise.

Fire Hatt is a proud member of the AFTCO  Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and AFTCO Logo 2read their amazing story.


Banner Day Aboard Fire Hatt for Hank and Jinx

Hank and Jinx 46 lb Mahi Mahi Kona HawaiiBanner Day Aboard Fire Hatt for Hank and Jinx!  This is the third year Hank and Jinx have spent fishing in Kona Hawaii with us.  Every year the stakes get a little higher, actually a lot higher!  I don’t know what it is about these two, but they are fishy….this year Hank brought in our largest Mahi Mahi to date, a whopping 46 pounds.  That is considered a nice one for these waters.  As you can see in the photo it looks like we had assigned uniforms, it was just by luck that we arrived wearing what turned out to be a winning combination.  With that in mind, Hank and Jinx hand washed the lucky garments and wore them again the following day….gotta tell you, the luck was there!  On day one we had the Mahi along with a Blue Marlin Release, day two produced the nice Shortbill Spearfish  for Jinx while the 150 pound Yellowfin Tuna came on the last day with Hank on the rod. We are looking forward to your visit next June and landing the elusive Ono!

We love starting out each day with the greeting of Hi Hank, Hi Jinx!


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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Awesome Spring Break for Corbin Kinder

DSCN0136Awesome Spring Break for Corbin Kinder and his Dad, David from Houston, Texas.  I start the story with Corbin and his Dad because it was an all Corbin day.  As we headed straight out of the harbor to the 1000 fathom line things got busy right away.  Just after the chair talk, the short rigger line came down screaming off line.  We are Hooked Up!  Corbin gets into the chair and the fight begins.  Corbin brings in what turns out to be his first fish of the day.  A nice 45 pound Shortbill Spearfish!  While the deck is being cleared and lines go back out, we are still taking photos of the Spearfish when another line comes down.  Hooked Up again!  This time it’s a nice blue bullet on the stinger and line  is screaming off as Corbin is back in the chair fighting what turns out to be an impressive 30+ pound Mahi Mahi!  The stamina this young angler has is phenomenal.  An hour goes by and things have settled down.  The crew today,  Captain Joe Schumaker and First Mate Brett Lazenby are feeling quite proud of the activity so far when they get another strike, the stinger is bit again.  Assuming that his Dad, David would bring this fish in was so wrong!  Corbin jumped in and brought the fish to the boat, another Shortbill Spearfish!  These are the days you dream of especially when you have young ones with you.  We love having children on board and try our best to get something for them to pull on.  This day will not be forgotten by Corbin and his Dad any time soon.

Corbin has enjoyed fishing since he was 4 years old.  Each year his Dad tries to take him to a different spot to fish.  From offshore trips in Louisiana and Texas to the Caribbean and Central America he has caught Red Fish, Flounder, Barracuda and others.  His Mahi Mahi he caught in Kona Hawaii aboard Fire Hatt was the biggest he has ever caught.  He also enjoys fresh water bass fishing on our farm.   Corbin has great patience in fishing and gets the “fishing bug” from his grandfather and great grandfather. 

We hope to see you guys again.

Featured in the top photo is First Mate Brett Lazenby with David and Corbin Kinder

Featured in the lower photo is David and Corbin Kinder from Houston, Texas

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.


Barks Family Trophy in Kona Hawaii

Barks FamilyThe Barks Family have a Trophy Shortbill Spearfish,  compliments of Kona Hawaii.  Fifteen year old Dillon Barks along with his parents Gary and Susan Barks and his sister Reagan fish aboard Fire Hatt for two days with lots of action.  Day one started with Susan and Reagan both landing a couple of Mahi Mahi followed by the very nice Shortbill Spearfish being boated by Dillon.  The Spearfish weighed in at 45 pounds.  Not bad for this young man!  Day two was a little slower in action but Dad did release a small Spearfish.  The weather was not picture perfect for Kona during their visit, there was some light rain, swells and some clouds….but the fish didn’t seem to mind at all.  This Fort Worth family proved to be troopers!  A perfect Family Fishing Trip!

Featured in the top photo is Fire Hatt Crewman, Brett Lazenby along with Dillon and Gary Barks.  

Featured in the lower photo is the Barks Family; Gary, Dillon, Susan and Reagan from Fort Worth, TX.  

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

KONA the Anglers Paradise ~ March and April Fishing Forecast

DSCN0115 KONA – The Anglers Paradise

The forecast for March and April typically is slightly warmer water arriving, an uptick in the numbers of Blue Marlin and strong numbers of Striped Marlin, Shortbilled Spearfish and big Ahi (Yellow Fin Tuna) under the porpoise schools.  Mahi are in peak season and some of the larger Bulls will be caught now.

One way to look at how water goes by the Islands is to imagine a bathtub of water over 1500 miles across between 77 and 79 degrees.  That is the one here now and is a little cooler and Mahi, Spearfish and Striped Marlin love our coolest water.  Coming next in the 79 to 81 degree “Bathtub” will be big numbers of Ono (Wahoo) usually starting in late March and April, and some Black Marlin.  One thing for sure, the Black Marlin here are small, a 300 pound one is big in Hawaii, compared to Australia and the Southern Hemisphere where they go to 1500 pounds.

Bait fishing will also improve and the offshore FAD’S (Fish Aggravating Device also known as Fish Attracting Device) will start collecting bait and their predators’ which is great news for anglers.  When you a book a Charter boat in Kona, most of the Captain’s will have fresh information on what happened and where it happened over the last few days.

In February, the Mahi and Spearfish bite had been excellent and FIRE HATT boated a 45 pound Short Billed Spearfish in early February as well as an almost daily Mahi Mahi.  Blue Marlin are still around in the 77 degree water we have off the Kona Coast now and their numbers will only continue to grow as we head to our peak summer season.

Speaking of our peak season, it is just around the corner, so if you plan to fish a Tournament, NOW is the time to book if you want a particular boat before the good boats are gone.  Our economy is picking up, and there is improving interest in sport fishing on all the Islands and many top boats are booking the summer now.  If you want specific information or we can help in any way, do not hesitate to call us at:  808.987.0038

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Fellow Fire Fighter Releases His First Striped Marlin

Rod and Lisa 7Fellow Fire Fighter Releases His First Striped Marlin.  Rod Bieller and Lisa Yellowlees from Victoria BC  has been fishing in Kona, Hawaii on Fire Hatt for the last Six Years.  He and Lisa have been troopers when it comes to fishing.  Over the years our adventures with Rod and Lisa include many attempts at catching the elusive trophy blue Marlin.  We have not checked that one off his bucket list ….yet!  We left the harbor around 8:00 AM and headed north to where bait had been reported.  We were about about 1400 fa off “Pine Trees” when the stinger line started screaming off line.  We are Hooked Up!  Once lines were cleared, Angler Rod Bieller had the striped Marlin to the boat in just over five minutes.  Crewman Brett Lazenby had a tag in the fish and made a quick release.  Rod’s Stripey was caught on a “Silver Fox Bullet Lure” made by longtime luremaker Al Bento from Honolulu.  Rod and Lisa have caught several food fish here in Kona including Mahi Mahi, Ono and a nice dinner size Big Eye Tuna they took home for shashimi last night.  His real target yesterday was to land a Shortbill Spearfish.  The Spearfish and Striped Marlin are here in numbers now.  We did have a Spearfish come into the pattern and poke the stinger several times but did not take the lure.  this is quite comon with this species.  Sometimes you can tease them into taking the lure… however, not this time.  We look forward to continuing the adventure next year.

Featured in the photo is Lisa Yellowlees and Rod Bieller with their release flags.  Rod is a retired Fire Battalion Chief from Victoria,

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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.

Wintertime Fishing in Kona Hawaii

mahi mahi fishingWintertime fishing in Kona Hawaii, no gloves, no scarves, no boots, only sunscreen needed!  There are few months out of the year when something is not biting in Kona Hawaii.  In December however, there are still several species hanging around.  This December there was a Grander Blue Marlin caught, another 900+ pound Blue Marlin caught along with several nice size Bull Mahi Mahi and Shortbilled Spearfish showing.  These guests aboard Fire Hatt had a great day landing these nice Mahi Mahi.





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Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team.  You can go to and read their amazing story.