The Fire Hatt Difference

Story Credit from Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine

The Fire Hatt Difference

Former Southern California Team Fire Hatt, husband and wife Chuck and Linda Wilson, have found their dream life, running their charter boat Fire Hatt in Kona, Hawaii. The two were well known for fishing both mako shark and marlin tournaments in Southern California and spent most of their summers in Avalon, fishing, snorkeling, diving and being with friends. For two seasons they were featured on the network series The Shark Hunters as well as winning the Zane Grey Marlin Tournament.

When Chuck retired from Manhattan Beach Fire Department, the couple decided to move and live in Kona, Hawaii. Making that move was not for the faint at heart. The logistics of moving their boat on a freighter and all of their belongings in an oceangoing container to unfamiliar ground was a real test.

The Fire Hatt has been an amazing business as well as such an amazing way to meet some really amazing people. The couple’s philosophy is “when folks show up on the boat as a guest, I want them to leave as a friend,” Chuck says.

Chuck and Linda have made some amazing headway and accomplished every top captain’s dream by catching their grander blue marlin off Kona. They have had many other large marlin, but that grander is about the most prestigious accomplishment any skipper can make.

Years into the business they have continued to provide a better program than the year before so they do not risk being left at the dock. Chuck’s belief is:”If you focus on your business, it does not matter what others are doing. Providing a better service model benefits everyone, especially future charter guests.”

Please give Chuck and Linda a shot to show you an angling good time while in Kona. They will show you both the similarities and differences with your own fishing experience and how they do it and why. Their 43ft Hatteras is immaculate, and they employ the finest in reels and equipment-all matched in size and manufacturer from light tackle to the 130 Shimano Tiara reels for the trophy fish.

Visit or call 808-987-0038 to book your adventure today.

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.


A Family Affair

DSCN9796 1A Family Affair.  When Howard and Deb Tieden from Wasilla, AK booked their Charter they stated that they only wanted food fish.  Any food fish.  They see many trophies in their business and cater to guests in the same manner we do.  The couple own and operate Arrowhead Outfitters in both Alaska and Texas.  Howard is a Brush Pilot and Air Taxi, transporting guests to hunting and fishing camps in the two states.  You name it, Moose, Texas Deer Wild Boar,Caribou, Bear, Sheep Fish and more.  This trip was a Family Affair.  Their Daughter Stephanie was getting married.  As a wedding gift they booked the charter.  Deb shared a story with me about carrying Stephanie in a backpack while hunting and fishing….so fishing is in Stephanie’s genes.   With over a dozen family members wanting to fish, we had to have two boats available.  Fire Hatt had the privilege of taking the Bride and Groom, the Tiedens along with the Grooms Father Leo Gunderson and Grandson Jason Gunderson.   Captain Bill Casey aboard Pacific Blue took half of the group including Deb’s parents, Snooks and Kenny Moore .  We had a mini tournament between the two boats to make it interesting.  Game On! We started out in what we refer to as “Ono Lane” hoping to bag a food fish.  After several hours of no bites, birds or life we decided to move offshore to the pens and see if we could catch a few tunas.  As we approached, we could see the Steno Dolphin there and knew our efforts would be wasted.  So we moved off to “F Buoy”.   Bingo,  the first line in the water is bit.  Jason Gunderson is on the rod and pulls in the first fish!  Nice!  We stayed for several more passes and the Stenos found us.  We couldn’t get any more fish to the boat without having them bit off.  We head further offshore and put out the lures and hope for a tuna.  After about an hour of trolling, the group decided they wanted to go back and take their chances with the Stenos and try for a few more small tunas.  This paid off!  The Stenos had moved on and we were able to pull in several more small tunas.  With time running out, we had to leave and head back to the harbor.  With lures back in the water we head in.  About half way there, the long rigger line is bit!  The line comes down and the fish comes off.  We are able to tease the fish and keep it interested.  He takes a few more strikes at the long rigger bait and then switches to the stinger line.  We are hooked up!  Larry Gunderson  (AKA “The Groom”) is in the chair and makes for a short fight bringing in this 40 pound Short Bill Spearfish.  Talk about a perfect finish for a day!  Oh…we won this little competition.  All in good fun!

Featured in the photo above is Howard Tieden. Stephanie Gunderson, Deb Tieden, Jason Gunderson and Larry Gunderson.

Fire Hatt is a member of the AFTCO Pro Fishing Team

Ono Becomes Last Minute Delight

Ono Becomes Last Minute Delight for Brothers Rob and Ron along with their Dad Robert and his twin Brother Ron.  No kidding, all we had to remember was two names.  The day started with the usual anticipation.  We headed out of the Harbor with offshore lures in the water hoping for Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Shortbill Spearfish or Marlin.  These guys wanted a fish!  Period!  As mid morning arrived and no bite for us yet, the mood was changing along with the lures.  Still no bite.  There was a tournament going on and we were listening to the radio chatter.  Or lack of radio chatter.  Turns out, there just wasn’t any fish being caught.  Although, we had fun not catching!  These guys bantered back and forth with Adam, Linda and I all day.  They even joked about wanting to know the best place to buy fish.  Now the lures are being changed out again and we are headed in to “Ono Lane”.   We are still putting out the lures and we are Hooked Up!  (Never so happy to hear a line scream!)  Earlier in the day, Adam had spotted a lure we had not run before.  He rigged it up and had it ready for the afternoon Ono run.  This is the lure that got bit within a few minutes of being set.  We appropriately named it “Yummy“.  Robert Sr. is in the chair and fighting his fish.  After a short fight he had the fish to the boat.  Dinner Tonight!  As you can imagine, the mood quickly changes.  Smiles all around.


Kona is indeed the Anglers Paradise

KONA – The Anglers Paradise

If I were involved as an Attorney Officer of the Court in a trial, I would now simply say…”I rest my case”.  I offer this as the next exhibit as to why Kona is indeed the Anglers Paradise of the World.  In this year’s World Cup Marlin Tournament, one day, a one day only, Worldwide, winner take all Marlin Tournament held on July 4th each year, with 500 pounds being the minimal weight to qualify, and 145 teams around the World participating in their own waters, in the end, only KONA had met the minimum weight to qualify as a winner.  Not just one 500 pound Marlin was caught July 4th, 2011, in Kona, there were THREE….

Add in the winner’s prize of around $600,000 and this can be an exciting day in your life. Kona has won this event more than any other location with Bermuda and Mediera also being multi winners of the event.  This year, Tom Whitcraft’s team from Thailand were aboard FIRE HATT for a full week of big league Tournaments in Kona.  Moments before the Radio crackled with the news that no qualifying Marlin were caught around the World, leaving Kona as the last participants, an explosion of the long rigger and a screaming 130 Shimano reel giving clear evidence of size and strength, 1000 feet of line disappeared in an eye blink.  Two people on the deck yelled out they saw a “Bill”.  For the next hour angler John Page, from England fought the fish back to the surface and everyone on board had visions of a large Marlin soon to be surfaced. Chuck Wilson, the Captain had voiced his concern that when a big fish like this does not surface, it could well be a large Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) but the fish did not “dig deep” and stay straight down but fought at shallower angle….so maybe….. Alas, not to be, an Ahi that weighted 186 pounds, gilled and gutted, appeared….and it was tail hooked…which explains the “I saw a Bill” comments.  They saw the blinding blur of the tail fins no doubt.  Can any of you imagine at being disappointed capturing and weighing a 186 pound (probably over 200 with blood and entrails attached) Ahi?????   Such is the World of Tournament fishing. Congratulations to the boats Maui Jim (792 pounds), Sea Geni (585 pounds) and the Five Star (535 pounds) for their huge fish in the World Cup this year.


Kona Fishing Tournament Time!

Its Kona fishing tournament time!.  With the first of the tournaments starting the 24th and 25th of this month.  Last year Russ and Debra Whitman from Redondo Beach, CA arrived excited and prepared to fish the Rock N Reel Marlin Tournament. On the second day of the tournament we hooked this 560 lb Blue Marlin to win the Largest Marlin Category.  Russ and Debra have a long history of winning fishing tournaments on the West Coast of California.  Having fished and owned boats for a lifetime, tournament fishing in Kailua Kona produced  the largest winning Marlin they’ve had.  The Whitman’s along with Rich and Pat Haley, another popular So CA Team will be arriving soon to try their luck at claiming another title later this month.

The Trials and Triumphs of Marlin Fishing in Kona Hawaii

Lost Marlin, Marlin that strike and don’t stick, Marlin that come up in the pattern chasing a lure and doesn’t take it, Marlin that spit the hook at the boat and finally, a hook set breaking today.  Need I say more?  Five chances in four days.  This is not a sport for the emotionally weak!  With that off the table, the fish are here.  Big League Marlin Fishing in Kona has begun.  The thrill is here with the anticipation of the big one.  With our tournament season approaching, great detail to tackle and the condition of the boat is now top priority.

E J's First Billfish

First Billfish for Guest Fishing in Kona

E J's First Billfish

E J and Johnny Vaughn, longtime Huntington Harbour, CA residents and fishermen spent the day aboard the Fire Hatt in Kona, Hawaii, for a day of fishing.  They entered the local “Dirty Dozen” tournament held the first Saturday of each month.  With much anticipation, we blasted off the starting line after Start Fishing was announced.  Johnny told us E J would be the first angler.  He wanted her to catch her first Marlin.  After the “chair talk”, E J was wide eyed and anxious as we waited for the line to scream.  During that time we listened to the radio as two boats hooked up.  Top Shape boated a 301 lb Blue Marlin and JR’s Hooker boated a 458 lb Blue Marlin to take the lead. Then the stinger line was hit!  E J hopped in the chair and brought in her catch, while not a prize Blue Marlin we were hoping for, it was still her first billfish.  Look at her smile, I think she was happy with her catch.  After getting back to the harbor and taking photos, we started cleaning and packaging her fish.  We always look in the stomach to see what the fish are eating…. we found a tiny Marlin!  E J quickly pointed out that she really had a double…. hard to argue.

Pacific Rim Fishing Supplies Wounded Warrier’s Tournament

Pacific Rim Fishing Supplies Wounded Warrier's Tournament

Pacific Rim Fishing Supplies Wounded Warrier's Tournament

At the first annual Pacific Rim Fishing Supplies Wounded Warrier’s Tournament, Fire Hatt brought in a 269 lb Blue Marlin, just missing 1st place. Great support from the local fishing fleet and sponsors.