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!


AFTCO Logo 2

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

Let’s Be Franck

DSCN9931 5Brother Firefighter Bob Franck, a retired Captain from Redondo Beach Fire Department in Southern California along with his wife Mary and son Alex were visiting from Huntington Beach, CA and spent the day with us aboard Fire Hatt.  Bob and Mary are longtime friends and we were thrilled to have them come for a visit.  Alex Franck was treated to a day of  family fishing in the silky blue waters of Kona Hawaii.  After a long day of hitting all the spots where we had gotten fish in the prior days leading up to their trip, we were already late in the afternoon without a bite.  I think Brett and Linda changed lures a dozen times hoping to put something out there that looked appetizing.  Then Finally!  We have our first bite.  We are Hooded Up!  Alex is in the fighting chair and has his largest Yellowfin Tuna to the boat in an impressive 10 minutes using Ken Matsuura 50 pound tackle.  Nice Work!  Brett placed a perfect gaff shot and the fish is on board.  The Tuna weighed in at a solid 100 pounds!  Sometimes when you want a fish sooo bad for someone…it just dosen’t happen.  Im glad Alex and his family have a story to take home with them.  Alex now lives in North Dakota, a Hawaii adventure is just what he needed.  Nice going Alex.



AFTCO Logo 2  

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

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

Record Ahi for Gary Nardi Aboard the Fire Hatt

Gary Nardi's 235 Pound Yellowfin tunaRecord Ahi for Gary Nardi Aboard the Fire Hatt.  Gary Nardi and his Father In-Law, Bill Chase from Northern CA have been fishing the Kona Hawaii Tournaments for years going back to the 70’s.  Having been aboard many boats over the years, we were delighted to have them as team mates for the World Cup Marlin Tournament and the Fire Cracker Open this year.  They brought along a nice collection of old stand by proven lures from their arsenal to pull.   The World Cup left us with out a Marlin.  We had one nice strike and the fish did not stick….  This did not phase our team.  Gary and Bill returned two days later with the same enthusiasim and the game was on!  With lures set, including a favorite chrome jet of theirs on the stinger.  (A friend of theirs caught an 1100 pound Marlin on one just like it, so they have complete faith in it.)  Sure enough,  our first bite of the day…on the stinger, on their chrome jet!  Gary fights the fish to the boat and knowing the feel of the fish, he knows it is probably an Ahi.  A beautiful 111 pound Yellowfin Tuna is boated and we are on the board for day one.  With spirits high, we are now on day two of the Tournament.  We set our pattern and wait.  We had an early bite that did not stick.  Then just after 3:00pm the long rigger line is bit. We are Hooked Up!  The fish took an old Joe Yee Mini Plunger.  Line is screaming off and Gary once again is in the chair.  It is a much heavier fish than the day before and in just a short 20 minute fight the fish is to the boat.  With Adam at leader and Linda at gaff, we have boated what is clearly a tournament contender and a new boat record for Yellowfin Tuna.  The Ahi weighs in at 235 pounds taking the Dailies for day two in the Ahi division.  The biggest Ahi of the tournament was caught by Team Maui Jim weighing in at 236.5 pounds.  So close!

Featured in the photo representing AFTCO as one of their Pro Teams is Captain Chuck Wilson, First Mate Adam Ludwig and Second Mate Linda Wilson along with team mates Gary Nardi and Bill Chase.

Big Kahuna nets a Big Ka-tuna Kona Fishing

Chet Chiara, a retired Fire Captain from Anchorage Alaska, spends many days a year here in Kona fishing, hoping for the Big One.  On this day, we decided to head off shore.  Armed with two pair if Gyros, we scanned the horizon for a Porpoise School or a “Floater”.  With just Linda and I on board today, we were quite excited about what this day might bring.  Then, I heard those three words from Linda that get me going!  “I got something!”  I then look to see what direction she is viewing and turn the boat.   She gives me an estimate on distance and tells me what she sees.  This time she sees splashing about three miles out.  A porpoise shcool with no one around!  We changed out lures to smaller ones and made our first pass.  We are Hooked Up!  The Short Rigger line is bit!  Oh, and it is the “Lucky Linda Lure”.  Chet is in the chair and the battle begins.  After a twenty minute fight, Chet has his prize to the boat.  A 97 pound Yellowfin Tuna!  His biggest tuna to date.  Chet, an avid hunter and fisherman, will definately add this trophy to his collection.  Chet has been Kona fishing for 20 years and always anticipates capturing a new personal record.  Chet was on Fire Hatt when we got the 978.5 pound Pacific Blue Marlin in 2011.  We consider him a good luck charm.


Big Island, Big Fish II

Big Island, Big Fish II.  Russ and Debra Whitman from Redondo Beach, CA.  Avid fishermen and boat owners have been fishing in Kona for many years.  Over that time they have caught their share of nice fish here.  This year they invited their long time friends Howard and Dianne from the Oxnard, CA area to join them.  This is their first time to fish in Kona.  As they all boarded the Fire Hatt this day, they are joking about what they want to catch.  Of course a nice Pacific Blue Marlin is on order.  After leaving the harbor and heading straight offshore, we have our first bite.  The long rigger line is bit, we are Hooked Up!  Howard is in the chair first and proudly brings in a nice 8+ pound Ahi.  He is so proud and I think this is the largest fish he has ever caught.  The mood on the boat is quite festive and the lines are back in thw water now to try for another fish for Dianne.  As we approach “F Buoy” we notice a few birds on the outside of the buoy and go to take a look.  We made a pass through the are and saw good marks on the meter and in a matter of seconds the stinger line is bit and again line is screaming off the reel. We are Hooked Up Again!  Dianne is in the chair and this fight is a little different than the first one.  The line goes tight and she begins to struggle to bring in the fish.  We know this is a nice one.  After about a 20 minute battle, her fish is to the boat.  Russ Whitman was the Gaff Man, assisting our deckhand Adam who leadered the fish and held it for Russ to stick.  With the fish secured on board high fives were flying.  Nice teamwork!  We brought Diannes prize to the weigh dock and found the Yellowfin to weigh 126 pounds.  This is the biggest fish she has ever caught or seen.  I think this will be a Christmas she will not soon forget.

Yellowfin Tuna Are Here In Numbers

Yellowfin Tuna Are Here In Numbers.  John Lewis and his Son, Tim visiting the Big Island from Pasadena, CA  just wanted to catch something bigger than the 4 pound Trout that currently holds the family record.  As avid fly fishermen, they know the trials of getting a fish.  Today, we are hearing of Tuna “boiling”  in several different areas.  We headed to an area where there was some action and were lucky enough to hook one.  This did not come early in the day.  After the father and son duo had a nice continental breakfast followed by a short nap and then a little lunch followed by another short nap, we were headed back from “F” Buoy in about 1100 fathoms when I saw two white birds circle and crash in front of us.  A sure sign that something is below the surface.  About that time, Tuna boiled up and as I was making a pass through them, I told John and Tim to get ready!  As they were getting off the bridge, the short rigger is bit!  We are Hooked Up!  Tim is in the chair and brings his 115.5 lb Yellowfin tuna to the boat.  The Yellowfin Tuna was caught on a Ken Matsuura 50# reel.  Did I mention it took the “Lucky Linda” lure by Bomboy Lures?  The 4 lb family record for Trout has been shattered!

December Fishing In Kona Hawaii

Long time friends Russ and Deborah Whitman from Redondo Beach, CA have been fishing in Kona Hawaii for years.  Arriving this week, they already have one trip under their belt.  The Goal, simply catch Russ his first Blue Marlin since his massive heart surgery last year.  Russ is not a beginner.  He has fished Marlin, Tuna and Mako for at least 40 years from Coast to Coast.  Most of those years from his home port of Marina Del Rey, CA.  So far this week, we have a 28+ pound Mahi Mahi to brag about.  We went deep offshore early in the day and found a nice bird pile and lots of bait.  After working the area for a while with no luck, we decided to head back in closer.  Just outside the 500 fa line the long rigger was bit.  Although it was not the prize, it was a nice Mahi Mahi.  Russ, transferring his own rod to the chair had the fish landed in no time.  Did I mention it was caught on the “Lucky Linda Lure?”  We are ready to go after the prize Marlin now.

Yellowfin Tuna Caught Fishing in Kona Hawaii

This yellowfin tuna was caught by our Fresno CA guests while fishing with us in Kona Hawaii. Ted and Joanna Semonious along with their friends Steve and Keri Paregien and Brian and Justine Fisher boarded the Fire Hatt for a adventure they will be talking about for a while.   With lady luck on their side and of course the Lucky Linda Lure in the pattern, we headed south.  Keri was in the chair first.  She had never caught a fish, period.  In just a short time the stinger line is bit.  Keri jumps in the chair giggling with the widest eyes I have seen in a while.  She fights her fish with the help of  Ted Semonious,  a Fresno CA Fire Battalion Chief and the 88 lb Yellowfin is boated about 30 minutes later.  Did mention it was caught on the Lucky Linda Lure?  By Bomboy Lures.

Fishing Kailua Kona Hawaii, 11 Year Old Jake Ransick takes 150.5 pound Yellowfin Tuna

Fishing Kailua Kona Hawaii, 11 Year Old Jake Ransick takes 150.5 pound Yellowfin Tuna.  Marv Garrett along with his Grandson Jack and his Dad, Todd, son John, and son in law Stewart Rauch boarded the Fire Hatt for what turned out to be an epic day of fishing.  Two hours into the trip, the short corner is bit.  Marv Garrett, a longtime Tuna Club Member from Catalina Island, CA here celebrating his birthday is in the chair and fighting his first marlin of this trip.  After a 45 minute fight on 50 pound test line using one of  our prize KEN MATSUURA REELS, Marv releases a 300+ pound Pacific Blue Marlin.  The largest this year for a Tuna Club Member.  Not to be outdone, around 2:00 PM, the long rigger is bit.  One big splash and what seems like a mile of line screaming off we have another fish.  This time Marv’s  Grandson,  Jack Ransick of Encino, CA is in the chair.  Assisted by his Uncle John Garrett, Jack lands a 150.5 pound Yellowfin Tuna.  I am guessing it is his largest fish to date!  I should also mention it was caught on the now very lucky “Lucky Linda Lure” made for me by Bomboy Llanes.  (Bomboy Lures)