Kona Deep Sea Fishing and Big Game Marlin Fishing Charters off Hawaii Island's Kona Coast

Call Us at 808-895-1972

Kona Fishing for Marlin with Sea Strike

The island of Hawaii is one of the world's best marlin and big-game fishing destinations. The Big Island's Kona Coast is uniquely situated on the sheltered, leeward side of the island. This coast is protected from heavy seas and Pacific trade winds by mountains nearly 14,000 feet tall. (Click here for a map.) 

Nowhere else in the world is such successful big-game fishing found in such calm waters. Sea conditions off the Kona coast are typically calm and sunny, and the island's steep bottom puts big-game fishing just 1/4-mile offshore. Most of Kona's 1,000-pound marlin have been caught only 2 to 5 miles from shore! 

While marlin fishing in Kona, you may catch up to six species of billfish that roam the Kona coast: blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, shortnose spearfish, Pacific sailfish, and broadbill swordfish. 

Kona fishing styles vary depending on target fish and season. Marlin are caught on trolled lures or on live bait -- typically using aku (skipjack tuna) between 2 and 20 pounds. Boat speed, rigging techniques, depth of bait, and skirt color are some of the variables that we employ.

The Pacific blue marlin is our most prized and abundant game fish. Marlin season runs all year -- summer is best, but striped marlin and spearfish make strong appearances throughout the year, along with black marlin and Pacific sailfish in other seasons.

Towing a 517 pound marlin behind the Sea Strike


marlin fishing in Kona resulted in this world record, unbeaten in
        over 16 years!

Mr. Ray Hawkes, fishing aboard the Sea Strike with Captain Dale Leverone and first mate Durk Britton, still holds the IGFA world record that he caught during the 1995 Pro Am/ Hawaii International Billfish Tournament. The current world record, 1,166 pound pacific blue marlin caught on 50 pound test, took 2 hours and 15 minutes to fight. The fish, too big to get into the boat, was towed back to the Kona pier to be weighed.
The full-body marlin mount took several months to complete. The angler and HIBT directors worked together to get the world record marlin displayed at the King Kamehameha Hotel on the waterfront in Kona, where it still stands today.


Kona fishing tournament

A nice marlin is brought to the side of the Sea Strike for tagging and photos during a Kona fishing tournament.

Kona fishing tournament winner

This 400 pound pacific blue marlin was the angler's largest fish to date, and the winner of the Kona Dirty Dozen tournament.


Anglers from all over the world flock to the Kona coast each year to compete in some of the best marlin fishing tournaments in the world. Pacific blue marlin run more abundantly in the summer, so most of our Kona fishing tournaments are scheduled between June and August each year. Points are compiled for fish tagged and released. Prizes are awarded for monster fish weighed, as well as most points awarded.
Kona fishing tournaments range from one day to five days. Winners may receive trophies and/or cash prizes.
Most big game tournaments feature the Pacific Blue Marlin and promote tag and release. However, there are several tournaments that target other species of fish including ono (wahoo), mahi mahi, ahi (yellowfin tuna) and spearfish.

marlin fishing in Kona produced this world record marlin during the 1993 Pro Am 
      			fishing tournament.  This 1166# monster marlin caught on 50# test continues to be an unbroken world record

marlin tail

At the end of the day, after the excitement of catching a big marlin has come and gone, the fish weighed and pictures taken, the fish is then hauled away to the fish market and local restaurants. Pacific blue marlin are a great eating fish and a main staple to our diet in the Pacific. The marlin may be cut into steaks or fillets, less pretty pieces used for smoking or making marlin jerky. Nothing is wasted.

In a region where sport fishing is big business, and fish is a main staple to the local diet, balance is necessary, and never-ending efforts are made to hold that balance.



  • Kona Charter Desk New Year's Day - January 1
  • 10th Annual Love 2 Fish Charity Tournament - March 27, 28, 29
  • Lazy Marlin Hunt - February 13th
  • Rock-n-Reel Fishing Tournament - June 13th - 14th - $500
  • Kona Kick Off - June 27th - 28th - $750
  • Marlin Magic Lure Tournament - July 1 - July 2 $2,000
  • Marlin Magic Pelagic Tournament - July 1 - July 2
  • Firecracker Open - July 4th - 5th$1,100
  • World Cup - July 4th - $3,000
  • Kona Throw Down - July 7, 8, 9 - $1,100
  • Skins Marlin Derby - July10, 11, 12- $3,000
  • Hawaii Lure Maker's Challenge - July 17, 18, 19 - $500
  • Huggos Wahine Tournament - July 25th - $400
  • HIBT - July 30th - Aug 7th -$5,200
  • Big Island Marlin Tournament- Aug 21, 22, 23 - $2,700
  • 1st Annual It's a Wrap Tournament- Sept 13, 14, 15

The Kona Charter Desk's Dirty Dozen tournaments are year around. In most cases, these tournaments run on the first Saturday of the month, but there are exceptions. The first Dirty Dozen fishing tournament of the year is always on January 1st, New Years Day.

It's a good idea to book your 2015 Kona fishing tournament as early as possible. The dates are usually the first to get booked each year. Captain Dale and the Sea Strike has fished many tournaments and has a winning record. Contact Captain Dale now to reserve your 2015 Kona fishing tournament by calling him at 808-895-1972, or via email.

Kona fishing tournament winners

Please note - I do my best to have a full, comprehensive list of the upcoming Kona fishing tournament dates that have been set. Occasionally a date may change that I'm not aware of, or I might be missing one or two. Best thing to do is have Captain Dale confirm the dates and tournament for you. He will also get the tournament's entry form to you, and assist you in getting registered for the event of your choice.

Email the Captain

Call Direct at (808) 895-1972