Kona Deep Sea Fishing and Mounting Your Trophy Fish

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5 Reasons to Choose Kona for Your Next Fishing Adventure

Posted May 22, 2017

They say a bad day of fishing is better than a good day of working – or doing just about anything else. When it comes to Kona, the adage has never been more true. Located on the Big Island, this slice of paradise is an angler’s dream. Need more than white sandy beaches and nearly perpetual sun before you pack up your tackle box? Here’s a few reasons to make Kona the destination for your next – and biggest – fishing adventure.

#1: Once-in-a-Lifetime Fish. Everyone has a good “the one that got away” story. But what if you had an epic “one that didn’t get away” story? Kona has more 1000+ pound blue marlin than any other fishing spot in the world. An angler recently caught a 1166 pound monster aboard our Sea Strike.

#2: Great Workouts. Sure, you can put a line in, sit back, and soak up the sun – or you can work up a sweat landing an acrobatic 25-pound mahi mahi. After you hook one of these spirited fish, the fun begins as you finesse it in. Heart-pounding. Then you can sit back and enjoy the rush.

#3: Great Eating. If you’re more interested in your next fresh seafood meal than in a trophy, you’ll enjoy good-eating varieties such as mahi mahi, ahi tuna, ulua (trevally), and more. We’ll help you get them prepared.

#4: Break World – or Personal – Records. Sport fishermen flock to Kona for its massive blue marlins and other record-breakers. But even if you don’t shatter a record, you can beat your personal best. With guidance from an experienced captain, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.

#5: Enjoy Non-Fishing Activities. When your fishing expedition is over for the day, explore the beauty and bounty of Kona. You don’t need to go far to find a terrific beach. Hiking, biking, swimming, snorkeling, rafting, and exploring parks will keep you plenty busy. Relax with a submarine ride through the gorgeous waters or a dinner cruise.

See you in Kona!

Do You Need a Fishing License to Fish in Hawaii?

Posted May 22, 2017

If you're deep sea fishing off Hawaii's coast, you don't need a fishing license for recreational fishing. You will if you intend to do any freshwater fishing inland.

Out here, the vessels are the ones often registered for certain fishing permits. This is a more efficient way to do things because our popular tourism means many deep sea fishers pass through, but it's the deep sea fishing vessels in Hawaii that are the regulars.

This said, there are regulations out there to pay attention to. These control such things as fishing seasons, preservation areas, and catch limits, and they're important because they make sure the oceans off Hawaii aren't fished out and barren for future generations. These regulations aren't too strict. They're reasonable and we can help you understand them when you talk to us about deep sea fishing off Hawaii's coast.

Most of these rules revolve around minimum size requirements, so we're taking mature fish instead of younger ones. This helps maintain the populations out there because younger fish have more spawning seasons left in them than mature ones. In other words, we leave the fish in the water that are likely to produce the most offspring we can fish in the future.

There are also bag limits on a number of species, such as the combined bag limit of 5 per day for the “Deep 7” bottom fish species. This is one group of fish for which the vessel has to have a permit.

There are also gear requirements for many fish. This helps avoid damage to the fragile ecosystem that can be done by less discriminate forms of fishing. This is why we like deep sea fishing off Hawaii. It's more personal, just you and the fish.

Because of the year long regular temperatures, most fish here are year-round. This means there are closed seasons for only a very few fish: brief ones for the 'ama'ama (December-March) and moi (June-August).

There are two fish that are absolutely prohibited from fishing: the uhu 'ele'ele and the uhu uliuli. These are beautiful fish, and they must be protected for the time being.

What this all amounts to is that it's fairly easy to fish in the Hawaiian oceans. The onus is on us to have our permits and inform you of what the rules are, which we're happy to do. Most fish are fair game, so deep sea fishing off Hawaii's coast is well worth the trip.

Why are Tuna Warm-Blooded?

Posted May 22, 2017

When you're deep sea fishing near Hawaii for a living, you learn a lot of interesting facts about fish. Among other things, these facts help up figure out their behavior and habits. Here's one of the weirdest fish facts you'll ever know.

Some fish are warm-blooded. We learn in school that mammals are warm-blooded while reptiles and fish are cold-blooded. This is overwhelmingly true, but some fish developed a version of warm-bloodedness to help control their body temperature. The only fish that are warm-blooded like this are tuna and mackerel sharks (including everyone's favorite, the Great White Shark).

This warm-bloodedness isn't as complete as that of mammals. Tuna have blood vessels that help them control the temperature of organs and swimming muscles. The key place tuna lack this trait is in their gills. This is key because water passes through these, exchanging a lot of heat as it does so.

In fact, there's only one fish that has these kind of blood vessels in their gills. The opah is the only fish that has full-body warm bloodedness, but you won't find it unless you're in the waters off Antarctica. Believe us, it's a lot more comfortable deep sea fishing near Hawaii.

Tuna have what's called regional warm-blooded traits. This means that they're really somewhere between warm- and cold-blooded. Bet you never thought of those two things as a sliding scale before, did you?

Tuna in Hawaii don't have to raise their body temperature much because the waters here are always warm and relaxing. Yet their warm-blooded traits do influence tuna's behavior. Tuna in Hawaii can get an extra burst of speed from the muscles being warmed up. In a 10 second sprint, a bluefin tuna can accelerate up to 30 mph. That's pretty good for an animal that weighs 130 pounds on average, and can get up to a weight in excess of 900 pounds. That burst changes the way we fish tuna in certain ways, and science tells us why they have that burst in the first place: their muscles are already warmed up.

Mahi-mahi is an Acrobatic Catch

Posted May 3, 2017

The mahi-mahi is in high demand for deep sea fishing near Hawaii. Not only is the fish beautiful, it's also large and tastes delicious.

The mahi-mahi is a funny looking fish with a blunt head and a mouth that suggests a massive underbite, but its dusk blue dorsal fin runs nearly the entire length of the mahi-mahi before giving way to a bright yellow caudal fin. That contrast between darker blues on the mahi-mahi's top half and solid yellows on its bottom half makes it look truly unique. Sometimes, the blues are darker and deeper, and sometimes they're decidedly green-blue. It depends on the specimen.

Yet despite its beauty not so many keep and mount it as a trophy fish. This is because the mahi-mahi makes a good meal, and it makes a good meal for a whole party. The record is an 87-pound mahi-mahi, but even the average 25 pounders will feed a good-sized guest list. We recommend grilling, pan searing, or making a nice blackened mahi-mahi recipe. They make great burgers, too.

The mahi-mahi isn't easy to catch either. It's an acrobatic fish that will surprise you. They don't like to dive, so they're easy to keep track of and pursue at length. They also enjoy live bait and will happily reward you with a feeding frenzy. Even the smaller ones will put up a good fight and give you a test.

Even better, the mahi-mahi is a responsible fish to catch. Its conservation status is Least Concern, meaning that its populations aren't threatened. Various Seafood Watch lists also list mahi-mahi caught individually around Hawaii as not impacting the overall population in an adverse way.

If the mahi-mahi sounds familiar, you may know it's other common name – the dolphinfish. Its Spanish name Dorado is also popular. It's even sometimes called dolphin, though there's no particular relation between mahi-mahi and actual dolphins. Their name means “very strong” in Hawaiian, and you'll know it once you try to catch one. They're a responsible, fun, and tasty deep sea fishing catch.

Catching an Ono is Like Catching an Angry Cheetah in the Water

Posted May 3, 2017

If you're looking for a cheetah in the water to try to keep pace with, look no further than the wahoo. Here as deep sea fishers in Hawaii, we call this deep sea quarry the ono. They don't tend to school, so they're a good opportunity to put our best baiting tactics to the test. Even when you do find one, an ono will take off up to 60 mph with incredible acceleration when it feels threatened.

They're a fight and a 20-pound ono will give you a serious yank if you don't handle them right. A 100 pound “alligator” ono revving through his gears can pull you straight out of the boat if you don't get yourself set quickly. The world records for an ono are 8 ft., 2 in long, and 184 pounds heavy. They'll fight, they've got a stunning change of direction, they'll dive down to 60 fathoms, and they'll run you ragged if you aren't careful with them.

Even when you get a gaff in them, they'll still fight you every step of the way. If you thought reeling them in was difficult, you're only halfway finished. They're most dangerous when you're at your most tired. They've got teeth like knives and jaws that will snap closed, so you've got to be careful getting them on deck, too. They're good at jumping off the gaff, and if they do, they'll thrash your legs out from under you and aim for a retaliatory bite. They don't relent. The ono's so ferocious that some anglers don't even take the hook out until they're back dockside.

Ono means “good to eat” in Hawaiian, but it doesn't really specify who's doing the eating – angler or fish. They are tasty, like a milder mackerel, but anglers are more likely to call them, “Oh no,” to their faces. They're a year-round fish here in Hawaii, offering a unique challenge for anglers who want a worthy adversary.

If you think you're ready, ono are a match for any deep-sea fishers in Hawaii wanting a hardy new challenge.

Email Captain Dale

Direct line (808) 895-1972