The week between Christmas and the New Year is typically the busiest tourist season in Hawaii but tourism is still way down here on the Big Island because of the volcano. It shut off five months ago so you might figure that the effect on tourism would have been over by now but it's not. The volcano smoke is gone and we're seeing clearer skies than we've seen in a decade. The view of the island from the ocean has been nothing less than spectacular! On to the fishing....
The striped marlin have moved in but there were more blue marlin caught this month than stripes. In fact, the blue marlin bite has been really good for this time of year. Spearfish season is just starting and we're seeing more of those coming in too.
The fall mahi mahi run is about over. There's still some being caught but not many. The tunas have more than made up for that though. All of the FAD buoys have been holding small yellowfin and bigeye tunas. The small ones are actually better eating (mild flavor) than the big ones. With the skipjack tuna (AKA 'chunk light tuna') the opposite is true. The bigger they are the better tasting. It's totally NOT the season for them to be here but just like last month, I found them hiding along the ledge North of the airport. High winds kept me from fishing there for most of the month but the winds calmed down lately and it was surprising to find them still there. There have been some yellowfin tunas mixed in with them also.
Shark fishing was pretty good this month. Like I just said, the winds were too high to fish up North for most of the month and that's where the best bottom fishing is. The bottom fishing spots to the South are far apart from each other and generally not as productive but earlier this year I found a good shark hole down South that has been providing a good shark catch about 50% of the time. It's peak giant trevally season right now but I didn't catch a single on this month. Possibly all of those sharks are making them nervous.
Happy New Year,
Capt. Jeff Rogers
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