Finally I can stop complaining about the lack of tourism due to the volcano eruption last May through July. I guess the word finally got out that Kona hasn't been covered by lava. This was a busy January and my 2019 calendar is filling fast.
The fish are here too! The striped marlin bite has been better than it has been for the past several winters. The blue marlin bite is also going strong even though it's not anywhere near a peak season for them. Spearfish season has just started but getting off to a slow start. The next few months are the peak season for them and it seems like every year, the amount of spearfish catches increase. I don't have the statistical data on that but prior to 1975, there were no spearfish in Hawaiian waters and now they're as common of a catch in the peak season as mahi mahi, ono or marlin.
The unseasonal "chunk Light" tuna bite stopped but the ahi tuna bite seems to be on the rise. In the winter months, the smaller ahi and bigeye tuna tend to congregate on the FADs and the recently replaced offshore fish farm acts as a MEGA FAD. The small trailer boats are camped out on it almost daily. They're just drifting by it with cut bait down deep so trolling in between them mostly can't be done although sometimes there's a hole big enough to get through. The more boats that are fishing it, the less the tunas bite. I guess they get a little freaked out by all the boats. Everyone is trying their specialty tricks to make a catch and I have a few of my own. No matter how you fish "The Farm", it's tactical warfare not just for the fish but also the competition.
Last month I reported that the high winds kept me from the best bottom fishing spots but for a while this month, the winds calmed down and the North bottom bite was HOT! The high North winds came back recently and actually shut the fishing off on the whole Kona coast. There was no where to hide from the wind and rough seas so I had to cancel my last 2 charters because of it. There were a few boats that went out anyway and they got POUNDED! The wind will calm down to the South later today and by Friday, I should be able to fish back up North again. January and February are our rough water months. The rest of the year, Kona is usually as flat as a lake.