Marlin Deep-Sea Fishing in Kailua-Kona, HI

Marlin caught during marlin fishing in Kailua-Kona, HI

Kona is famous for big blue marlin, calm waters and a very short run to the marlin fishing grounds. Kona is rated one of the best places in the world to catch a marlin. Hawaii holds 8 out of 25 line class records and most come out of Kona. Three of the marlin records weigh over 1000 pounds. These 1000 pound fish are referred to as “granders” by veteran anglers. Every month threw the years has produced a grander in Kona. Actually there has been 84 granders caught so far out of Kona and 147 out of all of Hawaii.

Marlin Fishing In Hawaii

Choy’s Monster

Marlin fishing Kona

The largest fish ever caught on rod and reel weighed 1805 pounds. Caught by Captain Cornelius Choy on his charter boat Coreene C in 1970 out of Kewalo Basin Oahu. The once in a life time fish is referred to as “Choy’s Monster”. Its been rumored that there has been bigger marlin seen or taken but on commercial vessels, either on a ling line or in a net. It is believed that a marlin that reaches over 1000 pounds is 20 years old. They say that on average blue marlin will grow 3-6 feet in its first 1-2 years. The biggest marlin ever weighed out of Kona was 1656 pounds caught by Black Bart in 1984.

Hawaiian Style Marlin Fishing Kona Hawaii

marlin fishing kona hawaii

You do not have to be on a big boat to catch a big fish in Hawaii. Some of the largest fish in the world have been caught on the smallest boats. The local Hawaiian fisherman typically fish on vessels ranging from 18′-27′. Something they can trailer easily from their house and launch from on of our islands small boat harbors. These boats are considered our Kona commercial fishing fleet. The typically fish for yellow fin tuna (ahi), ono, mahi mahi and other pelgic fish they can sell to the local restaurants or fish markets. But while fishing for these species they hook and land a lot of blue marlin and other billfish.

Most of the marlin that the local boats catch is sold or consumed. The average price that the fish markets pay is from 1-2 dollars per pound. If the locals do not sell their marlin then they really like to smoke, dehydrate or make poki and sashimi out of it. You will see marlin on their menu at large functions such as graduation parties or other gatherings. On construction job sites and local neighborhoods they will pedal their smoked or dehydrated marlin in small quantity bags. The blue marlin can actuall becomes quite profitable.

Hooked Up Practices Tag and Release

tag and release blue marlin

Hooked Up practices tagging and releasing the billfish. The tagging of the blue marlin helps us understand where the fish travel and how far they really go. We are now just starting to understand how these fish travel great distances in just short periods of time. In 2014 Captain Chuck on the Hooked Up put a satellite tag in a blue marlin that traveled 2,883 nautical miles in just 180 days. This fish was estimated to weigh around 200 pounds and traveled from Kona all the way below the equator off the Marquises Islands. It actually won the Great Marlin Race that year. Satellite Tags tell us about a fishes behavior such as migration, roaming, diving activities, habitat preferences, temperature of the water and other behavioral characteristics of the blue marlin.

Every now and then while fishing on Hooked Up a blue marlin does die on us during the fight. When this happens all the fish is used and none of it is waisted. We usually give the marlin to a local who will properly process the fish. They really like to smoke or dry the fish. Marlin is also used to make poki and sashimi in Hawaii. We always try and give our customers some of the this so they can enjoy it while on their vacation.

Trump Bans The Export Of Billfish

Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. where you will see blue marlin for sale in the stores or on the restaurant menus. In 2018 on Aug. 2, Trump signed a bill that had easily passed both chambers of Congress to eliminate a Hawaii-friendly exemption in the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012.

That 2012 measure, which was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama with bipartisan support, effectively made it illegal to import or sell billfish such as marlin or spearfish in the mainland U.S. Swordfish was not considered under that legislation.

The only state with an exemption was Hawaii — thanks to Inouye, a powerful ally of Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry. Other Pacific insular areas, including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, were also allowed to sell billfish on the mainland. With Inouye out of the picture, so is that exemption. “.