Author: Colby Uva
June 2019 Fishing In Kona Hawaii
This June, I traveled to Hawaii to meet up with our Hawaii Rep Pauly Luwaii. I brought over some goods to sponsor this years HIBT Tournament as well as to do some fishing with Pauly. The Kona airport is a small airport that makes you feel like you are on an island right away. You walk out of the plane and it its all outdoor, with an open ceiling terminal literally made out of lava rock. From there it was on to rent a car and meet Pauly down south near Cpt. Cook.
Pauly lives on a farm sitting on top of lava rock. Around his yard there are plenty of plants growing including coffee and a number of other fruits. When I met Pauly at his house he was working on the boat. He showed me around the property and then we got down to business spooling up the reels with a 125Lb mono topshot, on top of his 130Lb hollow core backing. Pauly fishes all 80 wides and one 50 wide because Kona is the land of the giants, and in Pauly's words:
"it is the only place where a grander marlin has been caught in every month of the year. "
Pauly's buddy was doing some yard work while we spooled and then we all sat down for a hardy dinner of Pauly specialty ginger chicken. Damn, its good. We were leaving at 3am the next morning, so we dispersed and passed. out.
The next morning we were at the ramp at the crack of dawn. Its one of the craziest launch ramps I've seen in my life ( its carved out of lava rock). It takes some skill to back that boat in there.
We spent the day looking for birds and searching for fish, finally we found a few out at a FAD that was holding a good amount of tuna. We hooked many of them on Mold Craft Squid skipping on the surface. There weren't any monster Ahi out there, but we did manage to catch some small bigeye and yellowfin tuna along with a mahi.
In Hawaii, unlike most states in the US anglers can commercial fish without special permitting. Thats why you've probably heard the stories of commercial fishermen fishing off of Kayaks to make a living in Hawaii. Anyways, Pauly wants to keep his tuna in good condition, so as you can see in the video below, as soon as the tuna gets swung in the boat, its time to bleed them. Pauly has it down to a 4 step process which you can see in the video below.
The next day Pauly and I woke up at the crack of dawn again, except this time we knew exactly where we were headed to. I know Pauly's main target is tuna, but he also knew I was keen on catching a marlin, so he agreed to spend some time in the pursuit this day. Besides, big ahi had been caught on the blind strike recently, and that wasn't something he was going to be sad about if we ran into one.
We caught some tunas in the morning, and then made a big loop trolling on some bathymetry lines that Pauly had hooked up on in the past. With no takers on the troll for miles on end, we ended up making a big circle back to our tuna spot. Just as we are pulling back up to our tuna spot the right corner 80 wide goes off. Its jumping! A Marlin! The fish is hooked and pulling good drag, but then it kind of just slows down. Not big says Pauly. I reel on the fish, and it comes next to the boat, and I am baffled. It looks like a wahoo, like a really big wahoo. "Short-billed spearfish!" yells Pauly. Needless to say I am stoked, this is literally one of the rarest billfish in the world. Just awesome.
The video below sums up the trip. Hope you enjoyed this article. Kona is definitely worth the trip. I look forward to making it back soon.
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