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Travel Blog #126 - Deep sea fishing in Kona with Bite Me Charters

Travel Blog #126 - Deep sea fishing in Kona with Bite Me Charters

I remember really wanting to be a fisherman when I was small then getting bored of it when I realized that the shore fishing does not have the same amount of action as you get when you go out on the deep sea. In my later teens some of my friends started getting their own fishing boats and my enthusiasm for fishing grew enormously. Fishing from a boat is one of my favorite things to do, and when I was invited by Bite Me Charters to come out on their boat I jumped on the opportunity and made arrangements to go on the following days charter.

I woke up extra early so I could have a few extra minutes to stop at the store and pick up some supplies. Most of the fishing boats in Hawaii do not provide refreshments so it is important to make sure that you brings some snacks and liquids with you. I picked up a six pack of beer (in cans, glass bottles are not allowed on most boats), a large bottle of water and a sandwich. As I pulled up to the harbor I looked at the clock and was pleased to see that I was right on time.

I checked in at the Bite Me Store at the Honokohau Harbor (about 10 minutes north of Kona). The woman at the desk looked up my name on her manifest and then directed my towards the boat that I was going to go on. I walked over to the slip and where I was greeted our boats deckhand and invited aboard.

It wasn’t long before the rest of the fisherman showed up and we were on our way out towards the fishing grounds. The Big Island has some unique geological features that make it an exceptional location for deep sea fishing. The two factors that make the Kona side of the Big Island so good for fishing are the lack up wind and the easy access to deep water.

The state of Hawaii receives very consistent winds out of the east that we refer to as the “Tradewinds”. They generally come up in the afternoons and can make the ocean very rough. However, the town of Kona lies at the base of the mountains of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. Both of these huge mountains form a natural barrier from the winds that allow the surface of the ocean to be still and glassy all day long. The other factor that makes the Big Island such a great place to go fishing is the deep water that is found right off shore. The Big Island is the newest Hawaiian Island which means that it has had the least amount of time to erode. The older islands like Oahu and Kauai have been eroding for millions of years and have formed what is known as an “alluvial fan” that surrounds the perimeters of the islands. Basically what this is is a large area of shallower water that has been formed from all the eroded matter that has come off of the islands. The Big Island has not been around for a long enough period of time to form such geologic features. This means that the water surrounding the island gets very deep very quickly, which makes accessing the deeper water where you’ll find the bigger fish much easier.
Our Captain decided to go turn towards the North after we got out of the harbor. She explained to me that there was a ledge that ran parallel to the coastline that is well known for it’s plentiful amounts of Ono. Her plan was to work the ledge as we headed North and then eventually head strait out to sea to go check out some deep water buoys and look for bird piles.

As we got towards the end of the Ono ledge we could see a large bird pile ahead of us in the distance. As I looked at the birds closer I could see some large fish moving around in the water underneath them so I instinctually started moving closer to the poles and before I had taken three steps the pole on the far left of our patters got a loud strike. Before I had even gotten the first pole out of the pole holder two more of our lines were hit and from there was slightly chaotic as we all clamored to reel in the lines without getting tangled up with each other. I reeled in a Tuna that was close to ten pounds, one of the other men reeled in another that was about the same size and then his son reeled in the fish of the day which was a Tuna that was slightly over 20 pounds. Throughout the rest of the day we had a couple more strikes, we hooked into a large Marlin but it was able to spit out the hook before we could get it onto the boat.

Sometimes when you go fishing you end up doing a lot of fishing and not much catching. I was very happy that today we got to do a fair share of catching.......and I’m pretty sure all the other people on the boat were too.

Read the previous article: Travel Blog #125 - Bottom Fishing Maui with the Mendo Boys

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