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Weekly Kona Fishing Report - June 13, 2017

Hawaii Fishing Report

Posted June 13, 2017
Written by FishTrack Member
A month ago, Ryan Knoll bought a small boat to troll for tuna. Powered by a 30-horse Yamaha outboard engine, the tiny 15-foot Hobie would qualify as a “big-game” fishing boat only in Hawaii. But it immediately proved up to the task as Ryan and his fishing buddy Kevin Warthman pulled in tuna on several trips.

On Thursday, the test got a lot tougher when a 500-pound marlin jumped on their tuna lure. Kevin fought the fish from the rod holder and the two friends seemed to be getting the upper hand. The single hook was well anchored in a spot that gave the marlin a disadvantage.

Nearly an hour into the fight, Kevin advanced the drag setting to put more pressure on the fish. The pressure turned out to be too much for the antiquated fishing rod they were using.

The borrowed rod was a throwback to a time when most trolling rods had wooden butts. Over the years, wooden trolling butts had proved unreliable. They regularly snapped at the point where they joined the the reel seat.

After the butt snapped, the only thing holding the rod and fish to the boat was a length of safety line. With no butt to act as a lever, Kevin had to point the rod tip straight down into the water and brace the reel by jamming it tightly against the side of the boat.

Ryan and Kevin had originally estimated their fish at 300-pounds and planned to release it. By the time they got it to the boat, it had rolled over and could not be revived.

They towed it back to the scales at Honokohau Harbor and were surprised when the digits read “543” pounds. Everyone else on the scene was more surprised by the size of the boat and the miracle of the broken tackle. Ryan will never forget his first marlin on his new boat.

Two days later they were “tuna trolling” again. As they cruised through the waters surrounding VV-Buoy their tiny craft drew a few snickers from the fleet of fishing yachts entered in the Rock and Reel Fishing Tournament. The snickers turned to disbelief at around 8:00 am when it happened again.

They were trolling a matching wooden-butt rod with a 6/0 Senator reel. This time, a 600-pound blue marlin jumped on their “Miracle” brand, 7-inch tuna lure. This one fought much harder than their first big marlin. Ryan thinks the hook was anchored in a place that favored the fish.

They got it near the boat in about 2 hours. This time the fish dove and snapped the butt at the reel seat. Once again, the safety line held and they braced the reel against the boat. The marlin headed straight down, stripping nearly all the line off the reel. With only 10 yards or so of line left, Kevin locked up the drag so the fish could break?f?ree.

“We need a ?bigger rod,” Ryan said.

Ryan has made the transition from being a very successful shore fisherman to an experienced offshore angler. He says he is already hearing from some of the guys in the big expensive boats who are looking for lucky deckhands to fish the coming tournament season.

Big-Fish List for 2017. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we'll accept handline catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2017 in each of 22 categories. They are listed by species, weight, angler, skipper, boat, and date. The list is updated every Sunday throughout the year (copyright 2017 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (

Blue marlin, 925, Guy Terwilliger, Capt. Cindy Cary, Cindy Lu. Apr. 2
Black marlin, 357, Todd Nakatani, Keola Toriano, Breezin. Apr 6.
Ahi, 242, Shawn Takaki, Clarence Minamishin Jr., Malama Lama. Apr 13.
Bigeye tuna, 121.5, Kelsey Bestall, Capt. Jah Nogues, High Noon. Jan 14
Striped marlin, 132, Cynthia Johnson, Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai, May 11
Spearfish, 56, Mac Jorgensen, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl. Mar 13.
Sailfish, 93, Justin Kaber, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner, Mar. 25.
Mahimahi, 46.5, Brita Campbell, Capt. Bob Beach, Reel Screamer. Mar 2.
Ono, 75.5, Jason Wong, Donny Kobayashi, No Name. Mar. 22.
Kaku, (barracuda), 39, Chad Culbertson, Capt. Jeff Rogers, Aloha Kai. Jan 23
Kahala, vacant
Ulua (giant trevally), 66, Isaiah Hauanio, shoreline. May 13
Omilu (bluefin trevally), vacant
Otaru (skipjack tuna), 27, Tyson Fukuyama, Miki. May 28.
Broadbill swordfish, 178, Kevin Gallagher, Miss Mila. June 9.
Ahipalaha (albacore), vacant
Kawakawa, 22.5, Britt McCurdy, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 31
Kamanu (rainbow runner), 20.5, Britt McCurdy, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 31
Opakapaka (pink snapper), 14.5, Greg Hong, Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai. Jan 12.
Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), 21, Greg Hong and Kevin Shiraki, Erin Kai. Mar 6.
Uku (gray snapper), 37.8, Billy Wakefield, Kiakahi. Apr 4
O`io (bonefish), 10.5, Hansen Gardling, shoreline. Mar 30.

Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more, including R for releases).

June 6: Blue marlin (544) Kekaimalu Rubio, Capt. Shawn Palmer, Miss Molly
June 6: Blue marlin (523) Yun Chang, Charlie Overcash, Ocean Encounters
June 8: Blue Marlin (543) Kevin Warthman, Ryan Knoll, Nai'a

Tag and Release

June 4: Blue marlin (150) Rita Zammit, Capt. Joe Schumaker, Fire Hatt
June 4: Blue marlin (120) Michael Scully, spearfish (40) Dee Tippett, Capt. Molly Palmer, Camelot
June 5: Blue marlin (100) Crystal Fletcher, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
June 5: Striped marlin (95) Braden Mellott, Capt. Chuck Wilson, Fire Hatt
June 6: Blue marlin (400) Matt Billington, Capt. Steve Tarbill, Miss Mojo
June 6: Spearfish (20 and 30) Richard Madden, (30) Cindy Madden, Jeff Fay Humdinger.
June 7: Blue marlin (300), spearfish (35) Unknown, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
June 7: Blue marlin (200) Troy Tyler, Capt. Lance Gelman, Medusa
June 7: Blue marlin (200) Elizabeth Williams, Capt. Al Gustavson, Topshape
June 8: Blue marlin (200) Scott Emerick, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II
June 8: Blue marlin (425) Mike Magnotti, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
June 8: Blue marlin (175) John Rothwell, spearfish (40) Joel Nauss, Capt. Chuck Wilson, Fire Hatt
June 8: Blue marlin (125) Lance RIckerd, spearfish (25) Kenny Rickerd, Capt. Stretch Fogarty, Hula Girl
June 8: Blue marlin (100) Troy Tyler, Capt. Lance Gelman, Medusa
June 8: Blue marlin (250) Alex Hoffman, Capt. Al Gustavson, Topshape
June 8: Spearfish (30) Ethan Cox (11 years old), Capt. Jeff Fay, Humdinger
June 9: Blue marlin (250) Doug Harmon, Capt. Rob Ellyn, Lightspeed
June 10: Blue marlin (250) Chuck Dolezec, Capt. Lance Gelman, Medusa
June 10: Spearfish (30) Mark Rauch, Capt. Russ Nitta, lepika
June 10: Blue marlin (175) Mike Magnotti, Capt. Neal Isaacs, Anxious
June 10: Blue marlin (130) Jay Oltjen, Capt. Jah Nogues, High Noon
June 10: Spearfish (35) Veronica Caoile, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
June 10: Spearfish (35) Lorri Bolton, Capt. Marlin Parker, Marlin Magic II
June 10: Blue marlin (150), spearfish (35) Mike Kellelea, Capt. Chuck Wilson, Fire Hatt
June 10: Blue marlin (70) Mark Silva, Capt. Larry Peardon, El Jobean


June 8: Blue marlin (472) Braxton Bailey, Capt. Shawn Palmer, Miss Molly
June 8: Ahi (90) Ethan Cox, (125), Kathy Cox. Capt. Jeff Fay, Humdinger.
June 9: Swordfish (178) Kevin Gallagher, Miss Mila
June 10: Ahi (197.5) Zander Bowen, Capt. Jeff Heintz, Linda Sue IV

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