Kona, HI – The Big Island has become a home away from home for us at Billfish Report. We love everything about Kona, from the big fish, to the calm water to the short runs. What makes it unique for us though, is we get to fish with our good friend Capt. Chip Van Mols every year. He may have been at this game for a long time, but he still loves it. We fished 10+ hours a day with Chip and if the sun did not go down, we probably would have stayed for a third tide change.
For the first time in our many years, my brother John and I could not get our schedules together, so he fished with Chip in July (5 Blue Marlin) and I followed in August, just to make sure the blue marlin were still around. I am happy to report, they were.
We fished 4 Days with Capt. Chip and deckhand J.D. Hudson and managed to go 7-9 on blues for the trip. Two of these seven were over 500 lbs, with a 600 lber and 750 lbs fish released. I got to tangle with the 600 lbs fish first (caught right in front of the harbor) after she engulfed one of my favorite lures (Chips Too!) on an Aloha Smash Bait. She did not show her true size until we had her close to the boat though, as she dug down for most of the fight. She was a mean woman and hung out deep in the oxygen rich water, hoping I would be the one to make the mistake, but ultimately some skilled boat driving from Chip and she came up tired. You can never underestimate the captain when you are fighting marlin, especially on big fish. You can crank all you want, but if the fish does not make a mistake, you could be looking at a long fight or even a dead fish.
We had a great time catching five (5) “rat” blue marlin (under 250 lbs) but the highlight of the trip was watching my wife Adriane catch her personal best, a 750 lbs blue. The day started out with Adriane catching an unusually lazy blue marlin (we thought it was a spear) who after a decent first run, swam right up to the boat. After a quick release, it was back to fishing. We, like a lot of people who fish together, usually rotate between fish, but after such an easy first fight, I really wanted Adriane to get a good tug on a blue. Turned out to be the best call I could make. We were fishing up north on the “grounds” which is usually known for small blue marlin. The fish the entire trip were very aggressive, with “tuna like” strikes and this big girl was no exception. Once again, the Aloha Smash Bait was the victim and we knew we had a good one on after the initial run, that took us into our backing. How big we had know idea though, until our good friend Joe Thrasher over on the Bwana rang to let us know she was a “nice one”. Adriane did a great job on this big girl, getting all the weight she had into each pull. Luckily, the fish remained relatively shallow, allowing Chip to help Adriane get most of the belly out of the line, before the real fight began. We got the fish to the mark a couple times, but this marlin reminded us why she is king of the ocean continually making runs as we got her closer to the boat. She even gave us a close call, charging the boat, landing only feet from the transom and then diving under the boat. We all had a scare on that one, but as it turned out, luck was on our side, missing the props by some miracle. A few more runs and like a lot of marlin, she eventually had enough and came up to the surface to waive the white flag. JD grabbed the leader, but it was not until we had her to the side of the boat, that we really saw her size. I think it hit me right there, Adriane just beat a 750 lbs Blue Marlin. I don’t know how many of you have caught a fish of this size, but needless to say, I was more proud that she caught it, then I ever would have been as the angler. I know that Chip can’t pick the size, but I am 100% sure that his attention to detail and excellent coaching and boat handling, allowed her to catch this beautiful big blue. This was also the largest fish a lady angler had ever caught with Chip I might add.
Through all our travels at Billfish Report, we don’t know of a guy we like to fish with more than Capt. Chip Van Mols. Even on the bad days (and there have been some), we have enjoyed every minute of it. He allows nothing but perfection on his boat and is in our opinion one of the finest captains in the world. While Kona has a number of World Class captains, we would highly encourage at trip with him. You can get a hold of Chip on www.konagrander.com or talk to him directly on Facebook (Chip Van Mols).
As ALWAYS, feel free to email John at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hook at email@example.com about Capt. Chip Van Mols or any of the guys we fish with. We’ll shoot you straight!