The Billfish Report is counting down its Top 10 Billfisheries of the Year with our #2 Billfishery is Kona, Hawaii. Criteria for our Top 10 include fish numbers, variety of billfish species, reports, average size of fish, length of season and number of boats fishing. While reports were down in 2020 as many fisheries had limited days fishing or in some cases an entire season cancelled, we still had over 4,000 Reports. We want to acknowledge and congratulate those who were able to fish in 2020 as there was still some amazing fishing to be had.
Kona, Hawaii – 2020 was the year of the “local” especially in Hawaii. Despite it being part of the United States, their travel rules, quarantine and restrictions made it almost impossible or at least unbearable for so many travelers. But, Kona did what Kona does. Year after year this fishery continues to pump out lots of Blue Marlin with some XL models to keep you on your toes. The Big Island defines “Frequent Flyer” having never left our Top 10.
We saw a tremendous number of reports coming out of Kona, despite the travel restrictions. This along with Oregon Inlet generated the second most reports for us in 2020. Kona has always had a season, but I think what that season is, depends on who you talk to. We saw reports from here in every month and while some where better than others, I doubt anyone is complaining after releasing a Blue Marlin. Kona has always been synonymous with large Blue Marlin and they have earned that reputation. While Grander Blue Marlin are also synonymous with Kona, we did not see one in 2020. We did get thirty (30) Blue Marlin over 500 lbs, reported to us, making them Tops for the Pacific and 2nd in the World in 2020. The largest weighed was a 765 lbs. Blue Marlin on the Last Chance.
Unlike the last couple of years, we did not see a boat release five (5) or more Blue Marlin in a day, but Benchmark and Sapo both released four (4) on a single day.
Blue Marlin remain the target here for most, but they do see Striped Marlin and Spearfish regularly. This of course sets the stage for a Grand Slam or a Kona Slam. We did get three (3) reported to us with Bite Me, Notorious Two and Pursuit all hitting the three species mark.
This is absolutely a year round fishery with Billfish caught in every month of the year. This is a medium size fleet by our standards, with twenty (10+) boats reporting to us.
Congratulations to Kona, Hawaii, our #2 Billfishery for 2020.