Quick Kona report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Mingo, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. I wanted to share a couple quick shots from my recent trip to Kona over the holidays. Some of these are up in my gallery......my wife and I barely got out of SeaTac before they shut the airport down for a couple days.........after dealing with two bad snow & ice storms already, we felt really lucky to get out and enjoy some sun for a change! The entire flight crew cheered when we finally were aloft and they ran down the aisle passing out free maitais.........several were poured down my gullet in 5 minutes as the party got started......

    My report doesn't have wild numbers of giant fish, but I did get to tangle with a lifelong dream fish and we had a great time...............

    The weather was fantastic the entire trip. It only rained once and I never complain about warm rain....living in Seattle keeps life in pretty stark perspective eh?

    There was zero vog while we were there due to southerly winds and we hit the beaches every day. I took a heavy fly rod for bluewater and a 5 weight for reef fishing this trip. I used the light rod to tangle with my usual mix of weird and mysterious reef critters.

    My bro Tim and his wife came over for a couple days from their home on Oahu and we went out one day for some bluewater action. I've been fortunate to tangle with marlin and sailfish but I had not yet wrestled a spearfish. They aren't as big as other billfish but something about them has always fascinated me. They are a pretty rare catch..... my Hawaiian buds told me the yearly totals out of Kona are about 30 fish or so in a pretty good year.

    Our skipper Russ was awesome....he was brutally honest with me up front, letting me know that fly casting had sucked a$$ lately and that we probably wouldn't get anything up in our teasers. I was game anyway so we gave it a shot. The man worked really hard and the day was slow. Finally after 6 hours of skunk he suggested we bucktail a big tube fly. He rigged one on a 100 lb. leader, it looked like a giant Shock and Awe type fly......we ran it waaaaaay back in the teaser spread so it looked like a helpless straggler and finally....WHACK! A spearfish hit and took off on a sizzling run.................

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    Ten minutes after we boated the spearfish, another great hit and the battle was on. This guy would have been fun to fight on a 9 wt............a nice skipjack, or "aku" that was turned into some tasty sashimi and poke......a great accompaniment to 6 ice cold Hinanos.......I cubed a chunk so my wife could mix up a batch of her awesome poke. She makes the best ahi poke I've ever had and the aku was delicious in the same recipe.

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    Plenty of great beach time was had.......my wife has a knack for picking out a fly for me to start out with from the beach, using her "two cocktails and a quick guess" approach ;) .......what the hell, she's right as often as I am...........


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    The girl can pick 'em fo' sho'......lots of action with funky reef critters on a light flyrod. I like fishing when you never know what the hell will hit next!

    Cool aggressive wrasse hit all day........

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    One evening at Hualalai I got into a whole school of nonstop action with some funky goatfish. These guys hit hard, fight way bigger than they look and were a lot of fun on a 5 wt and small bonefish flies..................I got the chance to fish with some locals at a couple areas I fished and they asked for some of the goatfish, damsels and various other wrasse and reef fish I landed.....after snapping a few shots ;) . I have not had a chance to eat goatfish but it is supposedly very good.

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    Saddle Wrasse are one of my favorites. I caught so many I lost count......so awesome. Some interesting color and intensity variations from fish to fish. If they weighed 30 pounds they would be famous...............


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    Don't EVER stick your fingers in the mouth of a wrasse or trigger to get your fly or hook back.....they'll take your digit clean off and it'll be reef poop the next day. Be careful!

    Tons of kupipi or Sergeant Majors.........

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    The crazy stocky hawkfish............like a mini grouper.

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    Kona rocks. Get to a beach, stake out a spot, mix up some cocktails, take some casts, catch some fish, chill and make new friends............ paradise!

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    My bro and I Fing around after a couple rounds of maitais in La Mariana, the last authentic Tiki Bar on Oahu........ then to the airport and home.

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  2. Mingo....Holy shite! A spearfish is a really cool catch. So did you guys kill that fish? Good eats?

    Looks like a Cam sigler fly rod correct? They rule.
     
  3. Pez, yes, he became Christmas Dinner. The entire critter was filleted and BBQd and eaten down to the skeleton by a whole pack of hungry people right in Kona. You're right, that's my Sigler 16/17 wt stick ........ :beer2:
     
  4. Nice pics and good report. Helped with the winter blahs.
     
  5. Hebi on the fly rod-- that's awesome Mingo, nice work. That's great that you went with Russ, I was super impressed with him when we chartered his boat (nice setup, too). The fact that he's brutally honest about the conditions really makes you trust him. If anyone is looking to flyfish Kona, Russ Nitta on the Lepika is the guy to go with!

    Love the goatfish shot too-- hope you didn't eat that one, it's the 'nightmare weke', or weke pu'eo. Nice fish shots, makes me miss home!
     
  6. Thanks for the report, fanatastic as always!
     
  7. Russ is the real deal. He said that Feb and March are the months when you'll get more casting shots.....zero bullshit, just facts from him. We could have easily gotten blanked but he kept at it, kept switching and he liked that I'm not the kind of fisherman who is only happy with one style. I just said "whatever it takes, I'm up for it". Funny dude too...we had a great time. Only two boats got anything at all that day, ours and the Ihu Nui. That told me something........

    I heard about that 'nightmare weke' thing, damn glad I didn't eat it! They sure were strong for their size though!

    thanks for the nice words guys....I love that place.
     
  8. Nice. The color on those fish are amazing. Can ya fry 'em too. Back at yer cabana with some wine.
     
  9. Mingo- AMAZING pictures! I'm coming on vacation with you next time... where we going? hahahaha
     
  10. Dang! That is saying something... the Ihu Nui dominates the monthly catch reports. I did really like that about Russ, how he likes to switch things up.
     
  11. Killer, these are the reports that I live to read about.
     
  12. Good times Mingo! Thanks for the report. That would suck to get your finger bit off by a swimming cartoon... What kind of camera are using?
     
  13. wow. great reports make you just want to saddle up and go.
    thanks, Mingo
     

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