The Difference Between Bottom Fishing and Sports Fishing

The Difference Between Bottom Fishing and Sports Fishing

What is the difference between bottom fishing and sports fishing? This is one of the questions we get often at Kona Fishing Charters. These are two very distinct fishing experiences, but many people do not know the difference between the two fishing types. In today’s blog post, we will explain the differences and the similarities between bottom fishing and sport fishing. We offer a great fishing experience on the Kona Fishing Charters, where you can rent us out and book an offshore fishing trip!

Sports Fishing

Although there is some overlap between the type of fish caught in the two different types of fishing experiences, sport and bottom fishing are pretty different from one another. Sport fishing (also known as big game fishing) involves dragging artificial lures on the surface behind the boat out in deep water. This attracts fish like the Ono, Tuna, and Marlin (all fish we have covered in previous blog posts). The stakes are higher than they are when you’re bottom fishing. Not only that but in general the fish are bigger in sport fishing.


Sport fishing methods, however, vary according to where you’re fishing, the species you’re targeting, and the resources available. It could be fly fishing, deep sea fishing, or another type. Sport fishing is done with a hook, line, rod, and reel rather than with a net or another fishing aid. Before fishing regulations occurred, sports fishers, even if they didn’t eat their catch, almost always killed their catch anyways to weigh them or keep them as trophies. However, now most sports fisherman practice catch and release (At Kona Fishing Charters, we encourage practicing catch and release for the Blue Marlin) in order to avoid interfering with fisheries or ecological habitats. It depends on the fish and the area, however, and if you join us on the Kona Fishing Charters, you can bring all your fish to dock if you choose to do so.

Bottom Fishing

The objective for rigs that are used in bottom fishing is to take your bait to the bottom, where the water hits the sand, and lure in the fish. The bait, of course, has to be appetizing to the fish, which is why live bait is often used more often than artificial lures.

Bottom fishing mostly uses live bait like squid also uses artificial lures but. Fishing is done when the boat is stopped (anchored or drifting over “spots” where fish are known to lurk in shallow water – 100 – 300 feet deep). Bottom fishing doesn’t have to be done only from boats as many anglers enjoy this type of fishing from land. Most of the fish caught are small, much smaller than the sports fishing but it’s still a fun challenge because of how light the tackle is. Bottom fishing doesn’t have to occur far from shore. The odds of catching fish are a lot greater than they are with sports fishing. Some types of fish that are caught with bottom fishing are reef fish like the gray snapper, moi’lua, barrucada, and the ta’ape.

Most of the fish are under 5lbs. when you go bottom fishing but the fish should still be delicious if you decide to cook it for dinner!

A common rig for bottom fishing is a weight tied to the end of the line and a hook that’s about an inch up line from the weight. This method can be used with handlines and rod fishing and the weight can be used to case or throw the line. The most common rig is called a “fish finder rig” while another, more rarely used rig is called a “break-away rig”. The last rig that’s often used in bottom fishing is called a “party boat rig”. This last one is often used on party boats which is why it is named that. Also, there are specialized fishing rods that are commonly used for bottom fishing called donkas.

In the end, you’ll catch more fish if you go bottom fishing but you won’t catch fish that are very big especially in comparison to the fish you’ll catch while sport fishing. It won’t be as much of a challenge as sport fishing is, especially to experienced anglers.
You can learn more about both fishing experiences if you book a deep sea fishing trip with us at Kona Fishing Charters. We can tell you about the similarities and differences between sport fishing and bottom fishing while you catch your own fish in the Hawaiian waters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Eight: 10 Awesome Broadbill Swordfish Facts

We will conclude our series of Kona Fish facts with ten awesome broadbill swordfish facts! “When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. We knew our readers might enjoy 10 amazing facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to the Black Marlin, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!”

Awesome Broadbill Swordfish Facts

1. The bill of the broadbill swordfish is longer compared to other billfishes. The body of a broadbill swordfish is fairly cylindrical. They have two dorsal fins, although the second is quite small. It’s also separated from the first dorsal fin and set far back on the body. The first dorsal fin is high and rigid. Likewise, there are two anal fins, although again the second is considerably smaller than the first. The broadbill swordfish has no pelvic fins. Another cool fact about the appearance of a Broadbill Swordfish is that upon reaching adulthood, the broadbill swordfish loses their teeth in their jaws! Another thing that is lost as a broadbill swordfish grows older are scales!

2. The broadbill swordfish lives all across the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans no matter the climate and is a fairly migratory species. However, they often stick to Hawaii (so you should be able to catch one). They also primarily live in ocean depths of 650 to 1,970 feet, though it’s been observed swimming even deeper than that! How they do that is explained in fact five.

3. Swordfish feed at the surface mostly but they also tend to go deeper sometimes more than 2,100 feet! They, however, feed mostly upon pelagic fishes, and occasionally squids and other cephalopods. At lower depths they feed upon demersal fishes. The sword of the sworfish is not used to spear fish, but is still apparently used in obtaining prey, as squid and cuttlefishes commonly exhibit slashes to the body when taken from swordfish stomachs. It has been found the majority of large fish prey that swordfish feeds on had been slashed, while small prey items had been consumed whole. Baby (or larval) swordfish feed on other fish larvae and juvenile swordfish eat squid, fishes, and pelagic crustaceans.

4. Broadbill swordfish aren’t exempt from being preyed upon. The Predators of adult swordfish include marine mammals such as killer whales. Also younger broadbill swordfish are eaten by a variety of sharks and other large predatory fish including some of the fish we have covered previously: blue marlin, black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and mahi mahi.

5. One of the reasons swordfish can go so deep in the ocean is because they have an adaptation which allows for swimming in such cold water. This adaption is the presence of a large bundle of tissue which insulates and warms the brain! This helps prevent rapid cooling and damage to the brain as a result of extreme vertical movements, allowing the swordfish to go much deeper into the ocean to escape predators or catch new prey.

6. Swordfish reach sexual maturity at 5-6 years of age, with a maximum lifespan of at least 9 years. Also, typically female swordfish grow larger and live longer than their male counterparts.

7.  The IGFA all tackle record for broadbill swordfish is 1182 lb. and was caught by Louis Marron in Chile.

8. The broadbill swordfish has several names that it’s called by in Hawaii. It has TWO Hawaii Market Names which are mekajiki, shutome. Its Hawaiian Name is A`u and the Japanese Name it’s sometimes called by here is Mekajiki.

9. The broadbill swordfish is actually the sole member of their scientific family which is known as Xiphiidae.

10. All Hawaii broadbill swordfish are line-caught. And most of the time it’s the longline boats that are fishing fairly far away from any Hawaiian islands that are making the majority of the catches. Broadbill swordfish are only sometimes caught in other ways such as handlines and trollers.

The broadbill swordfish is truly an awesome fish that you should learn more about when you come fishing with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Kona Fishing Charters.

And that concludes our spotlight series on Kona fish! We hope you enjoyed learning about all the fish you might see when you come out on the Pacific Ocean with us. We’ll always tell you some cool facts when you come out with us, no matter what you’re interested in. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to learn more about deep sea fishing on the Kona Fishing Charters & book your fishing trip!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Seven: Ten Amazing Facts about Spearfish

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Seven: Ten Amazing Facts about Spearfish

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish off our Kona coast. We knew our readers might enjoy 10 cool facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to the varieties of spearfish there are, specifically focusing on the Shortbill Spearfish which is native to Kona, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!

Ten Amazing Facts about Spearfish

1. The spearfish that is known best off the Kona coast is the Shortbill Spearfish. It’s also called the Hebi in the Hawaiian fish marketplace. The dorsal fin of the Shortbill Spearfish is shorter than that of other billfish species. The shortbill spearfish is known in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is caught year round off the Kona coast, one of the few areas where the spearfish is consistently caught.

spearfish_1734856i2. The weight and size of the Kona fish is fairly large. The largest recorded shortbill spearfish weighed 74 pounds and 12 ounces and this species can reach a length of 91 inches, though most do not exceed 75 inches. However, the average weight of the spearfish caught off the Kona coast is 40 pounds.

3. Spearfish are pelagic, offshore, deep-water fish. Spearfish are typically available all year-round in small numbers off the coast of Hawaii and other Pacific locales.

4. The Pacific Shortbill Spearfish can be distinguished from other billfish by its slender, lightweight body. It, of course, also has a short bill, as well as a dorsal fin that is higher than in marlin and lower than in the sailfish. The bill of the shortbill spearfish is barely longer than its lower jaw, whereas the longbill spearfish has a bill that is about twice as long as its lower jaw. However, it is still noticeably short when compared to that in other billfish. The dorsal fin is bright blue and has no spots. The vertical bars on the body are never as prominent as in other billfish and may show only slightly or not at all.

5. The spearfish live in varied places across the world. Shortbill spearfish live in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Mediterranean spearfish live only in the Mediterranean. Roundscale spearfish live in the eastern Atlantic and the western Mediterranean, around Portugal and Spain, and closely resemble white marlin. Longbill spearfish live in the northwest, central and south Atlantic.

6. Available data indicates that the spearfish matures by the age of two and rarely lives past three years of age. Maximum age may be four to five years, but scientists are unsure.

7. The International Game Fish Association realizes that there is a difference amongst spearfish species and they plan on recognizing the distinction formally at some point. “We’re not opposed to it,” the President of IGFA says referring to the idea of splitting the categories.

8. Shortbill spearfish are caught year around off the Kona coast. Kona is one of the few areas that the acrobatic spearfish are consistently caught. Anglers trying to catch all types of billfish eventually come to Kona to catch the spearfish. This is because nearly all of the light tackle and fly fishing records for spearfish have been caught off the Kona coast.

9. Although the different spearfish live in different oceans from the Atlantic to the Pacific, they are not abundant in any one location and are rarely caught anywhere except Hawaii and the Mediterranean. This makes Spearfish difficult to catch. Their population levels are lower than most other fish in their genus and they swim deep underwater, far away from the surface.

10. Since they swim so far underneath the surface, all Hawaii spearfish are line-caught. Longline boats harvest most of the spearfish catch in Hawaii. However, spearfish are also caught by trollers using lures and baits.


There are even more amazing facts about spearfish. When you come fishing with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll answer your questions about all the different types of spearfish (or any other Kona fish) as best we can. But there’s nothing like seeing spearfish for yourself, especially once you hook one and bring it aboard the boat!

Next time in our series of Kona fish facts, we’ll give you some interesting facts about the Broadbill Swordfish, another Kona fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

11 Awesome Things To Do in Hawaii

11 Awesome Things To Do in Hawaii

11 Awesome Things to Do in Hawaii


The state of Hawaii is arguably one of the most beautiful states in the United States. It has diverse natural scenery that’s populated with forests, mountains, volcanoes, and beautiful beaches. Its warm climate makes it a great place to vacation all year round. And even if it’s winter back home, you’ll be able to tan in Hawaii. There are eight main islands in Hawaii, although there are also many other smaller islands. The big eight are “Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the “Big Island”. Each of these islands has a variety of entertaining, awesome activities that can please every kind of person. If you come to Hawaii, you’ll have fun.


Obviously, one of the best things you can do in Hawaii is to go fishing. And there are so many different ways you can fish in Hawaii. There are natural streams, you could fish off the shore or on a beach or pier, or you could book a charter with us and go deep sea fishing. All fishing experiences are fun (although we believe deep sea fishing is the most fun).

Beach Hopping

Of course, one of the most wonderful things about Hawaii are the beaches. They’re idyllic looking, with white sand, beautiful cerulean water, and the warm golden sun hanging overhead. You can surf, swim, lay out and tan, or build sandcastles with your kids on all the different beaches. With so many beaches options you can pick the one that best suites your mood or interests, especially if you’re interested in a certain type of sport like surfing.



Another great activity to do in the beautiful Pacific is snorkeling! There are so many beautiful creatures to see in the Hawaiian waters such as the Green Hawaiian Sea Turtle and snorkeling provides an opportunity for you to see many animals in their natural habitat. Depending on when and where you go, you may be able to see Dolphins or whales or beautiful coral reefs.  

Whale Watching

Another awesome opportunity to see some of the beautiful animals that populate Hawaii is to go on a whale watching tour. It’s a magical experience that allows you to get fairly close to North Pacific Humpback Whales as they migrate gracefully to the Hawaiian waters, breaching the surface like a dancer.


Many people come to Hawaii for the beautiful golf courses that are available. There are plenty of wonderful public and private golf courses that work with golfers at any level, whether it’s their first time golfing or if they’re professional level. The beautiful views of the mountains, ocean, and forest is an indescribable golfing experience.

Drive Along the Highways

You can find some beautiful views just driving down the highway in Hawaii. Pack up your car or rental, roll down the windows, and you’ll be ready to experience and see the most beautiful views. The Hana Highway in particular (Highway 36 and Highway 360) is an adventurous drive with a lot of one way bridges, a lot of curves, and a whole lot of fun.


There are plenty of cool stops along the highway including the Puaa Kaa State Wayside Park, the Kahanu Garden, and the Haleakala National Park.


There are more beautiful national parks than the ones mentioned above and all of them are fun to hike. Depending on what you’d like to see, there’s a view and experience for everyone, with tropical valleys, beautiful oceans to look over, dramatic mountains that make you feel like you’re in a fantasy world or at least a paradise. There are also paths where you can hike up a volcano such as the Mt. Haleaka which is a dormant volcano located on Maui, that has beautifully diverse views. In some places you can see tropical waterfalls, or a bamboo forest. On Oahu there’s the Makapu’pu Lighthouse Trail that sees over the oceans and allows you to see cool historical lighthouses.  No matter what island you’re staying on, you’ll find be able to find a beautiful hiking trail.


After hiking on a dormant volcano, watching whales, deep sea fishing, and traipsing through a bamboo forest, you’ll probably need some rest and relaxation. And Hawaii has plenty of spas that can help you do just that. These spas allow you to rejuvenate and unwind so you’ll be ready to go swimming or hiking or just to help you go back to the daily grind.

If you need more ideas about what to do in Hawaii, this website has many different ideas for your Hawaiian vacation. Just remember that one of the best things you can do while you visit Hawaii is to book a charter with us at Kona Fishing Charters. We’ll guarantee that you’ll have a wonderful time. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your trip!

How to Cook Hawaiian Fish

How to Cook Hawaiian Fish

Now that Thanksgiving is over, you might be interested in learning about some recipes that DON’T involved turkey… like fish.

So imagine that you’ve been on your wonderful Hawaiian vacation, and you’ve caught some delicious Hawaiian fish while fishing with us on the Kona Fishing Charters! What should you do next with this appetizing fish?

You should cook it of course! Hawaiian recipes are full of historical significance and delicious fish. The fish you’ve been catching in the Hawaiian waters have almost always been featured in the islands’ meals. Some Hawaiian recipes are still prepared the same way ancient Hawaiians did, including grilling fish over a fire until it’s brown and crispy or steaming white fish in banana leaves.

But you don’t know any Hawaiian recipes for your delicious Hawaiian fish? Or even what kind of flavors and delicacies a traditional Hawaiian meal would embrace and include? Well, one of the most wonderful things about Hawaiian recipes is that they are a combination of a lot of cultures, due to the amount of immigration that has occurred here, so a lot of different types of spices are used by recipes. These ingredients and spices include everything from miso and sake to ginger and cilantro to mango and pineapple – Hawaiians have a diverse palate. The meals here are also usually full of fresh produce all from the Hawaiian islands including tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and herbs. Local ingredients and delicious seafood from the waters in Hawaii are the highlights of Hawaiian cooking and meals. And since you have access to the Hawaiian fish, whether by catching it yourself or going to a local market, you’ll be able to create some delicious recipes all with local Hawaiian ingredients. If you’re interested in knowing more about Hawaiian recipes, this website has a lot of interesting and delectable recipes.

How To Cook Hawaiian Fish 

So you caught an opah fish, or you decided to purchase one at a local Hawaiian fish market. How do you cook this Hawaiian fish?

Well, first thing, only about a third of this flaky, white fish is usable, since most of the fish is the head. There are many ways you can cook it, from glazing it with pineapple and pepper, to serving it plain with salt and a salad. The crust on this fish allows it to retain its natural moisture easily making it hard for the fish to become dry. The opah fish is a fatty and bold tasting fish that goes well with other bold flavors like chili peppers.

how to cook hawaiian fish

While we discourage our guests from taking marlin with them after they catch them on the Kona Fishing Charters, specifically blue marlin, you can purchase striped marlin (Nairagi) at local Hawaiian markets. This particular species of marlin is one of the most delicious and popular species of marlin for eating. As you can imagine, since the striped marlin is a sports fish, it’s typically caught by longline boats (sometimes trolling boats) and range between 40-100 pounds. Since it’s mild flavored, this fish is typically best cooked using mild flavors such as olive oil, salt, and a fresh green salad.

The ahi tuna fish in Hawaii is full of varieties from yellowfin and skipjack to bigeye and albacore. If you catch or purchase the bigeye ahi tuna, you’ll have access to one of the richest flavored fish. Because of this mild, yet rich flavored tuna, you won’t need to add too much of your own flavor to it. Using seaweed and sesame seeds is your best bet along. A dash of chile pepper might also work but don’t use too much if you decide to use this ingredient, or something like it, you won’t need too much of its flavor. The ahi bigeye tuna fish can “sell itself” because of how rich and mild it is.

If you come with us on the Kona Fishing Charters, we can tell you about some of our favorite uses of the local Hawaiian fish as well as the recipes that we think embody the typical (and traditional!) Hawaiian cuisine. And if you catch a fish with us on the Kona Fishing Charters that you’d like to cook remember to check out the website we mentioned above. You might be able to find the perfect Hawaiian recipe for the fish you caught, whether you caught a Mahimahi, a yellowskip ahi tuna, or an opah. Book your Kona fishing charter on the Kona Fishing Charters, and you’ll have a fantastic time, catching some of the beautiful (and absolutely delicious) fish that lurk in the Hawaiian waters.