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

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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.

Fishing

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.

 

Snorkeling

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.

Golfing

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.

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

Hiking

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.

Spas

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.

Why Fishing in Hawaii is the Best

Why Fishing in Hawaii is the Best

Why Fishing in Hawaii is the Best

One of the best parts about coming to Hawaii is the variety of activities you can experience, from sailing to hiking to surfing and fishing. Today we will discuss why we believe Hawaii is one of the best places in the entire world to fish. After deep-sea fishing in Hawaii with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you’ll probably agree, and be ready for more fishing fun in Hawaii with your family and friends!

Family Fun

Speaking of your family, fishing is one of the best activities in Hawaii for kids and parents to do together. It’s a simple and fun activity for kids of all ages. While experiences like hiking and surfing might be too much for some kids, especially depending on their age and how long you plan on doing it, fishing can grab their attention for longer. The kids will be so excited to catch their own fish especially if you’re in a cool location like Hawaii. There’ll be so much to see and talk about while you fish that you and the kids will have a blast together. Fishing is an activity that can bring the entire family together and help you have a wonderful time vacationing in Hawaii. Have a small fishing competition with your family to see who can catch the best and biggest fish, or maybe even the smallest! Make it fun for your family and you’ll be swarmed with happy laughter and wonderful memories.

Of course, if you have been struggling to get your child involved in fishing, check out this article from a few weeks ago. That particular blog post gives advice on to how to make fishing a fun activity for you and your child to do together no matter if you’re at home or visiting our great state of Hawaii.

Beautiful

Obviously, fishing in Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and stunning things you can experience in a lifetime. There are so many stunning vistas to look upon, and the sparkling water also makes fishing in Hawaii a memorable experience. The beauty of fishing in addition to the beauty of Hawaii makes this an optimal adventure no matter where you decide to go fishing in Hawaii. No matter where you go on Hawaii to fish, you’ll see the beautiful Pacific Ocean or the awe-striking mountains and volcanos that populate the Hawaiian Islands.

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Lots of Options

One of the best things about going fishing in Kona are all of the fishing options available. You can go fishing off the shore on the beach, or wade out to a reef and go fishing there. There’s also freshwater fishing along the rivers and reservoirs in Hawaii.  

Deep sea fishing is another great option that we highly recommend. If you go with us on the Kona Fishing Charters, you’ll have a blast seeing and catching fish you’d never be able to see on the shore. Plus you won’t have to worry, we’ll help you with any fishing problems you may have and take care of getting to the best fishing spots. Since our company is full of professionals who live in this beautiful state and know it well, we can guarantee to find you a great spot to fish in the Pacific Ocean when you book a trip with us.

Regulations

But before you decide to go fishing in Hawaii, make sure everything is legally right. Hawaii has many fishing regulations in order to conserve the population of fish. If you’re concerned about this, the best thing to do would be to go to the state of Hawaii’s website  and read up on their fishing regulations and rules. This website also has information on the licences and the permits you may need to acquire before going fishing in Hawaii.

We hope this convinces you to come out to Hawaii to fish with us on the Kona Fishing Charters. Hawaii is a beautiful and wonderful state full of the best fishing opportunities. There are amazing opportunities all year round to catch the best fish and you’ll have lots of fun attempting it. Even if you don’t go fishing the whole time, you will have a wonderful time doing so many other great activities on the Hawaiian islands. Book a trip with us on the Kona Fishing Charters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip with us on the Pacific Ocean.

How Did Ancient Hawaiians Fish?

How Did Ancient Hawaiians Fish?

Fishing in Hawaii is an ancient tradition with roots in many different indigenous cultures across the Hawaiian islands. Native Hawaiians depended on the ocean to provide them with food and fun. From working with a torch and spear to the fishing vessels we use today, fishing has always been a part of the Hawaiian islands.

In today’s Kona Fishing Charters blog post, we’ll discuss how ancient Hawaiians depended on the ocean for resources. Not only that, but we’ll also discuss how Ancient Hawaiians fished. Since we angle fairly differently today, we thought it’d be interesting to look at the differences between fishing that occurred in ancient Hawaii and today.

How Did Ancient Hawaiians Fish?

The ancient Hawaiians fished based on the phases of the moon. Keen astronomer (in a sense) Hawaiians understood that there was a relationship between the moon and the ocean. They could tell that the moon’s phases impacted fishing activities after observing the moon’s phases. Hawaiians used a variety of fishing techniques in order to catch fish to feed themselves and their families. Hook and line was a typical one used to catch sharks, octopus, and medium sized fish. The hooks could be made out of bone (human or animal), pearls, turtle shells, wood, or even ivory from a whale. And they were shaped into hooks by tools that were made up of stone or shells. But Hawaiians didn’t only make hooks, they also made artificial lures. Some of the most infamous lures were made up on cowrie shells and passed down through generations of Hawaiian fisherman.  Live bait was also used in order to lure fish onto the hook. Just like now, shrimp, fish, and crab meat was used to bait schools of fish to the hook.

Spears were another tool that Hawaiians often used in order to catch their fish. Spears were used typically in shallow water or on rocky ledges. Some Hawaiians even swam underwater and used a spear to catch rock fish. Spears were also used in conjunction with torches at night, the torch light attracted fish to the scene.

Traps were another common tool used by Hawaiians. These traps would look like baskets and were used to catch numerous smaller fish all at once. Women used these to trap shrimp in streams placing the baskets under natural debris like leaves and branches that shrimps would hide in.

The favorite fishing method of Hawaiians however was not any of the above. It was net fishing. Nets were easier for Hawaiians to use because it allowed them to grab many fish all at once in a variety of situations. Nets could also be used as a group, making one large net spread in a large body of shallow water near the shore.

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Nets could be made out of plant fibers or thick rope depending on what the fishermen were looking for. Interestingly enough, many times, fishing nets and lines were dyed in order to become less visible in the water. There is a red hibiscus plant called the Koki’o on Hawaii that produces a purple dye that makes the fishing lines and nets invisible to the fish.

Ancient Hawaiians also developed a unique type of aquaculture with “fish ponds” to supplement food during times where food was scarce. These “ponds”were made up of massive stone walls that surrounded enclosed inlets. The walls were curved and angled downwards with sluice gates built in. These gates allowed small fish to enter from the ocean but also prevented bigger fish from leaving. During high tide, more fish would enter, replenishing the food source.

The Culture of Ancient Hawaii – Ancient Hawaiians and the Ocean

Ancient Hawaiians had a spiritual connection to the ocean, and many modern Hawaiians still do. If you’ve visited before, or when you visit, you’ll feel the sense of protectiveness and giving that the ocean embodies here. The ocean gave Ancient Hawaiians protection and sustenance and Hawaiians respected the ocean for this. A successful fisherman was and still is a valued asset in the Hawaiian community. But there was more to this than just respect. Most Hawaiians believed that the spirits of their ancestors lived in the fish and other creatures in the Pacific Ocean. Each family had a connection to a particular kind of fish – if a family had a connection to sharks, for instance, they believed that the spirit of an ancestor could appear as a shark to them while out in the water. This shark wouldn’t hurt them but guide them to safety or chase fish into their nets. Not all sharks were their ancestor though, it just meant that their ancestor could ‘jump’ into any shark’s body to protect their descendant(s). But killing or eating a shark would be disrespectful to their ancestors so they would abstain from doing so, under worries that their ancestor might punish them with illness or death for doing so.

We hope you enjoyed this quick summary of Ancient Hawaiian beliefs and fishing habits. There’s more information online and after you go fishing with us at Hawaii, there are many museums dedicated to giving more information about Ancient Hawaiians. Call us at (808) 960-1424 for the best fishing in Kona Hawaii with us on the Kona Fishing Charters!

Why Catch and Release is Practiced

Why Catch and Release is Practiced

Many anglers practice catch and release when they’re out fishing. It’s becoming more popular to do so, and even encouraged with certain species of fish. However, you have to be careful when practicing catch and release. Although this practice is intended to keep the fish you catch alive, sometimes, if an angler isn’t careful, the fish could die still.

In today’s post we’ll explain both why anglers perform it and how to practice catch and release properly!

Why Anglers Practice Catch and Release

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Catch and release is a conservation practice that was developed to prevent fish from being over-harvested. Sports fishers have been practicing catch and release for a long time since most don’t need to keep their fish for food. The fun is typically in the fight and the resulting catch. Catch and release is used when there’s no need to keep a fish. If you’re not planning on eating your catch, it might be best to practice catch and release.

How to Practice Catch and Release Without Harming the Fish

Make sure you plan ahead before you go fishing. Even if you aren’t expecting to practice catch and release, it might be a good idea to come prepared anyways. Make sure to bring release/dehooking tools with you in your tacklebox. And keep appropriate tackle in your tacklebox. Use tackle that’s matched to the species you’re trying to catch. Also, try to use barbless hooks. Fish are more easily unhooked from hooks without barbs, making it easier for you to help them get off the hook. Another type of hook that would work well are circle hooks which hook fish in the mouth, allowing them to be easily released.

After you catch the fish, make sure you minimize the handling of the fish. The less touching the better. Although if you do touch the fish, wet your hands first thing, to help maintain the fish’s slime coat. Otherwise, the fish can get an infection since the slime coat is a layer of protection for the fish. Make sure to avoid touching the fish’s eyes and gills! And if you want to take a picture with your fish, try to hold it horizontally rather than vertically in order to prevent any issues. Lastly, don’t drop the fish!

When you’re using a dehooking device to release fish, make sure to handle the fish carefully. If you don’t have a dehooking device at your disposal, needle nose pliers will also allow you to properly remove a hook. To use needle nose pliers to remove a hook, you’ll need to back the hook out the way it entered, delicately.

But what should you do if you want to release a fish that’s been deeply hooked? Sometimes fish are so deeply hooked that if you tried to remove the hook, they’ll be damaged. In those cases, the best thing to do for the fish is to cut the line as close to hook as you possibly can. Quite often, the hooks will fall out of the mouth or even dissolve once the fish is released into the water.

If the fish looks tired, possibly after a long fight with an angler, you may need to revive the fish before releasing it back into the water. This is especially true if it looks like it’s having problems swimming in the livewell. To do this, when you’re placing it back in the water, you will need to pass water over its gills. Then move the fish forward with its mouth open. If it doesn’t swim away after this, you’ll need to try to revive it again. Once the fish is swimming on its own that’s when you know it will be fine.

At Kona Fishing Charters, we want you to have a wonderful time fishing. We will help you practice catch and release if you wish to use it with any of the cool fish you catch with us. We encourage our guests to practice it with any blue marlins that they may catch, however, if you choose not to do so, we can donate the blue marlin to local, Hawaiian charities. If you’d like to book a trip for Marlin fishing in Kona, call us at (808) 960-1424. We’ll ensure you’ll have a good time!