Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kevin, Minnie & Jack McCluskey 3/14/10-3/16/10

The McCluskey family fished with us last in October 2008. They had such a great time fishing, it didn't take much to persuade them to join us again. Kevin called me a few months ago looking to plan a three day trip in March. I suggested the time during the new moon for his best chance at action. He then explained his 9 year old son, Jack, was on his way to becoming the youngest angler to complete the royal slam in the billfish world. Jack had caught both Pacific and Atlantic blue marlin/sailfish and had a black marlin to his credit as well. They wanted to come to Kona for his shot of catching the rarest and hardest of all the billfish, the short-nose spearfish.
So here we are, new moon in March, you couldn't pick a better time to fish. The fish had other plans. Besides a few big marlin and ahi, fishing was still slow. We have been experiencing unusually fast currents and it seems to be shutting the fishing down.

We set out with high expectations, looking for Jack's spearfish in all the right places, to no avail. Late in the afternoon, we spotted a porpoise school that was nice and tight. Marks came on the screen as soon as I made a pass, and not long after the water erupted with 100 plus pound tuna feeding on the surface. We stuck out the rig to see if we could end the day on a high note. Didn't take long for a nice tuna to grab the dangling squid. Jack was in the chair but unfortunately the hook pulled after a few minutes.

The next morning we set out to find the porpoise school first, hopefully get a tuna, and then proceed after the spearfish. The search found us going further south then I originally planned, but everything happens for a reason! When we least expected it, up comes a spearfish on the stinger, then one on the long rigger! We hooked the one up on the stinger and Jack was in contention. He did a great job transferring the shimano 50 to the chair himself in fine form.

Jack made short work of the fish and got leader within Josh's reach. We realized the hook was just in the lower tip of its mouth, and knew there was no room for error. I reached out with the gaff... and got a great shot. As it came over the rail we saw the size, realizing, this may beat the present junior world record of 32.5 lbs.

Pulling into the weigh station, all of us were anxious, and hoped our eyes were correct with the estimate. The scale read 40.5 lbs, Jacks spearfish was now the new junior World Record!

Couldn't ask for a better ending for Jack's quest of the hardest billfish to catch. With the spearfish out of the way, all Jack needs to be the youngest angler to complete the "Royal Slam" is a swordfish and a white marlin. Both fairly easy to catch near his home town, Palm Beach, Florida.

The next day we enjoyed spearfish sandwiches, and tried our luck after some tuna. The McCluskey's enjoyed there last day on the water, happy they got what they came for and more.

Good luck to 9 year old angler, Jack, hope you succeed in catching the final two billfish you need to complete the slam.

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

3/12/10 3/4 day

Not much happened today for us, we just missed one short-nose spearfish towards the end of our trip. I heard of a couple nice marlin seen from other boats, and it seems like some big Ahi are starting to show. We're crossing our fingers the action picks up. Very nice and understanding clients, hope we can get them some action next time.

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kukio Crew 3/8/10

Today, we took out some employees that work up at Kukio, a first class, private getaway north of the airport. We have developed a great working relationship with Kukio, and show our appreciation by getting them out fishing. We had six guys which included the GM, two golf pros, a golf super intendant, food and beverage manager, and chef.
Heading out for a half day, we missed a short-nose spearfish first thing in the morning. Everyone had a good look at the fish as it was after one of our lures. We found a porpoise school which didn't look good enough to hang around. Fishing again was very slow for most of the fleet, I only heard of one blue caught today.
The crew was having fun relaxing on the water, fishing, enjoying their day off. One of the guys named Brendt, had a big night before the trip and slept most of the day. The rest of the gang, all in fun, wanted to pull a fast one on him towards the end of the trip; Josh and I said we would kindly assist.
Just about ready to pull the lines in and Brendt was still sound asleep on the bridge. Josh hooked up our bucket to one of the reels and all of us started screaming, "FISH ON!" He awoke to pure mayhem, not knowing what was going on. The nice guys we are, we quickly informed him we had a fish on, and it was his turn in the chair. He rushed down the ladder, hopped in the chair, blood pumping and loving every second of it! Brendt had some work left as the bucket boogied early in the fight ripping 150 yards out on us! Once our proud angler reeled about half the line in we were faced with a new problem. The bucket kept coming within view on the surface. To keep him from seeing the bucket, we would yell, "Keep your head down, Reel!" That took care of most of the fight until it got really close. I did my part, with some tricky manuvering of the Kila Kila, to keep the bucket out of sight, trying not to spoil the surprise. Josh got leader and Brendt waited in anticipation.... His big catch came over the rail only to see it was a bucket full of water! :)
Brendt was a great sport about it, and that topped the day off for everyone. I heard his pictures are circulating around Kukio as we speak!

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

John Piazza 3/6/10

Mr. Piazza booked us for a full day during a work related stop in Honolulu. John fished in Kona many years ago (I believe in the 70's) with Captain Freddy Rice, aboard the "Ihu Nui". John chartered Freddy for a half a day, and came back to the docks with a catch of a lifetime! They had a double strike shortly after putting the lines in the water and stayed connected to a mammoth size marlin. His giant blue marlin tipped the scales over the 1,000 pound mark.

Learning this information after putting the lures out got Josh and I excited, with the excitement came the pressure to top that catch. Fishing still slow, we hoped to get John into some sort of action. Trolling south near C buoy we had something grab the long rigger. Peeling out line it seemed to have some weight to it. Our angler got hooked up in the chair only to pull the hooks out shortly there after.
We came to UU buoy, bait was holding and conditions looked good to live bait, no big fish though. A little offshore we spotted a porpoise school and decided to take a look since we had some live baits. The school didn't look so hot early, but right when we were about to leave, it came together. We marked a few fish and put our green stick rig out in hopes that would entice them to bite. Couple hours later, no bites, and it was time to start back home.

No grander for us but we had fun trying.

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mahi Mahi for the grill! 3/5/10

Mr. Glean, from California climbed aboard this morning for a half day. We left at 6:00 a.m., David watched the sunrise while Josh fine tuned the lures. Fishing slowed down immensely from last week, but we hoped for the best.
David had mentioned earlier he would love to have something for the grill, that he could cook at his beach house in Puako. He preferred to catch a Mahi Mahi or an Ono, liking the flaky mild fillets they offered.
With four hours to work with, Josh and I had to act fast. Luckily, a fad that broke free from an outer island just happened to be passing by. A couple boats already checked it out for any action, but turned away with no luck. We marked some bait surrounding the buoy; I had a hunch a Mahi Mahi was calling it home. Josh rigged a ballyhoo on a lighter outfit and stuck it in the middle of the pattern. It didn't take long for the resident Mahi to eat it for breakfast.
David had a good fight on 50 pound test to get it within Josh's reach. Great gaff shot, and Mahi Mahi was now on the dinner menu.
Fishing proved to be very slow again today, we did mark a marlin on our way in, but couldn't get it to bite.
Fishing should pick back up next week during the new moon, check back to see if my prediction comes true.

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Keith & Sarah's fishing trip 2/24/10

Unbelievable fishing, Keith & Sarah surprised us with fortunate luck! Keith called me earlier in the week, Kila Kila was his top pick, "we came highly recommended", he said. After talking, he decided to book a full day. I told him, expect a good time, and hope we get lucky. Fishing's hit or miss this time of the year, but everyday is a new day, "you never know" (Kona fisherman's favorite saying)!
With Keith and Sarah's happy go lucky attitude we set out, not knowing what the day had in store. Traveling down the coast south, we missed a Spearfish, a quick zip of line off the reel and it was free. Half hour later, a big hole appeared behind the center rigger, and a Blue engulfed the 8 inch lure. Great show, lots of jumps, tuff fight, and the 300 pound blue was released in healthy shape.
"We'll, that was unexpected", I said, that fish just made the day! It's only 9:00 a.m., pressures off, and we still have the rest of the day. Few hours passed, couple fish marked on the sounder, and another hook up. This time we caught that Spearfish we lost earlier, 25 pounder. We spent some time pounding the area of our action, no luck. I started to go North, heading back to the port, still very happy with our results.
On the way back, around 2:30 p.m. a few boats were working a school of dolphin, usually a sign of feeding yellow-fin tuna. We swung through to have a look, the dolphin were charging and signs were good to stick around. Marking 3 to 6 Ahi at a time, we knew we could get bit any second! Center rigger started screaming out line, we just hooked one! Keith angled his biggest Ahi, 155 lbs. Josh cleaned the deck just in time to put the lures back in the water after catching up to the school. We proceeded to go 3 for 8 in the school the rest of the afternoon.
Great day fishing by anyone's standards, even if it is the off season!

Aloha, Capt. Teddy Hoogs

Some kind words from Keith & Sarah...

Aloha Teddy and Josh!!! Just wanted to shoot you guys an email and thank you sooo much for a wonderful fishing trip!! We had the time of our lives fishing with you guys. That day will be a memory we take to our graves. Even in the "off" season of February, you guys worked hard and landed us a perfect day fishing. Whether it be luck, skill, or both, we definitely appreciate the awesome day. Who would have guessed in February we could have released a 300 pound marlin, caught a spearfish and three big Ahi (155#, 115#, 100#).... Someone forgot to tell the fish it was the off season. I truly hope you guys enjoyed the day HALF as much as Sarah and I did. Not only did you guys manage to put us on the fish, but when we realized the potential, you guys stayed out wayyyy late, keeping the good time rolling.
The effort and hospitality you guys bestowed upon us was truly amazing!! You guys have friends for life, and if you need anything, just let us know. We loved the Kila Kila, you have something to be proud of in her.
Keep up the good work and good luck in the tournaments.

Keith & Sarah Gann
Nashville, Tennessee