Come join us in the


of the Pacific...Kona, Hawaii!

Kona is the only place in the world where blue marlin over 1000lbs have been caught in every month of the year. Add in flat calm seas almost year around, a 2 minute ride from the parking lot to the fishing grounds, favorable sunny weather, and you just might have the…

best fishing destination on the planet!

We are ready to show you this amazing place.

Come fish with us!

Welcome Aboard the Benchmark

At Grander Marlin our focus in on Marlin…the bigger the better. We have the gear, techniques, and experience to help you finally hook up with the fish of your dreams.

If marlin aren’t your thing, we are also equipped to target any other species you desire, including: ono, ahi, and mahi-mahi.

We welcome families, novices, and first time anglers too. Our goal is to make your day one to remember.

Are you ready to hook up to your dream fish?

** Discounts for multiple day trips **

Looking for a multiple day fishing trip?

Have other questions?

We’ve got you covered. Just contact Captain Chris to learn more. He’s happy to talk with you about the bite, moon phases, and anything else to make your dream fishing trip a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to be an experienced fisherman to join a charter?

Not at all. We are happy to fish with anyone that wants to fish. We have fished with first timers, captains visiting on vacation, and just about everyone in between!

Do I need to bring any fishing tackle or lures?

Nope. We’ve got it covered. You can leave your fishing gear and lures at home. We’ll choose the best tackle for the day and conditions, maximizing our opportunities.

Featured In:

Featured In: Kettlebottom, Reel Adventures, Day One Outdoors, Adventure Angler, Fishing New Zealand

What Others Are Saying...

I have had the pleasure of fishing a number of days with Captain Chris Donato when he was based in Samoa where he ran a thoroughly professional operation in all facets of his business from the way the boat was prepared and handled through to the presentation of his tackle and lures. I look forward to fishing with him again in the future.
Grant Dixon

Managing Editor and Director - NZ Fishing News

Regardless of where Chris's operation has been, The Billfish Foundation has been proud to call his operation, Grander Marlin, a top notch one. We have known Chris for over 10 years and he has been promoting billfish conservation since his outfit began in American Samoa. He believes in releasing all of his billfish, tagging those when conditions are appropriate, and reporting all the billfish data to us for our scientific work. We applaud Chris and welcome more charter operations like this worldwide.
Peter Chaibongsai

Director of Conservation Programs, The Billfish Foundation™

From the ledges in Samoa to Deep Dropping Swords in Florida and now on the World Renowned waters of Kona, I have followed Captain Chris Donato in search of Granders and incredible experiences.  Whether filming our show "Day One Outdoors TV," entertaining Clients or simply taking friends and family, Captain Donato is my first call.  This is not only because of his expertise and professionalism, but due to his effort.  He truly works hard in finding the bite and becomes just as vested as the angler once a hookup occurs!  Captain Donato and his crew on the Benchmark are second to none in our opinion because they have the versatility to win a high dollar tournament, or simply enjoy a relaxing day of chasing Pelagics on the open Ocean.
Cody Herman

Day One Outdoors · TV Show Host · Guide/Outfitter

Captain Chris Donato and his spectacularly-restored 37ft Merritt ‘Benchmark’ are an absolute pleasure to fish with. Chris is a seasoned professional, with the skills, tackle and temperament to give you an outstanding gamefishing experience.
Tim Simpson

Publisher/Editor BlueWater Boats & Sportsfishing magazine


Captain Chris

Captain Chris Donato has been fishing all his life and has spent the good part of a decade fishing the south pacific islands and exploring bites all through the islands, enjoying live bait fishing ,lure fishing and dead bait techniques, specializing in heavy tackle Blue Marlin fishing with experience in light tackle as well.

Read more about Captain Chris

Our Boat - Merritt’s 37 Footers

An avid fisherman, Buddy Merritt built what he perceived to be the perfect fishing boat. The first of his 37-footers were totally lacking the luxuries taken for granted today. They were built for one purpose: to raise and catch fish. In all, 13 of these famed 37-footers were built, and 12 survive to this day (one was lost to fire caused by stray fireworks while the boat was out of the water in a boat yard).

Our vessel is Hull #5, originally named Windsong, and built in 1959 for Tore Hembe. In later years she was known as Barbara Jo, Caracal, Comparss Rose, Cheetah, Mistress, Thunder, Sportin’ Life, Sassy Lady and Old Lady. In November, 2005 she was sold and moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Stuart, Florida to undergo a complete restoration by Gamefisherman & named “Friendship” in Virginia Beach. She was then purchased by us and renamed “BENCHMARK” and located in Western Samoa where she fished for several years. She then traveled to Fiji and now is in Kona, Hawaii which is where she will stay – combing the flat calm Kona seas.

Our Location

Contact us

Phone: (732) 241-5791


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Grander Marlin Sportfishing departs from Honokohau Marina Slip #B-01.


Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to departure; We are located in HONOKOHAU HARBOR- 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway. Go through the stop lights as you enter the harbor (with Honokohau Harbor sign on your left) then make your first right before the McDonald’s looking building. Keep going until you can make your next left by all the boat trailers. Look for large public restroom building and we are across the street. We are located on B dock right next to the last small boat ramp, you will see a sign for Benchmark and Grander Marlin. Please call the day before for better directions, or if you have any trouble finding us – (732) 241-5791.