Kona, Hawaii, has long been one of the world’s most storied marlin fishing destinations. Marlin Magazine joins Capt. Chris Donato and Joe Byrum aboard Benchmark, a beautifully restored 37-foot Merritt, as they chase blues and other pelagic species in the flat-calm waters off Kona.
The Grander Marlin Blog
Congrats to our decky, photographer & general man of leisure @jayblesphoto for getting the cover shot this month with one of our summer time blues we got on the benchmark. Nice work buddy, well deserved. Counting down the days till next summer and more cover shots 😉 . #kona #hawaii #bluemarlin #benchmark @pelagicgear #pelagicworldwide @fire_tailz @seamount_fishing
So I’ve Been experimenting with a hook rig Idea I’ve had. A super stiff breakaway rig we nicknamed the “viagra rig”. We use a thin metal rod that keeps it rigid like a gaff on the bite but Ive set it up to break off as soon as the fish turns its head or does a head shake. After the bite your left with the hook hopefully driven in place, while the metal rod breaks off and sinks away. The rig your left fighting the fish with is just a conventional flexible cable rig, as pictured in photo one, a photo of a fish subdued by the viagra rig recently. The breakaway feature is so that after the bite there is no kind of resistance to pry the hook out. My theory (opinion) for the rigid stiffness in the hook rig is to reduce snags and bill wraps and target the corner of the mouth, I also feel it keeps the hook farther back toward the softer area of the face instead of flying forward on crazy crash bites from a large fish, in theory it seems logical but marlin fishing sometimes is anything but, so we will see. It’s Still an experiment but so far I’m really happy with it🤞& I have noticed that we are getting way more hooks going in to that area from the corner of the jaw up to the nostril, with less snags around the head or Bill. will keep you all posted after we get closer to the 100 bites mark so we can see what kind of % and if it actually helps. #kona #hawaii #benchmark #paahook#experiment #bluemarlin #hookrig @pelagicgear #pelagicworldwide@fire_tailz
Our angler Ashley enjoying the warm Hawaii weather while administering 40lbs of drag to a nice size blue marlin. Yup this is the type of year round sea conditions and blue sky’s that make fishing for big blue marlin such a treat here in Kona, Hawaii. #kona #hawaii #bluemarlin #benchmark#lakefishing @pelagicgear #pelagicworldwide @seamount_fishing @fire_tailz 📸 @jayblesphoto
Took some friends out for an afternoon cruise yesterday and Had a sea monster grab one of my XXXL mudflaps. The big girl wanted that flap bad, just before spooling the teaser reel the metal eye ripped through the rubber flap. It’s a catch 22 putting big stuff in the wake without a hook, you’ll raise bigger fish in my opinion & 9 out 10 times you can switch um but once in a blue moon you’ll get your ass handed too you by one from hell. I’m Looking foreword to someone making a big flap made out of a material they can’t hold on too. Saw another decent fish on the way home surface feeding on what looked like little mahi, got her window shopping but that was all, wish we had more time out there to target them, def Couple big fish off Kona now just no charters to chase um 🤷🏼♂️fall is typically slow tourism for the charter fleet, unfortunate because it’s a great time to fish kona. Good luck to the boys out there this week and hey if you kill a big one with a 48” flap in her let me know 😉. #bigfishproblems #kona #hawaii #bluemarlin @pelagicgear @seamount_fishing @fire_tailz
Short trip today bck by 1:00 but managed to tag a shortbill spearfish along the way.