Directions to the Harbor
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. Grander Marlin Sportfishing departs from Honokohau Marina Slip #B-01. Our Boat – Merritt’s 37 Footers
About Our Boat
Buddy Merritt was an avid fisherman and 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. There were 13 of these famed 37-footers built in total, and 12 survive to this day. One was lost to a 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, Compass 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 game fisherman in Virginia Beach and was renamed “Friendship”. She was then purchased by us and renamed again as “BENCHMARK” and moved to 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.
Can we drink alcohol on the boat?
Yes, we encourage everyone to have a good time and enjoy their time on the water, however we STRONGLY advise against getting excessively drunk as it could become a safety hazard.
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, to maximize our opportunities.
Do we need to bring ice?
No, we supply all the ice and coolers as well as refrigerator space.
Are children allowed on your charters?
Yes, we allow children of all ages as long as the parents are able to watch them and are responsible.
Can we extend the time while out fishing?
Yes! As long as we don't have another charter booked you can extend your charter for $120 an hour.
Do we get to keep the fish?
We will cut off some fillets for you to have a dinner but the majority of the fish is left for the captain and crew. Traditionally most Kona boats keep all the fish, however we want the clients to at least be able to cook up some of their fresh catch.
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!
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.