June 4, 2023
A feisty blue marlin goes airborne within the calm Pacific waters off Kona, Hawaii.
Bryan Toney

When the fishing discuss turns to huge blue marlin, there’s one scorching spot that comes up most of the time: Kona, Hawaii. Calm seas. A year-round fishing season. Loads of constitution operations to select from. And naturally stunning surroundings and that famed Hawaiian hospitality. All that and extra makes a visit to Kona on any critical angler’s quick record of dream locations.

Capt. Bryan Toney runs Marlin Magic, a 43-foot Allied that’s one in all Kona’s high constitution boats. He has seen (and caught) his fair proportion of massive blues. “There have been over 140 blue marlin over 1,000 kilos weighed within the Hawaiian Islands,” he says, “and Kona has over 80 of them. This doesn’t depend the various extra grander blues launched. It’s numbers like that which make it such an amazing fishing vacation spot, realizing that at any time you could hook the fish of a lifetime.” A number of IGFA world-record blue marlin have been landed in these surrounding waters, that are additionally house to the most important marlin ever caught on hook and line, an 1,805-pounder referred to as Choy’s Monster that was caught off the island of Oahu in 1970 by a constitution celebration fishing with Capt. Cornelius Choy.

blue marlin on lure underwater photo
Most of Kona’s captains desire to troll a variety of synthetic lures so as to cowl extra water in the hunt for blue marlin like this one.
Bryan Toney

Given its location in the course of the huge Pacific Ocean, these volcanic Hawaiian Islands function pure feeding outposts for a lot of pelagic species, with blue marlin on the very high of the record. The depths plummet quickly, so there’s no cause to make a long term; trolling usually begins as quickly because the boats depart the harbor. To be able to cowl floor, practically everybody will pull a variety of synthetic lures, with among the world’s hottest designs originating in Kona. Heavy deal with additionally guidelines the day, with most boats working their lures from 80s and 130s.

Based on Toney, one of many island’s greatest options are the 2 giant mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, that make up many of the island. The mountains supply a 40-mile-long swath of water that’s protected against the tradewinds, which means that situations are normally flat-calm all 12 months. “We get up each morning 2,500 miles offshore with solely a quarter-mile run to begin fishing,” he says. “A few of my favourite fishing spots are mainly landmarks that line up with the twists and turns of the offshore ledge, like Kaiwe Level, Keauhou, Pink Hill, Keei, Honaunau, Hookena and Milolil. All have produced huge fish for us previously.”

kona hawaii sunrise
Whereas the flights from the U.S. might be lengthy, the chance to chase blue marlin in a Pacific paradise like Kona makes the journey properly definitely worth the effort.
Courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority

marlin jumping in calm water off kona hawaii
Due to deep water near shore and a protecting lee fashioned by the island’s mountain vary, the seas off Kona are typically flat year-round.
Bryan Toney

And whereas Kona is most well-known as a giant blue marlin vacation spot, it’s additionally one of many world’s most constant spots to catch a spearfish — essentially the most tough a part of attaining a royal billfish slam.

There’s a slew of high skilled captains fishing out of Kona’s Honokohau Harbor, so discovering an amazing boat is straightforward. Grander-marlin-chasing skippers like Gene Vanderhoek, Kevin Nakamaru, Marlin Parker and lots of others ply these waters each day and can work exhausting to be sure you have the shot at a fish of a lifetime. As with all constitution operations although, make sure you guide properly upfront. The excellent news is that charters in Kona are comparatively cheap due to the quick run to the fishing grounds.

The Seasons

Marlin fishing in Kona might be good year-round; blues over 1,000 kilos have been caught throughout each month of the 12 months. Nonetheless, essentially the most constant fishing is normally between April and September.

The island isn’t recognized for giant numbers of fish though a number of blue marlin usually are not unusual. The spring months are greatest for spearfish. Different species, together with striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and others, will present up within the unfold now and again all year long as properly.

Getting There, Staying There

The city of Kailua is situated simply 10 minutes from the Ellison Onizuka Kona Worldwide Airport which is served by a number of main airways together with American, Delta, United, Alaska Airways, and Hawaiian Airways along with regional carriers. No passport is required for U.S. residents. Flights from the West Coast of the US are roughly 5 hours. Honokohau Harbor is house to nearly all of the island’s constitution fleet, and it’s conveniently situated between the airport and Kailua.

Consuming and Consuming

Toney says Kona could be very family-friendly, with a lot of retailers, open air actions and eating places to selected from. “A terrific place to remain that’s proper on the water and really moderately priced is the Royal Kona Resort,” he says. “Should you’re in search of a extra high-end expertise, head for the 4 Seasons Hualalai, which is is without doubt one of the greatest resorts on the planet.” For eating, Toney recommends Huggos, the Kona Inn, Umekes, and Sam Choy’s.

tuna poke in hawaii
Contemporary yellowfin tuna poke is without doubt one of the island’s hottest seafood dishes.
Courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority

Two Hawaiian dishes that aren’t to be missed are poke and the pu pu platter. Poke, pronounced po-keh, is a uncooked fish salad made with tuna or different recent fish tossed with sesame oil, soy sauce and seasonings, and could be very standard all through the Hawaiian Islands. Pu pu platters are appetizer or hors d’oeuvre plates, a mixture of finger meals served earlier than a meal.


For these with a aggressive streak, event fishing in Hawaii could be very standard. Through the summer time months, there are a slew of high-quality tournaments to select from. And whereas just a few could win, a superb time is just about assured for all who take part.

Different Issues to Do

Scuba diving in Kona could be very standard, as is evening diving with the manta rays. These giants feed within the evenings in comparatively shallow water.

Serious about studying to scuba dive? Try PADI’s on-line e-learning programs in the present day — and expertise Kona in an entire new approach.

manta ray diving with full moon eclipse
An extremely uncommon expertise: diving with manta rays at evening throughout an eclipse of the total moon.
Courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority

You’ll want to head to Punalu’u seashore, essentially the most well-known black sand seashore in Hawaii. Throughout nesting season, it’s not unusual to see endangered Hawksbill turtles on the seashore.

punalu'u black sand beach kona hawaii
Punalu’u seashore is a well-liked spot for guests.
Hawaii Tourism Authority

Hawaii Volcanoes Nationwide Park can also be a preferred vacation spot, the place guests can hike over 100 miles of trails amid lush rainforest and the volcanoes of Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

Honokohau Harbor: honokohauharbor.com
Marlin Magic Charters: marlinmagic.com; Capt. Bryan Toney: 808-895-3025
Royal Kona Resort: royalkona.com
4 Seasons Hualalai: .fourseasons.com/hualalai
Hawaii Marlin Event Collection: konatournaments.com

kona hawaii sunset
The solar units on one other unimaginable day in Kona.
Courtesy Hawaii Tourism Authority