Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series: The Kona Kick Off Starts Friday

The Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series enters its 33rd season in 2019. The series is comprised of seven tournament running from late June through mid-September. The series attracts the top anglers, skippers and crews from around the world each summer.

California angler Rick Shedore took home the Champion Angler Award in both 2018 and ‘17, and he is returning this year to see if he cal pull off a “three-peat.” Rick fishes on “Lightspeed” with Capt. Rob Elly and owner Rob McCarthy who lives in Austin, Texas.

Attractive to anglers is the concentration of marlin and ahi in the eddy formed in the lee of the Big Island. Last year, 325 marlin were caught during the seven tournaments spanning 19 fishing days of the series. There were 320 marlin that were tagged and released alive back into the ocean and only five were brought in to be weighed.

The series takes ocean resource conservation seriously and has a long history of supporting marine science and research of marlin, most notably through the deployment of 38 pop-up satellite archival tags. The series also assists Wild Oceans, a non-profit organization that was instrumental in getting the Billfish Conservation Act through Congress, signed by both Presidents Obama and Trump and is now law.

Other attractive points of the Kona tournaments are the super calm waters and very short distance to the fishing grounds. There been more marlin over 700 pounds caught within 2 miles of the entrance to Honokohau Harbor, than any other single area along the entire Kona Coast. The standing World Record Blue Marlin weighed 1,376 pounds and was caught just one mile off Kai’iwi Point, which shields the harbor from south and west swells.


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