The Last Good Place
This is how Charles Remington, the character played by Michael Douglas, described Africa in the movie The Ghost and The Darkness. He, of course, was talking about hunting. This title, though, could not be more fitting for the Big Island of Hawaii and especially the Kona Coast when it comes to deep sea fishing.
This one-of-a-kind place is a product of many natural processes, the most significant of which was Hawaii’s volcanoes pushing through the ocean floor millions of years ago. This created an ecosystem in the middle of the Pacific going from well over two thousand fathoms deep to the rocky shores of the Kona Coast in just a few miles.
Whether you’re fishing windblown points, sandbars, or oil rigs you understand that these depth changes and structure mean there is a good chance there is going to be fish. They provide shelter and food for bait that in turn attracts game fish. They are like a buffet in the ocean and the Big Island is the largest buffet table on this planet.
The Kona side of the island is the most popular for sport fishing. Not necessarily because there are more fish than the east side of the island but because Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the two largest mountains in the world (measured from the ocean floor), block the trade winds and ocean swells the majority of the time. That leaves the west coast of the Big Island essentially flat. Even people who are prone to motion sickness can sometimes stomach these waters.
Now, here is the best part: Hawaii is one of those places with lots of rules and regulations for a lot of things—except when it comes to fishing. There are no licenses required, no permits, no rules. It’s a fisherman’s paradise and evidence that those who love the water will respect it and take care of it without them. Most marlin are tagged and released. And those that are not, along with other species like ahi (yellowfin tuna), ono (wahoo), and mahi-mahi (dorado or dolphinfish), are primarily used locally in restaurants and grocery stores with some flown to mainland restaurants.
There are no guarantees when it comes to fishing. There are slow times and there are extremely great times. But anyone in search of a large Blue Marlin or a great day on the water would choose Kona waters every time.