Recent Fishing Better than Average

Despite a lack of trade winds and less than favorable currents, the crew of the Humdinger managed to tag and release two blue marlin, three striped marlin, and also catch one ahi tuna and a nice mahi mahi for a client on a recent six day charter.

Don’t forget, Kona hosts a number of fishing tournaments here in Hawaii each year.  Check out the complete schedule of Hawaii Fishing Tournaments out of Kona on our website or visit the Kona Tournaments web page or the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament web page for more details. Read more

First Tagged Blue Marlin 450 lbs.

Kimberly McCoy of Chicago, IL tagged and released this 450 lb blue marlin on her first fishing charter in Kona Hawaii. The fish hit a custom “Straight Runner” lure made by Henry Chee Jr. himself. The marlin fought about 25 minutes, jumping several times, before finally being wired in by Henry “Butch” Chee before being tagged and released.

For more information about booking your Hawaii Fishing Charter on the Humdinger in Kona Hawaii, CLICK HERE to EMAIL us or call (800) 926-2373 or try us on the boat phone at (808) 936-3034. Read more

January Kicks off Hot Fishing in Kona Hawaii

Hawaii Fishing Report for Kona – January 2011

Hawaii Fishing Report for Kona – January 2011

January proved to be a hot month for blue marlin fishing in Kona Hawaii once again.  According to the Charter Desk, a total of 56 Blue Marlin were caught off the big island near Kona during the month with 34 fish being tagged.  The three largest fish weighed were 917 lbs., 606 lbs. and 604 lbs.  In addition to a decent blue marlin bite, 50 Shortbilled Spearfish were caught with 14 being tagged, 22 Striped Marlin were caught with 11 being tagged and 23 Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) were also reported.

Don’t forget, Kona hosts a number of fishing tournaments  in Hawaii each year.  Check out the complete schedule of Hawaii Fishing Tournaments out of Kona on our website or visit the Kona Tournaments web page or the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament web page for more details. Read more

Fishing Hawaii for Blue Marlin – Up Close, Personal and Near Shore

Reprinted from Western Outdoor News with Permission, March 2000

WON Staff Writer

KONA, Big Island, Hawaii

Humdinger - blue marlin Fishing Trip

I glanced off the stern and the waving palms were barely 1/2-mile away, framing the volcanic mountain backdrop of Mount Hualalai behind the town of Kailua Kona, and behind that towered 13,677-foot-high Mauna Loa Mountain, one of the largest single mountain masses in the world.

And here I was, fishing in Hawaii in some of the most famed blue marlin water in the world–only 10 minutes from port! This was my kind of fishing, and I loved it. No multi-hour cruises just to get to the fishing grounds, no big swells or rough seas. Here, fishing out of Kona, Hawaii, it’s a simple 10-minute cruise to the fishing grounds, you’re never out of sight of land, and you’re fishing some of the most prolific blue marlin waters in the world.

I had never heard of such a thing until friend John Wilson of Placerville told me about his experience out of Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii just weeks before. A friend of his, Jeff Dickey out of Houston, fishes on the Humdinger regularly, a 37-foot Rybovich, and wanted John to come over and experience the blue marlin fishing firsthand.

Their first day of fishing was good, with two marlin of 167 and 172 pounds caught, but the next day was the “real fun” one, Wilson related.

“Allison was up for the first fish,” said Wilson, “and at 9:30, after the banana dance, we hooked up with something big and it sounded. The fish never came back up, and Allison cranked and cranked and cranked–close to an hour. It was a beautiful calm, flat day, and then up came this 350-pound blue. We tagged and released it.”

The second fish that day was a big, big blue marlin, and it was my friend John’s turn at the rod. The fish came up and took the bait and was hundreds of yards behind the boat before the boat was in full reverse and on its way backing down on the fish. Then the big fish went straight down and Wilson began cranking.

After a long battle, the huge blue marlin came straight out of the water entirely on the opposite side of the boat from where Wilson was fighting it! It cleared the water completely and threw spray everywhere when it landed. They eventually brought the blue marlin alongside, tagged it and released it. That fish was estimated to be 750 pounds and about 12 feet long end to end, and 10 feet “short measurement.”

“That was one of best trips I’ve ever been on–four blue marlin in two days with a little helicopter touring and some golf in between,” he said. “You’ve got to be on the water for 3 or 4 days to have a good chance of getting a blue, but you begin fishing only100 yards out of the dock in beautiful water that’s calm and close to shore.”

Well, that was enough to get me excited, so at Dickey’s invitation I booked a flight and flew over to Kona, where I stayed at the King Kamehameha Motel in Kona. What a trip! Fishing each morning in calm, fish-filled water and touring the island the rest of the time. And talk about food! There’s a huge array of things to eat on the boat, and evening meals were to dream about.

We caught some huge bull dorado, called Mahi-Mahi here in Hawaii, some yellowfin tuna and saw half a dozen big blues caught around us. It just wasn’t my day for the marlin, but we had a great time catching the bull dolphin and tuna.

All the boats out of our “fleet” there at Kona did well the two days we fished, weighing in marlin of 374, 246, 179, 229, 268, 162 and a monster 718-pound blue marlin, as well as mahi-mahi (dorado) of 42, 28, 27, 28, 40, 21, 36, 18, 17, 22, 40 and 22 pounds. Also caught was a 19-pound Ono and a 31-pound spearfish. The winter months are best for spearfish out of Kona, and many fly fishing aficionados head over here about now to try for a line-class spearfish world record.

One of the beautiful things about fishing over here in Hawaii is that no matter what time you want to get away on a Hawaiian vacation you will find good fishing out of Kona, and blue marlin are available year-round. On Super bowl Sunday one vessel captured a 1,218-pound blue marlin, currently the 6th largest fish on record and bumped captain Butch Chee of the Humdinger from the number 6 to number 7 position with his 1195-pound fish.

Captain Jeff Fay and Captain Butch Chee man the Humdinger, and they have over 3 decades of experience fishing these waters. They’re the only 3-time winners of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament‘s Henry Chee Award (yes, Chee’s dad, guess where he learned to fish?) and they have scored more total Hawaiian fishing tournament points than anyone in the history of the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament.

Humdinger Wins Hawaii Big Island Invitational Fishing Tournament


Kona, Hawaii – July 24, 1998  –  The highlight of this year’s tournament actually came during the final hours of the last day. In keeping with the old adage of “saving the best for last”, the veteran crew on board “Humdinger”, a 37′ Rybovich that consistently places in the top of every Hawaiian sportfishing tournament, managed to land a 634 lb. blue marlin that proved to be the largest of the fishing tournament. And, to make their victory even sweeter, it all happened within 18 minutes of “Humdinger” leaving the dock to make its final run of the tournament. That’s all it took for “Humdinger” to capture 1st Place Overall and bank over $34,000 in prize money.

The tournament began with Walter Hester’s team on “Maui Jim” tagging and releasing the only marlin caught or tagged during Day One.

Day Two saw “Maui Jim” take advantage of Day One’s momentum by boating a 550.5 lb. marlin. Later that morning, Steve Schumacher tagged a Marlin from his “Kila Kila” and Jeff Smith tagged one from his “Pamela”. Finally, in the afternoon, defending champion, skipper Tim Hicks, led angler Al Sullivan to a hookup with a 348 lb. marlin while on board “Illusions”. At the end of Day Two, the “Maui Jim” had earned $20,340 in daily prize money and the team on “Illusions” had received $19,800.

On Day Three, Ross Kraemer on board “Layla” started the morning off with a tag and release, but later “Kila Kila’s” Jason Holtz tagged the second marlin of the tournament and locked up the $5,000 for the most marlin tagged and released in the tournament.

Also, during the final day, Mike House of Honolulu reeled in a 428.5 lb. blue marlin from Maui’s “Start Me Up” with owner/skipper Doug Armfield at the helm. This fish held on to 3rd Place and received $17,190 in daily money as well.

However, before the day was out, world-famous Capt. Jeff Fay, refusing to be outdone by skippers from out-of-town, pulled a lunker out from hiding that was to rearrange the leader board for the final tally. Washington angler Joe Sewell wrestled with his 634 lb. marlin long enough to bring the leader within the grasp of veteran wireman Henry “Butch” Chee who iced the largest marlin of the tournament and gave the “Humdinger” team 1st Place Overall.

The Big Island Invitational features an entry format that allows for the base entry fee proceeds to support prize money for the top three point-tallying boats, as well as $5,000 for both the top tag and release boat and the team with the largest marlin of the event.

Prize money for the largest marlin of each day and additional cash awarded for the largest marlin of the tournament is generated from optional entry levels. “Humdinger” won 1st Place in points overall and was awarded $23,700. They also picked up $5,000 for the largest marlin of the event – both from the base entry fee category. In addition, Capt. Fay’s team earned daily money from the optional entry levels, totaling $5,400 for a total take of $34,100.

The 13th Big Island Invitational Marlin Tournament was the second competition in the 5-stop tour making up the Kona Marlin Tournament Series. Still unclaimed is a pair of brand new Caterpillar diesel engines, a special prize guaranteed by Pacific Machinery of Honolulu and reserved for the team catching the largest marlin of the Series weighing over 898 lbs.

The Kona Marlin Tournament Series awarded more than $340,000 in prize money in 1998. Organizers expect more than $400,000 in total awards in 1999. The next event on the circuit will be the 12th Annual Firecracker Open on the Fourth of July Weekend, followed immediately by the 7th Skins Marlin Derby in back-to-back weekends.

For more information on Hawaii fishing tournaments or Hawaii fishing charters onboard “Humdinger” in Kona, Hawaii, please contact Captain Jeff Fay at 1-800-926-2374 or (808) 936-3034 or EMAIL US.

Humdinger Captures Five Blue Marlin On Final Day To Win The 14th Annual T.A.R.T Tournament

Humdinger Captures Five Blue Marlin On Final Day

To Win The 14th Annual T.A.R.T Tournament

Humdinger wins 14th annual Tag and Release Hawaii Fishing Tournament

“Copyright 2000, Jim Rizzuto, Used with Permission.”

Kona, Hawaii — Team Humdinger, with Capt. Jeff Fay at the helm, won the 14th Annual T.A.R.T (Tag and Release Tournament) last week with one of the most spectacular days of fishing in local history.

“It was like pitching a shutout and hitting a grandslam homerun in the same inning to blow everyone else away, ” said T.A.R.T. sponsor Ken Corday. “In the space of about five hours, the Humdinger notched five blue marlin, including a 730-pounder. I can only remember three Kona boats catching five blue marlin in a single day and Jeff has now done it twice — both times in the T.A.R.T.”

The annual event is a five-boat competition with teams switching boats each day for five days. Prior to its historic last-day bonanza, the Humdinger had gone two weeks without a nibble. Friday, the crew of Fay and Capt. Butch Chee hosted Jerry Scottom, a professional freshwater guide from Bakersfield, California.

Chee brought along the spirit of his dad, and namesake, the legendary Capt. Henry Chee. The late skipper was among Kona’s pioneers and the originator of the plastic billfish trolling lures now in use throughout the world. Butch put two of his dad’s handmade creations from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s into the trolling pattern for the day. The 730-pounder hit a classic black “salt-and-pepper” lure first trolled four decades ago.

“They don’t take those classic lures out too often,” said Corday. “I told Scottom, a newcomer to billfishing, that he had just had the best day of fishing of his life and he had only been marlin fishing for a week.”

The Humdinger hooked its first four on the Keahole “grounds” on a day that looked dead. No bait showed as the boat trolled through areas normally teeming with skipjack tuna. Even when the Humdinger hooked fish after fish, the other boats nearby got nary a bite.

“Fishing is not a great spectator sport, but this was wonderful to watch,” said Corday. “The other ten or fifteen boats around Jeff became an audience. There he goes again!

“After he left the grounds flying four flags, we heard the camera boat announce his fifth marlin just like it was a ball game,” Corday said. “Over the radio we heard, “the Humdinger is hooked again and there is another one out of the ball park.””

Competing teams weighed three marlin and released and tagged five. In addition to the three tagged by the Humdinger, the Ihu Nui (Capt. McGrew Rice) and Pacific Blue (Capt. Bill Casey) each tagged one. The Chiripa (Capt. Bill Crawford) caught a 398, to add to the 730 and 237 on the Humdinger. The Northern Lights (Capt. Kevin Nakamaru) rounded out the field with the Huntress (Capt. Randy Parker) as press boat. “We had three or four other nice fish come off,” Corday said.

“Jeff has won the T.A.R.T five times in fourteen years, usually on the last day,” Corday said. “Three times, he won it in the last half hour of competition. He also caught five blue marlin in one day in T.A.R.T 7, seven years ago when I was the angler.”

For more information on “Humdinger”, please contact Captain Jeff Fay at 1-800-926-2374 or (808) 936-3034.

Be sure to check out Jim’s book, “The Kona Fishing Chronicles 1999”.  Also check out Jim’s series “Fishing Hawaii Style”.

December Rounds Out Good Fishing in Hawaii in 2010

Hawaii Fishing Report for Kona – December 2010

December proved to be a strong month for fishing in Kona Hawaii.  Seven blue marlin were weighed and one was tagged according to the Charter Desk.  The largest blue marlin weighed in Kona was 1,011 lbs, followed by a 502.5 lb. blue marlin and a 490.5 lb blue marlin.  In addition to the blue marlin, 16 yellow fin tuna were weighed in along with 15 short billed spearfish and one striped marlin.

Don’t forget, Kona hosts a number of fishing tournaments here in Hawaii each year.  Check out the complete schedule of Hawaii Fishing Tournaments out of Kona on our website or visit the Kona Tournaments web page or the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament web page for more details. Read more