The following is an exerpt from Jim Rizzuto's Kona Fishing Chronicles. For more great stories of offshore action in Hawaii, pick up the book at Jim's site, http://www.fishinghawaiioffshore.com/.
One `ahi, regardless of its size, does not make a summer. But a triple tuna strike in the blind (no fish showing) is an entirely different matter.
Florida visitor Mike Corbino fished on the Ihu Nui with skipper McGrew Rice and crew Carlton Arai and was startled by the sound of three reels screaming at once under the combined weight of nearly 500 pounds of yellowfin tuna.
That doesn't happen often this time of year.
"When we hooked up, I asked Carlton what month this is," McGrew said.
How do you fight three fish at once? You take them one at a time. As McGrew kept the boat moving forward slowly to keep the lines tight, Mike battled each fish to the boat until he had each one to gaff. The total triple-fight time was about 45 minutes. And it was not yet 8:00 am. The blind-strike threesome hit at 7:00 am while the rest of us were still brewing breakfast coffee.
Three tuna are fine. Four are better. Mike hooked the fourth on bait later in the day.
That makes two of the three methods commonly used to hook tuna. McGrew and Carlton are also experts using the greenstick rig.
"We got two more the next day on 'the rig,'" McGrew said. "It really is just like summer."
Except for sea temperatures, of course, which generally top 80 degrees during the height of the summer run.
(For the record, the Ihu Nui triple took two jets and a black Softhead lure.)
Lunar Tuna Tip
Last week's remarkable tuna action might have something to do with the moon phase. Ihu Nui skipper McGrew Rice thinks that could be so.
"Every new moon a new batch of tuna comes in," Mc Grew said.
Who can argue with the biggest `ahi in many years and the Ihu Nui tuna triple in a week that began with a new moon?