A group of kayak-fishing enthusiasts based in Kona, Hawaii, has been consistently proving that they can catch the same big game targeted by big sport-fishing yachts. With blue water very close to the coast and with the Pacific off the west side of the island typically very calm, the area can be a kayak anglers’ dream.
For these guys, tuna catches are routine, but some of their (often incidental) billfish catches have sent shock waves through the Kona fishing community. Anglers like Matt Reed, Andy and Steve Cho, Rob Wong Yuen and Devin Hallingstad have repeatedly caught sailfish and an occasional black marlin. (In fact, from his kayak, Hallingstad caught the island’s biggest black marlin in 2014.)
It’s only a matter of time before a Big Island yak-angling enthusiast beats Hallingstad’s 175-pound yellowfin, or the state-record wahoo of 80 pounds, or a mahi of 82. More and more anglers here are taking on pelagics from kayaks: The fishing is outstanding, conditions are often near-perfect along a widely accessible coastline, and costs are minimal.