You Can't Catch A Fish or Watch a Whale Sitting on Your Couch

I wrote the title of this post after taking a sportsfishing charter and speaking to Captain James at BiteMe Sportsfishing. Words of on.

I got on the BiteMe boat at 6:15 am last Thursday and excitedly learned the ropes of hauling in “the big one” from the BiteMe crew. (Of course, I was slightly terrified by the actual prospect of  hooking a 500 pound marlin and reeling it in!) The crew told us that striped marlin and spearfish were prevalent in the winter months. He shared that the steep slope of the ocean bottom places deep sea sportfishing within a short distance from the shoreline. Just three miles straight out of the harbor, it’s over 6000′ deep. Six species of billfish cruise the Kona coast along with six species of tuna, mahi mahi (dorado), ono (wahoo), and  a wide variety of big-game bottom fish. (He also shared with me towards the end of the charter that the best time to fish is during the summer months. Hence, why all the bill fishing tournaments are in July and August. ) We watched him bait the hooks with lures that looked like squid and were slightly amazed at the size of some of those hooks..four inch claws.

The BiteMe crew taught us how to spot jumping fish, circling sea birds and floating marine trash as indicators for the signs of a large fish.We kept a keen eye out for these signs of our possible dinner while driving about 9 miles out to open ocean with four lines of hope dragging behind us. After our “orientation” we were free to just sit and relax and watch the sun come up over the volcanos showcasing the beauty of the island. The guests were from areas of the country experiencing some very cold weather and once again, I silently high-fived myself for living here. 

During the time we were searching we saw something very large jump out of the ocean in a “C” formation..prompting yells of “MARLIN!” from the passengers. I was excited to see what it was and when we steamed over there, we found it was a very ecstatic dolphin. Not a Spinner dolphin, which are the kind I am used to seeing along the coast, but a larger dolphin species. (I heard someone say it was a razor toothed dolphin, but can not back it up with web research!)  We also saw groups of migrating whales and a few Bottle Nosed dolphins, as well.

We started to head back in after about four hours on the water without having a hit on any of the lines. I asked Captain James if it bothered him to go out and have the passengers come back empty handed. What he said was just perfect, “If they were sitting on a couch right now they would not have even had the chance to catch anything. At least you folks got out here, put a hook in the water and had the opportunity for a grander to catch your line.”. Think about that as a metaphor for life, right?  He was right and I knew that even if I did not get the thrill of watching someone haul in a huge catch, I watched whales, dolphins and discussed life with the other passengers. Fish or no fish, I had a beautiful day out on the blue Kona water!

Note: BiteMe Sportsfishing also owns the BiteMe Fish Market and if you catch something, they will actually prepare and serve it to you! “Eat what you catch”, as they say.

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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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