June 26, 2011 Kona Fish Report – Lepika Wins Kona Kick Off Tournament – Ahi Division

This week I hosted Daniel Stokes, his father Darrell and his Uncle Mike during the 2011 Kona Kick Off Tournament.  There were 35 boats entered in the tournament.  There was also another small boat tournament being held with 130 boats entered so there was some serious boat traffic on the water.  We put our bets down on blue marlin and ahi since there was a pretty good bite for both species during the last few days.  Daniel and Uncle Mike fished day one and it was a test of patience for us.  We would end the day without a bite.  There were about 10 marlin tagged and released and a really nice 718lb-er weighed.  Not a great day by Kona standards but enough fish were around to keep everyone interested.  On day two Daniel and his father Darrell were ready for action.  Darrell used to fish commercially on the Hilo side of the Big Island and is used to rough water.  It was great to listen to his stories of wide open ono and ahi bites off of Pohoiki back in the day.  After yesterday’s disappointing results, we decided to head offshore in search of ahi.  No one caught an ahi on Saturday and all the daily bets rolled over to toda y.  I headed out to where I have been finding the porpoise school regularly.  It took several hours but near the end of the day we found a big pile full of birds and leaping porpoise.  On our first pass we took a strike on the long corner.  Daniel was up and strapped himself in the chair and fought our first 105lb ahi to the boat in about 15 minutes.  We ran back to the front of the school and set up.  Again the rigger came down and this time Darrell was up.  Darrell jumped in the chair and fought his 129lb ahi to the boat.  It was nice to have a seasoned pro on the rod even though he hadn’t caught an ahi for quite awhile.  With two nice ahi in the boat we continued to work the pile but didn’t mark any other fish on the sounder.  As the day went on we hoped no one else caught a bigger ahi.  With minutes left in the day we finally heard the words we wanted to hear, “Stop fishing”.  We finally could celebrate our win!

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