The tournament began promptly at 7:30 a.m. this morning, under hazy skies with west winds around 7 mph. Randy and I met the anglers on the docks at 6:30 a.m. to review boat assignments and distribute tagging kits to participating teams.
“And they’re off…!” Sport fishing vessels launching off to chase marlin at the start of the Great Marlin Race
We were assigned to Team #17 - Kona Billfishing Club – Miake, the same team that we joined on the inaugural day of the first Great Marlin race in 2009! Adding to the coincidence, Team Miake was assigned the vessel Rod Bender - the same vessel and skipper (Kerwin Masunaga) from 2009. We were back on the water with our friends, Matsaharu Matsushita (Masa) and Takeo (‘Uki’) Izawa from Japan!
Kona Game Fishing Club – Miake: Uki (left), Masa (center), George Shilllinger (rear), and Rob Kurz (right).
The first fish of the tournament, a shortnose spearfish, was caught and released by angler Hideo Hoshino from the Kona Game Fishing Club-Kusatsu, minutes after the tournament was underway, at 7:50 a.m.
Unfortunately, luck was not on our side on today. After a long day of trolling the waters off Kona, we returned to the docks with all of our satellite tags in hand. In spite of our bad luck, today was still a great day for the HIBT, with 10 blue marlin and
2 shortnose spearfish caught and released.