homepage logo

Top flag fish for 2017

By Staff | Feb 1, 2018

Deckman John Verfurth (left) and Capt. Jonny Keiley caught this 171.6-pound ahi on Action.

LAHAINA – The total billfish numbers for 2017 were below average, totaling 284 fish. There were 119 blue marlin weighed with another 63 released, totaling 182 blues captured.

March was the best month for blue marlin since July 2016. There were 14 blues weighed and another eight released, totaling 22 fish. March was also the best month for total billfish, with 39 weighed and another 11 released, totaling 50 billfish captured. June saw 13 blue marlin weighed and another eight released, totaling 21 fish. June was the second best month for total billfish, with 26 weighed and another ten released, totaling 36 billfish captured.

The average weight for the majority of the blue marlin was 100-200 pounds; the best months for these small blues was May through August with 48 blues captured in that weight range.

It was a below average year for big blue marlin weighed with only 14 making it to the scales. There were two blue marlin over 600 pounds, three over 500 pounds and another nine in the 400-pound range. Six were weighed in the 300-pound range.

The striped marlin were way below average, with 19 weighed and another four released, totaling 23 striped marlin captured. Only two striped marlin were weighed over 100 pounds (105/107). Another striped marlin was weighed at 90 pounds. The average weight of the striped marlin was 25-35 pounds. Even though the striped marlin are seasonally a January through April fish, the best month was June with six weighed and another released.

Deckman Andrew Buckland (left) and Capt. Brad Coombs landed this 48.2-pound sailfish on Luckey Strike II. PHOTOS BY DONNELL TATE.

It was the same for the spearfish, with 60 weighed and another 16 released, totaling 76 spearfish captured. The weight of the spearfish was between 20-45 pounds, with the majority at 25-30 pounds.

There were seven spearfish weighed between 41.8 and 48.2 pounds, with the largest at 48.2 pounds. The best month was March, with 24 weighed and three released, totaling 27 fish. April was the second best month with nine weighed and six released, totaling 15 fish.

There were also two rare sailfish weighed (48.2/16.8) and one released (estimated at 70 pounds), totaling three sailfish captured.

Last year was one of the best years for ahi over 100 pounds with 28 weighed. It was also the best year for big ahi since 2012.

There was a pretty good ahi run during June. During the last 22 days of the month, the “Buoy” boats started to find the 100-pound ahi off the Halawa end of Molokai. There were 18 ahi over 100 pounds weighed from the area – the largest being 145.0 pounds, with a 144.0 a close second. There was also at least a dozen in the 80- to 99-pound range weighed.

The ahi bite continued off the Halawa end of Molokai during July with five over 100 pounds weighed, with the largest of the year weighing 171.6 pounds and another at 155.5 pounds. There were also nine weighed between 80 and 99 pounds.

It was the year of small mahi, with the majority weighing in the eight- to -12-pound range. These fish were around five to eight months old. A 20-plus-pounder was a sight to see. The two largest were “bulls” weighing 55.2 and 49.5-pounds and around two years old.

The ono action was also below average. The two largest weighed 62.1 and 59.8 pounds.