Kona, Hawaii, remains the undisputed blue marlin capital of the world.
Written & Photographed By Capt. Dave Lear — February 2002
Remember those big boxes of Crayola crayons from grade school? The ones with every color imaginable? Well, if you took all the blue crayons--navy, midnight, denim, cornflower, pacific, cerulean, and indigo--you still wouldn't be able to capture the color of Kona's water.
Maybe that's because Hawaii, the biggest island in the chain that makes up the 50th state, has an active volcano and its ash acts as a tint. Or maybe the 10,000-foot depths within sight of the lava-rock shoreline have magical upwellings of reflective plankton.
But I think neither are plausible explanations. I think the real reason Kona's water is such a special blue is because of the incredible number of blue marlin swimming in it. And all those majestic fish leave Day-Glo wakes, like contrails from jetliners in a cloudless sky.
Blue marlin weren't on my agenda last April as I ventured offshore aboard Legend 2, a 35-foot Cabo Express. With Capt. Mike Vidal at the helm and veteran mate Rick Azevedo in the `pit, I was in expert hands for my quest to catch a spearfish. Hawaii is the most consistent place to target the elusive spears and, as it turns out, the easiest. Landing a Pacific blue marlin was another matter.
My wife Brenda and I were guests of Mike and Cindy Vidal, the husband and wife team that runs the Legends Sport Fishing charter operation and Sleepy Hollow, a quaint bed and breakfast resort located in the cool and lush mountains overlooking the Honokohau Harbor at Kailua-Kona. While Brenda planned to take in the sights and boost the local economy, I would experience the Big Island's legendary big-game potential.
Vidal has had tremendous success on the Hawaii tournament circuit recently, which culminated in winning the title World Champion of Billfishing for the World Billfish Series in 1999. Fishing with him for the first time, however, I didn't know what to expect, but, his easy-going demeanor immediately put me at ease. I felt like a utility outfielder taking batting practice with Ted Williams, and I wanted to learn as much as possible from my gifted host.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.