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Book: The Kona Fishing Chronicles 2006
              (Other years also available)

Author: Jim Rizzuto
Introduction by the author, Jim Rizzuto:

The lee coast of Hawaii Island is uniquely blessed. Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai block the trade winds and provide malia (gentle and calm) conditions for fishing boats of all sizes from kayaks to sportfishing yachts. The steep slopes of these dormant volcanoes drop sharply down through the mid-Pacific depths and bring the open ocean habitat of billfish, tuna, and other offshore gamefish right up to the beaches. Prevailing east-to-west currents create huge eddies that spin baitfish into undersea ledges formed by lava flows cooled to solid rock.

The result is a remarkably rich fishing grounds. Big fish hunt in calm water a few-minutes run from port. Indeed, giant marlin and tuna have been caught within sight of the buoys marking the harbor entrances.

Each week of each year, Kona produces thrilling fishing adventures for novices who visit to fulfill their dream vacation of a lifetime and big-game veterans who travel the world following the "bite." The mountain slopes are home to a large population of recreational fishermen. They live the daily lives of any community of doctors, lawyers, teachers, secretaries, plumbers, carpenters, shopkeepers, and business people but turn to the sea for unparalleled sport.

I have fished Kona since 1969. Soon after moving to the Big Island, I began writing the events and stories of Kona fishing in a weekly column published in the daily newspaper West Hawaii Today. This volume is a compilation of the WHT columns published during 1999 (with one exception; "Technology Took Over" first appeared in Hawaii Fishing News). Each column appears in almost exactly the same form as when first printed. I have resisted the temptation to re-write events from the longer lens of hindsight. Rather, I have given you the chance to watch the fishing year unfold just as it happened. The dates on the sections indicate the dates the items were written and not when they were published.

If you are new to Hawaii fishing, you will find entertaining stories that draw you into the methods and techniques perfected on the Kona fishing grounds. Readers who are long-time residents will enjoy recognizing friends and reliving familiar exploits. For future generations, this book will serve as one volume in a history of sportfishing, Kona-style.

The "big-fish list" is a weekly feature of the WHT column. It tracks the largest catch of each of 16 major species for the year to date. For this yearly compendium, I pondered the idea of reducing the number of lists to just one at the end of each month. This brought protests from some of the anglers who proudly held the lead for just a few weeks and then had to give it up by the end of the month.

Much of the data was gathered by the dedicated dockworkers who help anglers and captains throughout the day, then weigh and record their catches at the end of each trip, and, finally, take the pictures needed to verify the sometimes-unbelievable tales.


Jim Rizzuto has written about Hawaii fishing since 1964. In addition to "The Kona Fishing Chronicles" series, he is the author of "Modern Hawaiian Gamefishing" (The University of Hawaii Press) and the three-volume "Fishing Hawaii Style" series (published by Hawaii Fishing News). His weekly column appears in the Kona newspaper West Hawaii Today, and his month column in Hawaii Fishing News. Since he began writing for magazines, his articles have appeared in Field and Stream, Salt Water Sportsman, Sport Fishing, Marlin, Western Outdoors, Fishing World, New Zealand Fishing News, Modern Fishing (Australia) and Pescare Mare (Italy), among other journals.

The Kona Fishing Chronicles" annuals are packed with tales and techniques, details and interesting trivia about fishing the Kona Coast. The series is important as a history of Kona fishing through recent years and answers frequent requests for an archive of Rizzuto's columns about the people and events of these times. The books are priceless for Hawaii fishermen who enjoy reliving the adventures and exploits of each year. For future generations they serve as a look back on the way fishing was on the historic Kona Coast blue marlin grounds.

If you would like to purchase Kona Fishing Chronicles or would like more information about Jim Rizzuto's book, please send us an email at kathy@sportfishhawaii.com

 

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