|Introduction by the author, Jim
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org