Guide’s Day Off: Linked up with Capt. Brandon Nelson of Lucky B Sportfishing for some Yellowfin & Swordfish fishing
Before we jump into the fishing story, I feel compelled to share a quick shot of how the day started when I arrived at Kona Kai Marina. “Local summer” morning sunrise in full effect!
So our game plan was to head offshore to search out yellowfin in the AM and then make a few swordfish drifts in the PM. I was pumped, as I am more than happy to log as many days as it takes to capture public enemy number 1. Swordfish. We blasted out through some leftover lump and swell in Brandon’s beautiful 36′ Yellowfin center console, “Lucky B”. It’s easy to see why so many small boat charter captains are switching over to these big center console platforms. They’re fast (more time fishing), comfortable (great ride in any seas), and offer the best fish-ability (360 degrees of fishing space).
Once we arrived in the zone, we put out the trollers, Brandon climbed in the tower to glass, and our search began. It didn’t take long until Darren pointed out a nice spot of yellowfin blowing up anchovy off the side of the boat in easy casting distance. We all sprung into action: Brandon and Darren casting into the spot of fish, myself clearing trollers and throwing some scoops of chum to hopefully get them to stick. Captain was bit on first cast and fish were rolling on the chum off the stern. But the excitement was short-lived as the fish moved on and didn’t want our flylined baits. Upward. Onward.
After the first flash of tuna, things dried up quick. We found a nice color break and continued working the clean side but to no avail. I’m sure we could have grinded out a couple more fish but with fresh poke procured – I think we were all frothing to log some early season sword drifts. So we switched gears and dusted off the deep drop gear!
Well, there is no hero’s tale to be told here. We made 4 drifts in surprisingly nasty building swell and wind before calling it a day. It felt great just to log a few drops and relearn the process before the sword program really gets going locally again (fingers crossed). We did see some encouraging signs with a significant deep scattering layer parked right over a nice high spot.
All in all super stoked to FINALLY get to fish with Brandon after trying to put together a day all season. World-class boat and hell of fishy operation he has put together. Big thanks to him and Darren for letting me tag along on their day off!