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Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series Is Underway

Hawaii marlin
Capt. Randy Parker of Bwana on leader with a nice blue for tag and release. Photo Credit: Capt. Teddy Hoogs, “Bwana”.

Hawaii Marlin Tournament

The Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series is currently in it’s “Seventh Inning Stretch” after running five tournaments between June 23 and July 15. In 2017, California angler Rick Shedore earned headlines as Top Angler in The Series by turning in scorecards with points fishing from a number of boats – “J.R.’s Hooker”, “Lightspeed” and “Bwana”.

Hawaii marlin tournament
Defending 2017 HMT Series Champion Angler, Rick Shedore.

So far this summer, defending Champ Shedore has been on a tear, but this time all his points have been tallied on one boat – “Lightspeed”.  Rick came in second at the 2018 Firecracker, weighing a 667 pound blue. He ratcheted up the pressure on the other anglers at the Kona Throw Down, where he tagged 9 blues and weighed an ahi at 113 pounds. Rob McCarthy, owner of Lightspeed, was lead off and clean up batter through the first round of tourneys, and he tagged 5 more blues. Rob tagged two at the Kick Off and 3 at the Lure Makers Challenge. Capt. Carlton Taniyama even got a blue marlin tag in as angler, at the Kick Off – all on “Lightspeed”.

If you haven’t been around the fishing scene in Kona this summer, this might sound like outstanding action – and it was – but it was even hotter on board “Bwana”.

Hawaii marlin
Craig Lindner, Owner of “Bwana”, is currently leading the Angler Division. Photo Credit: Capt. Teddy Hoogs, “Bwana”.

Owner Craig Lindner tagged a total of 13 blues, starting at the Firecracker and running through the Skins. Randy and Lisa Parker took over angling duties at the Lure Makers Challenge – with Randy tagging 1 and Lisa tagging two. Lisa also weighed a 124 pound ahi.

Lindner currently leads the Angler division with 3250 points with Capt. Teddy Hoogs at the wheel of “Bwana”, Randy Parker and Carl Shepherd on the deck.

Capt. Rob Ellyn‘s “Lightspeed” is currently enjoying Top Boat position of The Series with 4330.5 points, from the angling duo of Shedore and McCarthy, and an assist by Capt. Taniyama. Travis Ota has been in charge of the deck.

“Lightspeed” has picked up right at $225,000.00 in purse from Firecracker and Throw Down winnings.

The big winners at the Skins – “Strong Persuader” – raked in $327,000.00+. Capt. Shane “Big Time” O’Brien lead angler Guy Arrington to a 683 pound blue, good for 3 Skins and all the Biggest Marlin, Biggest Marlin of the Day, Most Points Overall and some hefty dailies.

Five Star walked off with almost all the marbles at the Lure Makers. Mike Parris and Mike Shimamoto teamed up for 11 blues tagged, earning $88,000.00+.

Rod Bender took home over $47,000.00 with most points at the Kick Off with local girl Heather Masunaga  filling in as angler for owner Steve Spina when he couldn’t be fishing. Obviously he had his priorities mixed up.

With fishing like this, participation and excitement has been running high. A total available purse of $1.4 million has also grabbed the attention of the teams, and the daily competition has been fierce. Almost every fishing day a pair or three boats got hot, tagging 3 to 5 blues at day, tit for tat, one boat answering the other boat’s catch within minutes. It’s all been great fun.

There are two more tourneys left in The Series, and the fishing did not stop with the recent string of tournaments. Just days after the Lure Makers – “Pursuit”  (last year winner of that comp) had a great day, tagging 7 blues in one day. On the same day “Lepika” tagged 6 and “Go Get Em” tagged 5.

3 Granders have been weighed now in Hawaii this summer – 2 from Kauai and 1 from Oahu – so it is only a matter of time before it’s Kona’s turn.

August is traditionally one of, if not the best month, so it could be that the best fishing of 2018 is yet to come along the Kona Coast.

Hawaii marlin tournamentTo enter either of the remaining two events, the 32nd BIMT or It’s a Wrap tourney, click here: http://konatournaments.com/events/



Craig Lindner            – 3250 pts. – Bwana
Rick Shedore            – 2980 pts. – Lightspeed
Edgar Artecona         – 1701 pts. – Sapo
Heather Masunaga    – 1950 pts. – Rod Bender
Michael Stewart         – 1600 pts. – Sea Genie II
Michael Shimamoto    – 1600 pts. – Five Star
Shawn Bebeau           – 1550 pts. – Foxy Lady
Guy Arrington             – 1533 pts. – Strong Persuader
Clay Lawrence            – 1300 pts. – Kona Blue
Mike Parris                 – 1150 pts. – Five Star


Lightspeed                 –    4330.5 pts.
Bwana                        –     3924 pts.
Five Star                     –     3100 pts.
Strong Persuader       –     2733 pts.
Last Chance               –     2750 pts.
Miss Mojo                   –     2712.5 pts.

Marlin Magic II            –     2583.5 pts.
Rod Bender –              –     2367.5 pts.
Sapo                           –     2101.5 pts.
Sea Genie II               –     2050 pts.
El Jobean                   –     1876 pts.
Kona Blue                   –     1800 pts.
Medusa                       –     1667 pts.
Topshape                    –     1650 pts.
Pursuit                        –     1450 pts.
Piper                           –     1350 pts.