BD: Molly Palmer, where do you live?
Molly Palmer: I live in Kona, Hawaii.
BD:What is you occupation?
Molly Palmer:I work as both charter captain and crew here in Hawaii.
BD:What are your other hobbies?
Molly Palmer:When I’m not working, I love to fish on my private boat, or shore cast with my husband.
BD:Who or what got you into fishing?
Molly Palmer:My grandparents. I loved watching my grandfather as he waded chest deep, pushing our skiff past the sandbars at low tide, and filleting the fish we caught for dinner. I even loved to fill the crab pots, cutting the squid into strips for bait and giving the occasional pufferfish a kiss before a healthy release.
BD:How long have you been fishing?
Molly Palmer:For as long as I can remember summers were spent at the beach, and fishing was a regular event. I moved to Hawaii six years ago for the endless season, and I have been fishing full time ever since.
BD:What types of fishing have you done and where?
Molly Palmer:I grew up fishing the Chesapeake Bay. When I got big enough, I started taking charters up and down the East coast, from sail fish in Pompano, wahoo off Hatteras, to yellowfin out of Ocean City. In Kona, we use live and dead bait when the blue marlin aren’t aggressive, but we mostly troll lures in search of the big blue marlin strikes. It takes a lot of patience and persistence, and a certain amount of plain old “crazy”. Tournament fishing is our main focus of every summer. There is a heightened sense of urgency when our anglers are betting big money on our skills and tackle.
The chance at a big payday is exciting too.
BD:What is your favorite kind of fishing so far?
Molly Palmer:Trolling the ideal offshore water in Kona is about the best shot at a huge payoff, and I really love it! Here in Kona, the fishing is always good; it’s the catching that is the real challenge.
BD:What are some future goals or plans pertaining to fishing?
Molly Palmer:Someday I will catch a tarpon and a roosterfish. I’ve always been interested in kayak fishing, but I don’t think Kona is the place for me to start that…
I’ve seen what’s down there!
BD:What part of fishing do you like the most?
Molly Palmer:My favorite part about fishing is seeing what is out there. Every day on the water holds beauty and often surprises as well.
BD:Tell us about some of your proudest moments in fishing.
Molly Palmer:August 2011 I caught my grander, 1022-pound blue marlin, with my tournament team. It went viral and I was featured on Fox and Friends, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo News; it got a lot of attention.
In July 2013 I set a state record for a species that very few fishermen can even identify, the louvar. The Hawaii Fishing News called me the next day and asked where I was selling my fish. When I told him that I had cut it and shared it and was cooking it right now, he replied, “That’s a ten thousand dollar fish.” Most expensive meal I ever cooked at home.
August 2015 Captain Deneen Wargo and I were the first ever all female team to compete in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. We did not intend to cause waves, since we had been fishing together for awhile already.
We caught fish every day of the five-day tournament and had the most fun.
BD:What other “aspects of you” would you like to tell us?
Molly Palmer:I love getting calls and invites from other female captains who are assembling an all female team for an event or tournament. There are very few women who can be called on to handle the deck, leader big fish, rig the baits, and party like a rockstar. I love when captains tell me that they can relax, knowing that I have their back.
My motto is Work hard, Be humble.