Kona Big Game Fishing Tournaments

Jun 29, 2021 | General Information

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The Pacific Ocean waters just offshore from Kona on the Big Island are the habitat of an amazing variety of big game fish. In Kona’s waters you can catch everything from mahimahi to wahoo to skipjack and yellowfin tuna. But Kona waters also are home to a variety of billfish, including striped marlin, spearfish and the most sought-after trophy fish of them all, blue marlin.

Kona also is home to the world’s most popular marlin fishing tournaments. These tournaments hold several world records for blue marlin – some weighing much more than 1,000 pounds. What is referred to as a “grander” blue marlin is one that is over 1000 lbs. More of them are caught in Kona’s waters in July than any other month. July in Kona is full of ‘grander’ fishing tournaments. The two most popular of these fishing tournaments are the Kona Throw Down and the Skins Marlin Tournament. Although not as large, there are even more marlins caught in March and April, but more in the 500 lb range. So now there’s even what they refer to as the ‘Lazy’ Marlin Hunt in March although there’s nothing lazy about marlins of any size after they bite.

If you want to time a visit to Kona with the excitement of marlin fishing tournaments, here they are in 2020:

The Lazy Marlin Hunt is– March 27, 28 & 29; the Kona Kick Off — June 27 & 28; the Firecracker Open — July 4 & 5; The Kona Throw Down — July 7, 8 & 9; the Skins Marlin Derby — July 10, 11 & 12; The Hawaii Lure Makers Challenge — July 17, 18 & 19; and the Big Island Marlin Tournament – Aug. 20-23.

For general reference here are some Big Game Fish that can be found in the waters off Kona:


Bigeye Tuna


Black Marlin

Blue Marlin



Mahi Mahi

Skipjack Tuna



Striped Marlin




Yellowfin Tuna