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Got in late last night from a week in Kona. I went over with 4 fraternity brothers who I have known for 40 years to celebrate one of the brother?s 60th birthday. We fished 3 days on the Northern Lights with Kevin Nakamaru and had an ?excellent adventure.?

The Northern Lights is a 37-foot Merritt sportfisher and is a beautiful boat. The hull was laid in 1963 and she has been beautifully restored and maintained. To look at her, you?d think the boat was built in 2003.

Our first day, Monday 5/26, we started off at 0530 working up the coast in Ono Alley looking for the skinnys. There was no action, and the ono are known to bite early, so we headed offshore. We found a willing shortbill spearfish at 10:30 that bit the long jig trolled behind a bird splasher and it was game on for Bob who drew the #1 spot in the trolling rotation. Bob boated the est. 30# fish in short order on 130-lb class trolling tackle, and we had fresh fish on the menu.

Kevin then worked outside the OTEC buoy looking for porpoise schools and ahi but none were found. He got a cell phone call from a friend who had found the porpoise, and we ran south 20 miles to them. We worked the porpoise with the ?green stick? dangling 5 plastic squids, but nothing bit. Our first day ended with the single spearfish. Shortbilled spearfish, or ?chuckers? as they are called, are one of the best eating fish I have ever had.

Day two was Wednesday, 5/28. We stared out in Ono Alley, this time heading south looking for wahoo. Kevin metered fish, but none bit. We gave up and headed offshore. We worked offshore looking for porpoise and found a floating log that was holding mahi mahi. In addition to the mahi mahi, there was lots of dolphin (the air breathing kind) that Kevin described as the ?bad kind? that would steal your hooked fish. (Sounds a lot like our sea lions.) We quickly hooked a nice mahi mahi on light tackle using strip bait and Lloyd had a good battle on his hands, landing a 34# mahi mahi. We shared the mahi with Kevin and had two more excellent meals from our catch.

I was up next in the rotation. Kevin left the floating log to get away from the bad porpoise and began looking for the right kind of porpoise school. I spotted a few porpoise and we changed out the marling jigs for tuna jigs and trolled through them. The same long line behind a bird went off, and it was game on for me. My fish melted line from the reel as I strapped into the chair. I gained line quickly as Kevin backed down on the fish, then the fish sounded, and it was time to go to low gear. Using the heavy bent butt rod and an Accurate 130 Twin Drag reel, I pushed the drag lever up and had the fish to gaff in 10 minutes. Ron looked at my fish, turned and said to me, ?Roy, you?re gonna be a happy man.? When the fish came over the rail and into the fish box, I knew it was the tuna I was looking for. Back at the dock, my ahi weighed in at 182#s.

We continued to work the porpoise school using the green stick and hung another ahi on a squid dangled from the line run off the stick. Ed was up in the rotation and landed his in no more than 10 minutes. It scaled out at 98#s. That was it for day 2.

Our third and last day of fishing, 5/29, we went straight offshore. The waters out to the 1,000 fathom curve were full of little aku (skipjack), and Kevin thought there was a good chance for a marlin. We worked south along the 1,000 fathom curve, but no love for us on the marlin. We found the porpoise and metered some tuna below them, but no biters. Kevin got a call about a ?floater? holding mahi mahi, and we headed to it. We found 3 boats working around a mass of rope and nets that was surrounded by smaller mahi mahi. We were in a great bite for 3 hours until we had no more room in the fish box for them. We also got one ~25# yellowfin (shibi) and several bait size YFT.

Kevin Nakamaru showed us a terrific time on the Northern Lights. He is a very experienced and knowledgeable skipper and very personable. His operation is world class and I would not hesitate to recommend him and to fish with him again. For more information, you can visit their website at


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