Article Courtesy: marlinmag.com | Originally Published: 9/12/2022 | Click here for original article
Turning Heartbreak into Success
A busy summer season continues for Capt. Chris Donato in Kona, Hawaii. In this episode we begin with the Marlin Magic Lure Tournament. At the end of the event, and with no qualifying fish on the board, Donato’s Benchmark team has a solid big-money blue marlin nearly ready for the leader when it’s bitten by an oceanic whitetip shark at the boat. Unfortunately, the shark bite forces the team to self-disqualify the fish. At the scales even missing a large chunk the marlin weighs 517 pounds, well over the minimum qualifying weight of 400 pounds.
Between tournaments, Donato also shares some beautiful views of the Kona landscape, including stunning beachsides and unusual lava fields. He notes that the Big Island doesn’t receive nearly the volume of tourism traffic as some of the other islands, and has many places that remain unspoiled.
Back on the charter grind, the team loses a very large blue marlin to a pulled hook. The heartbreak continues. They are able to rebound though, releasing a few smaller fish and boating one nearly 800 pounds that died during the fight. All blue marlin are processed and eaten in Hawaii though so it’s interesting to witness the process.