In the summer of 1959 Peter Fithian was driving his car and listening to the radio when it came across the airwaves that Hawaii had just become the 50th US state. Two days later he launched the first Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. At the time he had no idea he was founding the most iconic sportfishing tournament in the world. He didn’t know that 50 years later anglers from Japan, Papua New Guinea, and South Africa would come to the Kona Coast to participate in his tournament.
The 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament takes place July 26th through August 2nd, 2014. Participants from around the world come to Kailua Pier to catch, tag, and release Pacific blue marlin. Each morning boats line up across Kailua Bay at 7:30am and set sail on the open sea. At 4:30pm they return to the pier and weigh in, putting their points for the day on the scoreboard. After that they move to the “Shouting Room,” a large tent where they’ll throw back drinks and exchange fishing tales.
What if I’m not an angler? The event is fun to watch even if you’ve never picked up a fishing rod. The spectacular view of the boats lining up in the harbor each morning is worth coming out to see. Also, the weigh in can be exciting to watch especially if a team catches a ‘grander’ (term used for Pacific blue marlin weighing in at over 1,000 pounds).
Why is the tournament held off the Big Island? The Kona coast has long been a destination for both expert and novice anglers. The blue waters are home to ahi (yellowfin tuna), broadbill swordfish, mahimahi (dolphin fish), and many other species of game fish. The unique topography of the Kona coast makes deep-sea fishing a pleasant experience. Huge mountains protect the ocean from wind, creating calm sailing conditions, and the steep drop-off means an angler can be fishing depths of 6000 feet three miles from the harbor.
While you are in the Kona area you may want to to have a peek at one of our luxury properties. At the moment we have a beachfront home with a magnificent view of Kailua Bay at 75-5506 Kona Bay Dr.
This 4 bedroom/ 4.5 bath home has an exceptional design with a focus on details. You’ll find beautifully crafted cabinets and gourmet appliances in the kitchen. The living areas are spacious and have expansive ocean views in every direction. Outside a large pool with a waterfall provides an oasis of tranquility and blends seamlessly with the surrounding architecture. Located in Kona Bay Estates, this home offers privacy and serenity right next to the beach.
If you’d like more information about upcoming events on the Big Island or one of our property listings, please get in touch with us at, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.