Fishing As a Spectator Sport? You Will Love It in Hawaii!
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Fishing As a Spectator Sport? You Will Love It in Hawaii!

Fishermen long to see big fish... There is no better place than Kona Hawaii in July

Fishing? A spectator sport? You must be kidding, right? If there is one place in the world where fishing can become a spectator sport it has to be Hawaii... Or more specifically, Kailua-Kona Hawaii. It happens every July and it is called The Hawaii International Billfish Tournament. Or HIBT for short. So why a spectator sport?

First, we are talking about seeing REAL fish. There are thousands of people in America and the world that get a huge thrill about fish as little as 6 inches long (or less-if you count aquarium types) I fondly remember my boyhood in Kansas, when a little perch on the end of my line was enough to make me want to pop my bobber! Or staying up half the night to pull in a string of catfish which we proudly showed off the next day to our neighbors who were appropriately impressed.

Later, in Oregon, we spent untold hours waiting for the elusive strike of a tiny trout and  I once caught a pretty impressive salmon in a rare excursion with a grouchy skipper on a charter boat going out of Depot Bay on the Oregon Coast. (Sadly, the skippers attitude left a bigger impression on me than the reasonably nice fish we caught.)

But, my friends, now I am talking about Real Fish. Fish that would do the Old Man and the Sea proud. Fish that are as big as you and me. Put together. Imagine. 280 lbs. 450 lbs. 600 lbs. Or even that "Grander". A Giant Marlin that can tip the scales at 1000 pounds or more and easily measure over 12 feet...  Certainly a fish worthy of seeing  even if you did not do the "catching"...That is why every fisherman of any worth must come to Kona in July. For a die-hard fisherman the next best thing to catching a big fish is seeing one. (or talking about one). For his wife and family, the next best thing to having to endure all this "fish talk" could easily be a trip to Hawaii! That's right! Put on your paradise hat, here we come. But first, here are more facts.

The HIBT just celebrated their Golden Anniversary as the premier fishing tournament in the world with over 40 teams competing to catch this year's biggest fish. You can read all about it and even see a video or two at their website: hibtfishing.com  These teams come from around the world to compete. This makes for great comradery and international relations. There is also a International Billfish Parade to kick things off as well as a nightly official "weigh-in" on the Kona Pier where you can see the fish of the day, meet other spectators, fishermen and visitors from almost anywhere.

So why is this good for the family and friends of these spectator fishermen? Because the fishing takes place out at sea. You can watch the Charter Boats depart in the morning, which is an exciting event in itself but, the rest of the day is open to do all the other things that make Hawaii so great. Hit the beach. Take a snorkel cruise. Try Para Sailing... or a Jet Ski. Tour a Rainforest trail and see a towering waterfall falling into a blue jungle pool. And this is just scratching the surface. How about visiting one of the most spectacular hotels in Hawaii, The Waikoloa Hilton with it's grand paths where you can see people swimming with the dolphins, ride their special boats or bullet trains which take people to their rooms.  Almost an attraction worthy of a trip to Hawaii in and of itself. Of course, there is also fabulous Golf, Sailing, Swimming, Great Beaches, exploring many fine and varied restaurants and, of coarse, Shopping, Shopping and more Shopping. Good grief! I almost forgot one of the Big Islands most famous attractions... visiting a live active volcano and touring the Volcano National Park.

Did you know that the Big Island is so big you could put all the other Hawaiian Islands inside it and still have room left over? Out of the supposed 14 climates available in the world you will find 11 of them here on the Big Island of Hawaii. As you drive around you will be continuously in awe of the beauty and scenery. Be sure to plan enough time. There is lots to see and experience so if it takes a fish to get you here, so be it. As we say...Lucky You

Come Stay Hawaii, Eh?

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