The summer blue marlin season in Hawaii can be a grinding challenge from day to day, but for those passionate and fortunate to be a part of it, the rewards can also be well worth it. After a busy string of tournaments, Capt. Chris Donato and his crew aboard the 37-foot Merritt, Benchmark, are in the midst of a long string of charter trips. The fishing has been up and down this year, as he notes. Kona did win the Blue Marlin World Cup this year, and there was a blue marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds caught there this season by another charter operation, but for the most part it’s been difficult to pattern the fishing. The current seems to be changing on a daily basis, which tends to scatter the fish in deeper water rather than concentrate them around structure, as he notes. But fall is right around the corner, which he says is one of his favorite times to fish in Kona—fewer crowds in town, fewer boats on the water, and excellent fishing.