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“First Class all the way!”

TOPSHAPE Kona Sports Fishing
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Imagine a day on a luxurious 43' Cabo trolling the world-famous fishing grounds of Kona, Hawaii with Owner/Operator, Captain Al Gustavson. Our immaculately maintained 43' Cabo is an epitome of luxury gamefishing in Hawaii. With an air conditioned salon, Wi-Fi, master stateroom, shower and state-of-the-art amenities, TOPSHAPE is one of the most comfortable fishing charters you will ever experience. Captain Al Gustavson, the owner and operator of TOPSHAPE, has been fishing the waters off the Kona coast for over 25 years. So, whether you're seeking an elusive grander (1000+ lb billfish) or are looking to catch some of the Ahl (tuna), Mahi Mahi (dolphinfish), Ono (wahoo) or other gamefish in Hawaii, TOPSHAPE fishing is where it's at.
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Wanted to share my review of Topshape, First, things first though. I caught a 524lb Blue Marlin! While I know first hand that you are never guaranteed of catching a fish, I believe Al (captain) and John (his crewmate) along with an amazing boat, top of the line gear, knowledge, and perseverance put me in the best position for the strike. And it was John's active coaching and Al's positioning that helped me get my first big game fish to the boat. It was a 45 minute battle and it created a memory of a lifetime.

Getting onboard - We rolled up around 8AM where we were greeted by Al and John. I had noticed in the pictures of the boat that the crew was wearing long sleeves shirts so I figured it was likely for the sun. Wear something long as if you end up in the "hot seat" the rays of kona will fry your arms. John told me that the area is known as the "skillet" . So remember - long sleeves (light cotton preferably). The first thing that caught my eye was the gear. It all looked brand new and very high end. Then we toured the inside cabin. Again - it looked brand new and luxe (nicer than my condo!).

Capt Al then gave us (5 in total) the rundown. Simple and straightforward. Al is a professional and he takes great pride in his craft. He loves to fish and it shows. We never felt like this was a paid gig for Al or John. It was all about the fish. Big Fish.

We headed out a ways..my guess is about 3-5 miles. Al and John have these hi-tech binoculars that help them see thing (birds, fish swarms, etc) in rough seas. And on this day it was a little bumpy. I would definitely recommend wearing a Dramamine patch. I didn't and didn't get sick but felt a little nauseous - don't eat the safeway breakfast burrito on the way to the boat - trust me.

We trolled around for a while following some birds and dolphins and occasionally seeing a bait ball off in the distance. Then BAM! Out of nowhere Al sees the marlin hit the bait. He yells to John who jumps to the rod. I immediately headed for the chair. A few seconds later we see this beauty jump straight up. Al immediately comments on the size. Saying "thats a trophy". It seems like its so close to the boat when all of a sudden the think takes off with about 6000 ft of line. Then it jumps twice and literally dances backward on the water. When it jumped the second time I was thinking it was smaller than I thought but that's because it was so far away. The rush you get when you see it jump - its like no other.

Even though I was the one fortunate enough to reel it in everyone helped. My son's took turns dousing me with water as I was sweating up a storm trying to pull it in and my brother in-laws were moving my chair and encouraging me...they all felt like they were part of the action.

Overall a very memorable day with great people a great outcome and new friends (Al and John). I couldn't give this team a higher rating!!! It was perfect!!

Thank chris o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"mate john"
in 47 reviews
"capt al"
in 30 reviews
"blue marlin"
in 57 reviews
"beautiful boat"
in 22 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 126 reviews
"air conditioned cabin"
in 9 reviews
in 22 reviews
"world record"
in 4 reviews
"these guys"
in 25 reviews
"top of the line"
in 10 reviews
"light tackle"
in 7 reviews
"highly recommend this charter"
in 5 reviews
"equipped boat"
in 4 reviews
"the big island"
in 28 reviews
"great guys"
in 8 reviews
"charter boat"
in 7 reviews

174 - 178 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2014

Me, my dad, and a couple of family friends went fishing today on TOPSHAPE. First of all, the crew Captain Al, and his first mate John were very nice and treated us like family. The boat was on "topshape" despite of its 10 years of service. We saw a porpoise school, and caught a spearfish to top it all of. The reason why I entitled this as one of the greatest experience of my life is because TOPSHAPE helped me catch my VERY FIRST FISH! I will never forget this experience. Capt. Al, & John Thank you again!

2  Thank Donald T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I have fished many charter operations from Alaska to Mexico. None are close to the professionalism and attention to detail exhibited on Topshape. Boat and equipment are of tournament quality. I walked on the boat to find the stainless in "topshape" without a fingerprint in sight. Captain Al is pro fish hunter and John is the best deck hand that I have had the pleasure to fish with. I was also impressed with the attention that Captain Al and John gave to the novice fishermen in our group. Their efforts made this a trip of a lifetime for some in my group.

I will some this experience up with one word.


Thank Gene M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Went out with Top Shape on March 25th 2014 and just have nothing but good things to say.
The boat was immaculate with all kinds of amenities. Two bathrooms that were sparkling clean, air conditioned main deck, padded viewing seats on the fly bridge and more! The boat was laid out ready for fishing which we started doing just after leaving the dock.

The crew and captain made us feel like family and never let us want for anything. One of my friends biggest wish of the day was to see whales, which we did in spades! Humpbacks and pilot whales! We trolled all the way down the Kona Coastline to Kealakekua Bay where the crew had snorkel gear at the ready for us to plunge in and enjoy the monument.

Although we didn't catch a fish the day was so much fun! I loved every minute! I have been on many boats and to be on one that was so taken care of with such caring crew to try to make each of our vacation wishes come true was worth every penny!

Thank Kara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 March 2014

I went on this boat recently and had an amazing time! Captain Al was a great captain who made sure we saw lots of whales and had a good time! The boat was beautiful. It was perfect for everyone sine there is an inside cabin for those who wanted to chill and relax, but also a huge sun deck where you can watch for whales and dolphins( we saw both) and get some sun. Best day ever! John- the deckhand was very helpful in explaining types of wildlife, proper way to snorkel, and overall information on beautiful Kona.

Thank Erica I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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