Capt. Chris Donato - GZ Pro Team Lead

Capt. Chris Donato

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Charter: Grander Marlin Sportfishing

Boat: "Benchmark" - 37' Merritt

Capt. Chris Donato GZ Pro Team

Please welcome Captain Chris Donato, Captain of the Benchmark in Kona, Hawaii, to the GZ Lures team. We felt it was time to add a true professional in the sportfishing industry to our team, and the amount of experience and knowledge he has fishing all over the world will be invaluable to not just GZ but to you as well. On top of that, Chris is a lure aficionado - He knows all about lure fishing and is extremely passionate about handmade lures, which obviously is essential to our business.

What Chris will offer GZ Lures in the Pro Team "Team Lead" role is a professional voice whose advice and opinions you can trust as someone who lives and breathes sportfishing and competes for the largest prize pools in the professional sportfishing world in tournaments like the Bisbees, HIBT, and many others. He has experience fishing in Florida, Samoa, American Somoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and of course Kona. He has also been featured many times in some of the top Sportfishing magazines in the world including Marlin Magazine, Bluewater Magazine, and Billfish Magazine and is currently working with Marlin Magazine on a web series Visions of Granders.

Here is a list of his many accomplishments:

Tournament Results & Wins

  • Current All tackle Samoan Blue Marlin record 1025 lbs (Regions first ever grander )
  • Current 80lb tackle Samoan Blue Marlin record 680 lbs
  • Current all tackle Savaii record Blue Marlin
  • Current all tackle Samoa Wahoo record 98lbs
  • Only boat to catch over 100 marlin in Samoa
  • 2007-2008 Sigfa Captain of the year 2006-2007
  • 2008 Sigfa top local boat (samoa)
  • 2008 Sigfa international tournament- Largest Blue Marlin (samoa)
  • 2008 Sigfa international tournament- first place tag and release sailfish division
  • 2010 10th annual Pago Pago international tournament- First place overall points (pago pago)
  • 2010 10th annual Pago Pago international tournament- first place tag and release division
  • 2010 10th annual Pago Pago international tournament- 1st place top anlger (americna samoa)
  • 2012 Sigfa international tournament- Largest Blue Marlin (Samoa)
  • 2012 Sigfa international Tournament- Top Local Boat (samoa)
  • 2012 Sigfa International Tournament- Our client won-First place angler (Samoa)
  • 2012 Sigfa international Tournament- Second place overall points (samoa)
  • 2012 Sigfa international Tournament- Second place tag and release division (Samoa)
  • 2013 13th Annual I’a Lapo’a GameFish Tournament-1stplace Largest Blue Marlin(Pago Pago)
  • 2013 13th Annual I’a lapoas internationsl Game Fish tournament First place tagand release
  • 2014 Sigfa international tournament second place largest Blue Marlin (Samoa)
  • 2018 3rd place Bisbees Black and Blue Tournament (release division), Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • 2018 3rd place Big Island Marlin Tournament, Kona, Hawaii.
  • 2018 Billfish Foundation award for 2nd most Shortbill Spearfish tagged in the Pacific Ocean
  • 2018 Billfish foundation 3rd place for most Blue Marlin Tagged in Hawaii
  • 2019 Firecracker Tournament. Biggest Blue Marlin,  $127,700
  • 2019 – 4th place Wahine tournament
  • 2019 – 4th place Hawaiian international Billfish tournament

Magazine and TV show recognition

  • Feature article on me and my samoa operation in MARLIN MAGAZINE volume 31 number 7
  • Article on me (find the bite) Marlin Magazine volume 33 number 4
  • Article on me (Samoa’s Marlin Madness) MARLIN MAGAZINE volume 35 number .1
  • In the Bite Magazine December issue 2014- (Discover Samoa Marlin fishing)
  • Fishing report on me (samoa prediction comes true) BLUEWATER MAGAZINE issue 103
  • Article on Savaii record (Samoan Hot Bite) BLUEWATER MAGAZINE issue 96
  • Article on me in Vanuatu (Feisty Marlin Bite) BILLFISH MAGAZINE
  • Article by me (discover Sportfishing in Samoa) BILLFISH MAGAZINE 2015 Volume 2
  • Article on me (New opportunities) BLUEWATER MAGAZINE issue 102
  • Article on me (Ratua- Vanuatu’s secret gem) BLUEWATER MAGAZINE issue 78
  • Article on me (Cool water Hot Blue) New Zeland Fishing News
  • Wrote monthly column fishing report NEW ZEALAND FISHING NEWS 2007-2010
  • TV SHOW ( Samoa blues ) Reel outdoors
  • TV SHOW (samoa) Reel Adventures- host Rob Arrington
  • TV SHOW (samoa) Kettle bottom outfitters
  • TV SHOW (samoa) Day one outdoors
  • TV SHOW (samoa) Adventure Angler TV- host Micah Addams
  • Featured in the Magazine Cover shot on Bluewater magazine, shot by our crew Joe Byrum  issue 135
  • Featured Marlin Magazine October 2018
  • Featured Marlin Magazine February 2016
  • Ongoing Monthly Hot Bites contributor to Bluewater Magazine for Kona, Hawaii.
  • Marlin Magazine + Grander Marlin: Visions of Granders web series

Chris will be the lead professional voice for GZ, and as you can see in the above lists, his vast experience and expertise will go a long way here. Make sure to follow us on all of our social media outlets to get the most value from Chris as we post helpful content. Otherwise make sure to reach out to him and let him know you're excited to see him on board. Contact information and Charter information for Chris is below:

Instagram: @grandermarlin

Facebook: Grander Marlin Sportfishing

Youtube Channel: Visions of Granders

For additional information on Capt. Chris Donato: Grander Marlin Website