They were five miles off Olowalu, past the LA-Buoy marks, in the middle of the Kealaikahiki Channel when Chris spotted a marlin behind the short corner lure. He shouted out, “Marlin!!” It swam straight in and engulfed the lure.
The fish pulled out 30-40 yards, stopped, and then came swimming back at the boat. The line went slack, with Timster thinking they had lost the fish. He had Chris go to the rod and give the handle a few cranks to see if the marlin was still there. All of a sudden, the 130-class reel took off.
The marlin went down, making a good steady run for 500 yards. Once it surfaced in the distance, it went berserk, moving a lot of water as it lunged and leaped from side to side. Because of the vertical angle on the line, Timster couldn’t get on the fish like he wanted to.
As Timster idle reversed the boat on the angle, they were able to gain a little line. He had Chris keep an eye on the line, making sure it was clear of the swimstep. Chris was ready to hold the line away if things got close.
The marlin made another short run and stayed up on the surface. Timster was able to get on the fish pretty quick, with Michael getting it to double line in about 15 minutes.
The marlin was swimming steadily away from them. Timster was just trying to keep up with the marlin, waiting for it to give up. He followed after it in all directions, including a few 360s. It was give-and-take, ten feet at a time for Michael. At that point, Chris pushed the drag lever to the button, giving them 40 pounds of pressure.
Timster was finally able to get an angle on the fish with the boat to get it turned with them. It was swimming sideways off the port corner but not quite committed toward the boat.
Once Chris grabbed the leader and put pressure on the marlin, it turned toward the boat. As he hand-over-hand pulled on the line, the fish took him from the port corner across to the starboard side. Chris took a wrap on the leader and held on as the fish took him back to the port corner.
He took a few more wraps and got the marlin up. As the fish reached the surface, it rolled over belly up. They secured their catch to end the 25-minute fight.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Michael his trip for free.
From left, Michael Grayson, Capt. Timster Putnam (back) and crewman Chris Kiser with their 592.2-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up.