It was an afternoon bite, 60 fathoms off the Olowalu Dump, when they had a strike on the short corner position. Big explosion on the lure, but the marlin missed it. Randy went over to the rod to free-spool the lure backward. Just at that point, the fish dropped back and hit the long rigger lure.
The marlin started thrashing its head from side to side like a windshield wiper for 30-40 seconds, trying to shake the hooks. It kicked up a ton of whitewater, getting lost in the froth. The fish turned sideways, went down, and then came back up. It made one airborne jump parallel to the stern like a porpoise.
The marlin disappeared, running out the 100-pound test line for 300-400 yards, and then headed deep. Denny was pretty aggressive on the fish, reversing some good RPMs after it. Terry was able to pick up about 200 yards before they ran into a sticking point.
The marlin was swimming slowly away from them straight down about 200 yards. Denny was trying to get an angle to back on it. He would slowly idle the boat ahead to plane the fish up, then once he had an angle, reverse the boat as fast as he could, with Terry gaining a little more line.
About 20 minutes into the fight, the marlin came up at about the short rigger position, made a big explosion on the surface then went straight back down. It swam with the boat for awhile, with Denny having to idle forward to keep tension on the line.
Each time they would get the marlin to a certain point, around 30-40 yards deep, it would dig in and go right back down, slowly pulling off line for 50-60 feet back to its comfort zone. As the fish swam away, as soon as Denny had an angle, he would back on it, with Terry packing some more line on the spool. This give and take went on for 40-45 minutes.
The marlin began to swim slowly in a circle. Denny spun the boat with the fish, keeping it off the starboard corner. The marlin stayed right there, with Terry cranking it closer and closer inch by inch.
They finally got the marlin back to the long rigger rubber band marks. Ten minutes later, Terry was able to winch it to leader. The fish didn’t put up much of a fight as Randy grabbed the line. Denny came off the helm as Randy pulled the marlin up off the starboard corner. Denny secured their catch to end the hour-and-40-minute fight.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Terry his trip for free and made a $300 donation to charity.
From left, Terry Hoffman, Denny Putnam and Randy Evans with their 552.4-pound marlin.