LAHAINA - The Finest Kind jumped right into the 500-pound club for the year with a 533.1-pound blue marlin by the tag-team of Craig Theis and Steve Nielsen.?They were fishing with owner/Capt. Dave Hudson and deckman Jimmy Francis.
They were headed out to the K-Buoy located 5.5 miles off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai. The marlin came up first on the short corner position, made a big swirl on the lure and then shot right across the pattern to the long corner position.?
As Jimmy looked back, he saw the long corner line come down. The marlin grabbed the vintage Elkins Popsicle lure on a going away bite, got airborne and started ripping out the 100-test line off the 80-class, two-speed reel. It started jumping right off the corner long gone distance away.
From left, Capt. Dave Hudson, Craig Theis, Steve Nielsen and crew Jimmy Francis with their 533.1-pound blue marlin.
There was a slight belly in the line, but the marlin pulled it straight as it continued on a 500-yard run. Jimmy cleared the lines as Dave started going after the fish. Craig was first in the chair.?
Once the marlin slowed its run, it made a couple more series of jumps before heading deep. There was a lot of wind out there, so Dave just stayed "dead boat" as much as he could and let Craig and Steve work their fish in.
Jimmy put the reel into low gear as the marlin came toward the surface. Dave backed the boat after it, with them getting it to double line pretty quick. Jimmy mentioned that it fought like a 200-pounder, making all the wrong moves.
The marlin came up to double line lit-up but nice and easy at the long corner position. It started zipping out short pulls of line, showing it still had some juice left. As Steve cranked the fish to leader, Jimmy grabbed the line and took a wrap.?
The marlin started to dig in at the starboard corner. Jimmy held on as it tried to take him across the stern to the port corner. Jimmy got a pull on the leader and took another wrap. As he was waiting to see if the fish was going back in the other direction, it turned its head like it was going to go corner to corner.
As Jimmy went to step to the port corner, the marlin turned back to the starboard corner. Jimmy suddenly had four feet of free leader. He got a couple of wraps on the line as he stepped up the starboard side. He laid the fish out on its side, peck fin out of the water.?
Dave got a solid shot with the gaff, securing the marlin in the shoulder. That was it, ending the hour fight. Jimmy slipped a meat hook under the chin to hold the head. They opened the stern door and pulled the fish onto the deck.