LAHAINA - The Start Me Up Das It put another nice marlin in the Top Blue stats for the year: a 482.0-pound fish by Justin Bryant. He was fishing with Capt. Randy Evans and deck man Rich Lynch.
Randy headed the boat southwest out of town to Kamaiki Point, Lanai, and then turned left heading down the 100-fathom ledge toward the LA-Buoy. He was about a mile-and-a-half away, just outside the ledge, when he saw some splashes up ahead. As he watched the aku breaking the surface, he saw something come up and eat the bait.
At first, Randy thought it might be a pilot whale, but a dorsal fin popped up, and then the tail of a marlin came out of the water. The marlin just sat there feeding on the bait. Randy yelled down to Rich, "A marlin just hit the bait on the surface up ahead." Right as they got to the spot, the long corner reel took off.
Rich was standing right next to the 80-class reel as it started to scream out the 100-test line. He got Justin in the chair and started clearing the remaining lines. The marlin took off, jumped once and then ran another 150 yards before jumping a couple more times.
The line went slack and the reel stopped spinning. They thought the fish had come off. Randy motored the boat forward for a few seconds and then throttled it ahead. Nothing happened. He thought he saw the swivel come up and that the fish was gone.
Randy slowed the boat down. Right as he slowed down, the line started coming off the reel again. All of a sudden, the marlin started jumping toward the boat. Randy throttled the boat ahead as the fish kept coming, sideways lunging up the starboard side.
Randy got the tension back on the rod as the loop in the line finally came around to the fish. The marlin settled down and stopped taking line about 200 yards away. It stayed up on top, swimming casually at 3-4 knots away from them. Randy reversed the boat after the fish.
Within 30 minutes, they had the fish close, about 50-yards away. Rich could see a big shadow in the clear water as the marlin swam slowly back and forth. Justin cranked his fish to double line off the port side about ten minutes later. As soon as Rich grabbed the leader, the marlin felt the tug on the line, came up onto its side and swam straight away from the boat.
The marlin made a dive, 300-400 feet, and sat there for a few minutes. Jason got a few good pulls on the rod, causing the fish to turn and come right back up. The marlin surfaced about 40-50 yards from the boat with Randy following after it. Rich bumped up the drag, trying to stop the give-and-take and get the fish closer.
An hour into the fight, they had the marlin to within 40 feet of the boat. It swam to the port side and then back to starboard, circling the boat counterclockwise. Randy started spinning the boat with the fish pretty quickly.
Justin was in a bit of a give-and-take stalemate with his fish. The double line was in and out off the spool as the marlin continued to circle the boat.
Rich tried to hand-line the marlin to leader, but the line was so tight on the fish that he couldn't get a pull. He kept pushing up the drag, one click at a time, every few minutes all the way to the strike button.
For the next 30 minutes, the marlin was circling only 30-40 feet deep with a nice 35-degree angle on the line. Jason continued to work his fish as he watched the double line slide in and out of the water. Randy began to back the boat up a little quicker on each spin, finally getting it close enough that Rich could grab the swivel. He got leader on the starboard side. The marlin tried to turn underneath the corner but changed direction.
Rich reached out as far as he could and grabbed the leader. He got a right hand wrap and pulled up, getting double wraps with his left hand. After a good pull, he called Randy off the helm. Rich got another wrap with his right hand and side stepped up the rail. Randy was there to secure their catcha and end the two-hour merry-go-round.
The marlin started shaking its head and tail. Rich reached down and grabbed the bill, getting his hand smacked against the side of the boat a couple of times. He stiff armed the fish as he held the bill until Randy was able to get it subdued.