LAHAINA - The Genesis took first place during Lahaina Yacht Club's recent Spring Wahine Tournament with a record-sized striped marlin, weighing 170.3 pounds, by Wendy Rose. She was fishing with Capt. Bob Schnoor and crew James Blanton.
Bob started trolling as they approached the LA-Buoy ten miles off Olowalu, heading toward the Kaho'olawe Shoals looking for birds. He worked the SO-Buoy area outside the shoals for a couple of hours until the weather came up, then turned back toward Lanai.
They were between the SO-Buoy and the Lanai Lighthouse when they had a blind strike on the long rigger position. Wendy saw a fish jump and yelled out, "Big fish!"
From left, Wendy Rose, James Blanton and Capt. Bob Schnoor with their 170.3-pound striped marlin. Photo by Donnell Tate.
The marlin grabbed the Steve Elkins Jr. Popsicle lure and took off jumping, screaming out the 100-test line from an 80-class reel.
Wendy got in the chair as Bob started clearing lines. The marlin went berserk, jumping back and forth across the pattern, getting tangled up in several other lines. Bob told her to just hold tight and get cranks when she could.
As Wendy cranked, Bob cleared the lines that weren't tangled first. When he got to a line that was tangled around the main line, he had to unwrap it. James idled the boat ahead, keeping tension on the line.
As Bob pulled on the tangled line, it would work its way loose down the main line for a few yards or come up "bird nest" to the rod tip.
When this happened, Wendy stopped cranking as Bob pulled the tangle away from the rod guide. He then pulled the tangled lure into the boat, cutting the tangled line and watching not to cut the main line. Bob then unwrapped the lure "over and under" around the main line, then pulled the tangled line free.
James kept the boat idled ahead as Wendy worked on her marlin. Because of the tangled lines, they couldn't get too aggressive after the fish. All she could do was get a little line at a time. It took Bob about 15 minutes to get the tangled lines cleared.
James steadily maneuvered the boat toward the fish, keeping it straight off the stern. The marlin made a couple of short, 25-yard runs. With it swimming up-swell, James had to work the boat around the fish, getting it heading down-swell again.
As the marlin came up to leader about 25 feet out, Bob grabbed the line. It was a little feisty swimming with the boat. Bob called James down to gaff as he hand-over-hand pulled the fish closer.
The last few feet, Bob took wraps on the leader and pulled the marlin to the starboard side. As it dug down, he held the leader tight. When James stuck the fly-gaff, the marlin went ballistic, ripping out the gaff, but the fly-gaff head didn't separate from the gaff pole.
Bob held on to the leader with both hands for about 15 seconds before the fish mellowed out. James took a second shot with the fly-gaff, nailing a perfect gaff to end the hour fight. They got a second gaff into the fish, with them both holding on as the marlin beat up the side of the boat before they could get it subdued.
Because of the size of the marlin, they were thinking it was a blue marlin, not a striped marlin, which averages 40-50 pounds.
Wendy's striped marlin is the largest by a wahine angler since I started keeping stats in 1983. It is also the sixth-largest documented striped marlin for Lahaina and Maalaea Harbor.
The Lahaina and Maalaea Harbor record is 188.4 pounds from 2006.