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Reel Hooker angler ‘manhandles’ record-sized yellowfin tuna

June 21, 2012
Donnell A. Tate , Lahaina News

LAHAINA - The Reel Hooker boated a record-sized yellowfin "Allison" tuna weighing 222.2 pounds by wahine angler Shauna Turner. She was fishing with Capt. Greg France and deckman Chris Wong.

They were about five miles on the NASA-Buoy side of the K-Buoy off the backside of Lanai. It was looking good as they found the birds and porpoise school. Greg worked the area for about 30 minutes without getting a bite. Another boat came through the school, picking up an ahi on its first pass.

They decided to hang out and work the school for another hour. Greg told Chris to get out the salmon-colored Lee Aoki lure. He rigged it up and put it out on the long gone position.

Article Photos

From left, Shauna Turner, Capt. Greg France and
deckman Chris Wong with their 222.2-pound yellowfin. Photo by Donnell Tate.

They were running out of time, with Greg about ready to head back to Lahaina. About ten minutes later, on their last pass through the school, they had a bite on that lure.

The ahi took off straight down, ripping out the 60-pound test line from a 50-class reel for about 150 yards and then stopped. Greg thought it was one of the smaller ahi that had been caught during the day. Shauna had her ahi 50 yards from the boat in about 30 minutes.

Over the next hour, they were in a bit of a stalemate as they worked the ahi up the last 50 yards. The rod was doubled over the stern as Shauna short-pumped the rod, getting cranks when she could. They had a lot of drag on the reel, with the 60-pound test line pinging off the spool in a give-and-take.

Greg circled the fish trying to confuse it. This worked for awhile. He idled the boat ahead of the ahi, not letting it get under the boat but keeping it as close as possible. Greg made a couple of more circles before the leader came up. The ahi was digging back and forth across the stern and wasn't ready to come in.

When Shauna finally got her fish to leader, Chris grabbed the line and took a pull. When the ahi felt the additional pressure, it dug down and took off. Chris let the leader go as the ahi ran straight down 30-40 yards and stopped.

Shauna worked her ahi back up to leader in about 15 minutes. It came up on the port side but wanted to go to starboard. As the ahi dug down, Chris walked it across the stern to the starboard corner.

Chris couldn't get a regular wrap, so he had to back wrap the leader. The ahi started to turn its head and come up. Chris was finally able to take several regular wraps on the line, pull back and hold on.

Greg came off the helm and secured the ahi, ending the hour-and-a-half tug of war. All that was left was pulling it through the stern door. This was Greg's largest ahi in 20 years of fishing.

Shauna did an awesome job and "manhandled" the fish, mentioned Greg. He kept asking her if she was okay, but she didn't want to get out of the chair and let the ahi win.

This is the largest yellowfin tuna by a wahine angler. It is also the largest ahi in nine years. It is the third largest by a Lahaina Charter boat and the fourth largest for Lahaina Harbor since 1977. The Lahaina Harbor record is 235 pounds, caught during the first Lahaina Jackpot Tournament in 1977.

 
 
 

 

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