LAHAINA - The Alele out of Kamalo, Molokai, won the 11th annual Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout with a 293.9-pound blue marlin. It was angled by Bill Castor along with Capt. Keola Kingsley, Justin Oho and Hans Kaapuna.
They were fishing the 1,000-fathom ledge outside the N-Buoy located 14 miles off Halawa Valley, Molokai. It was their backyard, so they decided to fish the area. They raised their fish around 11 a.m. on the short corner position.
They had just changed out the short corner less than five minutes before, putting out a Joe Yee Super Plunger.
From left, Capt. Keola Kingsley, Justin Oho, Bill
Castor and Hans Kaapuna with their first place marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
They heard a pop, looked around and saw the marlin on the surface charging the boat. It spun around suddenly and disappeared, coming back across the pattern tail-walking, knocking all the other lines off the riggers. It was pure luck it never got tangled up in the other lines and broke itself off. It was meant to be, mentioned Keola.
The marlin made a couple more jumps as it headed away from the boat, pulling off three-quarters of the spool from the 130-class reel before it went down. They never saw it again the rest of the fight. Keola kept the boat idle ahead while everyone cleared up the mess.
Bill stood by the port gunnel behind the rod and fought his fish, taking his time as he "Portuguese pumped" the line whenever he needed. The water was really nice, so Keola just kept the boat ahead with the marlin off the port side as they followed it down-swell.
Within 30 minutes, they had their fish to double line. It changed directions a couple of times, pulling off short, five-foot zips of line at each turn. It wanted to come up on the starboard side in the direction it was hooked.
Once they saw color, they saw the leader. By the time they realized the fish was coming up on the starboard side, it was too close to change over the rod.
The marlin was a couple of feet under the water digging hard as Justin grabbed the leader. He didn't want to yank it around to the port side where Bill was standing, so they decided to bring it up across the boat.
Justin hauled the marlin up to the starboard side, took a wrap on the leader and called Hans to stick the gaff. Game over! They tried not to celebrate until the fish was in the boat. Their winning marlin netted the team $40,800.