LAHAINA - I would like to take a moment to remember a friend and a top captain, Steve "Skillet" Lambert, who passed away on Feb. 16, 2012.
As in the top boats, the same considerations go for the top captain rankings. I look at all the variables in each category, give them a number and try to come up with a fair ranking. Size does matter and makes a difference. The final statistics are my own and are open to opinion and interpretation.
Of the 40 captains that operate out of Lahaina Harbor, 2012's Top Captain honors go to Capt. Kamal Pfeifle. Working all four of the Finest Kind Sportfishing boats, Kamal weighed the most blue marlin with eight totaling 3,220.5 pounds (highest blue weight). His largest marlin were 915.0 (tops for 2012), 450.6 and 419.4 pounds.
He weighed three striped marlin (tied for third most) totaling 241.2 pounds (second highest striped weight); the largest were 81.0 pounds (third biggest for the year) and 76.7 pounds. He also weighed three spearfish totaling 114 pounds (fourth highest spearfish weight).
Kamal's 15 billfish (second highest billfish total and third highest capture total) totaled 3,575.7 pounds, the highest total billfish weight and capture weight.
Taking second place, and only working nine months during 2012, was Capt. Steve Cravens.
Driving the Start Me Up Again, which was the Top Boat for 2012, Steve weighed six blue marlin (second most) totaling 2,182.2 pounds (second highest blue weight). His largest marlin weighed 535.3, 450.1 and 437.6 pounds.
He weighed three striped marlin totaling 130.7 pounds (fifth highest striped weight). He also weighed three spearfish totaling 116.0 pounds (third highest spearfish weight); the biggest was 50.6 pounds (second largest).
Steve's 12 billfish weighed (fifth most billfish weighed) totaled 2,429.5 pounds (second highest total billfish weight).
Steve released four blue marlin (most blue released) estimated at 675 pounds (highest estimated blue weight). This gave him a total of ten blue marlin captured (highest blue capture total) totaling 2,857.2 pounds (second highest blue capture weight).
He also released four striped marlin (most released) estimated at 180 pounds (highest estimated striped weight). This gave him a total of seven striped marlin captured (highest total capture) totaling 310.7 pounds (second highest striped capture weight). He released one spearfish estimated at 35 pounds.
His nine billfish released (highest release sum) totaled an estimated 890 pounds (highest release total weight).
Steve's 21 billfish captured (highest total capture) totaled 3,319.5 pounds (second highest total capture weight).
The next three captains were close in total numbers and weights. Of the eight top captains, there were five captains that weighed four blue marlin each, and six captains that weighed three spearfish each.
Weighing in at third place was Capt. Neil Preston. Neil weighed four blue marlin (five-way tie for fourth most) totaling 1,829.4 pounds (fourth highest blue weight). His largest marlin weighed 915.0 and 536.4 pounds.
He weighed three striped marlin totaling 118.6 pounds (sixth highest striped weight). He also weighed six spearfish, the most by any captain, totaling 195 pounds (highest spearfish weight).
Neil's 13 billfish weighed (fourth most billfish weighed) totaled 2,143.0 pounds (fourth highest total billfish weight).
Neil also released one blue marlin estimated at 200 pounds. This gave him a total of five blue marlin captured (tied for third most blue captured) totaling 2,161.0 pounds (fourth highest blue capture weight).
Neil's 14 billfish captured (tied for fourth highest billfish captured) totaled 2,343.0 pounds (third highest total capture weight).
Fourth place went to Capt. Dave Hudson, owner of Finest Kind Sportfishing. Dave weighed five blue marlin (third most) totaling 2,161.0 pounds (third highest blue weight). His largest marlin weighed 760.3 (second biggest) and 533.1 pounds.
He weighed two striped marlin weighing 73 pounds and three spearfish weighing 75 pounds.
Dave's ten billfish weighed (seventh most weighed and sixth most captured) totaled 2,309.0 pounds (third highest total billfish weight and fourth highest total capture weight). He also weighed a 158.8-pound yellowfin ahi.
Rounding out the top five spots was Capt. Rich Lynch. He weighed four blue marlin (five-way tie for fourth most) totaling 1,828.6 pounds (fifth highest blue weight). His largest marlin were 515.6, 482.0 and 457.5 pounds.
He weighed one striped marlin weighing 34.9 pounds and released one striped marlin estimated at 20 pounds and three spearfish weighing 104 pounds.
Rich's eight billfish weighed (eighth most) totaled 1,967.5 pounds (fifth highest total billfish weight). His nine billfish captured totaled 1,987.5 pounds (fifth highest billfish capture weight).