LAHAINA - The Start Me Up recently hoisted a 523.3-pound blue marlin by Paul Barbaro and Max Rosen. They were fishing with Capt. Timster Putnam and deckman Chris Kiser.
They were about six miles inside the SO-Buoy off the southwest end of Kahoolawe as Timster watched some birds ahead working the area. Suddenly, the long rigger line came down hard, rattling the rigger pole as the reel started to sing.
Chris saw the marlin immediately and knew it was a nice fish. It jumped away from the boat, then started tailwalking and greyhounding back and forth across the pattern. It made 3-4 wide passes, tearing up the surface in a spray of whitewater for the first couple of minutes, and then settled down.
From left, Capt. Timster Putnam, Paul Barbaro, Max Rosen and deckman Chris Kiser with their 523.3-pound blue marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
Max was in the chair first. After the first initial run and tailwalking display, Max had all he could handle. Chris got Paul in the chair next.
With all the delay in the fight, the marlin was able to go down a couple hundred yards before it stopped. By then, they had a bad angle on the fish, so Timster couldn't reverse on it like he wanted to. He had to idle the boat ahead, in and out of gear, to keep the line tight. This caused a bit of a stalemate with gaining line on the marlin.
At one point, they thought they had the fish turned toward the boat. Timster started to plane the marlin up, idling ahead on the fish to swim it up, then reversing the boat as Paul cranked. Once Paul got into a rhythm, they started to gain good line.
About 20 minutes later, they had the marlin to double line. It was swimming back and forth across the stern, with Paul gaining a few cranks then losing a few yards on each pass. Chris pushed up the drag lever a couple of clicks to about 36-38 pounds of pressure on the 130-class reel.
The marlin made a short run of 20-30 feet, with Chris helping Paul get it back to double line. They got it to leader off the port side.
Chris got a wrap as the marlin cut back across to starboard on him. He beat the fish back to the starboard corner, taking a double wrap before it got there. Now, he had half the leader back.
The marlin cut back across to the port side, but Chris again beat it to the corner and got another wrap. By this time, he only needed one more wrap, and he was there. It was just a matter of Timster securing their catch and them pulling it through the stern door.
This is the third largest marlin for the year-to-date. For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Paul and Max their trip for free.