LAHAINA - The Die Hard hauled in a nice blue marlin, weighing 430.5 pounds by Todd Perry. He was fishing with Captains David Bynum and Sam Thies.
They were working the LA-Buoy "box" off Olowalu when they saw a school of bottlenose dolphins and 'Iwa birds in the area. They looked over and saw splash after splash - big splashes on the surface. The dolphins were "going off," feeding hard on the bait.
Dave drove right through the largest group of them, getting a strike. As Dave turned the boat to port, all of a sudden, the biggest hole Sam had ever seen appeared on the surface where the lure had been behind the short rigger position, and he started shouting. The line didn't come out of the rigger clip because they were in the turn, causing slack line, and the marlin was coming toward the boat.
From left, Todd Perry, Capt. Sam Thies and Capt. David Bynum with their 430.5-pound marlin.
PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
The roller-troller on the short rigger side was a little tight, so it took a few seconds for the line to snap out of the clip. "It was such a sweet bite; pretty awesome," mentioned Sam. The marlin ran out a little ways and then went down. It made a screaming run, taking three-quarters of the 100-test line off the 80-class reel, before it came up jumping 1,000 yards away. The spool was getting pretty small.
It was a pretty cool show, but it was so far away that it was hard to see, said David. Lots of whitewater. Once Sam had the lines cleared, David started backing the boat after the fish. "Not too fast; just nice and easy idle reverse," he said.
They had the marlin in 80 fathoms of water and had a good angle on it, chasing after it for 20-25 minutes as it slowly took line. It would stop running for a while, letting them pick up line, and then take off again. Sam mentioned that Todd was one of the best anglers he has had. He knew how to change the reel from low to high gear when he needed to and thumb the spool.
As Todd cranked, Sam kept feeling the line to see how the fish was swimming, and if it was still alive. David continued to reverse the boat after the marlin up to the last 50 yards and then went to neutral.
Once the marlin came up to double line, it was over. It was slowly swimming from side to side, all mellow, showing no color at all. Dave put the boat to idle ahead at that point. "For a big fish, it was the easiest leader ever," said Sam. After that, it was just a matter of getting the marlin secured, pulled through the stern door and into the boat.