It was a slow billfish bite coming into the summer season, with only ten blue marlin weighed and another three released. Only two striped marlin were weighed with another two released. The spearfish brought the numbers up, with 25 weighed and eight released during the first four months.
The May billfish numbers were skewed because of the 15 spearfish weighed and another four released. Only four blue marlin were weighed nothing over 269.6 pounds, with a single striped marlin weighed. This brought the monthly total to 24.
June was less impressive, with only four blue marlin weighed and one released, the largest weighing 421.5. No striped marlin were weighed or released, with eight spearfish being weighed and two released, bringing the monthly total to 15 billfish.
The Reel Hooker caught this 449.1-pound blue marlin on Sept. 1. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
Finally, the blue marlin bite took off, with ten over 400 pounds being weighed during the next three months. July saw 26 blue marlin weighed - the most since August 2011. There were four blues over 400 pounds; the largest weighed 755.2 (largest of the year to date), along with 523.3-, 442.6- and 404.1-pounders. Another seven were released.
There was only one striped marlin and four spearfish weighed in July. This brought the monthly billfish totals to 38, the second best total since February 2012.
July was the best month for ahi over 100 pounds since July 2012, and the second best month since May 2010, with eight hitting the scales. The largest weighed 161.5 (second largest of the year-to-date), 155.0 and 151.6 pounds.
August saw 22 blue marlin weighed, with five over 400 pounds. The largest weighed 600.1 pounds (second largest of the year to date), with 521.6, 443.6, 430.5 and 408.6 pounds. Another eight were released.
There were two striped marlin weighed and seven spearfish weighed. This brought the August monthly billfish totals to 39, the best total since February 2012.
September saw 14 blue marlin weighed with another four released. One striped marlin was landed, bringing the monthly billfish numbers to 19.
The May through September blue marlin numbers saw 70 weighed, with 11 over 400 pounds (755.2, 600.1, 523.3, 532.6, 449.1 443.6, 442.6, 430.5, 421.5, 408.6 and 404.1). There were seven in the 300-pound range (385.7, 374.4, 360.2, 351.5, 342.5, 325.5 and 321.0). Another 16 were released, bringing the blue marlin total to 86.
There were five striped marlin and 34 spearfish weighed, bringing the total weighed number to 109. Another six spearfish were released, bringing the fivemonth billfish totals to 131. There were 15 ahi over 100 pounds weighed during that period.
The Hinatea landed the largest blue marlin during July, weighing 755.2 pounds, by Rick Ford. He was fishing with Captains Chris Wong and Neil Preston. This is the second largest blue marlin so far this year for Maui and the largest blue marlin since July 2012 for the Lahaina fleet.
The Start Me Up Too weighed the second largest blue marlin to date during August, weighing 600.1 pounds, with Capt. Patrick Dorn and deckman Tim Temple.
The largest blue marlin by the youngest angler was a 421.5-pounder by 14-year-old Hunter Smith in June. He was fishing aboard the Desperado with Capt. Dan Shaffer and Capt. Rich Lynch.
Angie Brienen landed the largest blue marlin by a wahine angler, weighing a 374.4-pounder in September. She was fishing aboard the Start Me Up Das It with Capt. Randy Evans and deckman Ross Elkins.
Another wahine angler landed the largest striped marlin, weighing 88.1 pounds, in May. Melissa Voyvodich was fishing aboard the Finest Kind with Capt. Kamal Pfeifle and deckman Adam Klevins.
In the other top flag fish divisions, Paul McClintock weighed a 161.5-pound Allison Yellowfin tuna in July. He was fishing aboard the Die Hard with Capt. Chimo Shipp and deckman Capt. Jamie. This is the second largest ahi for the year-to-date.
The largest ono for the year, weighing 62.1 pounds, was landed by Wyatt Rose in July. He was fishing aboard the No Problem with Capt. Mason Jarvi and deckman Jimmy Francis.
A 48.9-pound bull mahi by John Doe was caught in May aboard the Start Me Up La Dat with Capt. Brandon McKinley and deckman Chris Cole.
Brandon Antolak landed a feisty 164.4-pound mako shark in June. He was fishing aboard the Finest Kind with Capt. Kamal Pfeifle and deckman Sean Hudson.