LAHAINA - The Die Hard joined the 200-pound ahi club with another record-sized "toad" Yellowfin weighing 217.1 pounds. The father and son team of Dan and 14-year-old Coulter Smith were fishing with Captains Fuzzy Alboro and Sam Thies.
Fuzzy made the buoy run from NASA down the ledge to MC, and then headed inside to the K-Buoy five miles off the southwest corner of Lanai. As they reached the buoy, the area around it looked good. There was an iwa bird flying above and something breaking the surface ahead. It was a school of porpoise.
Fuzzy reached the school and made a pass. Nothing. Suddenly, the porpoise started "porpoising" across the surface off the starboard side. Fuzzy cut across in front of the school. That's when they got their double-bite on the port side of the pattern.
From left, Dan and Coulter Smith, and Captains Fuzzy Alboro and Sam Thies with their 217.1-pound ahi.
The short rigger went off first, followed by the long rigger. The ahi ripped out the 125-pound test line off the 80-class reel straight down, taking them halfway into the spool before it slowed its run 600 yards deep.
The quickness of the 35-minute fight was not fully realized until everyone got a look at the huge yellowfin "Allison" tuna lying on the back deck. It was six feet, five inches long. This is the eighth largest for Lahaina Harbor and the sixth largest for a Lahaina Charter Sportfishing boat since 1977.
The second largest ahi for the year was also landed aboard the Die Hard. The 161.5-pound "Allison" yellowfin was landed by Paul McClintock. He was fishing with Captains Chimo Shipp and Jamie.
They were fishing the south end of Maui in the Luala'ilua Four Hills area, hauling the ahi in on 130-test gear.
The third place ahi was boated aboard the Jayhawk. The 155.8-pound yellowfin was angled by George Gould and Mark Webster. They were fishing with Capt. Steve Schulz, Co-capt. Kevin McLaughlin and crewmember Paris Lilly.
It was an average year for big tuna during 2013. There were 23 ahi over 100 pounds weighed, totaling 3,022.8 pounds. Eleven charter boats weighed 21 of the big tuna.
The top ahi boat for 2013 was the Die Hard, weighing five over 100 pounds (217.1, 161.5, 151.6, 151.4, 102.0), totaling 783.6 pounds. These fish were the first, second, fifth and sixth largest for the year. The new boat, Die Hard 2, kept the run going with three over 100 pounds (155.0, 137.3, 132.4), totaling 424.7 pounds. Die Hard Sportfishing weighed eight yellowfin ahi over 100 pounds, totaling 1,208.3 pounds. Seven of those ahi were in the top 12 fish for the year.
Next was the Finest Kind with three over 100 pounds (147.2, 125.0, 104.0), totaling 376.2 pounds. The No Problem also had three over 100 pounds (137.0, 107.0, 104.4), totaling 348.4 pounds.
The best month for yellowfin tuna was July, with nine weighed (161.5, 155.0, 151.6, 147.2, 137.3, 137.0, 109.7, 107.0, 102.0), totaling 1,208.3 pounds. The best run was also in July. During an 11-day period, all nine big ahi were brought in. There was also a nice two-day run during that time with four ahi weighed.