LAHAINA - The Jun Ken Po joined the 600-pound marlin club, and moved to the top of the blue marlin leader board for the year-to-date for Maui County, with a 684.9-pound fish by Gene McReynolds. He was fishing with Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckmen Brandon Maxwell and Dyllon Smith.
They were on a six-hour trip and were 167 fathoms off the Lanai Golf Course when Brandon spotted a marlin behind the short rigger position. It was pushing a big wake of water with its head as it knocked the line down off the rigger.
Brandon told Dyllon to start teasing the fish as Gabriel began to turn the boat. After several tries, Dyllon cranked the line back to about two feet from the rubber band. Brandon grabbed the line and started to hang it back on the rigger. Before Brandon could get it reset, the marlin grabbed the lure and took off.
From left, deckman Dyllon Smith, Gene McReynolds, Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckman Brandon Maxwell with their 684.9-pound marlin.
The marlin ran straight down the pattern for 450-500 yards before it started to slow. Brandon and Dyllon had the lines cleared quick and got Gene into the chair. Gabriel was real aggressive as he got after the fish, chasing it down in reverse as it stayed on the surface.
Gabriel made a couple of pivots on the fish to keep it behind the stern as it changed directions on them. Gene did a nice job in the chair and kept up the pace, gaining 400 yards of the 130-test line before it went down 100 yards or so.
They had the marlin close to the boat in about 20 minutes, getting it up to double line five minutes later. The fish was swimming away from them, back and forth for several minutes, as it sat there digging down and dirty.
Brandon reached for the double line, but as he pulled on it, the marlin made two nice half-body lunges out of the water 20 feet away. The marlin then dug down, peeling off 15-20 feet as it swam away. Gabriel reversed after the fish as Gene cranked it back to double line, but couldn't get it up any closer. This yo-yo, give-and-take went on for 5-6 minutes, as Brandon tried pulling on the double line 4-5 more times with the same results before he was able to get the marlin turned and up to leader on the starboard side.
It took Brandon a few seconds to get a double wrap on the leader. The marlin started to dig under the boat and swam across the transom as Brandon walked it to the port corner. He took a couple more wraps on the leader and pulled the fish up. He held on to what he had as Gabriel got a securing gaff into it. Everything went pretty smooth, mentioned Gabriel.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Gene his trip for free. They also donated $300 to The Arts Education for Children Group as part of their continuing charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.