LAHAINA - The Jun Ken Po weighed a nice-sized yellowfin "Allison" tuna at 163.0 pounds by Evan and James Matthews. They were fishing with Capt. Patrick Dorn and deckman Dyllon Smith.
They were on an afternoon four-hour trip, fishing for ono in the "Secret Spot" area in 24 fathoms off Launiupoko. They had just landed an ono, so Patrick swung the boat around wide so they could go back through the area one more time on the way back to the harbor. He went down to the deck to filet the ono, with Dyllon taking over the helm.
They had just crossed over the spot where they got the ono when the short rigger reel started smoking line off the spool straight down the pattern. Patrick didn't know what they had at first, but he knew it wasn't an ono.
From left, Dyllon Smith, Evan and James Matthews, and Capt. Patrick Dorn with their 163.0-pound tuna. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
The fish never jumped as it headed straight out and didn't go down. It ran off about 280 yards of 130-test line pretty quick. Dyllon slowed the boat as Patrick started clearing lines. Once everything was clear, Patrick went back to the helm.
Patrick started chasing after the fish aggressively. It was still pulling line, so he kept bumping the throttles up in reverse, trying to slow the line loss. He finally had it to where the fish wasn't taking more line, and they started to gain some.
The fish made one more quick run, with Patrick chasing after it again. They were able to put 200 yards back on the spool in about eight minutes before they had the fish straight up and down off the stern. With the fish in only 140 feet of water, it started to come up.
As the fish came up about the short corner distance, Patrick could see what they had from the bridge. The ahi made a couple of pinwheels behind the boat, slowly coming in. As it got behind the boat, Dyllon grabbed leader.
As Dyllon started to pull the ahi up, it laid right out. The fish was bleeding out both gills, leaving a blood trail in its wake. It had swallowed both 9.0 hooks deep. Dyllon pulled the ahi around the starboard corner, with Patrick getting a securing gaff under the chin.
They opened the stern door and pulled it in, ending the 12-minute fight.
This was Dyllon's first ahi. It is also the largest yellowfin tuna since July 2013.