LAHAINA — Talk about a great fish story. In the month of June alone, Lahaina-based Start Me Up Sport Fishing reeled in six marlin that each weighed over 500 pounds.
Good news for the anglers, who get their trips for free, but also for six local charities.
“We may not see this much activity for years to come,” said Doug Armfield, owner of Start Me Up. “Some of my guys may not catch a marlin over 500 pounds for a very long time, so June was definitely a fantastic month, both for the anglers and all of the crew. Plus, as is customary when a marlin over 500 pounds is caught, we give the angler his/her trip for free and make a $300 donation to a local charity. In this case, we donated to six great charities in June.”
Jarod Koldeway of Denver caught the first and biggest of the marlin, 647 pounds, on June 2 with Capt. Tim “Timster” Putnam and deckhand Chris Kiser. A donation was made to the Maui Humane Society as a result.
The very next day, 13-year-old Zack Martin of Illinois reeled in a 576-pound blue marlin with the help of Capt. Mike Tappero and deckhand Ryan Thomas. Martin’s entire family was aboard to celebrate the big catch. Start Me Up made a donation to the Maui Chapter of Habitat for Humanity for this catch.
Less than two weeks later on June 15, Michael Grayson of Arkansas caught his first marlin weighing in at 592 pounds, again with the help of Putnam and Kiser. Women Helping Women, a Maui nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic violence among women and children, was the recipient of a $300 donation.
On June 23, it was Bud Hamrick’s turn. The Virginia native caught a 548-pounder that resulted in a donation to the Boo Boo Zoo (East Maui Animal Refuge) in Haiku.
“The trip was definitely one of the best family outings ever,” said Hamrick.
Less than 24 hours later, Terry Hoffman of Washington brought in a 552-pound marlin with Capt. Denny Putnam and deckhand Randy Evans. The donation went to the West Maui Senior Center.
Not to be outdone, Lucas Lange of Missouri landed a 621-pound blue marlin during an afternoon trip on June 30 with Capt. Steve Cravens and deckhand Chris Gifford. The sixth donation went to the Maui Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.
Start Me Up also tagged and released a half-dozen other marlin, each weighing over 100 pounds, and reeled in the largest striped marlin caught on Maui this year, weighing 138 pounds, on June 16.
“This is why people love to fish,” said Armfield. “Most of these people probably will never have the experience again, but it’s one that is nearly unforgettable. And these experiences are what make the Start Me Up crew hit the water every day with enthusiasm — you never know what’s going to bite the other end of your line.”
You can stay up-to-date on all of Start Me Up’s recent catches by following www.facebook.com/startmeupfishing, www.twitter.com/mauisportfishin and