Neil headed south out of Lahaina toward the LA-Buoy marks located 12 miles off Olowalu. He was about 200 yards off the 100-fathom “dog leg” when they had a strike on the long rigger. The fish pulled a little line but didn’t stick, looking around 150 pounds.
Neil headed deeper off the ledge, finding an aku pile in 150 fathoms. It looked good, so he worked the area for a while, but no bites. Neil came back in to the area where they had the bite first thing in the morning.
Neil worked the area for about an hour, finally spotting a marlin come up on the long corner lure. It looked to be a small male about 100 pounds. The marlin started ripping out the 130-test line.
As Neil watched it swimming away, it stuck its head out of the water, and with one shake of its head, the lure went flying out of its mouth. Neil gazed over in the direction the lure had gone, just as the long rigger position got nailed.
Neil saw a big hole in the water where the lure had been and knew it was another fish. The marlin pulled off 400 yards of 100-test line from the 80-class reel as it jumped away from them the entire way. Anthony had the rest of the lines cleared by the time the fish settled down and David in the chair.
The marlin jumped so much on its initial run that it was just lying on the surface trying to get its second wind. The angle of the line was straight off the stern of the boat. Neil began to reverse the boat right down the line as David kept cranking.
They had some “heat” on the fish — with at least 35 pounds of pressure on it — not wanting to give it an inch. By the time they backed up to the marlin a half-hour later, it was about 100 feet down. It came up to leader nice and easy swimming with the boat.
Neil pulled the boat up along side the marlin off the port side. It was just cruising along, not putting up much of a fight. Anthony grabbed the leader and eased the fish up along the side. Neil was waiting with the gaff to secure their catch.
From left, Katrina Fedorova, David Williams, Capt. Neil Preston and crewman Anthony Labasan with their 345.5-pound blue marlin. Photo by Donnell Tate.