How appropriate for the Top Captain and Rookie Crewman of 2010 to weigh the first blue marlin of 2011.
Eighteen-year-old Steve Stupak wrestled a 649.7-pound blue marlin aboard the Start Me Up Again with Capt. Steve Cravens and crew Chris Gifford.
They were fishing the 100-fathom ledge on the K-Buoy side of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse off the southwest corner of Lanai. Suddenly, the short corner 130-class reel took off, taking them a little over an hour to boat their fish.
From left, crew Ryan Bollhorst, Capt. Sal Tarantino and Damon Vineyard landed this 635.1-pound marlin on Exact.
The Start Me Up Again added another 600-pound marlin to their stats - this one weighing 621.4 pounds by the tag-team efforts of Luke and Jennifer Lange, DJ Jones, Andy Sytsma and Candace Costello. They were fishing with Capt. Steve Cravens and crewman Chris Gifford.
They were heading in from an afternoon four-hour trip. Steve had been working the LA-Buoy, "Factory" area between Lanai and Kaho'olawe, where a lot of big fish had been caught recently. He was about six miles off the Olowalu dump when they raised the fish.
Steve heard the long rigger line come down hard and immediately turned around to see a big explosion where the lure had been. It took the team 70 minutes to wrestle their marlin in using 130-class gear.
The Start Me Up joined the 600-pound marlin club with a 647.3-pound blue by Jerod Koldeway. He was fishing with Capt. Timster Putnam and crewman Chris Kiser.
Timster was heading to the SO-Buoy ten miles off the southwest corner of Kaho'olawe on an afternoon charter. They made the inline run by the LA-Buoy area off Olowalu where a few marlin bites had been earlier in the day. The weather came up, so going to the SO-Buoy wasn't going to be fun.
Timster angled the boat west toward the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai to look for ono. They were straight off Manele Bay in 175 fathoms when they raised their fish on the long rigger position.
It was a 40-minute fight on a 130-class reel.
The Exact landed the largest marlin by the youngest angler, with 14-year-old Damon Vineyard weighing a 635.1-pound blue. He was fishing with Capt. Sal Tarantino and crew Ryan Bollhorst.
Sal was headed out to the SO-Buoy. He was about three miles away when the charter group mentioned that they were feeling a bit seasick.
Sal headed the boat down-swell toward Manele Bay, Lanai. They were in 200 fathoms, four miles away, when the long rigger popped from the clip. It took 75 minutes for Damon to land his fish using a 130-class reel.
Of the 18 blue marlin weighed, one was on 80-test line weighing 794.5 pounds. Five were on 100-test line, the largest weighing 884.2 pounds. Twelve were on 130-test line, the largest weighing 700.5 pounds.
The favorite lure position was the short corner position, which attracted eight fish, the largest weighing 794.5 pounds. The next favorite was the long rigger position, attracting seven fish, the largest weighing 647.3 pounds. Both the long corner and short rigger positions attracted one fish each, the largest weighing 421.3 pounds on the long corner and 884.2 pounds on the short rigger.
The best time of day to catch a big blue marlin was between 6 a.m. and noon. In that time frame, the boats hooked 11, the largest weighing 700.5 pounds. The next most productive time was between noon and 2:30 p.m. with six hooked, the largest weighing 884.2 pounds. The morning hours were the best time of day, because the morning charters run from 5:30 to 11:30 a.m. for the six-hour trips and until 1:30 p.m. for the eight-hour trips. Afternoon trips run from noon until 4 or 6 p.m.
The fighting times to land the big blues were as follows: 11 fought between 20 and 60 minutes; the largest (weighing 884.2 pounds) took 40 minutes to land. Six fought between 60 minutes and an-hour-and-40 minutes; the largest, weighing 700.5 pounds, took an hour-and-ten-minutes to land. Only one fish, weighing 576.4 pounds, took two-hours-and-45 minutes to land.
The lure of choice was the standard purple softhead, with seven fish liking what they saw.
I would like to thank Start Me Up Sportfishing for the use of their digital scale in weighing all the big blue marlin in 2011.