LAHAINA - Trying to come up with the top charter boat statistics for billfish and ahi involves several variables. Just looking at total numbers doesn't reflect all the variables in coming up with the final rankings for the top Lahaina Harbor charter sportfishing boats.
The billfish numbers overall were the second worst I have seen in the 25 years I have been keeping stats. With the low numbers, the top boats were only a few fish apart, one way or the other, for the year.
Obviously, everyone looks at the number of blue marlin caught and total weight as an indicator of the top ranking. The blue marlin numbers (81) were the lowest in 25 years, but they were still the deciding factor. The striped marlin (72) and shortnose spearfish (74) numbers were the sixth lowest. The majority of the spearfish were "guesstimated," so their total weight numbers are ballpark and lower ranked.
Tagged or released billfish (nine blue, 20 striped and nine spearfish) were noted as both a total number and estimated weight, but all weights were "guesstimations," and you know how fishermen are. These numbers do reflect into the ranking, since some boats tag or release more billfish than others and should get due credit. The release numbers did have an additional benefit to the top boat for the year.
I look at all the variables in each category, give them a number and try to come up with a fair ranking. Size does matter, and it made the difference this year. I'm not going to please everyone. The final statistics are my own and are open to opinion and interpretation.
Now, the rankings for the top boats...
The 37-foot Bertram Start Me Up Again captured the top Lahaina Harbor charter sportfishing boat title among the 16 boats that caught a billfish in 2012. It weighed eight blue marlin (second most among the fleet) totaling 2,998.1 pounds (second highest blue weight). Its largest marlin were 601.8 (fourth biggest), 535.3 (eighth), 450.1 and 437.6 pounds.
It had four striped marlin (tied for third most) totaling 183.1 pounds (fifth highest striped weight) and four spearfish totaling 141.6 pounds (their 50.6-pounder was the second largest of the year). It also weighed two record sailfish (both during one charter) totaling 110.2 pounds.
The 18 billfish weighed (tied for most among the fleet) totaled 3,433.0 pounds (second highest total weighed).
The Start Me Up Again also released ten billfish (most among the fleet) with an estimated total weight of 910 pounds (highest total release weight). Four were blue marlin (most among the fleet) with an estimated total weight of 675 pounds (highest blue release total). This gave them a total of 12 blue marlin captured (highest total among the fleet) totaling 3,673.1 pounds (highest total blue marlin capture weight).
It also released five striped marlin (most among the fleet) with an estimated total weight of 200 pounds (highest striped release total). This gave them a total of nine striped marlin captured (highest total among the fleet) totaling 383.1 pounds (highest total striped marlin capture weight). It also released one spearfish estimated at 35 pounds.
The boat's 28 billfish (most captured among the fleet) weighed a grand total of 4,343.0 pounds (highest total weight).
Next week, we'll look at the rest of the top boats.