LAHAINA - The Die Hard boated a nice yellowfin ahi, weighing 151.4 pounds, by Stephen Kolek. He was fishing with Captains David Bynum and Sam Thies.
They were fishing the NASA-Buoy located in 1,000 fathoms off the west side of Lanai. There had been 20- to 30-pound shibi there the past couple of days, but only five-pounders were there.
They decided to head down the ledge toward the K-Buoy located off the southwest corner of Lanai. David slowed the boat as Sam changed the lures and put out the lures to troll. Sam had two lures out and was just hanging the long rigger lure when they got a bite, pulling the line out of his hand.
From left, Capt. David Bynum, Stephen Kolek and Capt. Sam Thies with their 151.4-pound ahi.
The fish hit a Steve Coggin inverted abalone shell lure and took off. They weren't sure what they had, thinking it was a marlin. The fish ripped out the 125-pound test line off the 80-class reel in a hurry.
They weren't into the Dacron backing yet, but at least 500 yards was off the spool by the time Sam got Stephen in the chair. Sam started clearing the other two lines as David turned the boat down-swell. The Dacron line showed pretty quick.
Sam pushed up the drag to the button, putting around 80 pounds of pressure on the fish. They weren't worried about breaking it off, because they thought they had a marlin hooked. Sam got the fly-gaffs set up.
David had the boat one engine idle ahead, in and out of gear, keeping the line tight as he worked the fish down-swell. Sam had to keep telling Stephen to watch the spool and stack the line back and forth. They had a good angle on the line, with the fish coming straight toward the boat.
In about 30 minutes, they had the fish to double line. David saw the fish make a roll on the surface and knew they had an ahi hooked. The ahi went back down. Sam checked the drag.
The strategy changed quickly after that. David came down off the bridge to the lower deck controls. Sam grabbed the double line and started to hand-line the ahi in.
Once Stephen cranked the double line swivel to the rod tip, Sam worked on the leader. He made a couple of wraps on the leader and pulled the ahi right up. It came in easy, mentioned Sam.
David got a perfect gaff shot in the head. Sam grabbed the second gaff and stuck it under the gill plate. All that was left was hauling it over the rail onto the deck.