LAHAINA - The Desperado joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 521.6-pound blue by Anthony Trimino. He was fishing with Capt. Dan Shaffer and deckman John Jordan.
Dan was heading in from a six-hour trip and was about five miles off Launiupoko Park when he saw the long corner rod bounce. At first, he thought it was one of the kids aboard bumping into it. He watched it for awhile but didn't see anything behind the lure.
About a minute later, a marlin came back up on it. It hit the jet head lure a couple of times, broke the rigger rubber band holding the line, but didn't stick. Dan free-spooled the reel 5-6 times trying to tease the marlin to strike, but couldn't get it to bite as it continued to chase after the lure.
From left, Anthony Trimino, Capt. Dan Shaffer and deckman John Jordan with their 521.6-pound blue marlin caught aboard Desperado. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.
The marlin saw something else it liked, swam over to the center position lure and hit it, hooking up immediately. As the 80-class reel started to scream off the 100-test line, Dan left the deck to drive. John grabbed the center rod from the bridge when Dan handed it down to him and headed for the chair, handing it to Anthony.
The marlin took off jumping through the pattern. Dan and John started clearing lines immediately. Once all the lines were in the boat, Dan put the boat into neutral.
The fish was still taking line as it continued to jump, pulling off 300 yards in a hurry into the Dacron backing. It jumped back at the boat a couple of times as it tore up the surface, with Dan throttling the boat forward to keep the line tight.
After an eight- to nine-minute surface display, the marlin finally sounded. They were in only 300 feet of water, so it couldn't go very deep. Dan started to reverse the boat aggressively after the fish, so it wouldn't get to far away.
The marlin went straight down to the bottom, swimming toward Kahoolawe and deeper water. The water was flat calm as Dan chased after it in reverse at four knots for a good half hour. He finally caught up to it and had it straight down behind the boat.
They fought the marlin for another 20 minutes in low gear, pumping the rod up and down, losing line on each pull. They had the fish on a graphite 80-class rod, and it wasn't that strong or stiff for a fish that size.
The rod had too much flex to it, and they couldn't gain anything, even in low gear. Every time Anthony pulled up, the rod bowed over like a noodle and line crackled off the spool. It was almost like the marlin was sitting on the bottom.
After about 35 minutes in a stalemate, Dan told John to grab the line to begin hand-lining. Dan had the boat in neutral, watching the angle on the line, as John started to hand-line the fish, getting it about halfway up in ten minutes or so. At first, it was a bit of a struggle to get the marlin up, but as it came closer, it started to plane itself up.
When Dan grabbed the line, the fish started to rise straight up pretty quickly. Anthony kept up the pace, cranking in the line. Once it surfaced ten minutes later, it was an easy gaff. It popped up like a cork, bill first off the starboard corner, dead. This is the fifth largest blue marlin of the year so far for the Lahaina fleet.
Happy anniversary! It's been 28 years since the first "At The Harbor" Harbor Report debuted on Aug. 21, 1985!