LAHAINA - The Hinatea crew found themselves at the top of the blue marlin stats for the year, weighing a 755.2-pound fish by Rick Ford. He was fishing with Captains Neil Preston and Chris Wong.
Neil had the boat on a high-speed troll, doing 11-knots, as they headed to the HS-Buoy located on the south side of Maui. They were between McGregor Point and Molokini crater, in 40 fathoms of water, when they had a strike on the funnel head jet running on the third wave.
They boated their marlin in 50 minutes on a two-speed 130 class reel. This was the second largest blue marlin of year for Maui and the largest blue marlin for the Lahaina fleet since July 2012.
From left, Kaleb Walters, deckman Josh Hammond and Capt. Denny Putnam with their 536.4-pound marlin.
The Start Me Up Too hooked one up at the "bottom of the ninth," weighing a 600.1-pound blue marlin by 14-year-old Garrett McClure. He was fishing with Capt. Patrick Dorn and deckman Tim Temple.
They were on their way in from an eight-hour charter without any bites, so Patrick made an ono run inside to "Papio's" in 50 fathoms of water off Launiupoko Park to try and get a fish for their charter. He saw a couple of splashes and some birds working ahead. Before he even got to the area, the long corner softhead lure got bit.
It was a 37-minute fight using a 130-class reel. It was the largest blue marlin by the youngest angler for the year.
Finally, near the end of March, Lahaina saw its first blue marlin of the year over 400 pounds, landed aboard the Start Me Up Das It. Joining the 500-pound marlin club was 17-year-old Kaleb Walters with a 536.4-pound fish. He was fishing with Capt. Denny Putnam and deckman Josh Hammond.
Denny had an estimated 150-pound blue up off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai the day before, and decided to go back to work the same area. He was just outside the 200-fathom ledge, southeast of the light, when he raised the fish on the short corner, Steve Coggin blue-back scoop nose lure. It was a quick, 30-minute fight using a 130-class reel.
The Start Me Up hoisted a 523.3-pound blue marlin by Paul Barbaro and Max Rosen. They were fishing with Capt. Timster Putnam and deckman Chris Kiser.
They were about six miles inside the SO-Buoy off the southwest end of Kahoolawe, as Timster watched some birds ahead working the area. Suddenly, the long rigger line came down hard, rattling the rigger pole, as the reel started to sing. It took the team 25 minutes to land their fish using a 130-class reel.
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. 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. The marlin saw something else it liked, swam over to the center position lure and hit it, hooking up immediately. The 80-class, two-speed reel started to scream off the 100-test line. It took them 50 minutes to land their fish.
Angie Brienen landed the largest blue marlin by a wahine angler, weighing a 374.4-pounder. She was fishing aboard the Start Me Up Das It with Capt. Randy Evans and deckman Ross Elkins.
They were five miles outside Manele Bay, Lanai, heading toward the SO-Buoy off the southwest corner of Kahoolawe. It took Angie 45 minutes to land her fish using a two-speed 80-class reel on 100-test line.