LAHAINA - The Hinatea landed a record-sized striped marlin weighing 103.4 pounds by 12-year-old Kole Scott. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Wong and deckman Peter Wong.
They were 3.5 miles southeast of the SO-Buoy off the southwest end of the Kahoolawe Shoals. Chris saw the strike right off the bat. It came straight in on the long gone position, all lit up hot, head out of the water, as it windshield-wipered the lure, then disappeared.
Just as Peter went to crank on the reel to tease the marlin back in, it popped back up, mouth open, and inhaled the lure. The fish took a nice quick rip of 20-30 yards, and then turned around and started jumping back toward the boat. Chris kept the boat motoring ahead at trolling speed as it greyhounded straight up the wake.
From left, Kole Scott, deckman Peter Wong and Capt. Chris Wong with their 103.4-pound striped marlin.
About halfway to the boat, it settled down and quartered away from them toward the starboard side. It stayed on the surface, ripping off 400 yards of 50-test line. At first, they thought they had a small blue marlin hooked.
Chris spun the boat and began to reverse after the fish as fast as Kole could crank in line and keep it tight. The fish stayed on the surface, with them gaining quite a bit of line back.
As Chris got the boat closer, the marlin made several series of short runs and jumps, launching itself completely airborne across the surface. "It was a pretty awesome show," said Chris. Peter mentioned that it was showing classic striped marlin characteristics, staying on the surface, jumping and head shaking.
They had the fish close to double line in about 25 minutes, but it made another short run out 10-15 yards. They were able to get a good view of the dorsal fin and knew they had a striped marlin hooked.
It was give-and-take at double line over the next ten minutes, as Chris made a few circles on the fish. They finally got it up to leader, with Peter grabbing the line. He hand-over-hand pulled it closer, taking a few wraps to hold it steady as Chris secured their catch.
On the way back to Lahaina, they hooked an estimated 25-pound striped marlin for Kole's dad, Brian. They pulled it aboard and took a few photos before releasing it unharmed. Kole was ribbing his dad the rest of the way home about catching a bigger fish than him.
This is the largest striped marlin caught since Feb. 18, 2011.
Tis the season for striped marlin, when and if they show up during their peak run January through March. So far this year, there were 16 weighed and four released in January. February saw 37 weighed and 23 released for a two-month total of 53 weighed and 27 released. Average weight is 30-40 pounds.
In 2013, there were only 13 weighed and five released. 2012 was better, with 52 weighed and 20 released. 2011 was the best year since 2006, with 104 weighed and 76 released. 2010 was the worst year ever in 26 years, with only five weighed and none released.