LAHAINA - Just four days after weighing a 684.9-pound marlin, the Jun Ken Po came in with a 533.2-pound blue by 16-year-old Caleb Henry. He was fishing with Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckman Dyllon Smith.
Gabriel was heading back in on a four-hour charter, just crossing the 100-fathom ledge at the pocket off Kamaiki Point, Lanai. The marlin came up right behind the long corner position, knocking the line down off the rigger. It peeled off a few yards of the 130-test line and then came off.
Dyllon teased the marlin a couple of times, dropping the lure back a few yards and then cranking it in. The marlin came right back in and grabbed the lure, hooking up.
From left, Caleb Henry, Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckman Dyllon Smith with their marlin caught on Jun Ken Po.
It took off tail-walking straight down the pattern for 200-300 yards and then went down. The marlin ran out a couple hundred yards more and then started to tail-walk back and forth, kicking up a lot of whitewater in the process. It made a few more small splashes and then settled down.
Gabriel got aggressive on the marlin while it was up, considering how lumpy the conditions were. He had to take the weather in stride and not swamp the back deck as he chased the fish in reverse. Caleb cranked steadily on his fish, gaining about 400 yards of line in 25 minutes.
The marlin got down and dirty as Gabriel closed in on it. They had the fish between 50-100 yards out for the next 15-20 minutes. Gabriel had the boat going down-swell, with the marlin just sitting there going with the current and not doing anything.
Caleb was at a stalemate with his fish. A couple of times, the marlin was straight up and down 40-50 feet, just hanging there. Gabriel tried to maneuver the boat on the marlin, but the weather was dictating his moves. With the drag fairly tight, Caleb tried to pump the rod, but each time he pulled up, the line crackled off the spool.
Dyllon switched the reel into low gear and bumped up the drag. Caleb was finally able to gain some line, getting the marlin to double line in about five minutes. With the fish straight down, Gabriel idled the boat ahead to keep the line off the stern.
The fish came up right in the middle of the stern, swimming on its side. Gabriel quickly backed the boat right to it. Dyllon grabbed the leader and pulled it to the starboard corner. The marlin was pretty much done at that point, as they got it secured and into the boat.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Caleb his trip for free. They also donated $300 to Lahaina Baptist Church as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.