LAHAINA - The Action joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 568.4-pound blue by Josh Padley and Kevin Phillips. They were fishing with Capt. Randy Evans and deckman Johnny Keiley.
Randy was coming in on the corner of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, 100 fathoms off the southwest corner of Lanai, when they raised the fish. The marlin came up and engulfed the lure, hooking itself deep in the throat. It then turned and ran straight back 600 yards, never jumping.
The marlin took them 100 yards into the braid backing before it finally slowed its run. Once Johnny got the pattern cleared, Randy got after the fish as quick as he could, considering the sloppy weather. Josh was doing a good job of keeping up the pace of cranking in line.
From left, Capt. Randy Evans, Josh Padley, Kevin Phillips and deckman Johnny Keiley with their 568.4-pound marlin.
Suddenly, the line went slack. Johnny thought the fish had come off. He told Josh to keep cranking as Randy punched the boat forward. A few seconds later, the line came tight again. The line angle changed as the marlin headed down.
The fish was about 400 yards out, with them gaining a couple of hundred back, before Randy got the boat straight up and down on it 15 minutes later.
Randy worked on the marlin at that angle for a while. He then moved the boat to the other side of the fish, trying to change the angle to get it to come up. The marlin took a little bit more line, straight down 100 yards.
Randy continued to maneuver on the fish, trying to figure out the current and wind. He moved the boat back to the other side. Randy had the boat facing down-wind, watching the line angle. He kept bumping the boat into reverse to keep a good angle on the fish. He tried to stay up on top of it because of the current and wind moving him around.
It was give-and-take for a while for Josh. They were getting blown down-wind, with the line slowly peeling off the spool. Johnny bumped up the drag a couple of times, getting it to just above the button at 30-35 pounds.
Josh began to tire. An hour into the tug of war, the marlin made one more little run down. That's when they switched out anglers, with Kevin getting settled in for the fight.
Once they had the mono back on the spool, they decided to try and hand-line the fish up. Johnny put the reel into low gear, with Kevin keeping a good bend in the rod, as Johnny began to pull up the fish.
At first, Johnny had to pull with two hands, because one hand wouldn't hold the line. For the next hour, he hand-over-hand pulled the marlin up a foot at a time. Eventually, the last 100 yards of hand-lining came in pretty quick, as it started to float up. Johnny mentioned that once they got the fish out of the current down deep, it started to come up a lot easier.
The marlin popped up about 30 yards behind the boat. Randy idled the boat backward, with Johnny just pulling it in. Randy left the helm and secured their catch. Johnny grabbed the bill and put a half-hitch around it. They placed a second gaff in the fish, so they had two lines to pull it over the rail and into the boat.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Josh his trip for free. They also donated $300 to The Boo Boo Zoo as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.