LAHAINA - The blue marlin bite was pretty slow from January through February. There were only six blue marlin weighed in January, with three weighed and one released in February.
There was a pretty good striped marlin and spearfish run during January and February - one we hadn't seen since 2011.
January saw 16 striped marlin weighed and four released, totaling 20 fish. February had 39 striped marlin weighed and another 27 released, totaling 66 fish. The two-month striped marlin run had 55 weighed and 31 released, totaling 86 fish.
From left, Dyllon Smith, Gene McReynolds, Gabriel Rogers and Brandon Max- well with their 684.9-pound marlin.
The spearfish run was as good, with 44 weighed in January and another 14 released, totaling 58 fish. February had nine weighed and 11 released, totaling 20 fish. The two-month spearfish run had 53 weighed and 25 released, totaling 78 fish.
With the sudden departure of the excellent winter striped marlin and spearfish run during January and February, the billfish bite slowed dramatically for the first part of March. The big blue marlin finally showed up for the final two weeks, with two in the 600-pound range (684.9, 634.8) and four in the 400-pound range (491.5, 470.1, 410.3, 400.2).
There were a total of 14 blue marlin weighed and another three released. Three striped marlin were weighed and 11 released, with two spearfish weighed and two released, bringing the monthly total to 19 fish weighed and 16 released.
April was another good month for big blue marlin with two 600-pounders (669.4, 600.7), two 500-pounders (568.4, 533.2) and one 400-pounder (407.7) weighed. There were a total of 12 blues weighed and another two released.
A black marlin (161.0) also made the lineup - the first one in 12 years. There were a few striped marlin still around, with three weighed and one released. Five spearfish were also weighed with one released.
The March/April big blue totals were four 600-pounders, two 500-pounders and five 400-pounders. The two-month blue total was 26 weighed and five released for a total of 31 fish.
These are the top four blue marlin so far this year ending in April:
Jun Ken Po joined the 600-pound marlin club, and moved to the top of the blue marlin leaderboard for the year-to-date for Maui County, with a 684.9-pound fish by Gene McReynolds. He was fishing with Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckmen Brandon Maxwell and Dyllon Smith.
The Start Me Up Again joined the 600-pound club with a 669.4-pound blue by David Dang and Seth Willer. They were fishing with Capt. Jason Duby and deckman Rob Cosgrove.
The Start Me Up Cuz joined the 600-pound club with a marlin weighing 634.8 pounds by Rodney Schwagel. He was fishing with Capt. Craig Schuler and deckman John French.
And the Start Me Up Again placed another blue into the 600-pound club, with this one just making the cut at 600.7 pounds. This big girl was angled by Mike Roskopf while fishing with Capt. Jason Duby and deckman Rob Cosgrove.
The Start Me Up Too landed a very rare catch for Maui waters, weighing a 161.0-pound black marlin by Harold Kenyon. He was fishing with Capt. Denny Putnam and deckman Ross Elkins. The last black marlin caught by the Lahaina Harbor Sportfishing fleet was in May 2002, with a 101-pounder aboard the Hinatea. The largest black marlin for the harbor is a 559.5-pound fish by Capt. Dave Rockett aboard the Halcyon. This was also the winning fish in the first Lahaina Jackpot Fishing Tournament held in 1977. There have only been 19 black marlin verified and documented since 1977 out of Lahaina.
The Hinatea landed a record-sized striped marlin in February, weighing 103.4 pounds by 12-year-old Kole Scott. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Wong and deckman Peter Wong. This is the largest striped marlin caught since Feb. 18, 2011.
The two largest spearfish for the period were both caught in January. A 48.2-pound fish was landed aboard the Start Me Up Again by Gloria Krinbill. She was fishing with Capt. Jason Duby and deckman Rob Cosgrove. Next was a 44.1-pound fish by Howie Williksen aboard the Die Hard 2. He was fishing with Captains Fuzzy Alboro and Sam Thies.
Reel Luckey brought in a new Lahaina Harbor record ono - breaking a mark that had stood for over 30 years - weighing in at 90.2 pounds by George Austin. He was fishing with Capt. Tad Luckey, deckman Brian Edmisson and fishing partner Tom Benedetti. This is the largest ono since 1978-79, when a 78-pounder was weighed aboard the Islander II with the late Capt. Jack Huddleston. In April of 1983, another 78-pounder was landed aboard the Charger with Capt. Mike Kearns.
This new Lahaina Harbor record 90.2-pound ono was 69 inches long with a half-body girth of 15 inches. The Hawaii state record is 133.2 pounds.