Wahine angler lands largest marlin since October 2006
LAHAINA — The Kai Akua weighed a nice-sized blue marlin for Allison Seferian, bringing the scale to 545.6 pounds. She was fishing with Capt. Jeremy Webb and crew members Billy “Fish” Burnett, Chris Mullicin and Mike Myers.
They were at the JJ-Buoy off the south side of Kaho‘olawe fishing for tuna. They had a live four-pound shibi out, with an opelu out long and a dead aku on the port corner. The opelu was bit off by a shark as they worked the buoy. About five minutes later, the live shibi got taken out of the rigger clip.
Billy went over to the rod and grabbed the line. He felt nothing on the other end. All of a sudden, he shouted, “Here we go!” Jeremy gave the fish time to eat the bait before throttling the boat forward, setting the hook.
The fish didn’t take much line. There was no running, splashing or whitewater. Jeremy slowed the boat to neutral. The line stopped stripping off the spool as soon as Jeremy slowed the boat.
Jeremy started reversing after the fish as Allison gained line. Everyone was still thinking they hooked another shark. As Allison got the fish to about the fourth wave back, a marlin came airborne right behind the boat.
The marlin ran out 150-200 yards and stopped, staying near the surface. Jeremy motored the boat backward. Allison continued to gain line as Chris guided the chair and helped her stack the spool. They had the marlin back to about the same fourth wave spot in about a half-hour.
At that point the marlin took off greyhounding, over a dozen jumps in a row, straight away from the boat. Jeremy throttled after it in reverse as it jumped. The marlin started to tire and settled down as it headed deep.
Jeremy chased the line until he lost the angle, then continued in and out of gear as he followed after the fish. The marlin started to come up. Jeremy backed the boat towards it, finally seeing color below 30 minutes later.
As they got the marlin almost to double line, it stopped and wouldn’t come up any further. Allison was in a stalemate, with the line “pinging and crackling” off the spool. The fish started swimming back and forth across the stern, slowly pulling out 75-100 feet of line, then stopped.
This gave Jeremy an angle to back on the marlin so Allison was able to regain line. As the fish got to a certain “comfort zone,” it stopped. They could see color as it slowly swam away from them.
The marlin came across to the port corner and started up the side of the boat. It turned and did a 180 back to the other side. As it got abeam to the starboard side, it rolled down and around, making another 50- to 100-foot pull to the other side. The marlin did this 3-4 more times over the next 15 minutes.
During one of the double line stalemates, Jeremy spotted a smaller male blue marlin swimming 40-50 feet away from the female. They thought about tossing out another bait for the male, but Jeremy was busy enough following after the female.
The marlin came up and surfaced, still swimming back and forth. With the angle on the fish, Jeremy was able to back up to it. As Allison cranked her fish to leader, Billy grabbed the line.
The marlin made a short, 20-yard pull away from the stern causing Billy to let go of the leader. Allison worked her fish back to leader. This give and take chase at leader went on for several minutes.
On its final pull from leader, the marlin swam back around, almost under the boat, and away off the starboard corner, getting tail-wrapped in the process. Jeremy reversed after it, seeing if Billy could grab the leader and pull the fish up. All of a sudden, there was the tail, with the marlin rolling upside down off the stern.
At that point, with it upside down, tail-wrapped and tired, Jeremy put the boat into neutral. Billy just had to slowly hand-line the marlin backwards to the boat. As he pulled it up on the starboard side, Jeremy got a fly-gaff into its shoulder. Mike followed up with a second gaff to secure their catch.
Allison did a great job on her fish. This is the largest marlin by a wahine angler for Lahaina Harbor since October 2006, when a 530.4-pounder was weighed. It is also the 17th largest by a wahine since 1990.