Piper marlin puts on show at leader
MAALAEA — The Piper out of Maalaea Harbor boated a nice marlin for Drew and John Babb weighing 431.6 pounds. They were fishing with Capt. Jeff Kahl and crewman Ta‘ane Veine.
Jeff had been at the SO-Buoy off the west end of Kaho‘olawe, with Drew and brother Michael catching a couple of ono on the Kaho‘olawe Shoals.
As they were coming from the shoals, between Kaho‘olawe and the LA-Buoy, they raised a fish on the 100-fathom ledge in the “spaghetti bowl” area. Ta‘ane shouted, “Short corner; something on the corner!” Jeff looked back and saw the marlin come up behind the lure. He knew it was a nice fish.
Ta‘ane kept trying to get the marlin to eat the lure. He teased it, dropping the lure back and cranking it in, back and forth, for at least a minute. Jeff came down to the deck and grabbed an aku they already had rigged up. As he dropped back the bait, as soon as it hit the water, the marlin swam up, grabbed the lure and took off. Game on.
The marlin ran about 200 yards, made one lazy jump and kept going. Jeff had the boat in full reverse after the fish as Drew held on to the rod. The marlin came up ten minutes later 50 yards straight behind them, jumping 3-4 more times away from them.
Jeff was still in reverse after the fish as they switched out anglers, getting John in the chair. About ten minutes later, John had the marlin to double line. Jeff stayed after the fish, with it swimming steadily below, showing its colors through the glassy water.
As the marlin came to leader, Jeff could see that the lure was stuck at the swivel. As Ta‘ane grabbed the leader and started to turn the fish, it took off on a 100-yard run. Ta‘ane dumped the line.
Jeff decided to get real aggressive on the marlin. They had 45 pounds of drag on the fish and were starting to catch up to it as it began to tire. About five minutes later, John had the marlin back to leader still swimming strong.
Ta‘ane grabbed leader and took a wrap. Jeff knew it was going to be a show. The marlin stood straight up right behind the boat, almost completely out of the water.
Ta‘ane held on to the leader, “flying the kite,” and turned the fish back toward the boat.
The marlin crashed into the water, sticking its bill right into the transom and snapping the tip off. The few seconds the fish was stunned, figuring out what happened, Jeff got a solid fly-gaff in to secure it.