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Start Me Up La Dat continues hot streak

By Staff | Aug 27, 2009

From left, Richard Hall, Capt. Ryan Fiedorowicz and Capt. Brandon McKinley with their 670.9-pound blue marlin caught aboard the Start Me Up La Dat.

LAHAINA — With their third 600-plus-pound marlin in two weeks, the Start Me Up La Dat weighed a 670.9-pound blue for Richard Hall. He was fishing with Captains Ryan “Ryno” Fiedorowicz and Brandon McKinley.

About an hour-and-a-half into the charter, as Ryno reached the area just southeast of the LA-Buoy, Brandon spotted a marlin come up on the short rigger lure. He jumped off the bridge and headed to the rod.

The marlin missed the lure on the initial strike but came back around after it. Ryno saw the marlin as it came back on the lure. He noticed the distance between the dorsal and anal fin and knew it was a nice fish.  

Brandon freespooled the lure backward right into the marlin’s mouth. After a few seconds, he locked up the reel. It was a solid hook-up as the rod took a bow and the reel started to sing. The marlin didn’t take much line on the initial run and never jumped.

In the first 15 minutes of the fight, they had the marlin to within 50 yards of the boat. It seemed like it didn’t know it was hooked up. Once it figured out what was going on, it took off on a quick 350- to 400-yard run and then went crazy. 

It was rough seas with 20-knot winds. As they reached the crest of the waves, they spotted the marlin jumping between the swell. Ryno couldn’t back on the marlin as it headed straight into the wind, so he got an angle on the fish cutting across the swell in the trough.

Ryno backed after the marlin for 20 minutes, with Richard getting it to within 40-50 yards of the boat pretty quick. The marlin made a couple of short 30- to 50-yard runs, with Ryno getting after it. Brandon pushed up the drag lever to put a little more “heat” on the fish.

They still couldn’t get the marlin’s head turned. It continued swimming away from them. Ryno spent the last 20 minutes of the fight chasing and turning after the fish each time they got close, trying to get ahead of it.

Finally, Ryno told Brandon to try to grab the double line and ease it closer to the boat. On the first try, the marlin made another short run. The second time, Brandon got the fish within range of the swivel and was able to reach down and take a wrap on the leader.

Brandon held on as the fish dug in, dragging him back and forth across the transom, kicking up whitewater on each turn. Brandon lost count on how many times the marlin pulled him back and forth over the next 4-5 minutes. Sometimes he would stand his ground in the middle of the stern and turn the fish back to the other side.

Brandon was finally able to slowly pull the marlin up off the starboard corner. In the rough seas, Ryno got a bad gaff into the fish. The marlin lit-up and tried to jump away from them, but the gaff held.

Brandon grabbed the second fly-gaff and stuck it wherever he could. He got it placed so they could control the fish. They put a gaff under the jaw and grabbed the bill. They got a half-hitch around the bill and pulled the marlin aboard to end the hour-long fight. 

Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Richard his trip for free for catching a marlin over 500 pounds. Start Me Up Sportfishing also donated $300 to the Maui Police Department Relief Fund, as part of their continuing charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.