Start Me Up La Dat wins Halloween Shootout
LAHAINA — The Start Me Up La Dat won the eighth annual Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout, among 67 other teams, with a 377.4-pound blue marlin by Mike Vance. He was fishing with Captains Ryan “Ryno” Fiedorowicz and Brandon McKinley. Other members were team captain Rick Chaponot, Chip Fischer and Gordon Finlay.
With the 7 a.m. shotgun start from Lahaina, Ryno was a couple of miles outside K-Buoy right at the 9 a.m. low tide. He had just mentioned to the team that they were coming up on the buoy at tide change. Not more than a minute or two later, Brandon saw a boil on the long corner position and the long corner reel started stripping the 130-class line.
The marlin ran straight down the pattern about 300 yards. It never jumped, so they didn’t know how big it was. Ryno got after the fish pretty quick as they cleared lines. They weren’t in a real big hurry, just keeping their composure until they could see what they had going.
Mike cranked his fish to within 60 yards of the boat before it finally showed itself 10-15 minutes later. It jumped once, took off on a slow, steady run of about 100 yards, then went down. Ryno was in and out of reverse, depending on the angle of the line, keeping up with the marlin as it swam away.
A couple of times, the fish turned its head and came quickly toward the boat. Ryno thought they had lost the fish as the rod tip came up and the line went slack. He had to throttle the boat forward to get the line tight.
The marlin came up making some big head shakes and then took a little run. Ryno idled the boat after it as Mike picked up line. They had the drag to the top of the button, keeping the line on the reel. The fish was getting tired at that point.
Once they got the marlin’s head turned, it was about 50 yards away. They knew they had a shot at it. Ryno idled the boat down-seas as the fish followed them and started to rise.
About 3-4 minutes later, Mike cranked the marlin to leader. Brandon got the fish up in the middle of the stern. He took it to the port side, but as it moved to the starboard side it went underneath the boat.
Brandon shouted, “Go, go, go!” Ryno bumped the boat forward. The marlin came out from under the stern in the prop wash. Brandon brought the fish back to the starboard side. It was digging down, but he was able to take a few wraps and pull it up.
Once Rick secured their $57,800 catch, Brandon grabbed the bill. The hook was on the outside of the lower jaw, and the barb wasn’t even in the fish. With one finger, Brandon popped the hook right out.