Floater leads Kai Akua to stubborn marlin
LAHAINA — The Kai Akua made it into the top marlin stats for 2010 with a 431.8-pound blue by Conrad Perrault. He was fishing with Capt. Jeremy Webb and crewman Billy Burnett.
Jeremy was about four miles outside the MC-Buoy fishing a floater they had found. They picked up a few tuna and mahi before running out of bait. Billy set out three small lures as they made another pass by the floater. About a minute later, they had a marlin come in on the short corner side lure.
The fish grabbed the lure, swung around, made a full body jump out of the water and headed away from the boat. The marlin jumped out about 20 yards, then turned back around toward the boat. It made two full circles tail-walking right in the middle of the pattern real fast.
Jeremy had the boat throttled ahead to try to keep away from the fish. After tearing up the surface, the marlin settled down and disappeared, running out about 400 yards of 80-test line.
With only two lures in the water, Billy quickly got the lines cleared as Jeremy stayed ahead on the fish. Once Conrad settled into the fight, Jeremy began to reverse after the marlin. Over the next 15 minutes, Conrad was able to regain about 100 yards of line.
About 25 minutes into the fight, the marlin surfaced shaking its head, making a couple of more jumps before sounding 250 yards. Jeremy began to maneuver the boat on the fish, trying to plane it up as Conrad gained line. They had it to double line 20 minutes later.
As the marlin came up on the port side, Billy was able to grab the leader. The fish switched directions to starboard, and then headed back to the port side. Billy had to spin the chair to keep the fish off the stern, letting go of the leader.
The marlin pulled off about 50 yards down and out, and then stopped. It wasn’t ready to come in yet as it swam back and forth, so Jeremy decided to take his time and not rush things. They left the drag alone and tried to finesse the marlin closer. He began to slowly plane the fish upward, then reverse after it as Conrad gained line.
The marlin was stubborn, with Conrad in a give-and-take struggle. They finally had it back to double line 20 minutes later. It came up on the port side and settled in. Billy didn’t want to take wraps on the fish, so he hand-over-hand pulled it up to leader.
Once Billy had the marlin to the port corner, it headed to the starboard corner. He got a couple of more pulls on the leader as it crossed the stern before the line started to slip through his hands. As the marlin swam with the boat, Billy began to take wraps with both hands, getting the fish within gaff range. Jeremy was off the helm waiting to secure their catch to end the hour-and-ten-minute fight.