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Hinatea lands 2010’s third biggest marlin

By Staff | Mar 11, 2010

From left, Bill Palko-Schraa, Capt. Mark Shultz, Capt. Kevin McLaughlin, Gary Cline and Steve Woodmass with their 511.6-pound marlin caught on Hinatea.

LAHAINA — The Hinatea found themselves in the 500-pound marlin club with the third largest blue of the year to date — a 511.6-pound fish for the tag team efforts of Bill Palko-Schraa, Gary Cline and Steve Woodmass. They were fishing with Captains Mark Shultz and Kevin McLaughlin.

Mark went to the JJ-Buoy looking for tunas. After spending about an hour there with no tunas, birds or bait, Kevin set up the pattern for the troll across the Kaho‘olawe Shoals. About three miles from the buoy, Kevin heard some shouting from the deck, looked back and saw a splash behind the short rigger KK Maui “Little Willie” lure.

Kevin left the bridge and went to the rod just as the reel started to sing. The marlin took off down the pattern steadily pulling the 100-test line. Kevin got Bill in the chair as the fish came up jumping 60-70 yards away. It made some nice full body leaps then went down.

After about a 200-yard run, the marlin turned and came streaking across the port side of the boat 30-40 yards away underwater. Mark reversed the boat after the fish, going right around after the loop. It came up again 300 yards away, making 4-5 big jumps before heading deep.

Mark continued reversing after the marlin. Bill was starting to tire, so they switched out anglers. Mark slowed the boat, keeping both engines idled ahead, with Gary getting in the chair next. With the line straight down off the stern, Mark couldn’t back after the marlin. Kevin pushed up the drag as Mark worked the boat, trying to give Gary an angle to crank on the fish.

Gary got the marlin closer but ran into a bit of a stalemate after 10-15 minutes, so it was Steve’s turn. The marlin came up again real close to the boat about 30 yards away. They got a look at it as it came to double line.

The marlin took off on a short, 15- to 20-foot pull. Steve cranked the fish to leader. Kevin held on to the line as the marlin dragged him back and forth across the stern 5-6 times. He didn’t want to dump the leader but let go with one hand as the fish dug down, zipping out line as it pulled the leader through his glove, burning his hand.

Kevin could see that the marlin was barely hooked. Steve got the fish back to leader. Kevin pushed up the drag and then took wraps on the line. The marlin turned on the port side and came up, flipping over onto its side. Kevin took a few more wraps on the leader as he pulled and held on.

Mark idled the outside motor ahead and came off the helm to gaff. As the marlin flipped upright, Mark got it secured to end the 50-minute fight.