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Start Me Up Too lands 2010’s second biggest marlin

By Staff | Apr 1, 2010

From left, Kurt Ruttum, Capt. Denny Putnam and crewman Jukka Hyytia with their 519.4-pound blue marlin caught aboard the Start Me Up Too.

LAHAINA — The Start Me Up Too made the 500-pound marlin club — and weighed the second largest fish of the year to date — with a 519.4-pound blue by Kurt Ruttum. He was fishing with Capt. Denny Putnam and crewman Jukka Hyytia.

Denny headed out to the K-Buoy off the southwest corner of Lanai looking for mahi. As they got there, there was one boat already baiting the buoy. Another boat came by with lures, made one pass, switched to bait, worked the buoy for a few minutes and then left.

Denny made a perimeter pass with lures about 200 yards away, then decided to come in and bait the buoy. Denny came down off the helm to help Jukka clear lines. As he was bringing in the short rigger lure, right as the swivel got to the rod tip, a marlin came in and whacked the lure.

Denny told Jukka to drop back the dead aku they had rigged up in the box. As Jukka dropped in the aku, the marlin came back up on the bait.

Everyone watched as the marlin just sat there tracking the bait. Its mouth was wide open right behind the bait, moving its head from side to side, but wouldn’t grab it. All of a sudden, it disappeared.

 Denny worked the area for a little while but nothing happened, so he decided to go and get a live tuna. Jukka put out a spoon jig and a feather, and during their first pass by the buoy, they got a double tuna bite. One of the tuna came in gilled, but the other one was in good shape, so Jukka rigged it up and dropped it back to the short rigger position.

Denny wanted to put another tuna out, but the bait school was moving too quick. He decided to head back out to the spot where they had the marlin up. They pulled the aku around for about ten minutes, and about 200 yards from the down-current side of the buoy, right when they got to the spot… WHAM!

 The marlin grabbed the bait and started ripping out the 100-test line. Denny told Jukka that the fish was probably foul hooked and to lock up the reel. The marlin ran out 200 yards, staying on the surface, and then slowed.

Denny reversed the boat after the fish as Kurt kept up the pace cranking. They had it within 75 yards of the boat in about 20 minutes. At that point, the marlin went ballistic, making full body leaps and coming straight out of the water like a missile.

The marlin settled down and took off again on a 150- to 200-yard run. Denny had the boat in hard reverse for several minutes, trying to keep the fish close. Once the marlin headed down, they started to work it back up.

The marlin found a “ceiling” it liked and settled in at about 150-200 feet deep as it swam away. Kurt was in a yo-yo/tug-of-war, with the fish taking 20 feet and Kurt regaining it back. Kurt worked the marlin for about 20 minutes, finally getting it to double line.

The marlin was swimming strong away from the boat all “lit-up.” Denny told Jukka not to grab the double line because the fish was still too “green.”

Finally, they were able to get the fish turned toward the boat. Jukka pushed up the drag as Denny idled the boat ahead trying to plane the marlin up. As Denny got an angle on it, he quickly reversed toward it with Kurt gaining 20-25-feet.

The marlin was dogging them as it came to leader. The first time to leader, Jukka grabbed the line, but the marlin was still “lit-up” swimming strong. He let the leader go as the fish dug down under the boat back to double line. Denny motored away from the fish.

A couple of minutes later, Kurt had the marlin back to leader. Jukka grabbed the leader, and hand-over-hand, planed the fish up the port side. He took wraps on the line as Denny came off the helm to secure their catch, ending the hour-long fight.

The marlin was foul hooked. The leader had gone through the mouth and under the chin, with the hook sticking in the opposite side outside of the lower jaw.

 Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Kurt his trip for free for catching a marlin over 500 pounds. They also donated $300 to Women Helping Women as part of their continuing charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.