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Miss Mojo finds marlin near LA-Buoy

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

From left, Johanna Carlton, Capt. Tio Kearney and deckman Mike Nesbitt with their 452.2-pound blue marlin caught aboard Miss Mojo.

LAHAINA — The Miss Mojo, from Kona, was in town for a week, with owner Paul Carlton, wife Johanna, and kids doing some fishing. At the helm was Capt. Tio Kearney and deckman Mike Nesbitt, with Johanna landing a 452.2-pound blue marlin.

They were on their way to Manele Bay, Lanai, for the night, with Tio heading south toward the LA-Buoy. Just as they were crossing the 100-fathom ledge with the buoy in sight, they raised the fish.

Tio saw the marlin come in on the short corner Steve Elkins “Popsicle” lure. It grabbed the lure, ran out real slow to the stinger line position and just sat there for a minute. Tio stopped the boat and watched as the fish started “windshield wiping” its bill, throwing up a lot of whitewater.

By that time, Paul and Mike had the rest of the pattern cleared and Johanna in the chair. Tio started backing the boat with some good throttle right after the fish. The marlin suddenly realized it was hooked up and took off.

The marlin turned and made a big loop as it jumped close, right up the port side of the boat, for about 200 yards. Tio spun the boat right after the fish, as Johanna cranked the loop out in about 5-6 minutes. The line zipped across the surface as it came tight on the rod.

Tio kept after the fish as Johanna had the marlin at 50 yards in about 15 minutes. The last 30 minutes, Johanna was in a back-and-forth, tug-of-war with her fish just past leader. After a while, it began to head straight down, pulling line off the spool real slow, like a death dive.

Mike had some serious drag on the marlin. Johanna is an excellent angler with an experienced technique on lifting a big fish. Several minutes later, it came back toward the surface, flashing its colors.

Mike anxiously waited for the swivel. Each time he tried to grab the leader, the marlin kept taking short yanks of line as it dug down with its head. As soon as Mike had a shot, he grabbed leader. The fish was doing switchbacks off the stern, as he grabbed and pulled it upward.

The marlin came up done off the port side. Once Mike pulled its head up, it rolled over, making it easy for Paul to secure. As the marlin was being tied off, it had a second wind and tried to tail-walk up the side. Luckily, it was synched down tight enough to hold it. After a little persuasion, the fish was subdued.