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Start Me Up joins 600-pound marlin club

By Staff | Aug 5, 2010

From left, crewman Gabe Rogers, Jason Hayner, Capt. Timster Putnam and Crew Capt. Hunter Betts with their 641.0-pound blue marlin caught aboard the Start Me Up.

LAHAINA — The Start Me Up joined the 600-pound marlin club for the year with a 641.0-pound blue by Jason Hayner. He was fishing with Capt. Timster Putnam, Crew Capt. Hunter Betts and Gabe Rogers.

They were coming up on the LA-Buoy located ten miles south off Olowalu. Timster was below, inside the cabin, talking to his charter. As he faced the back deck, something caught his eye, and he looked out into the pattern.

He shouted out, “Holy smokes — look at that!”

A wall of water appeared right where the long rigger lure was. It looked like water rolling off the deck of a submarine as it surfaced. It was an “attention-getter,” mentioned Timster.

Timster ran out onto the back deck. The marlin came in on the lure and missed it. The second try, missed again. The third try, it had its mouth wide open as it engulfed the lure, hooking itself in the roof of the mouth by the trailing hook.

 The marlin ran off 500 yards of 130-test line before it started jumping. It put on quite a show for almost a minute before it started to tire and settled down deep.

Timster reversed the boat after the fish as quick as he could before he began to lose the angle. Timster started to slowly plane the marlin upward, going forward then back, forward then back, helping Jason raise the fish. He stayed after the marlin for about an hour before Jason had it to double line.

As the marlin came up to leader on the starboard side, it began swimming side to side across the stern. As Hunter grabbed the leader, the fish dug out to the port side. Hunter almost dumped the leader, but he turned the marlin back toward the boat and took a wrap.

Hunter followed the marlin from corner to corner, beating it to the corner at each turn, and taking another wrap. With Gabe driving the chair, after 6-8 crossings, Hunter held tight at the starboard corner and pulled the fish up the side. Timster got a securing gaff, with Gabe following it up with a second one.

For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Jason his trip for free. They also donated $300 to the Lahaina Baptist Church Youth as part of their continuing charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.