Lahaina Harbor summer fishing highlights
LAHAINA — The summer marlin fishing out of Lahaina Harbor started off slow, with only seven caught both May and June. Only a half-dozen of them were blue marlin.
July was the best month for big blue marlin with nine being weighed and another released. Out of those fish, five of them ranged from 432.0 to 641.0 pounds. Of the nine blues weighed, eight were female. Three spearfish brought the monthly billfish total to 13.
July was also an excellent month for both mahi and ono, with 182 mahi and 274 ono caught among the fleet.
August was the best month to date for total billfish with 19 blue marlin, two striped marlin and five spearfish landed. Eight of the blue marlin that were sexed were smaller males.
The ono run shut down, but there was an explosion of mahi hitting the docks on a daily basis during August. There were at least 1,000 landed, with most in the 10- to 15-pound range.
The 31-foot Bertram Exact jumped to the top of the marlin leader board for the year-to-date for Maui County with a 725.2-pound blue by Bryant Kurz. He was fishing with Captains Chad Leonillo and Sal Tarantino.
Bryan boated his fish in an hour using 100-test line. They raised the marlin in 130 fathoms of water south of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai. It was caught on a Seth Kizel bullet lure from the short rigger position.
The marlin was 13’5” long with a 10’6” short length. It had a 34-inch half shoulder girth, a 30-inch half-anal girth and a 16.5-inch caudal circumference.
The Exact brought another monster marlin to the scales, weighing a 706.3-pound blue by Jim Honniball. He was fishing with Captain Sal Tarantino and deckman Jimmy Francis. This marlin is the second largest of the year for Maui County. It was 12’6” long with a 31-inch half shoulder width.
The first day of summer saw the Die Hard land the largest striped marlin of the year-to-date, weighing 98.3 pounds by Wyatt Loft. He was fishing with Capt. Fuzzy Alboro and crew Leo Vendiola.
The Jayhawk weighed the largest spearfish so far coming in at 55 pounds. Capt. Steve Schulz was at the helm with crewmen Billy Burnett and Shadow.
The Joyces Choice landed a rare sailfish, weighing 50.1 pounds, by Russell Brown. He was fishing with Capt. Steve Elkins and crewman Bobby Lozoff. This was the first sailfish since July 5, 2009.
The Finest Kind had a nice yellowfin tuna day, weighing the largest of the year-to-date at 164.3 pounds, along with a 158.3-pounder, the third largest. Richard Behey was fishing with Capt. Chad Leonillo and crewman Jimmy Francis.
The Die Hard weighed the largest mahi to date, topping the scales at 57.1 pounds by Everett Godfrey. He was fishing with Capt. Paulie Luuwai and crewman Andy Payne.
A 55.5-pound ono by Greg Didonato topped the stats in that category so far this year. He was fishing aboard the Reel Hooker with Capt. Greg France and crewman Peter Wong.
Capt. Denny Putnam found a nice 44-pound barracuda (kaku) around the Mokuhooniki Rock at Molokai, fishing aboard the Start Me Up Das It with crewman Rich Lynch.
This year’s 32nd Spring Wahine Fishing Tournament was held Saturday and Sunday during the May Day weekend. Fifty-one wahine fished aboard 15 boats, with 25 wahine catching 41 fish from 12 of the boats. There was one short-nosed spearfish weighing 38.2 pounds, 16 mahi totaling 294.0 pounds, 16 ono totaling 373.1 pounds and 48.2 pounds of assorted tuna weighed for a grand total of 753.5 pounds.
This year’s winner was aboard the Hale Aloha, with Elena Hickey weighing the 38.2 pound spearfish with husband Ed Hickey and crewman Kimo Hodgins. She also landed the second largest fish, a 34.5-pound ono.