Mokulele hooks 469.6-pound marlin close to home
LAHAINA — The Mokulele brought in a late-night marlin weighing 469.6 pounds by Mike Cattaneo. He was fishing with Capt. Chimo Shipp and Shannon Heid.
They left around 2 p.m. on a holo holo trip to the N-Buoy located 14 miles off the northeast corner of Molokai.
After baiting the buoy for awhile, they picked up a mahi. The sun was starting to go down, so they decided to head home. They were about three miles away when the centerline on the green stick came down hard.
The fish took off slow at first, then began to pick up speed. Chimo had 60 pounds of drag on the 130-class reel, so he knew they had a big fish hooked. The fish pulled off 200 yards and turned up the starboard side.
Mike put the reel in the starboard rod holder and got ready to crank.
Chimo throttled the boat ahead up-swell after the marlin. After about ten minutes, the marlin came up jumping about 50 feet away, going in front of the boat to the port side and cutting off the approach.
Chimo backed the boat around after the fish, following it in reverse for awhile, then turned the boat ahead and started chasing the line.
They still had 150 yards of line out as the marlin made multiple sets of jumps around in circles. It kept jumping back on itself and putting big loops of line across the water, landing on the 200-test line several times.
Mike picked up as much slack line as he could. After 20 minutes of surface activity, the marlin finally went down.
Chimo ended up on top of the fish. With Mike making no progress on the marlin, Chimo started hand-lining it up as Mike cranked, getting it turned toward the boat.
About five minutes later, as the swivel broke the surface, the marlin took off straight down 200 yards. Chimo turned on the deck spotlights so they could see the line.
Mike cranked his fish up to within 50 yards in about ten minutes before he ran into a bit of a stalemate. The marlin started making tight circles right under the boat.
With the rod bent over the starboard rail, Chimo maneuvered the boat ahead. It was a yo-yo, give-and-take, tug-of-war for Mike, with the fish between 25 and 50 yards deep as Chimo followed it around for 15-20 minutes.
The marlin finally showed signs it was getting tired. It came up right behind the boat slowly swimming into the darkness. Chimo headed the boat down-swell and got the marlin’s head turned to where the fish was moving with the boat.
The marlin came up the port side with the leader breaking the surface. Chimo left the boat idled ahead going down-swell, grabbed the swivel and took wraps on the leader. The marlin was pretty tired at that point. After Chimo’s second set of wraps, the fish rolled over, belly up.
Shannon had no fear at all as she jumped right in there with the fly-gaff to secure the marlin. Chimo mentioned that he has seen men hesitate on sticking a fish that size. Chimo pulled the marlin in a little closer so he could grab the bill.
Mike got a second gaff into the fish, but as it shook its head, the stick gaff broke. Chimo was able to grab the bill and get a couple of half hitches around it with the gaff rope to secure the head. Shannon was right there to subdue the marlin like it owed her money.