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Kai Akua marlin goes Richter

By Staff | Oct 14, 2010

From left, Joshua Galyean, Capt. Jeremy Webb and Capt. Steve Lambert with their 476.6-pound blue marlin caught aboard the Kai Akua. Photo by Donnell Tate.

LAHAINA — The Kai Akua moved up the Top Marlin stats with a 476.6-pound blue by Joshua Galyean. He was fishing with Captains Jeremy Webb and Steve Lambert.

They were heading back from the NASA-Buoy located off the southwest side of Lanai. As Jeremy crossed the 250-fathom ledge three miles off Kaumalapau Harbor, they raised a fish.

The marlin came in on the short corner position window-shopping for a moment. Jeremy saw some commotion behind the short corner lure as he was adjusting the long gone lure off the bridge. He kept watching but didn’t see a fish. A few seconds later, he saw a flash around the short rigger position.

Jeremy kept looking at the short rigger, spotting the tail of a marlin pop up right behind the “cracked mirror” Disco Ball lure. It raced right in and engulfed the lure. Jeremy shouted “Fish on,” and headed to the deck as Steve took over the helm. As soon as Jeremy got his hand on the reel, the rubber band snapped off the rigger.

The marlin didn’t take much line at first. Just the forward motion of the boat was pulling most of the 100-test line off the spool. The fish acted like it didn’t realize it was hooked. Steve put the boat into neutral, thinking it was a small fish. Once Joshua was situated in the chair, Steve gave the boat a little throttle.

All of a sudden, the marlin came up 100 yards away heading back toward them. It came in to about the long corner position, swimming with the boat, before it did anything.

The marlin then went Richter, greyhounding abeam of them about 80 yards away up the starboard side. Steve had the boat full throttle ahead, with the fish almost passing them up. It was jumping so fast, they thought it was a smaller 250-pound fish. Its stomach was hanging out of its mouth as it leaped out of the water.

It tried to cut in front of the boat, but turned and headed down 400 yards. Jeremy got back on the helm and after the marlin. They were on top of it in about 25 minutes. There was no movement from the fish. It was down and dirty, possibly dead.

For the next hour, they were straight up and down, with Joshua trying to work his fish upward. The 80-class rod was bent over the stern with 35-pounds of drag on the marlin. Joshua was in a bit of a stalemate. He wasn’t gaining any line, and Jeremy wanted to get a little more aggressive on it.

Steve started helping Joshua by hand-lining for about 10-15-feet, and then he let Joshua pump the marlin up. Steve continued to hand-line another 10-15 feet, slowly easing the fish up. This trade off went on for about a half hour.

The last ten minutes, the marlin seemed to finally give up and started to rise. When they got color on the fish, there was a glow below and then a shot of the belly, confirming the marlin was almost dead. It came up 30 feet off the starboard corner, slowly moving in the current with the boat.

Jeremy put the boat one engine ahead to give them a little forward motion. By the time Steve grabbed the leader, the marlin started to plane up with the bill breaking the surface 15-feet away. Jeremy went to neutral and came off the helm. Steve was pulling leader as fast as he could, trying to keep the leader tight as the marlin wavered across the surface.

Jeremy was waiting with the fly-gaff to secure their fish and end the hour-and-a-half fight.

Joshua did a great job, Steve said. He was getting tired, but never sensed he was going to quit.

Steve wanted to dedicate this marlin in memory of a close friend, Mike Waite. His brother, Chris, had just given him the “cracked mirror” Disco Ball lure that caught the fish. A big mahalo to Chris, and aloha to Mike.