Start Me Up Das It jumps to top of marlin leaderboard
LAHAINA — The Start Me Up Das It brought in the largest marlin of the year to date: a 700.5-pound blue by local boy Ursus Kapule. He was fishing with Capt. Randy Evans and crewman John French.
Randy had been working the shoals side of the SO-Buoy located off the west end of Kaho’olawe all morning, picking up a mahi. As they headed back toward Maui, about two miles from the buoy, they had a marlin bite, with it taking 100 yards before coming off.
They had done an ash scattering the day before at the end of the ledge, so John mentioned to Randy that they should troll back by the spot. They were about three-quarters-of-a-mile away when the short corner line came down hard out of the clip.
Randy saw the marlin hit the lure then drop back behind it, spin around and come back up behind the lure and engulf it. The fish turned and ran straight down the middle of the pattern, screaming out the 130-test line.
The marlin ran out about 200 yards, then started thrashing across the surface in a circle going crazy. It disappeared and took another 300 yards in a hurry. John cleared the starboard short side first. As soon as it was cleared, Randy backed the boat around the port long side of the pattern toward the fish.
The marlin was still taking line, with the spool getting smaller and smaller.
About 500 yards away, the fish started jumping again, pulling off another 100 yards before settling down. As Ursus cranked the handle, all of a sudden it got easy as the marlin charged toward the boat, and the line went slack. They thought they had lost the fish.
Randy throttled the boat ahead full speed for at least 300 yards before the line came tight and the rod bowed. The marlin turned and headed in the opposite direction. Randy had the boat back in reverse as he chased after the marlin, with Ursus getting most of the line back pretty quick. With the fish about 100 yards out, it started making large circles around the boat.
Randy got straight up and down on the marlin, with it pulling out another 100 yards. Randy idled away from the fish to get an angle on it. The marlin made another 300-yard run, then turned and came right back at the boat.
Randy kept the boat motored ahead as Ursus regained all that line back. Thirty minutes into the fight, with the marlin within 100 yards, it started circling the boat again. The first time they got a look at the fish, it was swimming away just outside double line, continuing to make big, slow circles. Randy had the boat in idle reverse as Ursus cranked his fish to double line about ten minutes later.
The marlin decided to dig in, getting Ursus into a stalemate, give-and-take as it continued to circle the boat. Randy kicked the stern around after the marlin as it pulled off 40- to 50-yard runs, with Ursus gaining it right back each time. Randy stayed after the fish, keeping the line right at the port corner.
The first time to leader, the marlin came up off the port corner and started swimming back and forth across the stern. John was able to reach out and grab leader. As soon as the fish felt the extra tension on the line, it took off the other way under the corner. John followed the marlin across to the starboard side, dumping the line.
The marlin swam out 10-15 yards and stopped. It started circling the boat again, looking like it might come back up on the starboard side. As it circled around, Ursus cranked the fish back to leader. John pushed up the drag.
As soon as the swivel came out of the water, John took a wrap on the leader with his right hand, then one with his left. As the marlin popped up, John took a double wrap with his left hand. The fish tried to go under the port corner. John was getting stretched out, with the marlin turning on its side.
John was finally able to turn the marlin’s head out, with it popping up right along the side of the boat. Randy was right there waiting with the gaff. John reached down and grabbed the marlin’s bill as they subdued their catch. John held the gaff rope as Randy got the stern door open, and everyone hauled the beast aboard.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Ursus his trip for free. They also donated $300 to A Keiki’s Dream as part of their ongoing continuing charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.
This marlin was 11 feet, eight inches from tip to tip, with a 31-inch half shoulder and anal girth.