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Start Me Up Marlin puts on spectacular aerial show

By Staff | Jul 28, 2011

From left, Bud Hamrick, Capt. Timster Putnam (back) and crew Chris Kiser with their 548.8-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up.

LAHAINA — It was a “three-peat” for the Start Me Up, Capt. Timster Putnam and crewman Chris Kiser, boating their third blue marlin over 500 pounds in a three-week span. This fish weighed 548.8 pounds by Bud Hamrick.

They were on an afternoon four-hour trip. Timster was headed out past the LA-Buoy marks where all the big marlin had been caught. First, he made an ono run down to Ukumehame and then turned out, heading to the ledge. They were about three miles outside where the LA marks were before turning toward Lanai for a couple of miles.

Timster was talking to the charter about the 647-pounder they caught two weeks earlier on an afternoon charter, and that they had their bite at 2 p.m. Timster looked at his watch and noticed that it was exactly 2 p.m. About 15 minutes later, they got a bite three miles down the ledge.

The long rigger line came hard out of the clip, with the 130-class reel taking off. The marlin made a steady run for about 600 yards before popping up off the port side. It got real aerial way the heck out there, mentioned Timster. It was so far away that it didn’t look that big.

The marlin made a lot of jumps, a dozen or more times in several series, before it finally settled down. Chris had one side of the pattern cleared so Timster could begin to back after the fish. Just watching the marlin putting on such an aerial display was a treat — it was spectacular, said Chris.

Timster reversed the boat after the loop, until he was straight on the fish off the port side. He couldn’t get too aggressive after the marlin because of the seas. The fish stayed up near the surface, tired from the run and all its jumps.

Chris pushed up the drag to 40 pounds of pressure and dropped the reel into low gear. Timster steadily backed to the marlin as Bud got into a rhythm and gradually worked it in, a crank at a time.

A couple of hundred feet from the boat, all of a sudden it got easier for Bud to crank. Timster idled the boat ahead to keep the line tight. The marlin came up 50 yards away and made a short 50-yard run. Bud got the line back in a couple of minutes, only to lose it to another 50-yard run. Bud stuck with it, stayed nice and calm, and listened to Chris, keeping his rhythm going.

They got the marlin to double line with it angled away from the boat off the port side. As Bud cranked it to leader, Chris grabbed the line, locked into the corner and held on. Timster went one engine ahead, with the marlin turning toward the boat.

Chris took his wraps and pulled the fish up. Timster was right there to secure their catch, ending the 31-minute fight. For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Bud his trip for free and made a $300 donation to charity.