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Hinatea lands stubborn 383.6-pound marlin

By Staff | Oct 13, 2011

LAHAINA – The Hinatea picked up a nice marlin on an afternoon four-hour trip, with Mike Nile cranking on a 383.6-pound blue. He was fishing with Captains Mark Shultz and Kevin McLaughlin.

Mark left Lahaina and headed straight out toward the LA-Buoy marks located 12 miles off Olowalu. There had been reports of lots of birds and it looked good. Mark got out past the marks, spotted some birds and began working the area.

The marlin came up from inside the pattern and turned out, lunging on the Coggin “Bear” lure. Kevin was in the tower looking at the short corner lure when he shouted, “Whoa – nice fish!” Mark turned around to see the marlin jumping out of the water right at the short corner position on the second wave.

Kevin was thinking that was a nice bite as he scrambled down from the tower. He got Mike in the chair and started clearing lines. The marlin pulled off 250 yards of 100-test line, jumping the entire way.

It kept going, and going, and going, mentioned Mark, putting on a great show for a couple of minutes before it finally slowed down. The marlin then turned and started coming right back at the boat. The line went slack, and Mark thought the marlin had come off. After a few seconds, the line came tight again, and they were still hooked up as the fish sounded.

With the fish down deep, Mark just kept the boat idle neutral as Mike cranked in the line. Then, all of a sudden, there the fish was. It was to leader in only ten minutes. Mark called out, “Kevin, get my gloves. It’s here.”

Kevin grabbed the leader and took a pull. The marlin came up quick and jumped a couple of times to the port side, so he let go of the line. The fight was on at that point. It was like the marlin just woke up.

The marlin went down 150 yards and stopped. It was a give-and-take tug-of-war for awhile for Mike. Every time they had it close to the boat, it would take off again, 40-50 yards straight down. It did this at least a half-dozen times over the next hour.

Mike was starting to tire, so Kevin got in the chair. The marlin began to circle the boat clockwise, with Mark slowly spinning the boat with it, trying to keep it off one side. After a while, the fish turned and started going in the other direction.

Kevin got the marlin close to the boat to double line in about 20 minutes, only to have it pull out 20-30-yards. The next time he had it up, the marlin made a couple of jumps straight for the boat. Kevin picked up the slack line before it sounded down 50 yards. He struggled to pull it up – even with all the pressure he had on the fish and the 100-test line. The marlin was stubborn and making some radical pulls.

The next time Kevin had the marlin to leader, he unhooked the fighting harness to get out of the chair. He climbed out to put the rod in the starboard gunnel so he could leader the fish. He was having a hard time getting the rod in the holder. By the time he got the rod set, the fish had pulled more line out past the double.

Kevin had to grab the rod and get back in the chair. The marlin was starting to feel a little tired at that point, so he decided to get Bill Salazar in the chair to hold the rod. Kevin got a couple of more cranks and the fish back to leader. Bill grabbed the rod and held on.

The marlin rolled and came right at the boat toward the starboard side. Kevin grabbed the leader as the marlin tried to dig down under the stern. Kevin took wraps on the line and had to force it up as it came over to the port corner. He followed it as it cut back across to starboard, then back to port. That’s where Mark was waiting and was able to get the fish secured. All that was left was pulling it into the boat.