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Lahaina Harbor’s top billfish stats for 2012

By Staff | Jan 31, 2013

John Keiley (left) and Capt. Jason Duby caught two sailfish in one trip.

LAHAINA – Of the 18 charter boats out of Lahaina Harbor, there were four that weighed the majority of the 23 big blues during the year.

The Start Me Up Again had four at 601.8, 535.3, 450.1 and 437.6 pounds. The Finest Kind also hung four at 760.3, 533.1, 450.6 and 419.4 pounds. Both the Start Me Up Das It and Ikaika Kai landed three each. The Start Me Up Das It had 515.6, 482.0 and 457.5-pounders, with the Ikaika Kai landing 915.0, 536.4 and 522.4-pounders.

There were nine Lahaina Charter boats and three recreational boats that weighed those 23 blue marlin over 400 pounds. Eleven were in the 400- to 500-pound range; and 12 were over 500 pounds, with four of those over 600 pounds.

The best month for big blues was during April with five hitting the scales (601.8, 522.4, 482.0, 419.4, 415.8). The best week was also in April during a five-day period, with 610.8, 482.0 and 415.8-pounders weighed.

It was basically a winter, spring big blue bite. January had four (567.5, 467.6, 459.8, 450.1). March had four (760.3, 533.1, 457.5, 409.8). April had five, and May had four (536.4, 535.3, 515.6, 471.2).

From left, Wendy Rose, deckman James Blanton and Capt. Bob Schnoor won the Spring Wahine Tournament with this 170.3-pound striped marlin. PHOTOS BY DONNELL TATE.

Of those 23 blue marlin over 400 pounds, their favorite lures were the Softhead, with five liking what they saw. Steve Elkins “Popsicle” lures captured four big blues.

The best place to run those lures was on the short corner position (seven fish caught). The long corner and long rigger positions hooked six fish each, the short rigger had two, and the long gone position had one.

The 50- to 60-pound test line captured two fish, with 13 fish on 100-test and seven on 130-test.

The time of day hook-up numbers were a little skewed, because the majority of the charters are morning trips between 5:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. There were two caught from 6 to 8 a.m., five from 8 to 10 a.m. and six from 10 a.m. to noon. For fighting times, there were nine between 30-60 minutes, eight between one and two hours, five from two to three hours and one over six hours.

There were 72 blue marlin weighed and nine tagged or released, bringing the yearly total of blue marlin to 81 during 2012. The best month was July, with 11 weighed and three tagged or released. March and May each had nine blue marlin.

There were 52 striped marlin weighed and 20 tagged or released, bringing the yearly total to 72 fish. The best month was February with 23 weighed and five tagged or released for a monthly total of 28 fish.

The Genesis took first place during Lahaina Yacht Club’s Spring Wahine Tournament with a record-sized striped marlin, weighing 170.3 pounds by Wendy Rose. She was fishing with Capt. Bob Schnoor and deckman James Blanton.

The marlin grabbed the Steve Elkins Jr. Popsicle lure on the long rigger position and took off jumping, screaming out the 100-test line from an 80-class reel. It took Wendy 50 minutes to land her record fish.

Wendy’s striped marlin is the largest by a wahine angler since I started keeping stats in 1983. It is also the sixth largest documented striped marlin for Lahaina and Maalaea Harbors. The Lahaina and Maalaea Harbor record is 188.4 pounds from 2006.

There were 74 shortnose spearfish weighed and nine tagged or released, bringing the yearly total to 83 fish. The best month was February, with 14 weighed and six tagged or released for a monthly total of 20 fish. May also saw 20 spearfish weighed.

The largest spearfish weighed 58.1 pounds aboard the Start Me Up with Capt. Timster Putnam and deckman Chris Kiser. It was an 11-minute fight using 50-test line. This spearfish is the tenth largest for Lahaina Harbor since 1983. The Lahaina Harbor record is 71.6 pounds from 2001.

There were four rare sailfish that found their way to the scales. (33.7, 50.5, 59.7, 65.1). The Start Me Up Again landed a record, very rare two sailfish. The largest one weighed 59.7 pounds, with another 50.5-pound fish by Capt. Jason Duby and deckman John Keiley.

The last time a double sailfish catch was recorded in Lahaina Harbor aboard a single boat was May 1993 aboard the Hinatea. It has only happened six times since 1989, also aboard the Absolute, Judy Ann II, Mano Kela, and Secnarf. Since 1979, there have been only 77 sailfish recorded in Lahaina Harbor.