Spring/summer wrap-up, Part I
LAHAINA – After a fantastic late winter/early spring big blue marlin bite, things shut down dramatically. It took until the middle of May for any billfish to show up, with only five blue marlin weighed. The spearfish dominated the rest of the month with eight weighed, bringing the monthly total to 13 billfish.
After 22 days without any type of billfish being caught, the Hinatea finally weighed a 412.6-pound blue by Jerry Guidish. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Wong and deckman Peter Wong.
They raised their fish on the 100-fathom ledge between the “Box” off the Olowalu side of Maui and Kaho’olawe. Peter saw the marlin come in on the short corner, knock the line down off the rigger, then fade back and swim over to the long corner position. Peter teased the marlin three different times without any action, with it finally grabbing the lure on the fourth try and hooking up. It took Jerry 50 minutes to land his fish using 130-class gear.
The Jun Ken Po weighed the largest blue marlin during May, and their third fish over 500 pounds for the year – this one coming in at 576.1 pounds by 17-year-old Nolan Johnson. He was fishing with Capt. Gabriel Rogers and deckman Dyllon Smith.
They were on a four-hour trip, making an ono run down to McGregor Point. Gabriel was heading back toward Lahaina, raising their marlin in 27 fathoms of water off Ukumehame. It was a two-hour-and-thirty-minute fight using 130-class gear.
June continued the slow billfish bite, with a few small blue and striped marlin showing up at the scales. By the end of the month, the switch was thrown, with three big blues (417.3, 500.0, 544.7) showing up during four days. The month saw six blue marlin weighed and three released. Three striped marlin and four spearfish added to the 16 billfish total.
The first blue was a 417.3-pounder by Kurt Casby aboard the Finest Kind. He was fishing with Capt. Dave Hudson and deckman Kenny Bauchman.
They were working the 100-fathom ledge off Palaoa Point on the southwest corner of Lanai. It was a long rigger bite, taking them 55 minutes using 80-class gear and 100-test line.
The next day, the Reel Hooker weighed a 500.0-pound blue by Ken O’Kennedy. He was fishing with Capt. Sal Tarantino and deckman Kenny Bauchman.
They were in 40 fathoms on the east side off Keomuku, abeam of Club Lanai, when they raised their fish on the short rigger position. It was a 45-minute fight using 80-class gear and 100-test line, with the marlin coming up tail-wrapped and backwards.
Two days later, the Finest Kind weighed a 544.7-pound blue marlin by Ken Moore. He was fishing with Capt. Dave Hudson and deckman Kenny Bauchman.
They had a late start on the charter, putting them in the right place at the right time. Dave was headed around the southeast corner of Lanai off Kamaiki Point. He was just outside the ledge in 150 fathoms of water when they raised their fish. It took them 75 minutes to land their fish using 80-class gear and 100-test line.