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Jayhawk joins the 500-pound club and marlin leader board

By Staff | Oct 2, 2014

From left, Brian Graham, Adam Quinn and Capt. Steve Schulz with their 572.9-pound marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Jayhawk joined the top marlin stats and the 500-pound club with a blue weighing 572.9 pounds by Brian Graham. He was fishing with Captains Steve Schulz and Adam Quinn.

They had been out to the SO-Buoy off the southwest corner of Kahoolawe and were heading across the 300-fathom ledge toward the K-Buoy on the southwest corner, five miles off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai. Steve saw a nice bird pile about halfway across and started working it.

They saw the marlin come in from the starboard side across the pattern toward the short corner position. It looked big, said Steve – big shoulders.

It grabbed the lure, turned and took off toward the port side, greyhounding and tail-walking back and forth for a while trying to shake the hooks.

It went down for a few seconds then reappeared, shoulder dancing like a Brahma bull, and then disappeared, coming back up in the center of the pattern, working the surface in a spray of whitewater. It headed down the pattern, ripping off the 100-test line for 500 yards, before they got the rest of the lines cleared. The fish settled down.

Adam stayed on the helm as Steve headed to the deck to help Brian. Adam switched the engines into the trolling valve position and started to reverse after the marlin. Steve pushed up the drag to “sunset,” and they went after it. Brian kept a lot of pressure on the fish as they started to gain line.

The marlin went deep, and they started to lose the angle on the line. The fish would give a kick every now and then, taking a little line. Nothing dramatic – just zipping off the spool. After about an hour, the marlin felt like it had died. They were at a stalemate. Brian couldn’t lift or crank, as the line began to slowly “ping” off the spool. To try and lift up the dead weight, they began to plane the fish upward.

Adam idled the boat single engine ahead, pulling the head of the marlin up and forward. Then, after several yards, reversed on the line as Brian packed the spool. They turned on the side scanning sonar, aimed it downward and were able to pick up the marlin at just over 200 yards deep. For the next two hours, they continued the planing and tried going in circles around it to change things up, gradually working it toward the surface.

They kept a good angle on the fish and it square off the stern. Steve put a rubber band on the line to see how much the marlin would take out, and how much they would regain during the planing, trying to get the rubber-band back on the spool and then some.

They continued to monitor the marlin with the sonar, following it to about 120 feet deep. The fish was straight up and down off the stern. As the marlin got closer, it started to float toward the surface, with Brian gaining a lot of line in a hurry.

As it got about 50 feet from the surface, they could just see it through the crystal clear water. Adam put the boat to neutral, and Brian cranked it to double line. The marlin was pretty much dead as it popped up 20 feet behind the boat. Adam backed the boat up to the marlin as Steve pulled in the leader. Adam got a securing gaff into the fish, Steve grabbed the bill and they pulled it through the stern door.

Adam mentioned that when they looked at the chart plotter after the fight, it looked like an EKG, with all the forward and reverse angles during the three hours of planing.