Kai Akua marlin puts on spectacular show
LAHAINA – The Kai Akua hung a nice blue marlin weighing 447.9 pounds by Billy Holsapple. He was fishing with Captains Gene Perkins Jr. and Ryan Thomas, with crewman Tony Boyle.
Gene was working some bait piles out near the 300-fathom ledge off the backside of Lanai. He turned down toward the 200-fathom ledge off the big slides. As he reached the ledge, Ryan saw a bill come up behind the short corner position and bill-whack the lure, but miss the hookup.
The marlin came over to the long corner position and lunged onto the lure, taking it to the center of the pattern. It then tail-walked back outside the pattern, turning in toward the starboard side. The fish jumped straight across the pattern, crossing the long rigger and long gone lines.
After the spectacular show, the marlin made a pretty good run, taking them deep into the Dacron backing. They saw it 20-30 seconds later, tail-walking 500 yards away into the distance off the port corner.
As Tony got Billy into the chair, Ryan had to uncross a couple of lines before he could clear the pattern. He quickly got everything cleaned up and straightened out, without the marlin getting cut off by all the lines.
Once the marlin settled down, it went deep, staying deep the entire fight. Gene reversed the boat after the fish for 45 minutes before they got back to the 130-test main line.
At that point, they had lost most of the angle, with Gene working the boat in and out of gear. With the reel in low speed, it was a tug of war for the next 15 minutes, with Billy getting line a couple of inches at a time. Gene bumped the boat forward every now and then, keeping the line tight.
As they got the marlin close, Ryan pushed up the drag to the button. He thumbed the spool to keep the line from rolling off the reel as Billy pumped the rod. Just that little extra pressure on the fish made the difference.
Once they finally saw the rubber band, Gene reversed the boat hard on the fish, with Billy getting some good cranks on it. As the marlin came up to double line, it surfaced swimming toward the starboard side. Gene backed the boat right to it.
At leader, the fish started thrashing around back and forth across the stern several times, head lunging out of the water. Ryan grabbed the leader, held on and walked it right up the starboard side. The marlin tried to dig under the boat, but Ryan just leaned forward and pulled it to the port corner. Gene had the boat idle ahead as the marlin planed up. He reached out and secured their catch.