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Top blue marlin stats for 2014, Part II

By Staff | Jan 15, 2015

From left, Capt. Steve Cravens, Nick Herrick, Gehrick Dickson and deckman Chris Kiser landed this 585.2-pound marlin.

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 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.

June continued the slow billfish bite with a few small blue 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.

The Finest Kind weighed a nice 544.7-pound blue marlin by Ken Moore during that run. He was fishing with Captains Dave Hudson and Kenny Bauchman.

The end of summer finished the way it started, with only five blue marlin weighed and another two released during August.

From left, Nolan Johnson, deckman Dyllon Smith and Capt. Gabriel Rogers caught this 576.1-pound blue.

The Finest Kind added another 500-pound marlin to the top blue stats in August, this one weighing 568.8 pounds by Nicola Colombo. He was fishing with Captains Chad Leonillo and Kenny Bauchman.

The May through August billfish totals saw 18 blue marlin weighed and another nine released, totaling 27 fish. Four of the blues were in the 500-pound range (576.1, 568.8, 544.7, 500.0) with four in the 400-pound range (437.8, 428.3, 417.3, 412.6).

September saw the Jayhawk join 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.

The Start Me Up made the 500-pound marlin stats in October with a 585.2-pound blue by the tag team of Nick Herrick and Gehrick Dickson. They were fishing with Captain Steve Cravens and deckman Chris Kiser. Steve had just gotten back in town after 25 months on the Mainland, and this was his first trip out.

October saw the Finest Kind place their third fish into the 500-pound marlin stats, with Jim Ellis weighing a 533.4-pound blue. He was fishing with Captains Chad Leonillo and Kenny Bauchman.

This 572.9-pounder was caught by, from left, Brian Graham and Captains Adam Quinn and Steve Schulz.

The September through December billfish totals saw 29 blue marlin weighed and another six released, totaling 35 fish. Three of the blues were in the 500-pound range (585.2, 572.9, 533.4) with two 400-pounders (447.9, 411.2).

The yearly blue marlin totals saw 82 weighed and 21 released, bringing the total to 103 fish. It was a below average year for total blue marlin over the past five years, but a good year for big blues with 25 over 400 pounds. There were four 600-pounders, nine 500-pounders and 12 400-pounders. There were also 18 blues in the 300-pound range.

What did the big girls like to eat? Steve Coggin lures tempted four of the top blues, with a Rainbow jet hooking one, and his blue-back abalone jet snagging three. The rest were on an assortment of lures.

The best place to run those productive lures was the long corner position, with ten fish taking that bait. The long gone snagged five, with the long rigger seeing four, and the short corner and short rigger positions with two each. One fish was on bait.

Anglers used 60-pound test line to capture one big blue. Another 16 were taken on 100-pound test, and eight were cranked in using 130-pound test line.

The time of day hook-up numbers may be a little skewed, because the majority of the charters out of Lahaina are morning trips that run between 5:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. From 6 to 10 a.m., 14 blues were hooked-up. From 10 a.m. to noon, eight were hooked-up.

Three of the fish had angling times of 20 to 30 minutes. Eleven of the fish had fighting times between 30 to 60 minutes. Another seven took from 60 minutes to two hours, with three over two hours.