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Start Me Up Too hooks 393.8-pound blue marlin

By Staff | Mar 12, 2015

From left, Adam DeWenter, Capt. John Burke and deckman Ross Elkins with their 393.8-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up Too. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Too boated a 393.8-pound blue marlin for Adam DeWenter. He was fishing with Capt. John Burke and deckman Ross Elkins. This was John’s first day back charter fishing in about a year, with the “black marlin curse” finally broken for Ross.

They were heading toward the K-Buoy, located five miles off the southwest corner of Lanai, when John spotted a fish behind the long rigger position. Ross turned around as the marlin knocked the line down off the rigger, missing the hookup.

Ross went to the rod and free-spooled the Steve Elkins “Petralero” popsicle lure backwards, teasing the fish back up and hooking it on the drop-back. It was a solid hookup, in the eye and under the lower jaw, cinching the mouth shut.

The marlin pulled the 100-test line on a steady run just below the surface for about 300-400 yards, and then went ballistic. It made a few full body jumps and then started charging toward the boat, putting a big belly of line across the surface.

As John throttled the boat forward, the marlin veered off to the port side grey-hounding, getting about 150 yards away before it settled down. It was still taking so much line at that point that John started to reverse the boat after the belly in the line. With Adam settled in the chair, they started gaining some good line.

John chased the belly of line for about ten minutes before he had the fish straight behind the boat and the line tight. At that point, the marlin went down about 150 yards. It was swimming strong as they continued to slowly raise the fish and gain line.

As they got the marlin to double line, it decided to dig in and play stubborn. It was give and take, swimming back and forth for the next half hour, as the fish pulled off 10-15 yards past double line each time. John backed the boat up to it over a dozen times, with Adam regaining back to double line. He was a great angler, mentioned John.

With them in a give and take stalemate, John changed the attack. He started reversing the boat, doing tight 360s after the fish for over ten minutes, keeping the line a few feet off the stern. John was trying to use the swell to their advantage to get it to plane up at the right angle. Adam kept up the pressure, and they finally got the fish to leader.

Ross initially had the marlin at leader off the stern. He was locked in on the rail, holding on and trying to get more wraps. The fish wanted to dig down, kicking its tail as it swam along on its side, as John idled the boat ahead. Ross saw that it was hooked well and wasn’t going to let go.

Ross was finally able to get enough wraps on the line to pull the fish up and around to the port side. He called John down to secure their catch.