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Exact jumps to top of 2015 blue marlin stats

By Staff | Apr 9, 2015

Brent Bennett (left) and Capt. Dave Benko caught this 788.2-pound blue marlin aboard Exact. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Exact boated a record-sized blue marlin weighing 788.2 pounds by Brent Bennett. He was fishing with Captains Dave Bensko and Jamie V.

Dave made the 40-fathom ledge ono run down the south side of Lanai to the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner. When he got to the light, there were several other boats working the area for ono and mahi. Dave decided to head outside the light to the 100-fathom ledge past the traffic jam and see what was there.

As they made it across the 100-fathom ledge, Jamie switched out the ono lures for a couple of Kona plugs. No sooner had Jamie dropped back the long corner lure then they got a strike. They never saw the fish jump as it pulled off the 130-test line in a steady scream. The way the fish was acting at first, they thought it might be a nice-sized tuna.

A marlin came up 100 yards away, windshield wiping its bill as it pushed a wake across the surface away from them. The fish put a big belly of line across the water as it turned away from the boat. The marlin pulled out at least half-a-spool of line as Dave aggressively reversed the boat after the belly of line.

They had the marlin back to the long corner mark in about 15-20 minutes.

With the drag lever to the strike button, the fish started to sound, taking them steadily straight down for 400 yards before it finally stopped. Dave reversed the boat right over to the fish.

Every time Dave got a little scope on the fish, he planned the fish upward, with Brent gaining a few yards at a time. The marlin was down and dirty for at least 15 minutes in a stalemate. Jamie had the reel in low gear trying to get Brent a few cranks and stop the fish. Jamie thumbed the spool to try to slow the line loss.

Once Brent started to get some good cranks, then they knew it was slowly coming up. There was still a lot of line out as they worked the fish for the next 25 minutes. Dave idled the boat forward, in and out of gear, as he continued to keep pressure on the fish and plane it up. He started doing circles around the marlin for a while, trying to switch things up as he maneuvered the boat after it.

An hour into the fight, they finally saw color as the marlin came up off the starboard corner. It was pretty much done at leader, dead weight. The fish was down and showing no signs of movement. Dave put the boat into neutral as Jamie slowly, hand over hand, wrapped and pulled, wrapped and pulled, hauling the 13.75-foot fish up.

After getting the marlin secured, they tried to tie it off across the swimstep, but it was too long and girthy for the 11-foot beam of the boat. They were finally able to pull it over the rail on the starboard side.

This marlin placed the Exact into the 700-pound club and at the top of the blue marlin stats to start off the season. It is also the 23rd largest marlin weighed by a Lahaina Charter Sportfishing boat since 1982, and 39th for all fishing boats weighing in Lahaina Harbor since 1972.