Start Me Up Cuz joins 600-pound marlin stats
LAHAINA – Another big blue marlin hit the scales – this one weighing 674.5 pounds by 16-year-old Tyler Hwang. He was fishing with Capt. Steve Carroll and deckman Dyllon Smith aboard the Start Me Up Cuz.
The plan was to troll down the middle of the Kealaikahiki Channel between Kahoolawe and Lanai, out past the K-Buoy, and then head back inside toward the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai. As they got to the 200-fathom ledge off the end of the Manele Bay Golf Course, Dyllon heard the rubber band on the long rigger rod snap. Not seeing the strike, the fish grabbed the Steve Elkins “Mambusa” lure, taking out the 100-test line at a fast steady pace.
Steve looked back to see a marlin going crazy on the surface about 350 yards away. It never took more than 100 yards of Dacron backing, with about 500 yards of line out before it settled down.
Once the lines were cleared, Steve had the boat in and out of reverse, as Tyler started to crank in his fish. All of a sudden, as he watched the line, he realized that the marlin had swung out wide and turned up the port side. It had passed them and was up in front of the boat.
Steve spun the boat 180 degrees and had both engines in reverse after the marlin. He finally caught up with it, going into the current, giving him limited options to work the fish. The marlin went down around 300 yards and stopped.
Steve spun the boat to where he kept the fish swimming toward them, off the starboard side, instead of trying to chase it in reverse. The marlin kept zigzagging behind the boat. Every time Steve tried to back down after the fish, it would spin around and do circles. If Steve tried to circle with the fish, it would sit there, dig down and continue to circle, not letting them get up on it. It took them a half hour to get the fish to deep color.
Steve tried to keep forward of the marlin off the starboard corner. Once he got in front of it, the fish would swim out wide, taking line off the reel, but wouldn’t take more than 50 yards. It would then come in close, letting Tyler get the line right back, as it swam across to the other side of the boat.
The marlin kept up this maneuver for 35-40 minutes as they had it at deep color 30 feet below the boat. Tyler did a great job working the fish and getting line back on the spool. The marlin was a little tough coming up, with Tyler starting to tire.
Steve didn’t want to have to reverse the boat to leader the fish up. He wanted to be able to go in one direction – the direction the marlin wanted to go. Steve told Dyllon, “Try and get it to double line – don’t wait.”
The first time Dyllon grabbed the double line off the stern, the marlin dug out, ripping the line out of his hands, pulling off 30-40 feet. Tyler cranked the fish back to double line, with Dyllon grabbing the line again. He locked up on the line several times, getting it up to leader.
Dyllon took a wrap just below the swivel and started to pull. The marlin dug down again, pulling off 30 feet, with Dyllon having to dump the line. Steve had left the helm and was there waiting with the gaff. He had to race back to the helm and throttle away from the fish as it tried to go underneath the corner of the boat.
Steve got back in front of the marlin a couple of minutes later, with Tyler cranking the fish to double line again. This time, when Dyllon grabbed the line, Steve told him, “Don’t stop; don’t let go. She’s coming up this time.”
Dyllon took a wrap, tried to get a second one, but couldn’t even bend the line. He finally got a second wrap and slowly pulled the marlin up. Steve was right there to secure their catch, ending the 25-minute double line tug of war. As soon as the fish was secured, it laid right out.
This put the Start Me Up Cuz into the 600-pound marlin stats with the third largest blue so far this season.
For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Tyler his trip for free. They also donated $300 to Lahaina Baptist Church as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.