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Eleven-year-old angler lands 503.8-pound marlin

By Staff | May 28, 2015

From left, Hunter and Declan Allen, Capt. Greg France and deckman James Edmisson with their 503.8-pound blue marlin caught on Hinatea. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Hinatea joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 503.8-pound blue by 11-year-old Declan Allan. He was fishing with his dad, Hunter; Capt. Greg France; and deckman James Edmisson.

They were trolling just outside the 100-fathom ledge off Manele Bay, Lanai, when they had a blind strike on the long corner position. James was on the helm, with the fish ripping out 200-300 yards of 100-test line before he could get the boat slowed. They were running light drag because of the spearfish that had been hanging around in the area.

The fish took another 100 yards before it came up jumping. Greg saw it was a good-sized blue and let it jump and run, hoping to tire itself out as Declan got settled into the chair. The marlin finally calmed down, giving James enough time to get Declan clipped into the bucket harness.

The marlin slowed its run after 4-5 minutes – and half-a-spool later – staying near the surface. Greg started to reverse the boat after the fish, in and out of gear, as he watched Declan in the chair. They gained about 100 yards back before the marlin made another run. It lunged peck high out of the water, pushing a lot of whitewater and showing them how big it was.

Declan was ready for a battle, said James. He was awesome. He is a lacrosse goalie, and you could tell he is tough. Declan was pretty calm during the fight – it was James and his dad who were nervous.

Greg had the boat in reverse for about 20 minutes. Declan went as hard as he could and didn’t give up, stacking the line like a seasoned angler.

As they got the marlin 100 yards away, it headed deep. With the fish straight up and down under the boat, Declan started to pump the rod and work his fish, getting lifted up in the bucket harness.

James taught Declan how to “Portuguese pull” the line and crank, with him getting a half-a-crank at a time. His dad stood to the right side of the chair, and when Declan’s arms started to tire, he would hold the rod and take a few cranks to give him a rest.

As the marlin got about 50 feet deep, finally showing deep color, it was swimming slowly with the boat. They could see the fish and could tell what was going on. As it came up to leader, it only made a few cutbacks across the stern, trying to head under the boat.

Greg kept the boat idling ahead as James muscled the marlin to the starboard side. Once James finally grabbed a wrap on the leader, the fish was pretty tired, putting up little resistance. After getting it secured, they pulled it through the stern door onto the deck.

The lead hook had been stuck in the mouth with the trailing hook underneath the jaw. The lead hook came out, with just the trailing hook barely snagged under the jaw.

The hook was bent slightly open with the tip bent over 45 degrees. If the marlin had made another run, they probably would have lost the fish.