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Start Me Up Again lands 412.5-pound blue marlin

By Staff | Jul 16, 2015

From left, Jason Toumbs, deckman Josh Hammond and Capt. Jay Rifkin with their 412.5-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up Again. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Again boated a 412.5-pound blue marlin by Jason Toumbs. He was fishing with Capt. Jay Rifkin and deckman Josh Hammond. This was the first big blue weighed over 275 pounds since the Memorial Day “Grander.”

They were trolling the 200-fathom ledge down the south side of Lanai, raising the fish off “Black” Manele. Josh heard the short corner reel take off. When he looked back, he saw a huge hole in the water, instantly shouting out, “Marlin!”

The marlin surfaced and started “windshield-wiping” its bill back and forth right at the short corner position, and then came charging toward the boat. Jay picked up the RPMs to try and get away from the fish. It made several small jumps straight at them and then disappeared.

The marlin turned and ran the 130-test line straight back about 300 yards, then made a series of 5-6 jumps. Jason was in the chair at that point holding onto the rod as Josh got him clipped into the fighting harness.

As the marlin continued to take another 100 yards of line, Josh cleared the rest of the pattern. Jay started to reverse the boat fairly aggressively after the fish, trying to keep up with it, as he watched Jason cranking in line. The marlin finally slowed down about 400 yards away.

Over the next 15 minutes, they had a good angle on the line, with Jason gaining about half the line back before the marlin headed deep. They had it close to the boat about ten minutes later, with it straight up and down 50 yards away.

As the marlin neared the boat, it pulled off another 100 yards straight down, getting Jason into a stalemate with his fish. Jason slowly cranked it up, inch by inch, as Josh helped by “Portuguese pulling” the line as Jason packed the spool. Ten minutes later, they saw their first signs of deep color.

The marlin was digging down, with Jason starting to tire. Jay idled the boat ahead, trying to raise the fish. As Josh continued to “Portuguese pull” on the line, Jason worked it toward the surface. Once they got the marlin close to the boat, it started to casually swim back and forth across the stern, 5-6 times, the last five minutes.

It was real tough to get it to double line, mentioned Josh. At double line, it was just out of arm’s reach, making several short runs of 10-15 feet as it made 3-4 switchbacks trying to get away from them.

Josh finally got it to double line and then leader off the port corner. He took a couple of wraps and held on as the marlin dug down and cut to the starboard corner. Josh beat it to the corner, taking a couple more wraps on the leader.

The marlin was right there. Josh got a couple more wraps and pulls, calling Jay down from the helm, who got the fish secured to end the fight.