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Fourteen-year- old battles 578.6-pound blue marlin

By Staff | Jul 30, 2015

From left, Jacob Ringhausen, Capt. Kenny Bauchman and Capt. Greg France caught this 578.6-pound marlin on Hinatea. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Hinatea placed another marlin into the 500-pound club, with this one weighing 578.6 pounds by 14-year-old Jacob Ringhausen. He was fishing with Capt. Greg France and deckman Capt. Kenny Bauchman.

They were heading out on their morning charter and were just coming to the 100-fathom ledge off Kamaiki, Lanai. Greg was slowing the boat a couple of hundred RPMs, as Kenny started to swap out the ono lures for some bigger marlin lures.

Kenny was changing out the port side lures when he saw the tail and dorsal fin come up behind the long rigger position. He immediately went to the rod and waited for the line to come down off the rigger. There was a big push of whitewater behind the lure.

The marlin came up charging the lure, pulling the line down on the rigger, but missed the hookup, never breaking the rubber band. Kenny teased the fish several times without any luck. The fish disappeared. He thought it was done, waiting for 5-10 seconds, but it felt much longer.

The really cool thing was that everybody got to see the fish come in. Everybody was excited looking at the marlin coming in charging the lure, mentioned Kenny.

Greg was getting ready to make a turn when, out of nowhere, here comes the dorsal and tail fin again, as the marlin came charging back in. It smashed the lure and just sat there for 60 seconds or longer, like it wasn’t hooked. Just the forward motion of the boat was pulling line slowly off the 80-class reel.

Jacob was in the chair as Kenny started to clear lines. Suddenly, the marlin figured it was hooked, turned and took off. It ripped out the 100-test line for 250-300 yards, getting airborne and going nuts across the water.

With the marlin on the surface, Greg started reversing the boat after the fish. Jacob was gaining some good line, about 200 yards, before it made one more series of jumps.

Once it settled down, the marlin went deep, around 100 yards straight down, sitting under the boat for the next 30 minutes. Greg started to plane the fish up and then reversed on it, with Jacob getting some line as it swam away, changing directions on them.

Every time Greg planed the fish, it started to come up, lifting its head, getting it to swim upward, with Jacob gaining 40-50 feet each time. Then it would settle down and sit there in a sort of stalemate until they put pressure on it to lift it up. They did this maneuver 5-6 times over the next 20-25 minutes.

Once they got the rubber band back on the spool, Greg was able to really work the fish, positioning the boat so Jacob could crank it up. As it came to double line, it was still swimming away and showing color.

The marlin came up almost within leader range, but took off across the surface. Greg was able to reverse the boat quickly right on top of it. The leader was wrapped around its head, so it was sort of spinning around, belly up, getting its head back in the opposite direction.

It was cutting back and forth across the stern, with Kenny grabbing the leader off the port side. It made a couple of tail kicks as he finally got some wraps and pulled it up along the starboard side. The marlin was fairly docile – no head shaking or digging down – as Greg finally got it secured.

The kid was a little tiger. He was a grinder. He had a pretty good rhythm and caught on real quick, mentioned Kenny. He would stand straight up in the chair, cranking, and then lean back into it, lifting the fish like a pro. The determination to bring in the fish is what kept him going.