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Blue Nun Too wins 2015 Halloween Shootout

By Staff | Nov 12, 2015

From left, Ron Eschelbach, Dave Muell, Bill Field, Capt. Bob McCowan and Glenn Mathews with their winning 512.8-pound blue marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Blue Nun Too from Oahu won the 2015 Halloween Shootout Tournament with a 512.8-pound blue marlin by angler Bill Field. He was fishing with Capt. Bob McCowan, Co-capt. Dave Muell and team members Glenn Mathews and Ron Echelbach.

There had been quite a few blue bites earlier in the morning off the southwest corner of Lanai, so Bob headed off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse and began working the area. As Bob called it, “mowing the lawn.”

It was a blind strike on the long gone position, with the fish grabbing a Steve Coggin “Rootbeer” slant-head lure, slamming the rigger around and going straight down. They never saw the fish as it ripped off about 500 yards of 130-test line on a steady run.

With Bill in the chair, Bob immediately started to reverse the boat after the fish as quick as he could to slow the line loss. Everyone cleared the remaining lines and got ready for the fight. Bob watched Bill gaining line and kept up the chase. The marlin continued to take short runs of line as they followed after it.

Bill had the reel in low gear, gaining about half the line back, before he ran into a stalemate 45 minutes into the fight. After a while, Bob began to plane the marlin up, pulling the boat forward to get the head up and then reversing quickly to gain line.

The marlin made a half-dozen slow runs of 100-150 yards as Bob and Bill continued to plane the fish up. With the drag past the button, Bill had to thumb the spool to put just a little more pressure on the fish to control the line loss. Bill got to a point where his legs started to cramp and he couldn’t hold the fish.

After a 45-minute up and down, give and take planing battle, they finally had the marlin close to leader. By then, it was coming in pretty well, mentioned Bob. Bob was a little bit worried as it came to leader, because it never put up much of a fight to tire itself out and just might kick their okoles on a last-ditch effort.

It was fairly easy at leader for Dave as he pulled it up off the stern and watched it roll onto its side. Glenn got the marlin secured, and everybody hauled it through the fish door to end the hour-and-a-half battle.

Bill said, “It was very heavy – a huge strain the whole time,” but he took his time and didn’t let himself get exhausted. “He did a heck of a job,” said Bob.

The winner-takes-all Shootout purse was worth $34,850 to the team.