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Lahaina Harbor’s top blue marlin for 2015, Part I

By Staff | Jan 21, 2016

From left, Capt. Jay Rifkin, Mike and Kendall Michaelis, and Co-capt. Chris Cole caught this 1,058.3-pound marlin on Jun Ken Po.

LAHAINA – Only one blue marlin was weighed in January. The February numbers for blue marlin amounted to less than a handful, with the Action hooking into a marathon battle with a 474.2-pound blue marlin. It took Fred Leilbold and Kevin Bell seven-and-a-half hours to land their fish. They were fishing with Capt. Jukka Hyytia and deckman Rob Cosgrove.

The blue marlin began to show up off the backside of Lanai during March, with some big females hitting the scales. The Exact boated a record-sized blue marlin weighing 788.2 pounds by Brent Bennett. He was fishing with Capt. Dave Bensko.

The Action also landed a record-sized blue marlin weighing 714.2 pounds by Eric Zuroske and Brett Skinner. They were fishing with Capt. Jonny Keiley and deckman Rob Cosgrove.

Both fish joined the 700-pound marlin club and were the second and third largest of the year.

The blue marlin bite everyone was expecting to happen in April never materialized, with only eight fish being weighed and three released. Only one big girl made it to 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.

Brent Bennett (left) and Capt. Dave Benko hoist their 788.2-pound marlin caught on Exact.

It was one of the best Mays for blue marlin since 2005. There were 20 blue marlin weighed and another nine released, totaling 29 fish. A few nice females made the lineup, with Lahaina’s first “Grander” since 2007 hitting the scales.

The Memorial Day monster marlin was landed aboard the Jun Ken Po, weighing 1,058.3 pounds for Kendall and Mike Michaelis. They were assisted by Captains Jay Rifkin and Chris Cole.

It is the largest marlin weighed on Maui since July 18, 2007. It is also the second largest Lahaina charter boat marlin and sixth largest marlin weighed on Maui since 1983.

The Hinatea joined the 500-pound marlin club during May with a 503.8-pound blue by 11-year-old Declan Allan. He was fishing with his dad, Hunter, Capt. Greg France and deckman Jason Edmisson. This was the largest blue marlin by the youngest angler for the year.

A 487.5- and a 444.4-pound blue also made the stats. First was the 487.5-pounder aboard the Reel Hooker by Aaron Coltrin. He was fishing with Capt. Sal Tarantino and deckman Nick Spurr. The next day, the Action weighed the 444.4-pounder by Richard Klug. He was fishing with Capt. Jonny Keiley and deckman Rob Cosgrove.

From left, Capt. Jonny Keiley, Eric Zuroske, Brett Skinner and deckman Rob Cosgrove boated this 714.2-pound marlin on Action.

The beginning summertime blue marlin bite during June saw the best month for total blue marlin since 2011, with 23 making the scales (most blues weighed since July 2013), and another 16 released (most blues released since August 2011), totaling 39 fish (highest total blues since August 2011). The largest blue marlin weighed 272.4 pounds.