Lahaina Harbor’s top blue marlin for 2015, Part II
LAHAINA – July raised the numbers for the best month for blue marlin since 2011, with 27 being weighed (most blues weighed since August 2011) and another 35 released (most blues released since November 1995), totaling 62 fish (highest total blues since July 2011).
There were four blue marlin over 400 pounds during July. All were landed within a two-week period. The first was a 412.5-pounder by Jason Toumbs. He was fishing aboard the Start Me Up Again with Captains Jay Rifkin and Josh Hammond.
The Reel Hooker joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 568.7-pound fish by Bryce Dickey. He was fishing with Capt. Jason Duby and deckman Chad Quedding. A 578.6-pounder by 14-year-old Jacob Ringhausen also joined the club, weighed by the Hinatea with Captains Greg France and Kenny Bauchman. The last club member was a 553.3-pounder by Thai Nguyen. He was fishing aboard the Action with Capt. Jukka Hyytia and deckman Rob Cosgrove.
The blue marlin bite slowed dramatically during August with 27 fish caught, but the small males were still abundant. The largest blue marlin weighed was 255.6 pounds.
September numbers stayed basically the same with 33 fish caught.
The Start Me Up weighed two 400-pounders during September, with Capt. Timster and deckman Josh Boulds. They caught a 413.6-pounder by Ken Kidd and a 461.1-pounder by Blaine MacDonald.
The blue marlin numbers during October stayed pretty much the same as in September with 26 fish caught. There were 512.8-, 359.4-, 355.8-, 351.1- and 322.5-pound marlin weighed.
The last big blue marlin of the year was weighed during October. 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 and Co-capt. Dave Muell. The winner-take-all Shootout purse was worth $34,850 to the team.
The blue marlin numbers came to a dramatic stop during November with only eight fish caught. It was the third lowest blue marlin numbers of the year. The largest blue weighed 266.8 pounds.
The December blue marlin numbers jumped dramatically with 24 fish caught. This was the best blue marlin December in 18 years, since 1998. The largest blue weighed 352.4 pounds.
There were 15 blue marlin over 400 pounds for 2015. There was one “Grander,” two 700-pounders, one 600-pounder, five 500-pounders and six 400-pounders. There were also 14 blues weighed between 300 and 393.8 pounds.
The yearly blue marlin numbers came to 162 weighed (the most since 2006) with another 114 released – the most released in 28 years since 1988, when I started keeping yearly statistics. This brought the yearly blue numbers totaling 276 fish, the most since 2006.
What did the big girls like to eat? Purple Softhead lures captured four of the top blues. Steve Coggin and Steve Elkins lures tempted two each. The rest were on an assortment of lures.
The best place to run those lures was the long rigger position, with five fish taking that bait. The long corner and long gone positions had four fish each, with the short corner position snagging two. None were tempted on the short rigger position.
Anglers used 60-pound test to haul in one big blue. Another nine were taken on 100-pound test, with five on the heavy 130-test line.
The time of day hook-up numbers may be a little skewed, because the majority of the charters out of Lahaina are morning trips that run between 5:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. From 6 to 10 a.m., 11 of the big blues were hooked up. From 10 a.m. to noon, three fish were hooked-up. Only one fish was hooked-up at 12:30 p.m.
Three of the fish had angling times of 18 to 26 minutes. Two fish had angling times between 30 to 60 minutes, with eight fish taking between an hour to an hour-and-45-minutes to land. One fish took three hours to boat, with one marathon battle fish taking seven-and-a-half hours to land.