Start Me Up Cuz lands the first big blue marlin of the season
LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Cuz weighed the first BIG blue marlin of the season, hanging a 429.7-pounder by the tag team of Brent Montgomery and Steve Allen. They were fishing with Capt. Steve Carroll and deckman Josh Boulds.
They were working the area south of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse off Lanai when they had a strike on the short corner position. Josh saw a bunch of whitewater as a bill came out of the surface, slashing back and forth behind a Maui Fishin “Putter Head” lure.
The marlin grabbed the lure and started smoking out the 100-test line as it headed away from the boat. Josh got Steve in the chair and started clearing lines.
The marlin was going crazy on top of the water, dancing from side to side and skipping across the surface as it circled around, zig-zagging back toward the boat. It was pretty impressive on the initial run, pulling off at least 700 yards during its ten-minute acrobatic show, mentioned Steve.
The marlin finally settled down but stayed on the surface. The line was peeling steadily off the spool, so Steve just kept the boat “dead boat” in and out of gear until Josh got the lines cleared. Steve then started to reverse the boat after the marlin. About five minutes later, the marlin went down, but only at a slight angle.
They were able to gain 400-plus yards back before Steve got almost straight up and down on the fish. The marlin got stubborn at that point about 150 yards deep. Steve idled the boat after the fish until it would turn under the boat, and then he would have to throttle away from it.
As the marlin got closer, Steve followed it for 2-3 minutes in idle reverse, as Steve got a few pumps and cranks on the rod. But then it would slowly pull off 8-10 feet and stop. After 30 minutes, Steve started to tire out.
For the next hour, Steve and Brent switched out in the chair. It was a give- and-take tug of war as they slowly hauled the fish up, with it continuing to pull line off the spool. Steve kept the boat in idle reverse until they finally saw deep color, with the marlin swimming from side to side just past double line. They got Brent back into the chair for the final attack.
All of a sudden, the marlin started making tight turns off the stern, swimming out and then turning back in toward the corner. Steve had to throttle the boat away from the fish and spin away from it several times.
They finally got the double line to the rod tip. The double line braid was on and off the rod at least a dozen times as Steve maneuvered the boat after the fish the last 5-10 minutes.
Steve finally made the call, pivoted the boat and went hard rack reverse on the fish as it came around. Josh grabbed the leader and took a couple of wraps and pulls on the line. The marlin rolled onto its side, with Josh holding on.
Josh pulled the marlin to the port corner, and Steve stuck the fly-gaff. The fish didn’t move. Steve quickly wrapped the gaff line around the cleat to secure it. The fish just laid there as they got a tail rope on it and half-hitched the bill before hauling it into the boat.