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Action achieves a rare Hawaiian Grand Slam

By Staff | Mar 10, 2016

Deckman Rob Cosgrove (left) and Capt. Jukka Hyytia with their Hawaiian Grand Slam. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – There were a couple of rare fishing occurrences during February. The first was a Hawaiian Grand Slam for a boat. This was aboard the Action with Capt. Jukka Hyytia and deckman Rob Cosgrove.

It consisted of catching a 153.0-pound blue marlin, a 65.1-pound striped marlin and a 22.1-pound short-billed spearfish in one trip. The last time that a Hawaiian Grand Slam was recorded was in March of 2005 aboard the Finest Kind with Capt. Dave Hudson.

This is only possible during the winter fishing season, when all three species of billfish are in the waters, and if the blue marlin, striped marlin and spearfish are abundant enough for this to happen in a single day.

February saw eight blue marlin weighed and two released for a total of ten fish. There was one black marlin released. There were also ten striped marlin weighed and five released, totaling 15 fish. There were 16 spearfish weighed and ten released, totaling 26 fish. This brought the February billfish total to 52 fish.

The Start Me Up released an estimated 175-pound black marlin with Capt. Timster and deckman Chris Kiser. The last time a black was caught was in April 2014 aboard the Start Me Up Too, with Capt. Denny Putnam and Co-capt. Ross Elkins weighing a 161.0-pound fish.

A black marlin comes up at leader with deckman Chris Kiser aboard the Start Me Up.

What’s interesting is that Capt. Timster Putnam is the younger brother of Capt. Denny Putnam. Previous to that was a black weighed aboard the Hinatea in May 2002, with Captains Mark Shultz and Kevin McLaughlin weighing a 105.0-pound fish. There have been only 20 black marlin recorded in Lahaina Harbor since 1977.

Bob Duerr, who writes the “Splash” column for the Hawaii Fishing News, has been the driving force in getting the facts on what has taken so long to get the FAD (Fish Aggregation Device) buoys redeployed after several years missing all across the state.

He wrote, “According to Miel Corbett, the Deputy ARD, External Affairs for the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the FAD project was approved in November, and the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources was given authorization to start implementing the program.”

The state FAD website lists “recently deployed” Maui FADs as GG off Nakaohu Point (Luala’ilua 4-Hills) and NL off Nuu Landing (Kaupo area) in the past two months. There is a lot more work to be done. Missing FADs in Maui County are CC, K, MC (west/southwest side of Lanai), LA off Olowalu, SO, JJ, HS on the south side of Kahoolawe, Q off Pauwela, FF off Hana, and N off Halawa Point, Molokai.

The FAD program is a grant partnership between the state Department of Land & Natural Resources and the USFWS. The state matches 25 percent of the total of USFWS Sport Fish Restoration Act FAD money.

The Sport Fish Restoration Act has four sources of funds: manufacturers’ excise taxes paid on fishing tackle and pleasure boats; import fees for fishing gear and boats; the federal fuel tax from the sale of gasoline for motorboats and outdoor power equipment; and the interest on the trust fund in which revenues from these sources are held.

The FAD program had been held up by a perfunctory Endangered Species Act clearance. Warren Cortez, the state’s FAD program coordinator, stated that they “finally got the permit. Starting on the fiscal process for replacing; already got the bids.”