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Start Me Up Too lands 661.5- pound marlin

By Staff | Apr 7, 2016

From left, Brad Schafer, Capt. Randy Evans and Deckman Jeremy Johnson with their 661.5-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up Too.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Too joined the 600-pound marlin club, weighing a 661.5-pound blue by Brad Schafer. He was fishing with Capt. Randy Evans and deckman Jeremy Johnson.

Randy had been working an area outside the 200-fathom ledge, off the “Little Slides” on the southwest corner of Lanai. As he came around the corner, following a current line off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, a marlin came in from the starboard side.

The fish ran straight in, grabbed the long corner lure and continued across the pattern. It went straight down, and that’s the last they saw of it. The marlin screamed off the 100-test line, taking 350 yards into the Dacron backing in about ten seconds.

They were around 150 yards into the Dacron backing when the rod folded over, with a knot in the line getting stuck in the spool. Randy was already backing the boat down, full-speed reverse, as he maneuvered around the long corner and rigger position. Lucky for them, the line didn’t break, and they were able to get line back on the reel and the knot into the spool really quick.

Jeremy cleared the short side first and got Brad into the chair. With a good angle on the fish, Randy continued reversing the boat at full speed, with Brad getting all the Dacron on the spool and back into the mono in a couple of minutes.

Randy and Brad stayed after the marlin until they had it back to the long corner rubber band in about an hour. The fish stayed at that position in a give and take stalemate for quite a while. The rubber band was on and off the spool several times, with them finally getting the marlin to double line.

They could see the fish, with it right behind the boat. Again, they ran into a give and take stalemate, with the double line on and off the rod tip again and again. The fish wouldn’t come up. Brad tried to get the marlin to swivel, but every time he cranked the fish up, he lost all the line as the fish made circles around the boat toward the starboard side, with Randy following after it.

They finally had the swivel up but Jeremy couldn’t reach it. The next time, Jeremy grabbed the swivel, but the marlin turned back under the corner and he had to let the fish go as Randy throttled away. The marlin ran back out to the long corner distance and settled in.

The marlin started making small circles around the boat, with Randy spinning the boat after it the last 20 minutes. It must have made 50 circles during that time, mentioned Jeremy, before they got it back to double line. Again, the double line was on and off the rod over a dozen times.

They finally got the marlin turned back toward the boat and swimming off the starboard side. Brad cranked the fish to swivel. It turned away from the boat and rolled over on its side. Jeremy grabbed the leader, took double wraps on the line with both hands and pulled hard. He held on to what he had as Randy got the marlin secured.

Even after they had the fish secured, it was still swimming strong. The marlin took off, pulling the leader out of Jeremy’s hand. Randy was holding onto the gaff rope, almost getting pulled out the stern door. The gaff rope slid through his hands, with the fish running out to the end of the rope, where it was tied off on the post of the fighting chair.

Jeremy grabbed the leader and pulled the marlin’s head back around toward the boat. He pulled on the leader as Randy hauled the fish back to the stern with the gaff rope. After securing it a second time, they hauled it onto the boat.

For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Brad his trip for free. They also donated $300 to Habitat for Humanity, as part of their donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.