Jun Ken Po catches third largest marlin of the year
LAHAINA – With it being 15 weeks since there was a blue marlin weighed over 400 pounds, the Jun Ken Po boated a 581.5-pounder by Chris Adlong. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Cole and deckman Matt Bell. This marlin is the third largest of the year-to-date.
Chris knew he wanted to fish off the Palaoa Point Light on the southwest corner of Lanai, so he headed to the area. They spotted a mixed school of spinner and bottlenose dolphins, with lots of birds, in 200 fathoms of water. Chris was excited as he worked the area, with Matt talking to the charter about the dolphins.
Suddenly, Matt heard the short corner line snap the rubber band off the rigger. He went to the reel and started teasing the lure a few times, with nothing coming up to strike the bait. As he was rubber-banding the line back on the rigger tag line, he heard the long corner reel go off behind him.
The marlin grabbed the Johnny Lau Green Pear head lure and took off. It pulled out 400 yards of 130-test line straight back, and then must have made a 180-degree turn back toward the boat, putting a big belly of line in the water. Suddenly, it appeared for the first time 25 yards off their port corner, surprising them as it greyhounded away for another 100 yards.
The line was still coming off the reel as Matt got the lines cleared and Chris into the chair. The marlin stayed near the surface as Chris chased the belly of line in full reverse for several minutes. He would slow the boat to let Chris catch up cranking line, and then go back to full reverse, gaining 200 yards before they got the belly straight, with at least 400 yards still out.
At that point, Chris told Matt to clear the cockpit: “We’re going to turn and chase.” Matt pulled the starboard outrigger up and turned the chair forward toward the fish. Matt pushed the drag lever to the button as Chris throttled the boat ahead after the marlin for 3-4 minutes, with Chris putting another 300 yards on the spool. It was still taking line as they finally caught up to it.
Matt pushed the drag over the button to 45 pounds of pressure, finally stopping the marlin’s run. Chris was finally able to settle into the fight, short stroking the rod, pumping the fish in. It was still swimming away from the boat as it made several shallow dives of 2030 yards, but it would come right back up toward the surface.
The marlin stayed on the surface as Chris chased it down in reverse. Twenty-five minutes into the fight, they had the marlin to double line.
They chased the marlin for several minutes with the double line just off the rod tip. It was “lit up” as it continued to pull short spurts of line. Right before Matt grabbed the leader, at double line, the fish greyhounded twice to their port side.
Matt let go of the wraps and let the leader slip through his hands in a “soft dump,” as he brought the marlin around the corner under the stern.
As they got the marlin back to leader, Chris kept aggressively maneuvering the boat on the fish. Matt saw the marlin make several lunges off the port side. He beat it to the port corner and grabbed leader as it turned to the starboard side.
Matt pulled it across the stern and around the starboard corner to the starboard side. Chris moved the boat toward the marlin and helped to “pin” the fish to the starboard side. The fish rolled over. That was their moment to get the fish. Matt wrapped up on to the leader and held on as Chris got a gaff shot to secure their catch. For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Chris his trip for free. They also donated $300 to the Alzheimer’s Association as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.