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Hinatea joins 500-pound marlin club

By Staff | Nov 3, 2016

From left, Tim Stoner, Capt. Greg France and deckman Jason Edmisson with their 504.5-pound blue marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Hinatea joined the 500-pound marlin club for the year, weighing a 504.5-pound blue by Tim Stoner. He was fishing with Capt. Greg France and deckman Jason Edmisson. Over the past two weeks, they had gotten their last three blue marlin off Olowalu in the LA-Buoy area, where the aku were hanging out on the ledge.

They were in 70 fathoms of water when Jason heard the long corner reel take off. The marlin ran out the 100-test line, with the Kraken Laceration lure, just past the long rigger position for 100 yards before it realized it was hooked. At that point, it started greyhounding away from them for at least another 100 yards before going crazy.

It began jumping back and forth in all directions and then tail-walked in a big whitewater circle. Greg saw it getting completely airborne several times before it settled down for a few seconds. It headed off to the port side jumping another 100 yards before it slowed its run.

As soon as Jason got the long side cleared, Greg backed the boat around the other lures. He had both engines in medium reverse for about 20 minutes as he chased after the fish as it stayed on the surface. The marlin finally stopped taking line but started to head deep. Jason got Tim hooked up into the fighting harness, and they started to gain some good line.

The marlin ended up 150 yards deep straight up and down below the boat. The fish wasn’t doing much of anything, with Greg thinking it had gotten tail-wrapped during the initial jumping sequence. They couldn’t seem to get the fish turned, with Tim in a stalemate.

Jason put the reel into low gear and pushed up the drag lever to 35 pounds of pressure. The marlin was slowly swimming away, with Greg bumping the boat in and out of gear, staying on top of it. About 15 minutes later, the fish started to swim off to the port side. Greg backed the boat after it.

Tim started effortlessly cranking in line, like the fish had come off. The rod tip was straight up, almost like slack line. Greg punched the boat forward until the rod bowed and the line came tight again.

Fifteen minutes later, they had the marlin about 30 feet below the boat. It was swimming back and forth across the stern with the current. Jason watched the fish, with the leader just out of reach. As soon as the swivel came up, he grabbed the leader.

Jason pulled up a few feet, with the marlin taking out ten feet. He got it back up 5-6 feet, with the fish taking 15-feet. He tried different tactics at leader – pulling slower, thumbing the spool to slow the line loss, trying not to put much pressure on the fish. This tug of war, give and take went on for about 15 minutes. They were in a stalemate, and nothing seemed to be working. Instead of risking pulling hooks or breaking line, they decided to just follow it, wait it out, and let the fish tire.

The moment Jason grabbed the swivel again, he was able to take wraps on the 600-pound leader and pulled. The marlin came up pretty tired, heading straight for the stern. It bumped into the boat and rolled, with Jason pulling it around to the starboard side. Greg was there to secure their catch.