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Jun Ken Po wins Halloween Shootout Tournament

By Staff | Nov 23, 2017

From left, Capt. Chris Cole, deckman John French and Co-capt. Jay Rifkin with their 164.4-pound marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Jun Ken Po won the Halloween Shootout Tournament with a 164.4-pound blue marlin by Jerry Cornell. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Cole, Co-capt. Jay Rifkin and deckman John French.

The game plan was to go out to the MC-Buoy off the southwest corner of Lanai, find the birds and bait and dig a hole. There were several boats already there by the time they arrived. Chris found a bird pile up-current of the buoy.

They had been working the birds for a few minutes when they had a marlin come in on the long rigger position. It boiled on the lure but missed it. John teased the fish, with nothing there.

John hung the rigger line back up, and no sooner had he set the lure, the marlin came back in, this time hooking up. This little blue was a feisty fish, trying to jump up into the rigger lines as it came up the port side.

They got this fish to the boat in about five minutes. John leadered it in as Jay got it secured. It weighed 111.4 pounds.

Chris went back and found the bird pile. Just as John and Jay got the lures set, maybe five minutes later, Chris saw a marlin come up on the long gone position. Jay saw a small splash on the lure as the fish took off jumping, charging up the starboard side. Chris throttled the boat forward.

John had to unclip the starboard outrigger line and move it out of the way as Jay turned the chair all the way forward. As Chris caught up to the marlin, it turned outward and ran all the way back around the stern to the port side, putting a big bow in the 130-test line. It never went deep, staying near the surface.

Chris reversed the boat aggressively after the marlin to get line quickly. He turned the boat 180 degrees to cut off its run, getting the bow out in the process. When Chris looked around, they were right on top of the fish, almost to double line.

They had the marlin to leader in less than ten minutes. Jay had another feisty fish at leader. It kept changing its mind, taking him from corner to corner across the transom several times. He kept tripping over the first marlin that was lying in the middle of the transom, finally getting it up on the port side. John secured the fish. This ended up being the winning marlin, weighing 164.4 pounds, and worth $30,600.

Jay and John set the pattern out, while Chris went back to the bird pile. He worked the birds for a couple of hours outside the MC-Buoy, having a looker come in, but didn’t hook up. After working in toward the 500-fathom ledge, they headed back toward Maui.

Out of nowhere, they had a blind strike on the long rigger position. This was another quick fish, with them getting it in less than five minutes. As John leadered this one, it looked about the same size as their first one, estimated at 115 pounds. Since they already had two fish in the boat, they decided to let this one go.