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Start Me Up lands 540.2-pound marlin

By Staff | Jan 11, 2018

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 540.2-pound blue by Brandon Hitchcock. He was fishing with Capt. Timster Putnam and deckman Matt Hoff.

Timster was heading toward the K-Buoy off the southwest corner of Lanai at first light. Matt and Brandon were on the back deck talking about trout fishing, when all of a sudden, the long corner reel started peeling line. The marlin ran out 400 yards of 130-class line, just getting into the Dacron backing before it stopped, but never jumped.

As Timster started to reverse after the fish, Brandon was able to gain a little line before it made another short run. At that point, Timster continued to back gently on the marlin because of the rough water. It was a 15-minute game of give and take for Brandon, getting ten feet, and then losing ten, as Timster worked the boat in and out of idle reverse. The drag was set at 35 pounds of pressure.

What was cool, mentioned Matt, was the sun was just coming up over Haleakala as they backed after the marlin. About 20 minutes into the fight, the fish made several half-body lunges 100 yards away. Ten minutes later, Brandon cranked the marlin to double line. The fish stayed real calm, swimming away from the boat off the port side.

They couldn’t see the marlin in the grey light as it came to leader. Matt grabbed the line as Timster maneuvered the boat, getting the fish turned toward the port corner. It came in real easy for Matt, with it turning across the stern. Matt held on to the leader as he ran with it to the starboard corner, pulling it up with several wraps on the line.

The marlin didn’t make a move as it sat alongside the boat. As soon as Timster saw the fish, he knew it was big. It was just a matter of getting it secured and pulled through the stern door.

This ended up being the fifth largest blue marlin of the year for Lahaina Harbor.

For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Brandon his trip for free.

They also donated $300 to Habitat for Humanity Maui as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.