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Top blue marlin for Lahaina Harbor in 2017

By Staff | Jan 18, 2018

The Reel Hooker landed 2017’s biggest marlin at 697.6 pounds.

LAHAINA – The Reel Hooker joined the 600-pound marlin club, and moved to the top of the billfish stats for the year, with a 697.6-pound blue caught by Capt. Ryno Fiedorowicz and deckman John Doe. This is also the largest blue marlin in two years.

Ryno had just left the harbor and was heading toward Kamaiki on the east corner of Lanai. He was in 30 fathoms of water, in the area known as “Papio’s.” All of a sudden, the center reel on the bridge went off, with the marlin taking about 200 yards of 100-test line on its run.

They had the fish to leader in around 30 minutes. The first time John got leader, he got tangled up in the line, yelling to Ryno, “I got bad wraps.” Ryno had to throttle the boat into full reverse just so John wouldn’t get pulled overboard. John got the half-hitch wraps off his right hand just as the marlin took off on another 30- to 40-yard run. They got it back to the boat in about ten minutes.

The marlin came up straight behind the boat with its tail underneath the port side corner. John got the fly-gaff into it but was leaning over, holding the fly-gaff rope on the port corner. They finally got the marlin to come from underneath the boat and got it secured after a two-hour fight.

Capt. Dennis Blevins, of Puff Daddy fame, also joined the 600-pound marlin club, with Dennis and his girlfriend, Patty Sousa, weighing a 687.5-pound blue marlin. He was moving his new boat, Imiola, from Lahaina Harbor to Mala Wharf, where he was going to put it on his trailer.

As they left the harbor, Patty looked at Dennis and mentioned, “Let’s put some lures out.” As Dennis set out a couple of lures, Patty asked, “Where should we go?” Dennis replied, “Just take us to a fish.”

Patty headed the boat south down the coast, raising the marlin about two miles offshore between Puamana and Launiupoko. Right at that point, they got a strike. The 14.0 class center rod was bent over with the reel screaming out the 130-test line.

Dennis had the fish to double line in about an hour-and-a-half. It was then a tug of war for Dennis. Each run from double line was shorter and easier to crank it back in. It was just a matter of waiting it out.

As Dennis cranked the marlin to the starboard corner, he was finally able to grab the leader and pulled it around the corner. This was Patty’s first time using a fly-gaff. “She stuck em good,” mentioned Dennis.

Their blue marlin is the second largest fish of the year and the largest for both Dennis and Patty.

The Action joined the 500-pound marlin club with a nice-looking 595.4-pound blue with Capt. Jonny Keiley and deckman Kapono Brown.

They were coming in from fishing the FAD buoys off the southwest corner of Lanai and were on the 200-fathom ledge off Black Manele. They raised their fish on the long corner position and 130-test line.

Jonny put the boat in reverse as he chased after the line. The marlin turned up the port side, about 100 yards away, getting up in front of the boat. Jonny aggressively got on the fish in about ten minutes. When he finally got on top of the fish, it was right below the boat making tight circles.

Suddenly, the marlin went straight down on a death dive. It was about 100 yards deep straight down off the stern. At that point, Jonny put the reel in low gear and cautiously began to “Portuguese Pump” the fish upward for the next 30 minutes.

The marlin came up to double line right off the stern. As Kapono pulled it to leader, they noticed that it was coming up backward and tail-wrapped. They got it secured and hauled it over the rail. This marlin was the third largest blue of the year.

The Start Me Up Das It joined the 500-pound marlin club, and caught the fourth largest blue of the year, with a 560.0-pound fish with Capt. Ross Elkins and deckman Shawn Carter.

They were 180 fathoms off Black Manele, Lanai, when Shawn saw a splash behind the Steve Elkins blue-back Popsicle lure running on the long rigger. The marlin ripped off the 130-test line for 200 yards straight away from the boat before going ballistic. It greyhounded, tail0walked and jumped clear of the surface for about ten minutes behind the boat.

Ross reversed up on it in about five minutes. They had the marlin swimming with the boat, near the surface and showing color. They quickly cranked the fish to double line, with it right behind the stern. Shawn grabbed leader on the port corner, but the marlin turned outside and took off on a short, 20-yard run, crashing around and then coming back toward the boat.

They got the marlin back up five minutes later, with it swimming with the boat. Shawn grabbed the leader and took a wrap on the port corner. The fish turned to the starboard corner, with Shawn following the marlin to the corner and wrapping leader again. Shawn took another wrap and pulled the fish up. Ross was there to secure their catch in only 20 minutes. Just like you like em.

The Start Me Up also joined the 500-pound marlin club with a 540.2-pound blue with Capt. Timster Putnam and deckman Matt Hoff. There were nine more blue marlin over 400 pounds for the year, weighing 491.2, 485.6, 485.0, 475.2, 433.8, 429.6, 423.0, 408.6, and 401.0 pounds.