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Start Me Up Again lands record-sized spearfish

By Staff | Apr 19, 2018

From left, Deckman Tony Nunez, Erica Moore, Capt. Jonny Keiley and Deckman Kapono Brown with their 60.2-pound spearfish caught on Start Me Up Again. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Again landed a record-sized spearfish weighing 60.2 pounds by wahine angler Erica Moore. She was fishing with Capt. Jonny Keiley and Deckmen Kapono Brown and Tony Nunez.

Jonny was in 500 fathoms just inside the MC-Buoy located 13 miles southwest off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai. They had a solid strike on the long gone center rod. Kapono got Erica into the chair as Jonny passed the rod down off the bridge.

The fish took a couple hundred yards of 100-test line but never jumped. Jonny figured it was a small blue marlin because it took so much line on the strike. Because it never jumped, Jonny knew it wasn’t a big mahi.

Jonny fought the fish like a small blue, reversing after it and chasing it down. He wasn’t too aggressive after the fish, but it became apparent that Erica was having a hard time gaining line. Jonny had one engine idled in reverse, so he put both engines in reverse, giving it some throttle to help her with the boat. He chased the fish down for a few minutes before he got up on top of it.

The fish went down, swimming away from the boat, with Jonny getting back on top of it in a couple of minutes. It made a couple of small runs of ten yards, with them gaining it right back. Jonny pushed up the drag to around 25 pounds on the 100-test line. The fish swam back toward the surface, with Jonny reversing after it.

Kapono could see the double line as the fish came up 50 feet behind the boat, making one jump out of the water. Jonny shouted, “Holy —-; it’s a massive spearfish!”

At that point, Kapono and Tony saw another spearfish about the same size swimming right next to it. They got all excited, but Jonny told them, “Let’s just focus on this one fish we got going on.”

The spearfish fought really hard, swimming away from them the entire time. About 15 minutes into the fight, it came up to the boat, swimming with them and just laid there like that was it.

Kapono grabbed the double line and pulled the fish to leader. He wrapped it up as Jonny got it secured. None of the boys could believe the size of the spearfish lying on the deck.

The Indo-Pacific shortbill spearfish rarely exceeds 50 pounds in weight. The average weight is 25-30 pounds in Hawaii.

Here are the statistics on Erica’s record 60.2-pound spearfish: it is the largest spearfish by a wahine angler for Lahaina Harbor since 1983, and it is the largest weighed since 2007 and sixth largest since 1983 for Lahaina Harbor. The largest spearfish documented out of Lahaina Harbor since 1983 is a 71.6-pounder in 2001.