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Start Me Up Das It wins Lahaina Yacht Club Spring Wahine Tournament

By Staff | Apr 26, 2018

From left, Deckman Shawn Carter, Jenna Wedekind, Co-capt. Sammi Elkins and Capt. Ross Elkins with their 99.2-pound striped marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Das It won this year’s Lahaina Yacht Club Spring Wahine Tournament with a record-sized striped marlin, weighing 99.2 pounds, by Jenna Wedekind. She was fishing with Capt. Ross Elkins, Deckman Shawn Carter and her teammate, Co-capt. Sammi Elkins.

When asked why they went to the backside of Lanai to fish, when most all of the billfish bites that week had been around the 100-fathom ledge outside Olowalu, Shawn said, “It was a personal thing for them. He and Ross really like that area and don’t get a chance to get back there that often. They had a good feeling about it.”

Ross knew where everybody was going to go and didn’t want to fight the traffic. They could end up there, but they wanted to start where not everybody was fishing. Let the other boats have it out and come back later in the day, they reasoned.

So, Ross snuck around the corner of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai, toward Kaumalapau to a spot they like fishing. They were 300 fathoms off Kaumalapau Harbor when they had a solid strike on the long gone position. The marlin started headshaking to try tossing the hook and then took off, screaming out the 100-test line. The fish had them into the Dacron backing 350 yards away as everyone cleared lines.

Ross was pretty aggressive on the marlin as he backed up on it. He knew it was a billfish and wasn’t that big. The marlin went down, with Ross pretty much reversing right up to it in about eight minutes.

“Jenna did a great job,” mentioned Ross, “with Sammi there to coach her along.” The marlin was swimming away from them as Shawn grabbed the leader with both hands. As soon as he had the leader, he took a couple of wraps.

Once Ross knew Shawn had a good hold on the fish, he put the boat’s starboard engine idle ahead and maneuvered around on it. Shawn was able to get the marlin’s head turned toward the boat. He took 3-4 more wraps and pulled the fish up the starboard side. That was it.

Ross came down and secured their catch in only 12 minutes. They thought the fish would be a little green and put up a fight at double line, but it cooperated nicely.

“Just like clockwork, said Shawn. “Easy, with everybody working together.”

This was the first fish that Jenna had ever caught and ended up being a record-sized 99.2-pound striped marlin, winning the Spring Wahine Tournament. Striped marlin range in Hawaiian waters from 25 to 125 pounds with an average weight of 65 pounds. The Hawaii State record is 212 pounds, with the Lahaina Harbor record being 188.4 pounds.