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Start Me Up Too lands 582.4-pound marlin

By Staff | May 3, 2018

From left, Capt. John Burke, Eric Blake and Deckman Dave Bergman with their 582.4-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up Too.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Too put another 500-pound marlin into the 2018 Top Stats, besting their previous top blue of 509.2 pounds, with a 582.4-pounder by Eric Blake. He was fishing with Capt. John Burke and Deckman Dave Bergman.

Dave saw something behind the short rigger lure, thinking it was some trash at first. There was a slight tug on the rod with some weird splashing going on. Dave looked up at John and told him he thought there was some debris snagged on the Steve Elkins “Stinger” lure.

As soon as Dave turned back around… boom! The rod took off. Right on the bite, the marlin went ballistic, tail-walking through the pattern and then turned, jumping on its side as it headed back toward the boat.

The marlin wrapped itself around the long gone line as it jumped up the port side of the boat. John had the boat throttled ahead as the marlin chased after them. Dave had one of the charters cranking in the long gone lure as he cranked on the short rigger rod.

The marlin went down, causing slack in the line. They thought the fish had come off as John slowed the boat. Dave started reeling in the short corner line as fast as he could, thinking there was nothing there. It felt like the fish was gone as he cranked in slack line.

Right as they got the long gone bird teaser untangled from the short rigger line, Dave felt some pressure on the rod and told John he thought there was a fish back there. Suddenly, the marlin started taking line again. Dave pushed up the drag to the strike button, putting at least 45 pounds of pressure on the fish.

John looked down at the reel as the line quickly disappeared off the spool, throttling the boat backward. The marlin took them 500 yards into the Dacron backing in about 20 seconds. It came up jumping a few more times and then went down, but not too deep.

With a good angle on the line, John had two engines in reverse as he aggressively backed after the marlin. Eric started gaining some steady line as he worked the rod. About 30 minutes into the fight, John came around on the marlin, with them gaining a little more line and getting up on it. Dave pushed up the drag past the strike button, putting more pressure on the fish.

With John idling the boat in and out of gear, Eric started to short-pump the rod, getting the marlin a little closer on each pull. Finally, it seemed like it gave up the fight and started to plane itself upward.

The marlin was straight down off the stern making small pinwheels as it came up to double line. It then started swimming slowly away from them from side to side, and then went belly up. Dave was grabbing leader as fast as he could to keep the fish from sinking, with it coming up pretty much dead. John got the fish secured without any struggle, and they pulled it aboard.

For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave Eric his trip for free. They also donated $300 to the Willie K cancer fund as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.