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Start Me Up La Dat lands 462.4-pound blue marlin

By Staff | Jun 21, 2018

From left, David McGreal, Capt. Jukka Hyytia and Deckman Summer Smith with their 462.4-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up La Dat. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up La Dat placed a marlin into the top billfish stats with a 462.4-pound blue by 17-year-old David McGreal. He was fishing with Capt. Jukka Hyytia and rookie Deckman Summer Smith.

Jukka was heading in after a six-hour trip and was 12 miles off Olowalu, just outside the ledge between the “Finger” and LA-Buoy marks. It was a blind strike on the short corner position, with Jukka hearing the line ripping off the reel.

The marlin ran straight out, never jumping, as it pulled off 150-200 yards of 130-test line. It came up head shaking off the starboard corner, looping back around toward the boat. Jukka had to throttle the boat ahead briefly, with the fish simmering down pretty quick.

As Summer cleared the pattern, Jukka cranked in the long gone off the bridge. There was a little chaos on the back deck, with Summer having to learn the procedure under fire.

The marlin didn’t put on much of a show, mentioned Jukka, just a little head thrashing off to the side. The fish stayed up on the surface and then turned, ripping out another 400-500 yards of line on the run.

The marlin had maybe 700-800 yards out by the time it stopped. By then they had the lines cleared and the back deck under control. Jukka started to back up after the fish, not being too aggressive on it, with the angler not keeping up. Jukka went nice and slow, rather than taking a chance with the fish going down and losing it because of slack line.

Surprisingly, they got 300 yards of line back in about ten minutes, as the marlin stayed on the surface. After about 20 minutes, the fish started going down. They still had out around 300 yards.

Summer bumped up the drag over the button to 40-plus pounds of pressure. The marlin was straight up and down at this point. David started to slowly hoist the fish upward.

Jukka watched the line and idled the boat around. He planed the fish up a couple of times over the next five to ten minutes, gaining 150 yards in the process.

Jukka spotted deep color as the marlin came to the surface. It just popped up at double line, completely dead, mentioned Jukka. David just had to crank it in.

Summer grabbed the leader, a little hesitant on his first leader of a marlin. Jukka came down to help him get the fish up on the starboard side so he could get it secured.

Summer mentioned he was a little surprised when the rod got hit. A lot of adrenalin was pumping, taking him a few seconds to get his head together and let the adrenalin rush calm down a little bit.