Die Hard 2 lands biggest yellowfin of the season
LAHAINA – The Die Hard 2 landed a “Toad” of an ahi, weighing a 181.6-pound “Allison” yellowfin. Capt. Fuzzy Alboro and Deckman Sam Thies also boated 103.8- and 95.4-pound ahi.
They were at the HS-Buoy located off the south corner end of Maui about an hour before sunrise. Sam bridled an opelu for Fuzzy as he fished off the bridge. He dropped the bait into the water as Fuzzy free-spooled it backward. Before Sam could get his bait bridled up, Fuzzy’s bait got bit.
Fuzzy fed the opelu to the ahi for a while and then locked up the reel. He thought it was a medium-sized shibi at first as he started cranking it in. When the ahi started ripping off more of the 125-pound test line, Fuzzy knew it was a much bigger fish and handed down the rod to Sam.
Sam got the dad of the charter into the chair and stuck the rod in between his legs. He hooked him into the harness as the rod bowed over the stern. The ahi took them way into the Dacron backing, 500 yards off the spool. Sam mentioned that they only had 600 yards on that reel.
The dad was in the chair for maybe 16-18-minutes, and he was done. During that time, Sam put another opelu out. Sam got his daughter in the chair. She lasted 7-8-minutes.
Sam took the rod out of the chair and placed it into the port gunnel rod holder. As he sat on the railing, he started to crank and “Portuguese pull” the line onto the spool. The ahi was down deep, not really fighting like a big ahi.
The entire time they fought the fish, it was a struggle but not that bad of a time, mentioned Fuzzy. “No digging down. We were always getting line,” he said.
Before Sam could get the ahi in, his other bait got bit. Sam fed it and then locked up the reel. With this fish pulling line, he had a problem, so he got the daughter back into the chair so he could continue to fight the first ahi.
They were both fighting big ahi at the same time. Lucky for Sam, the daughter’s ahi stayed on the starboard side of the boat, keeping the lines from crossing. Fuzzy kept maneuvering the boat, trying to keep the ahi apart.
Sam pushed up the drag past the button to over 40 pounds of pressure. He continued to “Portuguese pull” the ahi up in about 20 minutes. When Sam finally saw the ahi, he had the dad sit on the gunnel and crank the reel as Sam pulled the line the last few yards onto the spool. He had a gaff in his other hand waiting for the ahi to come up.
The ahi came straight up on the port side and laid over perfect. It didn’t even go ballistic. That was the first time they saw how big it was. Once the ahi was secured, they couldn’t pull the fish through the stern door because the daughter was fighting the second ahi in the chair off that side of the boat.
When Sam went to pull the fish over the port rail, he couldn’t seem to lift it up. He called over to Fuzzy, “I can’t pull this thing over the rail.” Fuzzy came down from the bridge to get a second gaff into the fish. They both tried a second time without any luck. On the third attempt, they got the dad to help them pull it over the rail. It was much bigger than they thought.
As soon as the ahi was in the boat, Sam went over to the daughter and started to help her. He bled the first fish to get it ready for the box. By that time, the daughter couldn’t reel any more. Sam grabbed the rod and stuck it into the starboard side gunnel. He “Portuguese pulled” this fish to the boat in about ten minutes.
This 103.8-pound ahi put up more of a fight at leader, going back and forth trying to dig down under the boat. Sam had to switch the rod from side to side three times, finally getting it up on the starboard side.
He thought he was going to lose the fish a couple of times during the switchbacks.
Fuzzy was trying to get the second ahi in a lot quicker, so he could get back up to the buoy and get another bait out. He tried to stay by the buoy up current, but it didn’t work out. By the time they got the two ahi into the boat, they were a mile-and-a-half away from the buoy down current.
Once they made it back to the buoy, it was already sunrise. They started baiting the buoy again, but once they started catching rainbow runners, the bite was down.
Fuzzy headed down the backside of Kahoolawe toward the JJ-Buoy marks. Right within a mile of the marks, the long corner reel went off. Sam fought this 95.4-pound ahi in the chair with a harness in about 20 minutes.
Once he got the fish to leader, he put the rod in the port side gunnel. The leader was already up as Sam grabbed the line. Fuzzy stuck the gaff to secure the catch, and he pulled it over the rail.
The 181.6-pound yellowfin ahi is the largest so far this season. It is also the largest since May of 2015.