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Start Me Up Too lands 451.0-pound blue marlin

By Staff | Oct 18, 2018

Capt. Denny Putnam (left) and Deckman Josh Vurfurth with their 451-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up Too. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

The largest marlin over 380 pounds in the past four months was weighed by the Start Me Up Too with Capt. Denny Putnam and rookie Deckman Josh Vurfurth at 451.0 pounds.

Denny was on a six-hour trip, baiting the “wave buoy” off the backside of Lanai with no bites. He then ran inside to the “Slides,” where he found some opelu piles. He picked up a Rainbow Runner and had an ono bite before running out of time to work the area. As he rounded the corner off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, he headed down the south side of Lanai, making a straight line toward Maui.

Denny was in 40 fathoms of water, on an ono run home, when they raised a marlin off Black Manele. Denny heard the long gone reel take off as the fish went ballistic, getting real acrobatic and jumping all across the water for several minutes.

The marlin ran the 50-pound test line 400 yards into the backing and then turned, coming back toward the boat up the port side. There was plenty of line out, so Denny didn’t have to throttle the boat ahead. He just stopped the boat and watched as the marlin turned and headed in toward the line.

Denny didn’t want to put the boat in gear with the line still tight and take a chance of the fish busting them off as it crossed the light line. Once the marlin got across the line, heading off to the starboard side, Denny started to back after it.

Denny was thinking, “If we made it past this point, we might have a chance.” The marlin went down at that point and just kind of hung out, not pulling much line. Denny kept reversing after the fish and watching the angler. When the angler started to tire, Denny would slow the boat to give him a break.

As Denny got straight up on the fish, he idled the boat ahead to get a better angle, trying not to take too much line off the reel. Once he had a good angle, he told the angler, “Let’s go back. On your mark, get set, start turning the handle now! Crank, crank, crank.”

Denny planed the marlin for 30 minutes and could only work the fish as fast as the angler could go. Denny could tell the fish was pretty much dead as it came up long gone distance out.

At the rubber band, the marlin was barely moving. Maybe a kick here and there; nothing powerful.

Once the marlin came up to double line, it was brown, popping up straight behind the boat. Josh leadered the fish to the stern as Denny got it secured. This was Josh’s first marlin working the deck himself.