Hinatea wins Halloween Shootout
LAHAINA – The Hinatea, out of Lahaina Harbor, won this year’s 17th annual Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout Tournament with a 209.9-pound blue marlin by Capt. Chris Canaiy. Team members were Captains Greg France, Brad Coombs and Jason Edmisson, and deckmen Brian Edmisson and Dana Ford.
A little after noon, they found a porpoise school with iwa and white boobies working an area a mile off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai out toward the K-Buoy. As Greg made a lap-and-a-half around the area, Brian saw the marlin come in on the short corner “Kraken” lure.
The marlin came in “hot” right next to the lure, almost missing it. It then made a massive turn on it, bending in half as it engulfed it in one swoop. It took off running straight down the pattern, dumping the 100-test line off the 80-class reel about 100 yards before it started jumping.
It made a couple of full body leaps before disappearing for a few seconds, and then came up tailwalking in circles. The marlin settled down and disappeared. Once Chris got into the chair, he pushed up the drag a little, to about 20 pounds of pressure.
About 5-6 minutes later, the marlin reappeared jumping back toward the boat and putting a big loop in the line. Chris was cranking as hard and fast as he could as Greg throttled the boat ahead. The fish kept popping up, greyhounding straight toward the boat a few more times, getting to within 100 yards of them.
Somebody was shouting, “Go, go, go!” Greg and Chris finally got the line tight. The marlin went down, and Chris kept the reel in low gear, putting as much pressure on it as he could. The fish pulled a little line a couple of times, with Chris in a give and take battle with it about 50-60 feet deep.
Greg kept the boat one engine ahead to keep pressure on the marlin as Chris cranked it in. In about 15-20 minutes, the fish popped up 50 yards away. It made a series of 3-4 half-body jumps one last time.
Greg turned the boat down-swell, with the marlin swimming straight toward them. Chris cranked it in, with Brian grabbing the leader.
Jason secured it with a fly-gaff in the shoulder, with Brad following it up with a stick gaff by the tail. It thrashed around a little bit, but not out of control. It still had some fight left in it.
Chris said that the fight went as well as it could. The only problem was having too many captains aboard, he said jokingly, trying to coach him on how to fight the fish.
As they were heading back in toward Lanai, they had a bite on the long gone, in 200 fathoms off the light, with Brian catching a 30-pound spearfish.
The winning blue marlin was worth $25,000 to the team.