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Tai Pan V gets lucky on Saint Patrick’s Day

By Staff | Mar 28, 2019

Co-capt. Neil Preston (left) and Capt. David Mayers with their 434.4-pound blue marlin caught on Tai Pan V.

LAHAINA – It was a bit of the “Luck of the Irish” for the Tai Pan V, weighing a 434.4-pound blue marlin on Saint Patrick’s Day with Capt. David Mayers and Co-capt. Neil Preston.

Neil was just setting up the pattern as they headed over the 100-fathom ledge off Kamaiki Point, Lanai.

He started giving the “Fa Fa” to their anglers as they rounded the corner. As he looked up, he noticed that they were just off Black Manele. They had a solid strike on the short corner position, with the marlin grabbing the Steve Elkins Aku Popsicle lure.

The marlin started taking line pretty good, mentioned Neil. It ran out 150 yards off the port side and then turned back across the stern, jumping 2-3 times toward the other side.

The marlin then turned and started jumping straight back toward the boat a half-dozen times, making big gains on every airborne jump.

Neil shouted to David, “Go, go, go!” David had the boat throttled ahead, with the marlin getting to within 50-yards in a hurry.

The marlin had a big loop of line on the water, with the bow ripping across the surface as David got the line tight. As soon as the line came tight, the marlin went Richter again, making 3-4 epic jumps 6-8 feet out of the water, going crazy and tail-walking all over the place.

Neil said that the show it put on was in the top ten that he had ever seen.

David kept the boat throttled ahead to keep the line tight and to give Neil time to clear the remaining lines. The marlin stayed on the surface using a lot of energy the first 5-10 minutes as it pulled off line.

As David aggressively reversed after it, the first angler worked on the fish, getting nauseous after 15-20 minutes.

The marlin went down 300-400 feet, with them switching out anglers at that point. David kept an angle on the fish, with it coming back up and shaking its head a couple of times. Luckily it didn’t shake the hook, and then headed back down about 100 yards.

David chased after the marlin down-swell, with the water a little snappy.

The fish started quartering toward the boat. David had a good angle on it, as he “walked the dog.”

They were fighting the fish just inside the wind line. David kept the boat idled ahead, going into neutral as the wind pushed them along. With the 130-class reel, they were able to put about 25 pounds of drag pressure on the marlin. The angler got into a rhythm of lifting up and cranking down as he slowly brought it up.

They had it to leader in about 20 minutes. They were going to let the marlin go, but the leader was half-hitched around the bill, with the single hook stuck in its face, so it couldn’t open its mouth.

When it finally came up off the stern, it was pretty much dead. It wasn’t swimming, with its eyes pointed down.

The fish had exhausted itself with all the runs and acrobatics, and never recovered. Neil didn’t even need to fly-gaff it. He used a stick gaff to secure it under the jaw, and they pulled it in through the stern door.