Start Me Up Das It enjoys epic day of fishing
LAHAINA – It was something you couldn’t have scripted any better. You couldn’t make this stuff up, mentioned Deckman Shawn Carter, on their epic day of fishing aboard the Start Me Up Das It with Capt. Ross Elkins.
On the anniversary of boating a 181.2-pound “Allison” ahi, they planned to head back to the area and start fishing the GG-Buoy located off “Luala’ilua Four Hills” (South Maui). They got blown out as they reached the corner at La Perouse Bay, so they turned west and headed down the backside of Kahoolawe toward the JJ-Buoy.
Exactly between the HS and JJ-buoys, in the same spot as last year, they had a strike on the same long gone position, same four-inch jet with a single 5.0 hook, on the same 80-class reel and 100-test line.
The ahi sounded pretty quickly, taking 200 yards as it screamed off line. It didn’t slow down one bit as Shawn cleared the lines. With the drag pushed to the button, it was give and take the first 20 minutes, as the ahi slowly pulled off short yards of line. Ross maneuvered the boat, keeping the fish off the stern.
The angler was only able to get half-cranks on the reel, finally giving up five minutes later. Shawn took over on the reel. At one point, the ahi came up quick, with slack line on the rod tip. Shawn took 5-6 quick cranks before he was able to get tension back on the rod and the line tight. He fought it for another 15 minutes before he got it to leader.
Shawn had the angler hold the rod in the fighting chair gimble so he could leader. He pulled the ahi up the starboard side and took four solid wraps on the line. He held on with both hands (so the line didn’t slip in his hands) and called Ross down to gaff. Ross got a clean gaff shot in the fish, and they both hauled it over the rail. This ahi weighed 116.2 pounds.
They continued down to JJ-Buoy. Shawn put two opelu in the water, tempting an eight to ten-pound mahi about five minutes later. With that fish in the box, they made a couple more passes but didn’t see any more fish there.
Ross left the buoy and came around the tip of the Kahoolawe Shoals back toward Maui. They had been trolling for about an hour when the short rigger line came down as the rubber band snapped. Shawn was watching the pattern but didn’t see anything there.
No line was coming off the spool, so he figured it was just a rubber band failure. He changed out the rubber band and reset the rigger. He went to Ross and mentioned to him that it might have been a bite. Ross didn’t slow the boat, thinking nothing was back there.
Less than five minutes later, the same thing happened. Still, no line was coming off the reel. Shawn was wondering if it was just bad rubber bands. He went back to change out the rubber band for the third time. As he was holding the line to put on the rubber band, he felt the line “load up.”
Shawn let the line go, with it slowly rolling off the spool. He had the clicker off on the spool, and as soon as he flipped it back on, the line started ripping off the spool.
Where they were fishing at the time, they figured it was a nice ono. The fish started coming to the boat pretty easily. Shawn got out a small hand gaff for the fish, still thinking it was a 20- to 30-pound ono. They got the fish up to the boat in about ten minutes.
Shawn brought the fish up the starboard side expecting an ono. As soon as he saw color, he saw a bill come up out of the water. Ross asked, “What we got – small striper or blue?” As soon as the words came out of his mouth, the sailfish threw its sail out. Shawn shouted, “Sailfish, sailfish! Come down and get this thing.” Their sailfish weighed 49.6 pounds. It is the only sailfish in almost a year.
Shawn mentioned that what he thought were rubber band failures were more likely knockdowns. He stated that the sailfish wanted the Elkins yellow Lemondrop Jr. Popsicle lure. There were six lures in the pattern, with the sailfish stalking that lure for at least ten minutes before it struck.