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Action achieves a fishing ‘Clean Sweep’

By Staff | Jul 11, 2019

Capt. John Verfurth (left) and Capt. Jonny Keiley with 94.3-, 114.1-, 115.7- and 104.0-pound ahi caught on Action. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Action had a great day of fishing, catching a “Clean Sweep,” releasing a 100-pound blue marlin, a couple of mahi and ono, with four big ahi at 94.3, 104.0, 114.1 and 115.7 pounds. Capt. Jonny Keiley was at the helm, with Capt. John Verfurth working the deck.

They were off the northeast shore of Molokai at the N-Buoy, in 950 fathoms of water, picking up the 94.3-pound ahi just at grey light. As Jonny continued to work around the buoy, they hooked the 100 pound blue, releasing it. They picked up the mahi next.

A couple of trailer boats showed up to work the buoy. Jonny tried live baiting the buoy for more mahi and ono but hooked a shark, releasing it. Jonny left the buoy and trolled in toward Halawa Valley.

After about 20 minutes, traveling around three miles, they had a knock down on the long rigger position. Thinking it was a striped marlin by the way it acted, John teased the lure for a few seconds with nothing happening. They gave up on the fish, but as John went to hang the line back on the rigger, it got slammed.

The fish took off, ripping out about 300 yards in no time. About 10-15 seconds later, they had a strike on the short rigger and then the long corner positions. John was thinking that they were in a pack of striped marlin. The fish never jumped like a marlin might do but went down like an ahi.

At that point, they figured that they were ahi and not striped marlin. Jonny drove the boat for about 20 seconds to make sure the fish were all on, and then he went to neutral. Both fish took out at least 250 yards.

They had the long rigger in the center gunnel rod holder, with the other fish on the port and starboard side gunnel rod holders. Once all the ahi stopped their runs, John pushed up the drags to the button, with them getting cranked right in.

With three ahi in the pattern, they had to watch the lines to make sure they didn’t cross. They had a couple of minor jams, where they had to trade spots accordingly with the rods, depending on which way the fish were going, to keep them from crossing.

Jonny fought the ahi “dead boat.” The only time he motored ahead was when the fish came up to leader. They cranked in the long corner first in about 15 minutes. The other two ahi came in a few minutes later.

“It was really pretty easy – couldn’t have gone much smoother to be honest,” mentioned Jonny. “We were lucky none of the fish made any crazy drastic runs or moves.”

They picked up the ono to finish the “Clean Sweep” at Kanaha Rock on the way back to Lahaina. There hasn’t been three ahi over 100 pounds on one trip since May 2015.