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Start Me Up Too places another big marlin into the 2019 stats

By Staff | Sep 26, 2019

From left, Michael Nielsen, Capt. John Burke and Deckman Ryan Gantzer with their 483.0-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up Too. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Start Me Up Too placed another big marlin into the yearly stats with a 483.0-pound blue by Michael Nielsen and Deckman Ryan Gantzer. He was fishing with Capt. John Burke and Deckman Ryan.

John had been fishing the SO-Buoy off the southwest corner of the Kahoolawe shoals, catching and releasing an estimated 100-pound blue, four miles inside the buoy on their way back toward Lahaina. John was in 170 fathoms of water off Black Manele, Lanai when they raised another fish.

The marlin hit the second wave, short-short position Murphy Bullfrog lure, but didn’t act like a marlin at first. It pulled the 130-test line slowly off the spool like it didn’t know it was hooked. Right at about the short rigger position, the fish made a full-body lunge away from the boat. John thought, “Oh, that’s a 500-pounder.”

The marlin still didn’t know it was hooked as it continued to slowly pull line, but as it got through the pattern, it started to pick up speed underwater.

Then, all of a sudden, when it was about 400 yards out, it realized it was hooked and started to make a whitewater mess all across the surface.

The marlin turned across the pattern and started jumping up the port side, putting a big bow in the line.

John had Ryan clear the port side lures first so he could back after the fish. As John followed the loop, Ryan started to clear the starboard side lures trailing off the bow.

The marlin settled down and headed deep. John backed the boat after the fish for about ten minutes before he got the bow out and the line tight.

Michael was hooked to the bucket harness, and the reel was in low gear. He had an angle on the marlin for another ten minutes before they got straight up and down on it.

The fish was probably 300 yards deep at that point.

The marlin stayed down, right off the back of the boat, but wasn’t taking any line. At that point, John was thinking it might be dead.

With Michael in a stalemate, he began to tire and asked Ryan to take over.

Once Ryan was in the chair, he told John, “No way, man – this thing’s still alive.”

With Ryan in the harness, and the reel in low gear, he had a good rhythm, slowly pumping the fish upward, using his body like a seesaw to lift the fish. There were no problems as Ryan worked the marlin up over the next 25 minutes.

The marlin gradually came up but never pulled out any more line.

John was thinking, “A fish this big should pull some line.”

During the fight, Ryan said to John, “I’m nervous, I’m nervous.”

John told him, “I’m nervous for you.” His only concern was how he was going to get out of the chair and grab leader while he was hooked in the harness.

“I’m scared to death if this thing comes up green,” he said.

As soon as Ryan saw the double line, he unhooked the harness, held onto the rod and got out of the chair, getting Michael back in the seat to hold the rod.

The marlin popped up right off the stern and rolled over onto its side, making no movement.

Ryan grabbed the double line and pulled the marlin to leader. As Ryan grabbed leader, there was no fight from the fish.

He walked it to the port side, with John getting it secured. After that, it was just a matter of pulling it through the stern door onto the deck.

Only crewing for a couple of months, this was Ryan’s biggest marlin and the first one he has angled.