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Kaiolohia wins 2019 Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout

By Staff | Nov 14, 2019

From left, Jim Oldenberg, Matt Chierek, Capt. Scott Karli, and Zeke with their marlin that won the 2019 Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Kaiolohia won the 2019 Johnny Baldwin Halloween Shootout with a 221.4-pound blue marlin by Matt Chierek. The rest of the team was Capt. Scott Karli, Zeke and Jim Oldenberg.

They were fishing northeast of the N-Buoy off the northeast corner of Molokai, getting a strike on the flat line, short corner position. Everyone heard the strike and turned around, as the marlin peeled off 50 yards of 130-test line straight off the stern. It got airborne, making one broadside jump, with Scott saying, “Ah man, it’s a pretty good one.”

The marlin pulled off another 300-400 yards of line, staying near the surface. Jim was up on the fly bridge with Scott. He came down to clear lines as Scott cleared the center rigger.

Scott stayed up on the bridge until all the lines were cleared, and then went to the deck controls. Matt fought his fish from the short side gunnel, pretty much “Portuguese pulling” the fish in the entire time. Scott was trying to keep the marlin off the corner as he maneuvered the boat, making large left-hand turns most of the 25-minute fight.

At double line, the line was at a steep 35- to 40-degree angle. The fish stayed deep, with Matt continuing to pull it to leader. Scott had to go hard left to keep the marlin from getting up into the twin outboards. The fish came up sitting broadside to the boat.

Matt told Scott and Jim, “You know what? I’m going to leader this thing myself, and you guys get ready with the gaff.”

Once the swivel got to the rod tip, then Matt was able to reach out and grab leader.

Scott and Jim stood ready, and when the time came, it happened.

“It was a good fight,” said Scott. “Matt put his heart and soul into fighting that fish. It was pretty cool.”

Scott’s dog, Zeke, is the mastermind of the whole fishing operation. He makes sure the bait’s good and is always on lookout. When the reel goes off, he is right in the go.

“I couldn’t do it without the dog. That’s a big part of our operation,” mentioned Scott.

It was a challenge to gaff the marlin, get it in the boat and fit it into the fish box, said Scott.

Their winning marlin was worth $17,000 to the team. Congratulations!