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Fo Reel wins 2019 Lahaina Yacht Club Wahine Fishing Tournament

By Staff | Nov 21, 2019

From left, Mira Neal, Melissa Nakagawa, Capt. Pat Fondren, Capt. Ross Elkins, Leigh Drake and Sami Elkins with their tournament winning 169.6-pound blue marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA – The Fo Reel won this year’s Lahaina Yacht Club Wahine Fishing Tournament with a 169.6-pound blue marlin. The captain was Pat Fondrea with Co-capt. Ross Elkins on the deck, and their wahine team was comprised of Mira Neal, Melissa Nakagawa, Leigh Drake and Sami Elkins.

They were fishing the North Shore of Maui off the “Mama’s Fishhouse” Buoy. They were busy picking up small tunas to put down for bait, with two rigged in close, leaving the lures out long. Pat made a couple of laps around the buoy without picking up any more tuna.

All of a sudden, the long gone line came down that had a Steve Elkins Jr. popsicle lure on it. The marlin made two good jumps and then went down, continuing to pull off 500 yards of 130-test line.

Not having a fighting chair, Ross put the rod into the center rod holder between the two outboards and had the girls stand behind it and crank. They all took turns, doing whatever it took to get in. Pat kept the boat in and out of gear to keep the line tight as the girls switched out for the next 25 minutes.

The marlin started swimming with the boat, as they kept it heading in on the port corner. The fish came in on that side relatively easy, mentioned Ross.

Ross grabbed the leader straight off the stern. The marlin cooperated nicely as he guided it around the outboards and back to the port corner. Pat took a deep fly-gaff shot on the fish, not wanting to lose it at leader.

With their marlin secured, they pulled it into the boat, and everybody did their “happy dance.”