Six-year-old lands 150-pound marlin
LAHAINA – The Hinatea was on a holo holo pandemic fishing trip, boating a 150-pound blue marlin by six-year-old Samuelu Cole. He was fishing with his dad, Capt. Chris Cole, and Deckmen Dyllon Lehmann and Tony Nunez.
They were headed out toward Kahoolawe to fish the SO-Buoy off the southwest corner of the shoals. About halfway there, they stopped to fish another buoy, sitting in about 200 fathoms of water. They started catching mahi mahi, with Samuelu landing one about 20 pounds. He wanted a marlin, though.
After getting eight mahi mahi in the boat, they had moved away from the buoy, so Chris headed back in that direction. It was a blind strike on the long rigger, on a Niiyama “Malolo” jet. The fish took off, pulling the 80-pound test line quickly off the 50-wide reel.
Dyllon got Samuelu into the chair and the fighting harness hooked up. The marlin took about 400 yards as Chris started to reverse the boat as fast as he could. As the fish started to slow down, Samuelu got on the handle and started cranking as hard as he could.
Chris looked back and could see the marlin jumping. As Samuelu started to gain some line, the fish took off again on a short run. As Chris reversed after the marlin, Samuelu was struggling to gain line. Dyllon switched the reel into 3:1 ratio, making it easier for Samuelu to crank.
“That really worked for him,” mentioned Chris. “It was a perfect fit for him on 50, the whole set up. He didn’t have to fight all that weight from a bigger reel.”
The marlin put up a good fight. Samuelu stuck with it. He didn’t really know the technique on using a harness, but it just seemed to come natural to him. He fought his fish “Island-Style,” standing up in the foot rest, okole off the chair as he cranked, and then used his body as leverage as he sat back pulling on the rod.
Dyllon stood behind Samuelu to hold him down so he wouldn’t be pulled out of the chair. It was a back and forth fight. Chris didn’t have to tell him when to crank. He just felt the tug on the rod, and cranked when he could. Samuelu figured it out; when he could rest, shake out his arm, take a couple of deep breaths and get back on it.
Once the marlin tired itself out, they started to get a lot of line back. They ran into a stalemate about 100 yards away. It was a tug of war for Samuelu, as he struggled with the fish, give and take 50-100 yards, for at least 20 minutes. Chris continued to chase after the fish.
As the marlin got closer, Dyllon had to push up the drag pressure so Samuelu could bring it up without losing more line. At about 50 yards, Dyllon started to help, “Portuguese pulling” the line as Samuelu cranked the last 10-15 minutes, taking what he could take.
Once Chris saw the marlin getting close, he went “dead boat” and came down to the deck to check on Samuelu. The fish was still fired up, so Chris went back to the helm. He had to make a couple of circles around the marlin to change its direction, trying to get in front of it. It kept pulling away, playing with them.
Chris didn’t want to bring the fish up “super hot,” so they kept putting more pressure on it to tire it out. Once Chris saw color, he came down off the bridge. He wanted to leader it. Tony was at the helm, with Chris telling him to go in and out of gear, so the fish wouldn’t get ahead of them.
The marlin came up off the port corner. At leader, it was swimming with them and digging down. It moved up the port side fast. Dyllon quickly turned the chair to port. Chris grabbed the leader as it tried to get ahead of the boat. The marlin came out of the water, almost hitting the rigger, as Chris “flew the kite.” He and the fish were both freaking out.
Chris shouted to Tony, “Go, go, go!” Chris held the line off the boat as Tony turned away from the fish. Chris pulled the marlin back to the port side, grabbed a stick gaff, and quickly gaffed it before it could freak out again. Once it was subdued, Chris pulled it over the rail, and that was that.
Once the marlin was in the boat, Samuelu couldn’t believe it, punching the fish to make sure it was real, smiling from ear to ear. On the way in, Samuelu kept looking down off the bridge at his fish. He was super proud of himself. He had been asking for a marlin for years, mentioned Chris. He told him, “Dad, I’m going to get a big marlin.”
Samuelu never said he wanted to give up. “That’s his fish,” he said. He was totally committed on cranking it in.
Congratulations to six-year-old Samuelu Cole on his first blue marlin!