Pursuit lands first big ahi of the season
LAHAINA – The weekend warrior Pursuit weighed the first big ahi of the season for the harbor, weighing 146.0 pounds by Capt. Ron Leon. He was fishing with Captains Rob Cosgrove and Ryno Fiedorowicz.
Ron was running some GPS bumps in about 35 fathoms as they headed south past Launiupoko. Rob and Ryno were on the back deck watching the lines and talking about past marlin they had caught inside the shallow ono ground water. “It is funny,” said Ryno, “that we caught marlin that come inside to eat ono.” Suddenly, the port side short corner rod went off.
Rob shouted to Ryno, “Take it!” Ryno said, “Heck NO!” He saw how fast the line was going off the 130-class reel and told Rob, “You take it; I’ll clear the lines.” Rob sat on the gunnel and started the fight.
The fish made a surface run, kicking up whitewater, straight away from them for 350-400 yards. They thought it was a marlin or a big ono on the initial run. The fish took them into the Dacron backing in a hurry.
Ryno got everything cleared as Ron turned the boat around and started chasing after it. As the fish turned out to the port side, it put a big loop of line in the water. Ron turned away from it, pulling the line straight fairly quick.
Once the fish slowed its run, and Rob got some mono back on the spool, he moved the rod to the starboard side gunnel. Ron sat on the rail and started working on the fish.
The fish started doing big circles. Rob kept an angle on it, cutting off its run, turning on it as it started to turn, keeping the line tight and on the starboard side. Rob continued to slowly work it up over the next 15 minutes.
When they finally got the fish close to the boat, within about 100 yards, Ryno could see it down there. He thought he saw a bill on it. The fish was turned sideways, looking all silver. Ryno thought for sure it was a marlin.
Rob came over and looked at the fish with Ryno. They both saw flashes of yellow, but Ryno still thought it was a marlin.
Rob said, “I think it might be a tuna.” As the fish started coming up to the boat, Ryno yelled, “Yeah, it’s a tuna. Get the gaff.”
They already had the tag stick out for a marlin and quickly had to change game plans. Ryno leadered it up off the starboard side.
He grabbed the double line and pulled it up to leader. The ahi swung out behind the stern, so Ryno had to pull it away from the outboard engines.
Ron grabbed the gaff and stuck it right under the chin. A perfect gaff shot. Rob got a second securing gaff into it, and they pulled it over the rail.
Ryno said that it was one of the funnest fish he has caught, with the best group of guys. It was a miracle he said – the COVID miracle, they were calling it.