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Island Time lands 510.4-pound marlin

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Dec 31, 2020

Capt. Rod Quam and his wife, Janice, with their 510.4-pound blue marlin caught on Island Time. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA — The weekend warrior Island Time joined the 500-pound marlin club, weighing a 510.4-pound blue by Capt. Rod Quam and his wife, Janice.

They started off the morning at the NASA Buoy off the back side of Lanai looking for mahi mahi and tuna. After working the buoy for a while, with nobody home, Rod headed down the 1,000-fathom ledge toward the MC Buoy off the southwest corner of Lanai. About 25 minutes after leaving the buoy, they raised a fish on the long gone stinger lure.

The marlin pulled the line out of the clip with no line coming off the spool. Rod started to let the line out to tease the fish, when he saw it come back around after the lure. He pushed the drag up to the strike position and waited. The marlin lunged on the lure, dorsal fin and back out of the water.

As it turned to head down the pattern, it hooked itself solidly in the jaw. The marlin took off and then turned to the starboard side. It popped up 400 yards away, putting on an amazing aerial display, tail-walking and greyhounding from side to side.

At this point, this must have been when it got tail-wrapped. The marlin stayed on the surface, running back and forth for at least a half hour. Rod was in the chair working the fish as Janice listened for instructions. She tried to keep the marlin behind the stern as she maneuvered the boat after the fish.

After about an hour of chasing the marlin, it was still about 600 yards away when it decided to sound.

“It almost spooled us before it stopped,” mentioned Rod. “I had 1,100 yards of 100-test line on the 80-class reel.”

With the marlin up and down behind the boat, with very little movement, Rod realized that the fish was dead.

He settled in and started to pump the fish up. Janice idled the boat ahead, getting an angle on the fish, and then reversed on it, trying to plane it upward as Rod picked up line a foot at a time.

This tug of war went on for an hour. Once they got it close enough, just past the rubber band, Janice backed on the marlin as Rod took four more good pumps and cranks on the rod.

The fish came up 30 yards out, dead — no movement at all. Rod cranked it in, grabbed the leader and pulled it in, tail-wrapped, tail first.

“It was very difficult, but fun,” mentioned Janice.

“A lot of hard work because it was dead and tail-wrapped.”

This is the fourth largest blue marlin for Lahaina in 2020.