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Start Me Up Das It ends 2020 with 387-pound marlin

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Jan 15, 2021

Capt. Ross Elkins (left) and Deckman Ekolu Garso with their 387.0-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up Das It. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA — After being tied to the dock since the March 19th COVID-19 harbor shutdown, and just four days before the New Year, the Start Me Up Das It, with Capt. Ross Elkins and Deckman Ekolu Garso, weighed a 387.0-pound blue marlin for Steve Davis.

Ross had been working the NASA and CC buoys off the west corner of Lanai. With nothing at either buoy, he headed north around Kaena Point and down the slot back to Maui. They were in 250 fathoms outside Kaena when a marlin came up and started following the short corner lure.

With the lure on the second wave, Ross watched the marlin rise up, mouth open, and swallow the Steve Elkins Aku Bonzoid lure. The fish turned and headed down the pattern, also grabbing the long rigger lure on the way, pulling it out of the clip.

The marlin ripped out about 300 yards of 130-test line as Ekolu got the rest of the pattern cleared. Luckily, the long rigger hook came off, so they still had the fish on one line. The marlin circled back around and started charging the boat.

Ross had the boat almost full speed ahead for 30-45 seconds, spinning to the starboard side, trying to get away from it. The fish was tail-walking and greyhounding all over the place as it headed closer and closer. The marlin was almost back to the short rigger position before they were ready to do anything.

Suddenly, the marlin disappeared as it headed down and away. Ross slowed the boat as the fish slowed its run. He started idle reversing after it for about 10 minutes before he got straight up and down on it.

With the marlin straight up and down, Ross used the swell to help Steve get into a rhythm of drop and crank, hoisting the fish up a little bit at a time.

The swell was coming straight at the stern, which helped a lot. Ross was pretty much “dead boat” on the fish, just correcting the angle to stay straight on it and the swell.

In about 20 minutes, they had the marlin close to the boat. There was no problem at leader, as Ekolu pulled it up on the starboard side. He called Ross down to secure the fish, and they slid it through the stern door.

This marlin ended the COVID-19 shortened year as the sixth largest for Lahaina Harbor.