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Hinatea starts new year with 470-pound blue marlin

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Jan 29, 2021

Deckman Dylan Lehmann (left) and Capt. Chris Cole with their 470.2-pound blue marlin caught on Hinatea. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA — The Hinatea started off 2021 with a nice 470.2-pound blue marlin with Capt. Chris Cole and Deckman Dylan Lehmann.

Chris was 300 fathoms southwest off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai, as Dylan watched the pattern. Suddenly, they had a violent snap off the short corner rigger. The marlin took off straight down the pattern for about 500 yards, taking them into the Dacron backing in a couple of minutes.

Once Dylan got the first angler into the chair, he started clearing the rest of the lines. Still not seeing the marlin, Chris started to idle reverse following the line. The marlin turned back around and started charging toward the boat, putting a big bow in the line.

The marlin suddenly popped up at about the third wave in a wall of whitewater. Chris throttled the boat full ahead, trying to get away from it and pull the bow out of the line. All the tension from the line in the water kept the line tight and the hook in the fish.

The marlin sounded and stayed that way the rest of the fight. Chris reversed on the fish, in and out of gear, for several minutes, getting up on top of it. The marlin was about 300 feet deep and was digging down with all it had, putting a bend in the rod. It kept trying to turn under the boat, with Chris throttling ahead to keep the line off the stern and an angle on the fish.

This fish was fired up, digging down and away from them, pulling short yards of line. The first angler worked on the marlin for about 15 minutes before switching out in the chair. Dylan kept coaching the anglers on how to pump the rod to raise the fish. The second angler ran into a stalemate in about 20 minutes. The third angler lasted the final 25 minutes.

Dylan had 30 pounds of drag pressure on the 100-test line, but he didn’t want to over-stress the line and break it off. Chris made at least a dozen circles around the marlin, trying to keep up with it and make it change direction. It would dig away so hard that it would actually pull the boat around. The line was pinging off the spool.

Every time Chris would see the fish near the surface, and back down on it, it would make another short run. They finally had the marlin to the rubber band in about 40 minutes.

This fish was not giving up, pulling the rubber band off the rod a couple of times. Dylan pushed up the drag just enough to keep the line on the spool.

At leader, the marlin was lit up and swimming strong from side to side. Dylan grabbed the leader and was instantly dragged across the stern. He had to dump the line.

He got the leader back, with the marlin taking him on another back and forth stroll across the deck. He dumped the line a second time as the fish made a quick dig down several yards.

The third time Dylan grabbed the leader; he was able to get a good wrap on the line. He held the marlin at the port corner with everything he had, as it tried to dig into the prop. Chris was right there to secure their catch.

Dylan mentioned that this marlin was one of the toughest he has had to deal with.