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Start Me Up Das It sets top marlin statistics high for 2021

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Mar 19, 2021

From left, James Beam, Capt. Ross Elkins and Deckman Ekolu Garso with their 743.2-pound blue marlin caught on Start Me Up Das It. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA — The Start Me Up Das It joined the 700-pound marlin club, weighing a 743.2-pound blue by James Beam. He was fishing with Capt. Ross Elkins and Deckman Ekolu Garso.

Ross was heading back in from the Palaoa Point Lighthouse off the southwest corner of Lanai on a six-hour charter. After getting no bites, he was just trying to catch a mahi mahi trolling on the way home.

About 120 fathoms off Black Manele, they had a strike on the short rigger, Steve Elkins Diamond Back Junior Popsicle lure. The marlin lit up, turned and ran straight away from the boat, jumping, thrashing back and forth and tail-walking, hauling okole.

At that point, Ross knew he had a big fish. He shouted to Ekolu, “Oh boy — get ready!”

The marlin ran out 600 yards, stripping half-a-spool of 100-test line off the 80-class reel, as it continued to thrash across the surface for at least ten minutes. Even out there, it looked big, mentioned Ross. Once the fish finally settled down, it headed deep and continued to pull line.

Ross had the boat in hard reverse as he chased after the marlin for a solid 45 minutes before finally catching up to it.

The fish was straight up and down about 200 yards deep. They had a slight angle on the line when the marlin came up one more time about 50 yards away, showed itself on the surface and then went back down.

Ross was pretty much “dead boat” with the marlin pulling a little line. He told Ekolu to push up the drag to the button. After a few minutes, the fish wasn’t showing any movement, with James in a stalemate. Ross figured it was done.

They fought the marlin out of the chair for a while, but that wasn’t working for James, so Ekolu moved the rod to the port side stern holder. With James sitting on the rail, Ekolu started to “Portuguese pull” the line as James slowly gained line a half-a-crank at a time. Ekolu could feel that the fish might be dead. Ross started to drive away from the marlin, trying to plane it up. Once he got an angle on the fish, he backed down hard on it, with James gaining a lot of line.

Near the end of the fight, James was talking about “tapping out,” but Ross told him, “NO, you’re going to finish this fight, No tap out.”

About 20 minutes later, they finally saw double line. The marlin popped up belly first, and dead. Ekolu grabbed the line and pulled it to the boat.

He dragged the fish to the stern door and held on. They didn’t even have to use the gaff.

After half-hitching the bill, Ross and Ekolu tried to get it through the door, without much luck. They got the other charter to help haul it aboard.

Ross mentioned that they had traveled about a half-mile during the fight.

This is the largest charter boat marlin for Ross and Ekolu, and the largest for Lahaina Harbor since May 2018.

This definitely sets the top marlin stats high for this year.

For catching a marlin over 500 pounds, Start Me Up Sportfishing gave James his trip for free. They will also donate $300 to a local charity, as part of their charity donation program for a marlin caught over 500 pounds on one of their boats.