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Start Me Up Cuz lands 641.5-pound marlin

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Apr 16, 2021

From left, Capt. Steve Carroll, Alex Golf and Deckman Jeremy Johnson with their 641.5-pound marlin caught on Start Me Up Cuz. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

LAHAINA — The Start Me Up Cuz joined the 600-pound marlin club with a 641.5-pound blue by Alex Golf. He was fishing with Capt. Steve Carroll and Deckman Jeremy Johnson.

They were one mile south, outside Kamaiki, Lanai, on the 100-fathom ledge between Kamaiki and Armchair, when they raised a fish. Jeremy saw the marlin come up on the short corner lure but didn’t eat it. He teased the fish, with it coming back up, exploding on the lure a second time but missing it.

Jeremy free-spooled the reel, dropping the lure backward in the wake, and then cranked it in a couple of turns. The marlin grabbed the lure, took a couple of seconds of line off the spool and then let it go. Steve kept the boat ahead for another 15-20 seconds.

Steve started a portside circle turn back through the area. He was three-quarters of the way through the turn when the marlin made a U-turn and went after the long rigger lure.

The fish screamed off the 100-test line from the 80-class reel straight down the pattern for 500 yards. It then came up and went ballistic: jumping, doing cartwheels — the whole nine yards — and then went down, running for another 300 yards.

Steve tried to straighten out the angle on the line as Jeremy started clearing the pattern, with the marlin continuing to dump line. Steve had the boat two engines full reverse for a good 10-15 minutes before he was finally able to slow the run. Once they finally got the fish stopped, Steve continued to reverse after it for another 20 minutes, trying to gain some line.

In about 30 minutes, they had the marlin up and down off the stern. With them way into the Dacron backing, it took them an hour to finally get the mono main line back on the spool. They only had 150 yards of mono on the spool.

With the fish down 150 yards and at an angle, slowly but surely, Steve idle reversed in and out of gear in a slow pivot on the marlin. Once they got the rubber band on the spool, the fish decided to wake up and took off, making Steve have to follow it again.

For the next half hour, the marlin kept swimming away from them. It was give and take for Alex, with them gaining 20 yards and the fish taking it right back out. Steve kept working the boat on the marlin.

It was an hour-and-20-minutes into the fight when they finally got a look at the fish next to the boat. It was bigger than they thought. The last 50 feet, Steve started doing spins on the marlin to the starboard side as it came up outside the stern, about first wave distance.

Steve had a good visual on the marlin. As it made a swing to the starboard side, Steve reversed the boat with it. Once he got the fish off the corner, Steve went one engine ahead and straightened out the boat, with it swimming with them.

The marlin came up really easy to leader for a fish that size. It was a little stubborn, tussling with Jeremy as he grabbed the leader, but never went crazy. The fish suddenly turned onto its side, belly up.

Steve came down and secured the fish as it just laid there. This is the second largest marlin of the year, at the end of March, for the harbor.

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