Harbor Date: 5/31/89
LAHAINA — For my 38th birthday, I decided to take myself fishing and partying with some friends. I had an offer to charter the Finest Kind, so I put together my birthday fishing team: Capt. Randy “RO” Orkisch, Co-capt. Roy “Roy Boy” Dickey and Deckman Kevin “Kevlar” McLaughlin, along with Finest Kind Reservations Manager Janet Six and friend Dennis Quinlin. We headed out for a day of partying and fishing.
It was a beautiful morning with just slightly overcast skies and glassy- smooth waters. When we were about five minutes out of the harbor, Roy and Kevin set the pattern as we headed the Finest Kind toward Olowalu.
About 15 minutes later, as we were all having our Danish and champagne, my marlin took down the long rigger. It peeled off a couple of hundred yards of 80-test line and then displayed itself in a dozen long leaps and bounds while sailing across the water.
Once the fish stopped taking line, R.O. and I got down to business. He jockeyed the Finest Kind to the fish as I cranked like crazy. We regained quite a bit of line before the marlin decided to surface once more, putting on another aerial exhibition for everyone to see.
It was barely past 7 a.m., and I was already in a heavy sweat as my marlin made quick, short runs to let me know that this battle wasn’t over yet. It surfaced once more, showing its colors as it tail-walked across the surface, desperately tried to shake the hooks. I knew that as long as the fish didn’t spit the hooks, it was going home with me.
Suddenly, Kevin shouted, “Double!” as the marlin appeared off the stern. “It came in too quickly,” I thought to myself, but in the same thought, I was glad that it was almost over.
The guys did a really professional job at double line/leader. R.O. maneuvered the Finest Kind to the fish as I cranked, with the marlin coming in smoothly. Kevin leadered the fish to Roy and the waiting gaff.
I let out a large shout as the boys pulled our marlin through the stern door. I couldn’t believe I had finally landed my first blue marlin. We all stood around on the back deck and toasted to our victory. We felt we could get down to some serious partying because the pressure was off; and it was only 7:15 a.m. in the morning.
All day long, I found myself staring at the fish and finding it hard to believe that the fish on the deck was mine. We had four other marlin come up during the day, and that kept us on our toes. It was an excellent day aboard the Finest Kind and a great birthday. My 200-pound blue will look good on the wall with my 185-pound ahi.
Mahalo again, team, for an excellent birthday!
It’s hard to believe it has been 32 years since that epic day. As they say, “You always remember your first.”
And a special aloha to Roy and Kevin, who will always be in my memories.