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Team Troublemaker wins Lanai Rendezvous Substitute Tournament

By BY DONNELL TATE/Harbor Report - | Sep 10, 2021

From left, Capt. Bob Schnoor, Deckman Derek Escalera, Darren Libstaff and Mark Pastore with their tournament-winning marlin. PHOTO BY DONNELL TATE.

The weekend warrior Troublemaker won this year’s Lanai Rendezvous Substitute Tournament with a 109.0-pound blue marlin by Deckman Derek Escalera. He was fishing with Captain Bob Schnoor and team members Mark Pastore and Darren Libstaff, who also caught a 78.0-pound blue marlin, the only other blue marlin in the tournament.

The plan was to go to the MN-Buoy located southeast off Kaumalapau Harbor, Lanai. They got there about daybreak and set out the pattern. There was just a little sign of life in the area, but they just couldn’t seem to get a bite. Bob worked the area for about an hour-and-a-half, with Derek trying everything — dead bait, worms and rubber duckies — with nothing striking an interest.

A couple other boats working the area were having the same problem, and they even had live bait. Bob found out later from another boat that there were sharks around the buoy.

Because a lot of boats went to the MC Buoy, 540-fathoms southwest of the Palaoa Point Lighthouse, Lanai, they decided to head down the 300-fathom ledge towards the Kahoolawe Shoals. They worked the ledge and some private buoys for a while, with lots of birds in the area but no action.

As they were on the 200-fathom ledge in the middle of the Kealaikahiki Channel, Bob decided to head toward Manele Bay. Once he got outside Manele, he turned south toward Kahoolawe, down the 100-fathom ledge toward the LA-Buoy marks.

When they got to the LA marks, Bob was going to head back toward Olowalu. They were basically done fishing and were making that last run before heading home. It was in-between Manele and LA that they got their bite.

The long rigger reel took off first, ripping out the 130-test line at a good pace. Derek could see something jumping behind the pattern, with Bob shouting, “It’s a marlin!”

Derek started clearing the short side of the pattern. He took about 3-4 cranks on the short rigger reel, when suddenly it started dumping line. Darren sat on the starboard gunnel behind that rod and got ready to crank.

At first, Bob thought that the two lines had gotten crossed and tangled up. Derek could see Darren’s fish out past the long rigger jumping, and his fish in closer. Derek started fighting his fish from the port side gunnel.

Darren’s marlin ran out 300 yards, with 26 pounds of drag on the reel, surprisingly for a 100-pound fish. Because Derek’s fish stayed inside the pattern, it went under Darren’s line.

Once Darren’s marlin slowed its run, he had to switch sides with Derek, moving the rod to the port side gunnel.

By that time, Mark had cleared the other lines. Bob called him up to take over the helm, so he could help Derek on the back deck when it came time to leader and gaff. It took Derek about 20 minutes to get his fish to the boat. Derek reached out and grabbed the leader, with Bob getting the first marlin secured.

Once they had that fish on the deck, they went back to Darren’s fish. During that time, his marlin had run around the port side up past the bow. There was a lot of slack in the line, with them taking a couple of minutes to get the line tight and fish back behind the boat. Luckily it stayed on, and was hooked well.

It took about 30 minutes to get Darren’s marlin to the boat. Because Darren was fighting his fish from the port side gunnel, Bob and Derek decided to leader his fish off the port side corner and walk it around the swimstep to the starboard side — in case it got feisty at gaff.

Congratulations to the Troublemaker team on their double-blue marlin day and Rendezvous-winning fish.