For anglers of every size, there is a fish of just the right size. For Mitchell Romero, 11, the right size fish was a 136.5-pound striped marlin, which is the biggest caught so far in 2016.
On Friday, Mitchell and his brother Jesse, 6, fished with Capt. Guy Terwilliger on High Flier. Jesse told Guy that the biggest fish he’d ever caught was “this big” holding his hands apart about the length of a dollar bill. Guy told him that fish would be pretty easy to beat and then proved it by hooking Jesse a spearfish about 10 times as long and a foot taller than he was. The first-grader struggled a bit but eventually reeled in the 28-pounder.
Now it was Mitchell’s turn to go for the family bragging rights and he did it in chart-topping style.
BROKE DA MOUTH LURE.
Kona lure maker Eric Koyanagi makes lures in all sizes from small bullets to a giant “broke da mouth” lure. The big one is so big it is molded around an actual aku head for a very realistic look. The clear polyester outer shell is a standard shape that has been proven to give the lure an attractive action as it is trolled. Even so, there is no mistaking that the real eye-catching appeal is the real fish head preserved inside.
It is a big lure for big fish. A few weeks ago, Capt. Deneen Wargo was trolling Eric’s big one behind Bite Me 6 and it got slammed by a 650-pound blue marlin. Deneen’s angler carefully worked the fish to the boat in a 45-minute fight so there was no chance of losing her prized attractor. On only his third day as crew, Nate Figueroa pulled the leader close and grabbed the big lure so there was no chance of losing it.
In the twilight zone 100-fathoms deep, small fish eat smaller creatures and big fish ambush anything they can jam in their mouths.
Angler Jessica Yell and skipper Shawn Rotella got a clue to that kill-or-be-killed world when Jessica hauled up the biggest amberjack so far in 2016. The jaw of the 70-pound kahala was decorated with trophies from some of its unwitting prey.
Shawn counted no fewer than 7 hooks embedded in the lower jaw. These were small circle hooks of a size bottom fishermen use to fish for opakapaka. The hooks had been attached to 50 pound test leaders, more evidence of ‘paka gear.
The veteran skipper surmises that the fishermen kept hooking ‘paka and then losing them to the kahala as it snatched them off the leader. Shawn says that all of the hooks, leaders and knots seemed to be identical to each other, which suggested that the fish was stealing from the same fisherman over and over.
Big-Fish List for 2016. The list recognizes the biggest fish caught on rod and reel (except opakapaka and onaga, for which we’ll accept hand line catches) in West Hawaii waters for 2016 in each of 22 categories. They are listed by species, weight, angler, skipper, boat, and date. The list is updated every Sunday throughout the year (copyright 2016 by Jim Rizzuto). If we have overlooked you, give us a call (885-4208) or send an e-mail (email@example.com).
- Blue marlin, 625, Sunny Water & Marc Hembrough, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl. Jan 3.
- Black marlin, (vacant)
- Ahi, 227, Capt. Russ Nitta, Lepika. Jan 6.
- Bigeye tuna, 173, Dave Remillard, Miles Nakahara, Puamana II. Jan. 11.
- Striped marlin, 136.5, Mitchell Romero, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier. Jan 22.
- Spearfish, 50, Ret Topping, Capt. John Bagwell, Silky, Jan 14
- Sailfish, (vacant)
- Mahimahi, 36, Larry Peardon, El Jobean, Jan 2.
- Ono, 57, Monty Brown, Capt. Robbie Brown, El JoBean. Jan 23.
- Kaku, (barracuda), (vacant)
- Kahala, 70, Jessica Yell, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner. Jan 22.
- Ulua (giant trevally), (vacant)
- Omilu (bluefin trevally), (vacant)
- Otaru (skipjack tuna), (vacant)
- Broadbill swordfish, (vacant)
- Ahipalaha (albacore), (vacant)
- Kawakawa, (vacant)
- Kamanu (rainbow runner), (vacant)
- Opakapaka (pink snapper), (vacant)
- Onaga (ulaula ko`aie), (vacant)
- Uku (gray snapper), (vacant)
- O`io (bonefish), (vacant)
Beasts of the week (marlin weighing 500 pounds or more).
January 18: Blue marlin (60 and 400) Lyle Yeo, (125) Colton Yeo, Capt. Trevor Child, Maverick
January 19: Spearfish (25) Henry Wojton, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl
January 19: Blue marlin (400) Will Wojton, (90) Mindy Wojton, spearfish (30) Will Wojton, (40) Richard Macrone, Capt. Kenny Fogarty, Hula Girl
January 19: Blue marlin (160) Jon Dixon, striped marlin (70) Mr. Ikeda, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui
January 20: Blue marlin (110) Rose Jafque, Capt. McGrew Rice, Ihu Nui
January 20: Blue marlin (250) Anne Guess, Capt. Kent Mongreig, Sea Wife II
January 20: Striped marlin (70, and 40) Bill Schroeder, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
January 21: Striped marlin (75) Jacob Julkowski, Capt. Chuck Haupert, Catchem I
January 21: Spearfish (25) Kate Lombardi, Capt. Kenny Fogarty Hula Girl
January 22: Striped marlin (70) Ellen Middleton, Capt. Chuck Haupert, Catchem I
January 23: Blue marlin (350) Tim Dyrgas, spearfish (35) Michelle Dyrgas, Capt. Al Gustavson, Topshape
January 19: Ahi (186) Bob Slehd, Capt. Bobby Cherry, Cherry Pit II
January 20: Kahala (70) Jessica Yell, Capt. Shawn Rotella, Night Runner
January 22: Striped marlin (136.5) Mitchell Romero, Capt. Guy Terwilliger, High Flier
January 23: Spearfish 47, Jason Jones, Capt. Deneen Wargo, Bite Me 6
January 23: Ono, 57, Monty Brown, Capt. Robbie Brown, El JoBean.