Marlin Blast from Five Years Past

from The Kona Fishing Chronicles, Vol. 9/10.  March 29, 2010 (five years ago)

BIG MARLIN CONTINUE TO MAKE NEWS. Catch one marlin weighing 1,000 pounds and you make one angler very happy. CatchKona Fishing Chronicles 9/10 two marlin totaling 1,000 pounds and you’ve doubled your score in angler satisfaction. Capt. Kevin Nakamaru, skipper of Northern Lights, has caught granders of several kinds in several oceans, but last week was his chance to have a grand day for two ladies with a grand pair of fish estimated at 800 and 200 pounds. Emily Hokett caught the 800-pounder and Faune Conner the 200 – both released.

When an experienced professional captain estimates a marlin at “800 pounds” it usually means the fish is more – maybe even much more.

That was the case with last week’s other 800-pound release on the Tropical Sun. Joe Amato and friends, including some youngsters, joined Capt. Dennis Cintas and crew Ryan Lutes on a “something-for-everyone trip.”

They left the harbor at 6:35 am to find big-fish-for-big-folks along the 1,500-fathom line. With no strikes by mid-morning they turned toward Kaiwi Point and trolled toward shallow water to please the keiki with some reef fish.

Dennis said they ran across a very strong current line moving at about three knots. Just then, the huge fish appeared on the stinger where Dennis runs a lure called “The New York Minute.”NewYorkMinute

The fish inhaled the little lure like a frog snaps up a bug.

The marlin jumped and tail-danced for three minutes, Dennis said. Then it settled down and swam steadily south.

Though she never had more than 150 yards of line out from the Shimano 80 reel, the marlin was so heavy that angler Al Ankerway had a hard time gaining line despite a 40-pound drag setting. Ryan continued a steady stream of coaching and Al eventually got the leader to him in about 35 minutes, but the fish pulled away. After more arduous effort, Al got the leader back to Ryan.

Eventually, the fish rolled over on its side, so Dennis raced down from the flying bridge to help with gaffing.

From early sightings, they suspected that the marlin might actually top 1,000 pounds – making the “grander list.”

Because of that potential size, they had made the decision to gaff, but fate had other plans for the fish.

From the constant pressure of the long battle, the hook had straightened out and just let go.

“Just as well,” Capt. D. said. “She was a magnificent fish for all to see and hopefully will spawn many more marlin just like her!”

Lures aren’t the only answer for big marlin. Capt. Tio Kearney and crew Mike Nesbitt live-baited on Miss Mojo and hooked big fish of all kinds. You expect to get bitten by bronze whalers, tigers, makos, silky sharks and threshers, but the Miss Mojo minions also caught (and released) a huge hammerhead estimated at 500 pounds.

The next day at TT-buoy, Tio and Mike baited with a 15-pound yellowfin tuna and his anglers looked askance at the bait’s size. But then they looked up to see a 700-pound blue marlin tail-dancing in front of them.

“We did 12 knots in reverse keeping up with it. In an hour and 15-minute fight it took us way up into shallow water.”

On Sunday, they finished the week with a 572-pound marlin they caught trolling toward the Grounds. Angler Craig Cugnet, from Sasketchawan, brought it to the boat intending to tag it but the fish died before they could get the hooks out.

“We barely got it before it started sinking,” Tio said.

All good signs that good days are coming.