Community Contributed by Matt Yamashita
What lures a fisherman back to the water time and again is the fact that you never know what’s going to happen. It’s also nice to share the ocean’s unpredictable moments with someone else, to have a witness to the otherwise unbelievable.
I have more than a few great fishing memories, but this past Monday tops them all – for now. I took my friend Chris Hammond 20 miles out on my 15-foot Boston Whaler to try and find the big ahi I’ve been chasing for years. The water was a little rough and the bite slow. We got bumped around and barely picked up a dozen three pound tuna. Not bad, but definitely not what we were hoping for.
At about 9:30 a.m. we decided to head home. It was still early and the water was getting nicer so we put some lures out hoping for a mahi-mahi on the way.
Our conversation eventually went to where most conversations go on an uneventful day of trolling – “Would be nice to catch a marlin,” and, “It’s gotta happen one of these days.” But as often as it is talked about, it usually doesn’t happen.
We were just three miles outside of the Kaunakakai Harbor when our day went from regular to unforgettable. I just happened to look back to check the lures when I see a big, dark marlin head break water behind our boat. It’s chasing the lucky lure my wife gave me for Christmas four years ago. “Marlin, marlin!” I yelled.
I hold our speed and we watch it come thrashing behind the lure two more times before it takes it. Chris goes to grab the pole, but I yell at him excitedly, “let it run, let it run… clear the other lines!” I keep the throttle up to insure the hook is set and then begin turning the boat to chase the now jumping beast.
“Brah, that’s a big one! That’s a blue! Let’s get it on the boat!”
I have a pretty small boat and I run pretty light gear (Shimano TLD 30s), so I’m thinking we’ll be pretty lucky to land this monster. But I want to come home with the fish and not just the story, so I remember the good advice of Capt. Clay Ching, “Stay calm, take your time, and trust your equipment.”
Chris and I spend the next 45 minutes chasing our marlin around, trying to tire it out so we can bring it in safely. Finally, we get the fish next to the boat, I tie the bill to my rail and Chris sinks the gaff. This one wasn’t getting away.
So with the tail and head sticking out either side of my boat we proudly head back in to the wharf, adrenaline still pumping. This is the first blue marlin for my boat and I think the first marlin caught on Molokai in 2011. It weighed in at 212 pounds and fed a whole bunch of families.
You never know what’s going to happen when you go fishing. Sometimes, you get lucky. That’s why we keep going.