On July 13, TANTRUM headed out on an impromptu last minute trip with owner Mike, his daughter Alexis, and crewmen Chip and Joe (from Jaybles Photography). As we casually headed out around 11:00am, little did we know what an incredible day we were in for. Within five minutes of pulling the throttles back and getting our spread of TANTRUM Lures tuned up just south of Kaiwi Point, I had my head in the GPS and heard the rings on my starboard outrigger jingling and turned around to see a good sized hole on the short rigger where my Large BANDIT used to be. Soon after, a 400lb blue marlin was launching away from the boat at speed and Alexis was in the chair and hooked up to her biggest marlin to date. The boys had the spread cleared in no time and we had the G&S backing up after our fish. Alexis did a great job of keeping up with the speed we were chasing her fish at, we were soon on top of it and Alexis applied some extra drag to keep it on a short leash. The fish never jumped again so it still had plenty of juice in the tank. The opportunity presented itself to take a going away shot on the leader and we took it, but the fish wasn’t done yet and snapped the leader out of Chip’s gloved hand. Soon after we had it back in leader range, Chip had it on a short leash and we let go Alexis’ biggest marlin to date at an estimated 400lb after a fun ten minute fight. It wasn’t to be her biggest for long though!
After resetting the gear, I pointed the boat south towards Kahaluu, one of my favorite big fish spots on the Kona coast. We were headed in towards the ledge and I’d just started a turn as we reached a couple of old waypoints when I heard a call of “long rigger!” from the cockpit. I turned around to see a large blue marlin eat our TANTRUM Large JetPack and our Tiagra 130 was instantly melting line off. Alexis was back in the chair and the boys had the long corner and stinger cleared allowing me to back through our other lures as our 200m top shot flew off the reel. There were huge explosions out the back as we had TANTRUM screaming back out to sea in pursuit of the big girl. Once again with some encouragement from Dad Mike and the team, Alexis did a great job of speed winding and retrieving our line as we shortened the gap. We were able to get on top of it before it went down too deep and then applied some serious drag and worked different angles with the boat to avoid the fish getting in a comfort zone. With some great angling from Alexis utilising up to 60lb of drag and some one to one low gear, Chip had the leader in his hand and the big fish boat side. After around a forty minute fight, we released the fish in a very healthy state and comfortably estimated her size at 700lb. There were high fives and hugs all around as we celebrated Alexis’ new biggest fish to date. I have to thank Carol Lynne and Marlin Parker from Marlin Magic Sportfishing for capturing the beautiful boat to boat photos as we were battling this special fish, we appreciate it guys! Also thanks to my great friend Joe Byrum for capturing the incredible jump shots of the big fish as well as his great work on the deck!
We weren’t done yet though. A half hour or so after resetting the spread we had an aggressive bite on our short corner XL BANDIT. Alexis was kind enough to let her Dad have a go in the chair this time and Mike was hooked up to his first marlin on his new boat! The size of this fish brought us back down to earth at around 150lb but what it lacked in size it made up for in spark with some beautiful displays of jumps close to the boat. We soon had the fish in leader range and Chip shortened it up beautifully for some boat side photos followed by more high fives!
This was a very special day for a number of reasons. Alexis’ two biggest marlin to date with her father and new boat owner Mike by her side, our biggest marlin for the boat since only recently acquiring it and also my biggest blue marlin as a captain. We made our way back to the harbor for a bit of celebration and reflection on the wonderful day we’d just had going three from three on blue marlin with plenty of quality amongst them!