LAHAINA — Maui Police Department Sergeant Eric Losvar landed a nice 578.0-pound blue marlin while fishing aboard the Finest Kind with Captains Sean Hudson and Anthony Riccio.
Sean was fishing southwest between Lanai and Kahoolawe in 350 fathoms of water, around a pinnacle nicknamed “Magic Mountain.” Sean saw two Boobies flying ahead, so he headed over toward the area. Suddenly, they had a knock down on the short rigger, with a boil on the lure, but the fish missed it.
Sean turned the boat around and came back through the spot, with the short corner reel taking off. The fish ran down the pattern but never showed itself.
Once Anthony got the pattern cleared, Sean started backing down after it. As he looked back, he saw a marlin jumping and grayhounding at them about 300-400 yards away.
Eric was cranking the 130-class reel as hard and fast as he could. Sean knew there was a belly in the line and a lot of slack in the water. Sean throttled the boat forward until the line came tight. He then continued to back after the marlin fairly aggressively.
All of a sudden, the angle on the line started going down. After about 15 minutes, and traveling over a mile, Sean got to a point where he couldn’t back down any more, as he got straight up-and-down on the fish.
The marlin kept digging down on them, making slow pulls off the spool. Thirty minutes into the fight, it had out three-quarters of the line, around 600 yards, into the backing. It was acting weird, with Sean and Anthony thinking it might be tail-wrapped or dead. With them getting into a stalemate, Sean started to plane the marlin up.
He slowly idled forward about 100 yards, and once he got an angle on the line, he would back up really fast.
Anthony held the side of the spool as Sean motored forward, not letting any line out, feeling the fish, but letting the line slowly slide off the spool if he felt the pressure on it was too much. He wanted to make sure what they were gaining wasn’t coming off the reel. At first, Eric could only get a few cranks on the reel, until the angle on the line got better, and then he was able to get about a dozen cranks each time Sean reversed up to it.
Sean continued the planning maneuver at least 15-20 times over the next hour, with them making good progress. Finally, Anthony estimated that the marlin was at the long gone distance out. Sean kept after it.
Sean made one more plane forward and then hard reversed. He saw the angle on the line coming up toward the surface, with the bill and head of the marlin popping up off the port side.
Eric continued to gain line as Sean swung the stern around and backed up to the fish. The marlin came up stiff as a board with no movement at all. Anthony leadered the marlin, took wraps and held it steady, with Sean right there to secure their catch. They pulled it around and through the stern door to end the two-hour fight.
Everything went as planned, mentioned Sean. They were lucky that it was on 130 — the only 130 reel in the spread. Sean called the 130 a “stump puller.”
Anthony had a lot of “heat” on the fish. With 30-35 pounds of drag, the rod was doubled all the way over the stern, lifting Eric in the chair as he cranked.
This is the largest blue marlin so far this year for Maui.