Fathers & Sons & Marlin

Fathers & Sons & Marlin
Kona, Hawaii, August 7, the day after my son Owen's 20th birthday. Our first family trip since long before the pandemic hit.

We wanted to try our luck at Blue Marlin fishing. Things were looking bleak when Jennifer Boatwright Lint tried to find us a trip earlier in the week and everyone seemed booked up.

She did find us a last minute mid-day 4 hour trip, though. We went in with low expectations, hoping to just enjoy a day on the water. However, when we showed up at the harbor, we learned our boat had blown an engine earlier in the morning and couldn't go out.
Never fear, they found us a stand-in boat and captain so we headed out with Captain Mike of the Beast Mode and Jason as first mate.
Marlin fishing is done by trolling an enormous 18" squid like lure at speeds no fish should ever swim.  You troll around the gorgeous blue water, take in the sights, wait for a strike. It is neat but inherently boring. As the first mate said, "95% boredom punctuated by 5% sheer adrenaline." 
We tooled around for an hour and a half, seeing no signs of life. 
I decided to try an old soccer coaching superstition/trick that has worked many times before. I used to run to the bathroom when the team really needed a goal, and more often than not I'd be standing in the porta potty and our team would put one in the net. Don't ask me why it worked, but it did. Many times.
So I'm standing in the head below deck and I hear one of the reels start screaming. Hustle back up top and there are TWO blue marlin on the lines. Owen is strapped into the fighting chair; captain and mate are trying to clear the other three lines; the fifth line is flying off the reel.
Glorious chaos on the deck. Jennifer and our daughter Ellie quickly moved aside and went for the cameras. I got to fight one of the fish for a minute or two. It jumped twice and popped off. It was scary big, like 500 pounds scary.
Owen played his fish like a champ and followed the crew's directions to eventually bring in the 200 pound fish shown in the picture. It looked to be about 7 feet long. Tagged and released unharmed.
A half hour later, chaos again as two marlin hit two of the lures at the same time. One didn't hook up and one did. Jennifer was next up but she deferred (because she is awesome that way and gets a kick out of seeing me so happy) so I got to sit in the fighting chair.
This fish went deep. Fought it for maybe 20 minutes and couldn't budge it. The hook eventually came loose and we never saw it. All I know for sure is that it was too heavy to move and too heavy to bring up.
4 Marlin strikes in a single 4 hour fishing trip doesn't happen but once in a lifetime. Owen brought along some birthday luck I guess. Best day of the year by far!
CLICK HERE for a video compilation of our marlin adventure.

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1 comment
  • That’s one big-ass fish for sure!!!!!!

    Paul Fickes on

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