June 4, 2023
A pleasant blue takes off simply off Kona.
Jaybles Pictures

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Nobody within the tournament-fishing universe would flip down the chance to begin the Hawaii Marlin Event Collection by catching a 942.5-pound blue marlin. Many individuals who spend their lives chasing marlin by no means even see a fish that enormous, just because, not less than partially, there are few particular person fish swimming round within the ocean that attain that milestone.

Most male blue marlin cease rising once they get to be about 300 kilos or so and might stay about 20 years, in response to otolith dissections. About 85 p.c of the male marlin caught in Hawaii are between 100 and 200 kilos. Feminine blue marlin weighing greater than 1,000 kilos can stay to be of their thirties. Nonetheless, 80 p.c of females examined from dock samples in 2013 have been between 250 and 600 kilos. Again when all ­marlin have been delivered to the dock, the dearth of small females made many individuals suppose that ­marlin change intercourse once they reached about 250 kilos, however nature doesn’t appear to agree.

The dramatic distinction in measurement between female and male blue marlin is named a sexual measurement dimorphism. This measurement dimorphism shouldn’t be as a result of a intercourse change from male to feminine, however only a totally different progress sample. Most marlin beneath 400 kilos are tagged and launched in tournaments today, so these age/progress ratio research of outdated are much more essential now.

All that fish biology is fascinating sufficient, but it surely’s truly a little bit of a long-winded rationalization as to why catching such a behemoth of a fish made girl angler Kathleen Wyatt ecstatic. Not solely was it a fish of a lifetime, however the odds have been slim that anybody would catch a bigger one all through the Hawaii Marlin Event Collection. Plus, the sequence scores complete factors, so it will take six fish tagged to attain extra factors than that one huge one. Wyatt and her crew aboard Sea Genie II may be ok with their early lead. As well as, they gained the Lazy Marlin Hunt occasion with that fish and one different tagged.

A woman angler main the sequence can be about as possible as one catching a 900-pounder, and for a similar motive—statistically there are few wahine anglers swimming round within the event sea, particularly in Kona. However for six months, Wyatt did certainly lead your complete sequence. It wasn’t till the ultimate hour of the eighth event of the 2022 sequence that she was lastly dethroned by one other veteran, fishing aboard Bwana.

That’s when crew proprietor Craig Lindner Jr. laid declare to the champion angler title by touchdown a 468-pound blue marlin on the third and ultimate day of the aptly named It’s a Wrap event, the final leg of the 2022 HMT sequence.

A crewmate standing next to a large marlin pulled boatside.
Group Bwana.
Courtesy Bwana Sportfishing / Capt. Teddy Hoogs

Wyatt went into the Wrap with 4,117.4 factors, of which only one,242.5 have been ­credited to her 942.5-pound blue. She tagged and launched 15 extra blue marlin on high of the factors earned from her monster, which is how she saved the sequence lead all season. She peaked within the Kona Throw Down, the place she tagged eight fish; after that, she caught just one marlin in every of the subsequent three tournaments, whereas Lindner added 10 extra marlin to his complete.

Lindner went into the Wrap tourney with 3,381 factors—a distant second to Wyatt, however second place nonetheless. Capt. Teddy Hoogs and crewman Logan McCollum put Lindner on 5 marlin and one tuna within the Wrap; the crew earned 1,145 factors from fish factors and 300 extra for his or her first-place end within the event.

Learn Subsequent: Seeking to catch a spearfish for the IGFA Billfish Royal Slam? Now we have all the main points right here.

Wyatt tagged one other fish within the Wrap and had sufficient factors constructed as much as cling on to the lead for the sequence. It was solely after the decision to cease fishing that the boys on Bwana sealed the deal, weighing a 468-pound blue.

On Sea Genie II, Wyatt fished all season along with her husband, Jamison, working the deck. Their two sons crammed in as wanted, principally by capturing tag-and-release video, manning the chair and clearing rods. Capt. KJ Robinson was the one skilled on board. There’s a little bit of irony there in the truth that Robinson is in solely his second yr as captain for the crew, and for the second yr in a row, he and his crew completed second within the HMT sequence. Additionally ironic, previous to taking the helm on Sea Genie II, he spent just a few years working the Bwana cockpit for Capt. Teddy Hoogs. Along with Lindner, they gained the sequence championship in 2019.

Over the course of the 2022 sequence, 158 groups caught 179 blue marlin, of which 93 ­p.c have been tagged and launched. Groups additionally tagged two striped marlin. Competitors in Kona is heated amongst lots of the high professionals within the enterprise, all fishing beneath strict IGFA guidelines, so doing properly with a household crew is not any small accomplishment. In trying again, whereas nobody would flip down a 942.5-pounder, nor the possibility to guide the sequence for 21 of twenty-two days, the very fact stays that in all sporting competitions, it’s not the way you begin, it’s the way you end.