Thresher in Kona

Discussion in 'Hawaii Fishing Reports' started by Hirize, Nov 22, 2005.

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  1. Hirize

    Well not by me but Mark is one of my fishing buddies.
    WTG guys!!!!


    Real-life 'Jaws' caught off Kona

    Trio inspired by Capt. Cook's Frank Mundus

    by Jim Rizzuto
    Special To West Hawaii Today

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:51 AM HST

    Frank Mundus of Captain Cook put the teeth in "Jaws," the movie.

    Far from scaring fishermen away from sharks, his stories have inspired many copy cats to try "Jaws," the true-life adventure. A few nights ago, a team of crazies from Melton International headed off the Kona Coast in search of big nasty predators and got more than they bargained for.

    Melton manager Tim Robertson joined Melton's Mark Loera on Mark's 21-foot "Coho." Dr. Bill Rhee was the team's "sharkspert" and crew, says Tim. Bill hails from Montauk, N.Y., where Frank, the legendary shark pro, turned shark fishing into an international phenomenon.

    "Newton Leslie tipped us off that there were some big threshers seen recently down at Pebble Beach, so that's where we targeted," Tim said. "Carlton Arai got us inspired when he and McGrew Rice on Ihu Nui tangled with a 600- to 700-pound mako the previous Sunday. That fired up Mark, Bill and me. We were already hot to go even before the Frank Mundus story appeared on Page One of West Hawaii Today. That got us even more determined. C'mon guys, what would Frank do? Go Sharkin'!!"

    It's hard enough to fight a big shark with conventional big game gear anchored firmly to a fighting chair. These guys decided to forego the chair advantage and fight their fish on standup gear.

    "Actually it's a great way to test the equipment's durability," Tim said, with the acumen of a tackle-tester and salesman.

    That test came at 12:30 a.m. when a 501-pound thresher shark got bloody-minded over an aku bait. In a battle lasting one hour, 8 minutes, Tim not only had to whip the thresher but he also had to ward off a cast of other curious critters including white tips and a huge whale shark.

    "After the whale shark befriended us, we had to dodge around it for two hours," Tim said. "It nearly ran over the line a half dozen times during the fight with the thresher.

    "We were using Amilan 130 IGFA line with a great hard casing that proved to be whale shark-proof.

    "I've never had a whale shark dog us while catching a fish. This thing had us on a slalom course trying to avoid a collision."

    Tim says he beat the long-tailed shark with an average reel drag of 48 pounds, which he ratcheted up to 65 pounds during the second half of the battle -- and then added more "with hands jammed in spool to stop the second run."

    Tim put the Penn 80 VSW reel to the supreme test, "and it performed very well under heavy drag and powerful runs. The low gear's 1.4-to-1 ratio was perfect for short-stroking the fish.

    "We had mounted it on one of our custom Melton stand-up 80-130 rods with a custom wind-on leader, eliminating the need for another crew to leader."

    After "a really gutsy flying-gaff shot by the Doc," Tim says the scene got really wild with another 10 minutes spent wrestling with the fish to gain control.

    At 16-feet long (seven feet of which was tail), the thresher was too big for the 21-foot boat, Tim said.

    "We secured it with head and tail ropes and thought we might keep fishing. The neighborhood shark gang had other ideas. First it was a couple of giant whitetips that became ten, then a couple of aggressive big blue sharks and finally a couple of tanker tigers cruising just in sight.

    "These fish became really aggressive quickly and that was enough for us to decide to make for home."

    "Thresher steaks are great eating," says Tim, "but we won't kill another unless it's a possible record.

    "These are truly great sport fish that are a great test of anglers and tackle."

    Tim says the base of the thresher's enormous tail was 24-inches around.

    "By comparison," he said. "The tail base on the 1,400-pound blue marlin displayed in our store is 221/2 inches.

    "No wonder these things are so powerful."

  2. BluefinCurly

    Very cool Pete.

    Is there a link to the original picture so I can see a bigger version?

    I am curios to see if it is a pacific thresher or what we used to refer to as a brown or (excuse me) jap thresher. It kinda looks like the latter but I can't see the face well enough.
  3. Pounder

    Carlton tipped em off, ehh? That dude can flat out fish.
  4. Hirize

    The picture was from
    Go to the sports section. I did not see a bigger picture but I'am a dork..... :)

    You have to sign up but no spam goes to you.
    Sort of cool because each Monday is the fishing column by Jim Rizzuto......everybody here reads the Monday paper!!!

    Aloha, Pete
  5. Waiohinu Lawaia

    Yeah, seen a few of them over the years, first one I've heard of in a long time being brought back to the docks.

    Actually good that most people in Hawaii (at least used to) not like the taste of shark.

    Will be interesting to see if more people target them as the other sought after species stocks decrease.

    Thanks for the link by the way, no one back home even mentioned this story to me.
  6. TheShark


    That is a beautiful big shark...

    Classic scen from Jaws...Can you nameit? :D

    "Were gonna need a bigger boat"
  7. bertram31

    Very cool report.

    Interesting quote that i copied though. I was in the Meltons tackle here a couple years ago looking for splice/ crimp products and was speaking directly with Tracy Melton, who by the way is a nephew to a family friend. He was saying the exact opposite from my thinking. He refered to you dont need any of the hollow connection, the knots and long leader work best. This spring I was messing around with shark leaders using hollow spectra and connecting via a doulble loop to loop wind on. The exact reason was to avoid a long leader that took a leader man. I was splicing 400 pound coated wire into 200 pound hollow spectra and using a 300 pound crimp. It work flawlessly and you could reel everything right onto the reel.

    You ask about a swivel, yes. I put the swivel inside the lure head and attached the hook rigs to the swivel there. This allowed the fish being able to roll but the lure didnt spin when trolled.

    IMHO because of the hollow splice and no bulky knots and long ass leaders the dangerious job of a leader man is a thing of the past.

  8. cowgirlnca

    I just heard the story last night. Mark called the house (he's my brother in law), I could hear him telling the story to my husband (his brother) and I could hear the excitement.... Man, what an awesome story! Right on right on Mark!

    Miss and love you bro!

  9. Hirize

    From what it said and from what I know Tim will only bring in one that might be a record for standup. He is after the record not the fish meat. All the charter boats release them I think.

    Aloha, Pete
  10. Hirize


    His boat was the one right behind mine.

    Saw some good pics of you fishing, been awhile for me, damn boat and seems like everthing else is more important right now......gotta just make the time!!!

    Still have those red slippas you or your mom left :)

    Aloha, Pete
  11. Hirize

    Hey Val......nice butt!!! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
    Fish that is :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Very cool that your online and saw this, now we just have to get Mark hooked up to the 21st century :High_Five :High_Five
    I will stop by today and talk to him, give him a hard time for not calling me to fish :) :) and let him know of your post.

    Aloha, Pete
  12. Hirize


    "We had mounted it on one of our custom Melton stand-up 80-130 rods with a custom wind-on leader, eliminating the need for another crew to leader."

    You see that would have been my job and it was eliminated!!!! No wonder they did not call me to go :( :(

    Hey are you over in Oahu now??
    Coming over this weekend for my sons football game.

    Aloha, Pete
  13. cowgirlnca

    Hey Pete, I send Mark emails via his parents! Funny stuff, I'm not sure why he's not online now, they used to be! Oh well...
    Guess he'll have to keep making the front page so I can read about his fishing adventures! I can't wait to come over and fish with Mark.

    Talk to ya!
  14. bertram31

    Hey Pete, no still stuck in ca. Wont be too much longer bra. So sorry about your job being elimanted, but hey you can have the angler job on my boat anytime LOL. Look forward to fishing with you soon.