February 4, 2012 Lahaina Harbor, Maui, Hawaii


Official Sponsor of Bloodydecks
Dec 9, 2008
Lahaina, Hawaii, USA
Start Me Up Sportfishing
Aloha from Lahaina Harbor, Maui, Hawaii. Over the past week, more and more billfish have been biting in the waters surrounding Lanai. Shortbill spearfish and striped marlin have accounted for a large number of these billfish bites, as can be expected during the winter. Blue marlin are typically more common in the summer, but they have been biting as well. Of course, the mahis and tunas have continued to find their way onto the boat. If there any questions about the fishing, feel free to contact Deli in Start Me Up’s Lahaina Harbor booth at 808-667-7879 or [email protected]. The following report includes some of Start Me Up’s anglers and their catch through the end of January.

The bites just kept on getting better for the Volk group. They missed a mahi to start things off and then Jim Volk caught a bull mahi off the Lanai lighthouse to put some blood on the deck. Immediately after the mahi’s mess was cleaned up, the short corner reel started screaming. The nice blue marlin headed for the horizon before looping around and trying to charge up the starboard side of the boat. Matt Hood got into position in the fighting chair, where he would remain for the next hour and a half. Matt steadily gained line with the aid of the boat for the first half of the battle. However, Matt eventually reached a stalemate and spent the last 45 minutes of the fight winching the fish up from the depths. The leader had wrapped around the fish’s tail at some point and, unable to swim, the fish suffocated. Matt’s determination allowed him to successfully bring the 450 lb blue marlin to the surface. Congratulations go to Matt on catching a great fish!

Marcia Rogers, Alex Gawura, Steve Reid, and Steve McMillan fished hard and were rewarded accordingly. Marcia, Alex, and the Steves finished the day with a pile of mahis, onos, and shibis.

This mahi surfaced outside the pattern of lures and made a beeline for the 7-inch funnel jet running on the short rigger. The fish hit the bait and Ray Hamilton made sure that the mahi’s next contact was with the back deck.

Mike and Terry Ferrer deviated from the normal routine and used natural bait at the group of pinnacles called secret spot. Baiting the inside pinnacles usually produces mahis and nice kawakawas, but Mike and Terry were pleasantly surprised to catch something else. They hooked a couple of rainbow runners, also known as kamanu or Hawaiian salmon.

Koko demonstrated his natural aptitude for fishing by doing a perfect job fighting his kawakawa to the boat. Way to go Koko!

David Schultz was fishing just outside of LA buoy when his mahi pulled down the long rigger.

The striped marlin bite has been slightly sporadic and one can only hope that this fish, caught by Richard Katseanes, indicates the beginning of a more consistent winter striped marlin run. Richard decided to make a trophy of his catch, so the fish was taken for more accurate measurements as well as a few good meals.

Scott Willis took care of the tag and release portion of the trip by catching a striped marlin. Nathan Mullins participated during the keep and consume part of the day, capitalizing on one of the several mahi bites.

This tired but happy group of anglers departed early from Lahaina Harbor to pursue tunas at a buoy on the perimeter of the islands. Live opelu was the preferred bait before the sun rose. Once there was light in the sky, however, the anglers had more success using artificial baits.

The Solorz group had an unforgettable afternoon on the water. Upon hooking a mahi, the anglers slowed down from trolling speed and idled ahead. The angler was making short work of the mahi on heavy marlin tackle, but still did not get the fish to the boat fast enough. A pod of humpback whales suddenly swarmed the boat and swam into one of the lures. After one whale was snagged, the rest were smart enough to avoid the other lines. The crew was not happy to lose his disco ball lure to a whale, especially because he hooked an 884 lb blue marlin on that same lure in 2011.

Dave Grady and Tom Geham along with Jeannie and Mike Gibbs spent a little bit of time at a FAD, where they caught these fish. After getting sashimi and barbeque material, the anglers went on the troll in search of something bigger.

Dennis and Mike Tierney found some fish in 30 fathoms of water off the coast of Lanai. The bigger mahi grabbed a trolled lure and then the smaller fish gulped down a natural bait that was dropped behind the boat after the original bite.

This mahi made the mistake of attacking a super ninja, which is a notoriously productive lure. Unfortunately for the fish, Dennis enforced the consequences of biting a double hook rig.

Gerald Armstrong caught his 22 lb cow mahi on the long corner funnel jet after missing a bull mahi just a few minutes earlier. The bull pounced on the long gone lure, which in this was the bait known as little boy blue. The hooks came out after a hard run and little boy blue rocketed back towards the boat. Gerald’s cow mahi was probably traveling with the bull mahi and simply did not bite as readily.

Brandon Bastian was already having a good time when this mahi struck and added the exclamation point to an enjoyable day.

The Kimberlin group went out looking for fish to eat. Catching a couple of mahis and a tuna definitely did not hurt their cause.

This mahi created an explosion of white water behind a trolled lure and ripped a large quantity of line off the reel. After the vicious bite, Dan Trailer was up to the task of keeping the line tight. Dan’s careful application of pressure led the nice cow mahi to the boat.

Having shortbill spearfish around is great because the species is a unique catch for any angler. This time Mike Tse was the one who came home with a trophy catch after hooking his shortbill spearfish off the landslides on the backside of Lanai.

These anglers had success while trolling in the deep water behind Lanai. Scott Carr and Beth Johnson caught mahis while Greg Nelson caught himself an elusive shortbill spearfish.

The Mokan group took a day off work and went fishing. They worked the area surrounding the Lanai lighthouse and tagged and released a striped marlin. The anglers then caught a couple of mahis to put the icing on the cake.

Father and son Jarrod and Gary Stanley teamed up to subdue this 250 lb blue marlin, which they found in 200 fathoms of water off the Lanai lighthouse. The fish kept coming back to the long rigger Jr. softhead before finally getting hooked in the eye socket. As the Stanleys can verify, this blue marlin was a particularly tough fish.

There is no ignoring the fact that the billfish bite has improved in the waters behind Lanai. Denise Awender didn’t catch a billfish, but she was thrilled to catch a nice cow mahi in that same area.

Mike Taylor had his own chance at a blue marlin. Unluckily, the fish shook the hooks 300 yards into its initial run. Mike’s consolation mahi, which was actually a nice one, bit a short time later on the short rigger lure.

Bill Marsh was fortunate enough to catch a mahi, largely in part because he brought his wife along for good luck.

Team Miao made the most of their afternoon, tagging and releasing a striped marlin. The fish couldn’t turn down the trusted Elkins Jr. Popsicle running on the long rigger.

The Bostick group along with Don Cristy was on the mark when opportunity came knocking. They got off to a good start at a FAD, catching a few mahis and a stringer of tunas. Once the bite slowed down at the buoy, the anglers went on the troll. The trolling spread was set up for a few minutes at most when the short rigger came down hard. A shortbill spearfish was on the line and Aaron jumped into action, fighting the fish to the boat on standup gear. Another fish, possibly a shortbill spearfish, bit a short while later but managed to avoid the hooks. The group’s final action-packed episode occurred while making an ono run in shallow water. Rather than finding an ono, a mahi darted towards the long rigger and hooked up. Another mahi picked up a pitch bait and then dropped the opelu in favor of the long corner funnel jet. The day was definitely an exciting one enjoyed by everyone onboard.

Don Cristy brought his luck again and had a hand in another good catch. Don’s fellow anglers were glad to have him along as he shared advice and encouragement while catching fish on both natural bait and artificial lures.

Thanks for checking out this Start Me Up fishing report. Any questions can be directed toward Deli at 808-667-7879 or [email protected]. Until the next report, tight lines.



I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 16, 2010
Ewa Beach
22 ft Islander
Thanks for the report, Lee. As usual, you guys are dialed in to the bite.


Master of Nothing
Apr 24, 2003
San Diego
That Guy
31' Innovator
Lots of smiles there and a couple of really nice marlin.

Nice work SMU.