What is the deal with Hawaiian Marlin? Steroids?

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hooksetter6

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Aug 2, 2012
167
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Colorado Springs, Co/USA
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Larry
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Hi all,

Can somone who has fished Hawaii and elsewhere like maybe Central America and has experience with Marlin from both places tell me if the fish there are stronger for some reason? Seems like they fish alot heavier gear there than anywhere else.

I am by no means an expert or overly experienced Marlin Fisherman, but, I have fished quite a bit in Central American (Panama and Costa Rica) and have caught a few up to 600# both Blacks and Blues, and have never fished a reel larger than a Penn 50S w/ 80# dacron. OK, so you realize it has been a while since I fished that old set up, but it worked then so I imagine it would work now.

Sure I did lose a few bigger fish (one I am pretty sure was a Grander Black) but that was with the gear of the time. With the vast improvements in the gear since my time in Panama (1990-1994), Rods, Reels and Line have made it so much more enjoyable to fish with light setups. With reels now the size of an old Penn 30w cranking exceptional drags far stronger than anything even the size of a 130 of yesteryear, and braided line so strong and much thinner allowing greater line capacities, I just can't imagine fishing anything so heavy.

So, again, are those fish really that tough? I need to get over there and check them out. Luckily a friend from here is retiring in a few weeks and is buying a charter business over there, so maybe I will get the chance sooner than later.

Thanks and Tight Lines.

Larry aka Hooksetter6
 
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rick marin

Nothing new here
Dec 24, 2006
341
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lemon grove
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rick marin
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H & M fleet
This is why they use the heavy gear in Hawaii!

1805lb_bluemarlin_Choy_Honolulu_1970.jpg
 
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Feb 6, 2015
65
8
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John Johnson
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32' regulator
Its cas everyone in hawaii is stuck in the past. They dont even know what braid is or a wind on leader for that matter. Plus they kill everything. If a marlin was to be killed on the east coast someone might set your boat on fire for that. Been fishing my whole life and never used anything more than a 50. Been fishing out here for a few years and still see no need for anything more than that. On the east coast we chunk for tuna with 16's and 30 lbs test leader. There is no need for these giant reels. They just dont know any better.
 
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LundieF

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Jul 3, 2009
272
35
Haiku
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Lundie
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20' Shamrock WA, Maka 'oi 'oi II
Its cas everyone in hawaii is stuck in the past. They dont even know what braid is or a wind on leader for that matter. Plus they kill everything. If a marlin was to be killed on the east coast someone might set your boat on fire for that. Been fishing my whole life and never used anything more than a 50. Been fishing out here for a few years and still see no need for anything more than that. On the east coast we chunk for tuna with 16's and 30 lbs test leader. There is no need for these giant reels. They just dont know any better.

I heard there are some really good deals on one way tickets this time of year. Alaskaair.com is the site I usually use. Give it a shot, might be nice to get out of this ignorant, big reel using, no braid having, stuck in the past, backward state of ours.
 
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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
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ramona /ca/usa
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doug
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yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
so this was more of a mud sling then a real question wasn't it.
 
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Whalebreath

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 6, 2008
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.
Keep in mind Hawaii is a desperately poor place lots of people don't have two nickels to rub together and dropping cash for the latest/greatest gear will probably never happen.
 
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middleofnowhere

Gopher Killer
Sep 16, 2008
3,803
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Yucca Valley, CA USA
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Scott
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Twin Vee "MamaMia"
Water gets real deep, strong wind and currents with big swells, backing down doesn't work all the time. Its your choice what to bring to a gun fight 30's (knife), 50's (bee bee gun), 80's (pistol) or 130's (shotgun). I like the term "Go Big or Go Home".

That is the best explanation and same one I got from a skipper that was a SoCal transplant to Hawaii. His boat fished 80s for everything, water was thousands of feet deep, current, swell and wind was often opposite the way the fish would run. Every fish was $$, so sport was secondary. Live bait was not available.

I would imagine you could do fine with a smaller "high drag" modern reel loaded with spectra. The advantage of the big reals loaded with mono/dacron is that the line adds to the drag on the fish.
 
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randay

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Nov 11, 2010
65
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hawaii
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randay
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17.5 glasply
In hawaii fish is a natural resource. its harvested from the ocean and brought to market. there exists infrastructure to sell the fish and bring the fish to market locally and across the world. its an industry here. longline boats bring in a hundred thousand pounds of fish a day to be sold at the fish auction. there is also a "small" boat fleet which is made up of charter boats, sport fisherman, and weekend warriors, many of whom hold commercial fishing licenses and sell part or all of their catch. Hawaii is unique when compared to central america or mexico or the mainland or where ever the hell else.

You wouldnt go into a coal mine with a hammer and a chisel.
 
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patfishhi

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Sep 20, 2007
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Pat
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32' Blackfin "Kai Nana"
Larry,

Kai'Nana's experience; she won't let me bring anything bigger than 50"s on board, I get a big kick out of stand up and 80's are too big/heavy/wide. A likely scenario... An 8 lure spread, 8.5 kts/hr or so trolling speed, 15-20kts winds, get a decent fish on the corner, slow and start clearing' lines, if the Captain is on board I'm crew and angler, more often than not its just one other person (maybe solo). Clearing lines takes some time (I'm slow), the fish this whole time taking line, finally get the back deck set up, if I'm lucky I'm not seeing the bottom of the spool (Mak50W's/Tiagra 50W's/Penn 50 svw's). Sloppy water and stand up brings its own inherent risks obviously.

I can certainly understand why most guys don't want to be in this position, a lot of people on the Hawaii board have local hulls with very low gunnels, it's safe to be able to sit on the gunnel (boat constantly heaving from side to side) and reel the fish in from the rod holder, most of us maintain a commercial license and drop fish at the block as a means of cost deferral. So it may not all be for the sport there is other motivation as well. With all that said 50's work in most situations, just not for everyone.

Cheers
Pat
 
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Da rabbit

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Jun 2, 2014
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Da rabbit
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Force
Mr. Kyle Bartier, let's go fishing this coming ahi season, your boat or mine. Might be better to go on mine, I doubt you been catching anything significant since you only use 30lb test leader. Let's make a bet too, you bring up an ahi on 30lb test leader, I'll swim back to shore. You bust line, you swim back. By the way, in hawaii it's not an ahi unless it's at least 100lbs. 5 pound rats you been chunking for on 30lb leader no count. No worry, water get deep fast in hawaii, you no gotta swim too far.
 
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hooksetter6

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Aug 2, 2012
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Colorado Springs, Co/USA
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Larry
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Holy Moly,

I did not expect all the animosity. I was just curious.

I'm with Pat and like Stand-up Style of fishing if weather allows, The lighter the outfit the better, within limits of my ability. Never gonna see me trying to break a # test record on light line (2#- 16#) I aint that good, and frankly don't see how they do it. I just love to fish and don't care if I lose fish in the process, just part of the game.

I get that there is the commercial aspect (though it is not for me) so I guess that is truely the primary reasoning. And I see how weather/Sea conditions can play a big part as well.

To each his own and whatever works for you is fine by me. But, (and this is a serious question) if I come over for a day of charter fishing, am I really there for my enjoyment, able to fish the way I want...... or am I really just another hand on the boat out for a commercial profit? Again, not bashing anyone, just want to fish the way I like to.

Thanks for all the responses.

Hooksetter6
 
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KIWI808

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Jul 28, 2009
219
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Hawaii Kai
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mark Kalaugher
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745 Extreme
Hey, Larry hooksettter you obviously never been spooled.....
Now you , in your ignourance,have moved on to bashing the Hawaii Charter industry.
You should go smoke a bowl and catch some of those thousand pound trout you got swimming round in those streams of yours in Colorado.
Would love to take you to the banks in some 15-20 knot winds...
I'm not a hater but your an Ass!!!!!!
 
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KIWI808

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Jul 28, 2009
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Hawaii Kai
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mark Kalaugher
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745 Extreme
Hey Mr Larry,
Have you ever fished the Thousand?
Perhaps the Dogbone where the 1500 and 2000 are about a mile apart?
I'm talking fathoms not feet......
You and Whalebreath got nothing better to do than dis Hawaii fishing...
Don't hate us ,if you ain't us !!!!
 
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hooksetter6

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Larry
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Kiwi,

Dude.... chill. I am not bashing anyone. I am honestly trying to get a handle on your fishery. I have never fished HI and know NOTHING about it. That is why I asked. I did however live in Panama for a few years and fished both sides (Pacific and Caribean) quite a bit. So I have a little experience, enough for me to wonder why you all fish the way you do. It's all good.

Maybe if I come over to visit my buddy, we could get out to wet a line and you could give me some pointers.

Larry
 
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randay

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Nov 11, 2010
65
43
hawaii
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randay
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17.5 glasply
oh im sorry larry, i guess we mistook your honesty for the typical attitude we get from mainland fishermen. i apologize for that. so to answer your honest question: no, marlin in hawaii do not use steroids. thanks for honestly reaching out and asking your honest question, we appreciate it.
 
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hooksetter6

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Aug 2, 2012
167
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Colorado Springs, Co/USA
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Larry
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Thanks randay,

I appreciate your response. I don't know anything about the typical mainland attitude. I just love to fish..... lol. If I could afford to live over there I assure you I would.

Thanks again and take care.
 
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Aug 25, 2008
35
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KW, AK, RI now HI
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Mike
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none
I guess the bluefin tuna boats in the north atlantic are stuck in the past as well. Different locations, the fish act differently (and fight differently). Average current they live in, amount of bait present, depths of water being fished, depth (or presence) of thermoclines...a lot of factors attribute to that, but it's a fact. Growing up, catching a 20 pound striped bass in the back bay was no match for a 10 pound striped bass caught the same day 4 miles away on the outer reefs. People like to bash what they don't know, or understand. Better off learning new methods from different areas, instead of questioning them. Anywhere in the world, the people there have been fishing those waters and fish for more than a "couple years". Pretty certain most of the guys fish the way they do for the reason that it works best for their fishery.
 
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Feb 6, 2015
65
8
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John Johnson
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32' regulator
Yea. To kill and sell. It makes more sense now that there was an explination. I just wanted to understand the reason behind it. I didnt realize eveyone out here fishes for $. I dont need the $. I am in it strictly for sport. If I wanted to just drag em up and kill them then I would use the biggest reels made. Fact is 100lbs fish are like one out of ten, if that. And how much fun is it to catch a 20 lbs mahi or ono on a 130#? To each his own. But seriously. Its very possible to catch a 100lbs plus fish on a 30# with top shot braid. Just takes a little bit of skill
 
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middleofnowhere

Gopher Killer
Sep 16, 2008
3,803
491
Yucca Valley, CA USA
Name
Scott
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Twin Vee "MamaMia"
Yea. To kill and sell. It makes more sense now that there was an explination. I just wanted to understand the reason behind it. I didnt realize eveyone out here fishes for $. I dont need the $. I am in it strictly for sport. If I wanted to just drag em up and kill them then I would use the biggest reels made. Fact is 100lbs fish are like one out of ten, if that. And how much fun is it to catch a 20 lbs mahi or ono on a 130#? To each his own. But seriously. Its very possible to catch a 100lbs plus fish on a 30# with top shot braid. Just takes a little bit of skill

They have plenty of skill, they just don't know what is going to jump on the line. One day I was out and two other boats working same area, we caught bunches of skipjack and small bigeye. Other boats hooked 200# ahi and 1/4 ton marlin fishing same gear as us and within eyesight. Not our day, but it was theirs. For the fish we caught, 30# gear would have been fine. If the marlin or ahi would have picked us, not so fine.
 
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BiggestT

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Sep 8, 2004
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SM
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Salsipuedes & Czech Mate
Mr. Kyle Bartier, let's go fishing this coming ahi season, your boat or mine. Might be better to go on mine, I doubt you been catching anything significant since you only use 30lb test leader. Let's make a bet too, you bring up an ahi on 30lb test leader, I'll swim back to shore. You bust line, you swim back. By the way, in hawaii it's not an ahi unless it's at least 100lbs. 5 pound rats you been chunking for on 30lb leader no count. No worry, water get deep fast in hawaii, you no gotta swim too far.

I think the OP should show up with his little pink Avets and rail rods. Show da local Brahs a thing or two. Give Dem something to beef about.

Seriously, used to fish blue marlin at the East Cape every August. All I had were single speed 50w's filled with 50 lb on stand-up trollers. More than adequate for the fish which ranged from 150 to 300 lbs for 95% of the catch. Every once in awhile there'd be one of those fish that you just salute as it dumped the reel no matter what you did. They have more of those outsized fish in Hawaii and they have to gear up for them.
 
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