The stars were aligned last week in Kona when we invited the famous fishing chronicle author Jim Rizzuto and his 16 year old grandson Kai Rizzuto visiting from New York on his winter break. Just the day before we had released a 550 lb. blue marlin and a 100 lb. striped marlin so we knew we had our work cut out for us to top that one.
We were trolling outside of Kahaluu at about 1000 fathoms around 1 pm looking for that elusive grander. Then the fish struck the Eric Koya lure. An explosion of white water erupted and a 13 foot long marlin leaped out of the water in it’s place. Our deckhand Carlton yelled, “Big Fish! Get in the chair, Kai.”
McGrew likes to keep the fight short by maneuvering the boat to stay close. A short fight is always easier on a fish you plan to release but it is much tougher on the angler, who has to fight the fish with the heaviest drag he can stand. The marlin jumped in about three large circles clear out of the water while McGrew kept the line tight, followed the fish and backed down hard. Because of the tight drag and the amount of energy that the fish put out at the beginning of the fight, it exhausted quickly and came belly up after about 30 minutes. No amount of resuscitation would revive it, which ended any possibility of release. They pulled the fish in and it’s tail stuck out of the doorway unable to close. Carlton measured out the “short length” (tip of the lower jaw to fork of the tail) at 139″ and the tail stump at 20″. Those lengths told us the fish would “go” over 1000 lbs. With a cast of congratulatory fishing friends to help, the fish was weighed and the scales tipped at “1058” lbs. The fish was then given to a few local families where over 100 people enjoyed this fish for many meals.
This gives McGrew & Carlton their third career “Grander” equivalent to a Hollywood Academy Award.
Usually the story ends here, however, the hype created by this amazing catch from a 16 year old quickly went viral and was all over the news around the word on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX News, ESPN, fishtrack.com and other media outlets. Kai is now back in class in Manhattan, NY where he has already done many local interviews with the New York daily news and TV stations. Kai will be telling his “Big Fish that didn’t get away” story for many year to come.
Aloha Nui Loa,
Jennifer & McGrew Rice