Part 3: Spearfish
Written & Photographed By Capt. Dave Lear — February 2002
True to his prediction, at midmorning the stinger rod went off, and I quickly grabbed hold and scampered into the fighting chair as the spearfish erupted in a series of surface-clearing jumps, trying to shed the hooks. For a smaller fish on heavy tackle, it was surprisingly strong, but after a few stubborn minutes my trophy was alongside for a quick photo and release.
"I want people to feel the power of the fish, not just the wind, wind, wind action of cranking as I back the boat down," Mike Vidal says. "Granted, the boat can be an advantage, but most of our customers are first-time anglers, and we want to give them the experience of a lifetime. We go out every time trying to have fun. We also want to teach and coach in the process. One of our best pupils was a 13-year-old who pulled in a 775 [-pound] blue by himself."
My spearfish needed a dietary supplement just to make 30 pounds (Hawaiian spears push 75 pounds and average 50), but I didn't care. His release filled another category in my personal record book. Subsequent trolling resulted in a schoolie mahi mahi, followed by another spearfish. With my quest doubly satisfied before noon, I decided a Pacific blue marlin would be a nice topper. Vidal and Azevedo were more than happy to oblige.
Mike, Cindy (an accomplished angler in addition to being a gracious hostess and gourmet cook), and Azevedo are like sportfishing enthusiasts the world over, with certain idiosyncrasies they believe help catch fish. In this case that means giving lures colorful monikers like Scarface, Baby Elvis, Red-Eyed Smoky Joe, Bubba, and Wings of Death. Since I was an honored guest, Azevedo dropped Cindy Lou, a Marlin Magic brand and consistent performer, into the wake to entice a blue marlin.
The ritual paid off. After an explosive missed strike that left a gargantuan hole in the water, the marlin doubled back to eat again. This time the double hooks struck home, and I clung white-fisted to the rod as the fish ripped 300 yards off the reel in a blink of an eye. After an impressive aerial display, we settled down to a slugfest that lasted more than 30 minutes. I'd regain line and the fish would sulk. Finally, after a protracted tug of war brought the leader within inches of the tiptop, the hooks pulled. My estimated 475-pounder swam away, dignity intact. Mike Vidal, beaming from the bridge, had successfully shown me the quintessential Kona prize.
"If you want a big fish, this is the place," he told me on our way back to the marina. "Plus, this isn't a Third World spot. It has all the amenities of home, including U.S. currency, access to the telephone, good food. There's a lot to be said for the little things."
I couldn't agree more, but there's a lot to be said for the big things, too. Like blue marlin swimming in a neon-blue sea.
Legend Sport Fishing/Sleepy Hollow Bed and Breakfast Phone: (808) 987-7312. Fax: (808) 325-0653. www.hawaii-bnb.com/legend.html.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.