I was recently headed to Oahu with my wife for a long overdue vacation. As many of you know with kids at home, it’s not always easy to sneak away with just the wife for a vacation. Because she is such a good sport about my occasional fishing get-away (and is not a big fan of fishing herself), I didn’t want to push working in a fishing trip while in Hawaii (but was hoping for the opportunity). A couple of days before we left I threw the idea out there, “honey are you up to doing some fishing while we’re in Hawaii?” Her, ”I guess” reply, played back to me as, “sure honey I would love to”, so I got busy searching the web for a last second charter to book.
After finding about 5 charters in Oahu I sent out an email to them all hoping someone could get me in last minute. The following day I received an email from the Maggie Joe, I called to talk with them and got a very pleasant young lady who had a ton of information about “what they had been catching”, and when they might be able to squeeze me in. I felt good about putting the trip together so quickly.
The day before my trip I decided to drop by the dock and see what fish the boats had brought back. I was pleased to see that the Maggie Joe was 1 of 2 boats that had fish that day (a marlin, a few mahi, and a tuna). Knowing that Feb. is not the best month to fish Hawaii, I was feeling pretty good and my wife was even starting to get a bit excited.
The next morning we headed out. We we’re fishing with Capt. Mike and the deck hand Nate. Having fished with a good amount of fishing charters and guides I have seen just about every personality of crews and must say the crew of the Maggie Joe was definitely one of my favorite crews I’ve fished with. They were very personable, friendly, accommodating, and definitely not least of all, you could tell when they said they we’re going to get you on fish they were serious! The crew of the Maggie Joe is absolutely all about getting you on the fish and still is aware that the trip has to be fun for everyone! They were pleasant, patient and helpful with my wife who was not “all about the fish”! I have fished with crew’s that get you on the fish and are great fisherman but I would never bring my wife along. The Maggie Joe is perfect for the “hard core angler” and the “indifferent angler” and everything in between or mixed together on a trip.
As we left the Marina it was clear the waters we’re going to be a bit rough but a quick bite and release on the trolling marlin jig about a mile out gave me hope! After a boat an hour and half it was starting to feel like false hope. The waves had kicked up and were up over 7 ft. which made the ride a bit rough and things were looking slow. As the day progressed we came into a small group of birds and my wife got on the first fish of the day, a nice Mahi. Talking with Nate I got a bit of education about what types of birds and how they are acting give the crew a good idea of not only what kind of fish the birds are on but how many. The crew seemed to know before coming up on schooling birds what kind of fish they we’re on and whether it was a school or a single fish working bait. I think they got it right every time!
The day progressed, the waves got bigger and the fishing stayed slow. Determined to get us on the fish the crew headed off the spots that were producing the day before but were slow today. It seemed every time we came up on birds (which was every hour or so) we were able to pull a Mahi out, but nothing schooling, all just singles and no Marlin or Tuna. I was starting to think the prospect of my first Marlin wasn’t going to happen. The day was turning into a productive day but it definitely wasn’t coming easy.
As 2:00 o’clock rolled around we headed back to the Marina but Capt. Mike and Nate we’re still confident and determined to put me on a Marlin and said they still had a few good spots that we could hit on the way back. An hour or so went by and we could now see land and we’re getting closer and closer to the Marina, although having had a great time I was convinced a Marlin wasn’t going to happen.
We were about 2 miles from the Marina when BAM ZZZZZZZZZZ the far right reel in our pattern went singing. Then it stopped. Before disappointment set in BAM ZZZZZZZZZZ the second reel in our pattern went and stopped. Now I was truly bumbed. I was sure that was it. I started to tell Nate that I thought we had one and he said “he could still be …” and before he could finish BAM ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ the third real in the pattern went crazy! We had probably 50 plus yard of line out and he must of peeled off another 50 yards in the blink of an eye and then WOW the fish broke water and must have jumped 6 feet in the air about 100+ yards out before I was even settled in the fighting chair!!!!
A Marlin has been on my list of fish “I have to catch” for a very long time and sometimes you build it up so in your head that when you actually catch the fish it can be a little short of your expectations, the Marlin was absolutely not. Although not a big Marlin (193 lb’s before the Tuna fell out of it’s mouth) it was a blast to catch and a great fight. Also my heaviest fish to date.
If you ever wanted to catch a Marlin the Maggie Joe is a must. If you haven’t ever considered fishing for Marlin it is something I think every fisherman should do before they die!
About the Maggie Joe (www.maggiejoe.com)- One of the best crews I have ever fished with. “Class act” in every sense of the word. Knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, funny, and serious as hell about getting you on fish, you really can’t go wrong with this boat. Fishing a custom built 53’ Sportfisher that provides all the comforts you can ask for while being built with every edge possible to land fish. The Maggie Joe has produced the second largest Blue Marlin catch (1277 pound Pacific blue marlin). Fishing with this crew is something every angler should do.
By Michael Hodgdon